Past Issues/Subscribe | Advertise | May 2012

May Grab & Go – Creating the Shape of Your Event

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We’ve saved the best for last! Join us May 23rd for our final Grab & Go event of the year featuring three Certified Special Event Planners from ISES (CSEP) each paired with a PMPI vendor partner as they present a very exciting and fast paced session titled Creating the Shape of Your Event! Also plan to join us at The Hilton Washington DC / Rockville Hotel & Executive Meeting Center in Rockville, MD for our final Educational Event on June 7 featuring Mike Malinchok, president of S2K Performance Coaching, who will teach you how to implement Strategic Meetings Management Programs (SMMP) into your organization!

May Grab & Go – Creating the Shape of Your Event

The theme for your event has been set, the content for your event is in place and the audio visual technology packages have been specified and secured. The next step is to create an environment for the attendees that will enable learning and excite them when they enter the room to take their seats.

  • Are there seating options other than traditional hotel chairs?
  • Are there table options for your banquet event that will add energy to the evening?
  • Can you stage panel discussions in a more engaging fashion?
  • Are there creative ways to layout a space to encourage audience engagement and participation?

The answer to each of these questions is YES and this session will explore emerging trends in furnishing audience seating areas, stage presentation areas and creatively decorating special events that occur during the course of your event. Budget and planning challenges will also be discussed.

Join Ashley Dorfman and Eve Villard in Alexandria, Virginia at the American Society of Clinical Oncology:

Ashleigh Dorfman, CSEP President & Event Producer of posh productions, LLC

Ashleigh is a certified special events professional and owner of posh productions LLC, an event management, marketing and consulting firm specializing in corporate, non-profit and personal celebrations. With over 17 years of event management experience, Ashleigh previously produced worldwide corporate marketing events and healthcare association meetings. Ashleigh earned her Master’s degree in Event Management and Marketing from The George Washington University and Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from George Mason University. She lives in Reston, VA with her husband and three children.

Eve Villard Account Executive, CORT Event Furnishings

Eve is on the Strategic Events committee for the second year with PMPI, and has been an Account Executive with CORT Event Furnishings for over 3 years, helping corporate clients and event venues to maximize their space and increase brand awareness and functionality in event settings. She travels frequently to industry events and tradeshows and enjoys educating her clients on new event trends and products. She graduated from the University of Colorado in Boulder with a degree in Journalism and PR and is now lives in Maryland with her family.

Join Karen Gibson-Serrette and Dave Fritz for the DC session at Destination DC:

Karen B. Gibson-Serrette, CSEP Senior Event Producer, Fandango Productions

Karen B. Gibson-Serrette has enjoyed a 13-year career in event management that spanned the corporate, government, university and association worlds. After spending nearly a decade building Bravo! Events by Design into an award-winning event management company with her former business partner, Karen founded her own event consulting firm in September 2010, BGS Consulting. Karen is currently a Senior Event Producer for Fandango Productions where she manages events for a variety of clients.

She has a Master of Tourism Administration degree with a concentration in event management from George Washington University where she also served as their Director of Alumni Events. Karen has taught event administration at Stratford University and has spoken at several event industry conferences including The Special Event and Eventworld.

Dave Fritz Account Manager, CORT Event Furnishings

As a Cort Event Furnishings Account Executive, Dave helps clients create exceptional environments with event furnishings. These furnishings enhance the meeting or event experience. Dave has over 15 years of experience in the event industry. Dave has won the Presidents Excellence in Sales Award 3 times in his 6 years with Cort Event Furnishings, a Berkshire Hathaway Company.

Dave is an alumnus of the University of Delaware, where he was an All American in football. Dave lives in Ellicott City, Maryland with his wife, Allison, and two girls.

Join Tracy Bloom Schwartz and Heide Berger in Maryland at the Goodwill Industries International, Inc. headquarters in Rockville:

Tracy Bloom Schwartz, CSEP President, Creative Parties

Tracy Bloom Schwartz, CSEP is the second generation president of Creative Parties. Prior to her start at Creative Parties, Tracy did corporate events and conferences for IBM and Lotus. Following her graduation from Walt Whitman, she earned her BS from Bradley University and MBA from Boston University.

With responsibilities ranging from managing the Creative Parties boutique to planning events herself, Tracy’s favorite is working directly with clients as they inspire and delight her with new fresh thoughts and requests. Tracy has developed strong green/eco-friendly initiatives throughout Creative Parties. Tracy is a member of ISES, the Bethesda Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce, active in Bethesda Green and involved in various charities. In her spare time, Tracy has started to golf, adding to her favorite hobbies of reading and swimming.

Heidi Berger Account Executive, AFR Event Furnishings

Prior to opening the Washington, DC division of Room Service, which is now AFR Event Furnishings, Heidi was a designing member of the Creative Services team at the premier Destination Management Company in Orlando, FL, producing events for a wide range clients from intimate celebrations for Fortune 500 companies to farewell parties for groups of 7,500 participants.

With an honors degree from one of the top hospitality colleges in the country and her vast experience, she is excited to add DC ISES President-Elect to her accomplishments. When not working, you can find Heidi on the National Mall hopping in and out of museums pulling inspiration from the art and taking advantage of all her new hometown has to offer.

Registration for this event is free and seating is limited so click here to register to attend our final Grab & Go Session.

June Educational Event – The Pragmatic SMMP

For many who have embarked on researching this area of spend category management, an all too common conclusion reached is that a best-in-class SMMP requires hundreds of thousands of dollars of investment, complicated enterprise wide process re-engineering, and years of data collection and patience before the full benefits of the program can be achieved.

As a result, many efforts are stalled before they even begin as organizational leaders look at these conclusions and re-evaluate the application of resources and attention to other areas of focus that may yield more timely returns. This session will provide the attendee with actionable ways to infuse the tenets of the best practice models of Strategic Meetings Management Programs (SMMP) into their current organizational situation.

Learning Objectives:

  • Break apart the SMMP best practice model into prioritized components.
  • Incorporate SMMP components into a working business plan by establishing three-stage objectives.
  • Identify opportunities that an SMMP creates through a combination of theory and practical exercises.
  • Take immediate action with minimal business disruption, exorbitant investment, or tedious delays.

PMPI Insider

Interested in getting more involved with PMPI in 2012? Immediately following the educational event, learn about PMPI activities from our chapter leaders and how you can be a part of it all.

Click here to register for the June Educational Event.


Knoxville Tourism & Sports Corporation
Grand Traverse Resort & Spa
Space Needle


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