Co-owner, May and Williams Ltd., Independent Meeting Planners, Evanston, Ill.
The No. 1 thing I've done this year is to give up the post office and go paperless. All my membership announcements and conference announcements are now done electronically. That even includes my RFPs. I no longer print it out for people, I just give them my business card and tell them to go to my Web site-that's where it is. Going to a and trying to carry an RFP with you and not knowing how many to print up is a little ridiculous.
CMP, executive secretary, National Association of Freewill Baptists, Antioch, Tenn.
This year, for the first time, we got caught in an situation. We ended up paying a hotel $12,000 in penalties. It's difficult for any association to spend money on rooms that you don't use, but unfortunately, the had been signed before I got into this position and there was a 90 percent attrition clause. So now I won't even sign a that has a 90 percent attrition clause-we negotiate for 80 percent or in some cases 70 percent.
Vice president of meetings and events, IMG Associations, Lexington, Ky.
One of our association partners is the National Tour Association, which represents tourism professionals in the packaged travel industry. The NTA convention is based on appointments that are scheduled prior to the convention via an online matching system that connects buyers and sellers, taking into consideration their business needs and interests. Previously, these connections were scheduled in a random order with no filter for geography. This year, NTA implemented changes to the matching system that allows buyers and sellers to connect in geographical groupings, which makes more sense based on the way NTA's buyers-the tour operator-do business. This new format will make it easier for buyers to assemble products for their customers while at the convention.
CMP, director, meetings and conventions, American Academy of Dermatology, Schaumburg, Ill.
A very important change implemented for our 2009 annual meeting was a very deliberate, strong push toward "going green."
Knowing that our annual meeting was going to be in San Francisco, we made it a priority to utilize the many resources that the city and convention center had to offer. The Moscone Center assisted the AAD in achieving a diversion rate of approximately 60 percent of waste (more than 100,000 pounds) generated during our annual meeting!
This was done through Moscone's recycling, composting, and donation programs. Moscone was able to collect all leftover paper/cardboard products (including program books, etc.), registration bags, signage, banners, carpeting, and food-service products-redirecting them to the appropriate recycling/donation facility. We plan to use this model in future annual meeting cities, pending each respective city's infrastructure to handle it.