The ICPA Summer Forum gets more content-rich every year, and this year's program, held at the Park Hyatt Washington, July 22 to 24, was no exception. Packed days of interactive sessions and educational lectures were augmented by evening networking activities that gave participants a chance to chat with their peers and see some of Washington's landmark venues.

In lively interactive sessions, attendees divided into tables of about six people each and discussed checklists on site inspections, creating an RFP, pre-con and post-con meetings, emergency procedures, and budget-stretching food service ideas. Lots of how-to information from each table was shared with the group. Look for the results on, where comprehensive checklists will be posted.

Among the program highlights were presenters Laurie Fitzgerald, CMP, Allstate Financial, on the fine points of planning international events; Washington insider Bill Shipman on social security reform; Juli Jones, Convention Industry Council, on the Apex Initiative and Project Attrition; and Barbara Talbott, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, on how planners can partner strategically with top management.