With little on-the-scene fanfare but a fair amount of premeeting lobbying, delegates at the Convention Liaison Council (CLC) approved a major restructuring of the organization at its November meeting in Fort Worth, TX.

The delegates voted to replace CLC's existing executive committee (with its rotating slate of officers) with a board that has four permanent seats for the chief paid executives of these organizations: the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), Meeting Professionals International (MPI), and the International Association for Exposition Management (IAEM). In addition, there will be five rotating seats on the board open to any of the other 21 organizations that constitute CLC.

Delegates also approved limiting participation in CLC to one delegate, instead of three representatives, for each of the member organizations (including the four permanent board members). This "house of delegates" will meet only once a year instead of twice.

But CLC delegates also approved a recommendation for a new meeting to be held once a year or every 18 months. This meeting would be a forum specifically for the discussion of industry issues, and would be open by invitation to non-CLC members.

These were the recommendations of CLC's strategic planning committee, and following their approval, outgoing chairman Craig Smith, president of AVW Audio Visual, Inc., Dallas, told the group: "Congratulations. You've just led CLC into the 21st century."

The strategic committee, led by George Kirkland, president, Los Angeles CVB, and facilitated by Hugh Lee, president, Center for Organization Development, Rochester, NY, came up with recommendations over the last year.

Several problem areas were identified, including findings that CLC had failed to serve as an effective forum for discussion of industry issues, was too involved in governance issues, and needed to reengage some of the founding organizations that had become passive participants. Delegates also approved the insertion of the word global into CLC's mission statement, with the understanding that the organization may some day strive for more international representation among its member organizations.

In other CLC news, the technology committee recommended the development of a Web page for CLC, and targeted a launch by summer 1997. Delegates approved $20,000 in spending to get the project off the ground.

On the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) front, the CMP Board has simplified the recertification form. Initial CMP certification is effective for five years. The purpose of recertification is to evaluate a CMP's continuing involvement in the meetings industry.

One of the summer CMP exam dates has been changed from July 26 to August 2, 1997. The exam will be held at Meeting Professionals International's 1997 World Education Congress in Baltimore, MD. The other summer exam will be held June 21, and Chicago, IL has been added to the list of cities where it will be given. The application deadline for both dates is March 24, 1997. Order the CMP application kit by sending $25, check or money order, to CLC, 1575 Eye Street, NW, Suite 1190, Washington, DC 20005. -Regina McGee