Resumes and work orders — the key documents that define your meeting for a hotel or convention facility — have been under the microscope of the Convention Industry Council's Accepted Practices Exchange. And now it's your turn.

After interviewing American and Canadian meeting and convention planners and a variety of meeting facility professionals, collecting a broad sampling of resumes (aka “Bibles,” operations manuals, specification sheets, event orders, etc.), and distilling the best practices from what they found, the APEX Resumes & Work Orders Panel released a preliminary report October 1. The 27-page draft is available for public comment through mid-March at, after which the panel will go back to work on its goal of establishing industrywide accepted practices in the content and format of these forms.

The panel, which is co-chaired by Sandy Biback, CMP, CMM, CEO of Imagination+Meeting Planners Inc. and Susan Schwartz, CEM, president of ConvExx and executive director of the Exhibition Services & Contractors Association, has put together a three-part document template. It includes a general overview or “narrative” of the meeting, a schedule of events, and a “meeting event order” that records each function's specifics. There are two meeting event order samples, one for functions and one for exhibitions. Even unfinished, the panel's comprehensive draft could serve as a resource for planners in need of a well-researched meeting specification form. A finished report is due in October 2003.

“Our hope,” says Schwartz, “is that when completed, the technology group will create a single document or a single Web-based product, where the meeting manager or the exhibitor or the show manager can go in, type everything they need, and shoot it to the hotel, facility, wherever. That person can then take it and break it up and shoot it out to the various departments, without having to do all the retyping that's being done now. That's the dream.”

This is the third of the APEX panels to report in. The APEX Terminology Panel and History/Post Event Reports Panel submitted their drafts last December. Panels are still at work developing accepted practices in four other areas: requests for proposals, housing and registration, contracts, and meeting and site profiles.