Every religious meeting planner has a unique story about how he or she came to the profession, but RCMA members share a common goal: to build relationships and to grow in their professional and personal lives.
“Catch the Spirit,” RCMA's 37th World Conference and Exposition, will be held January 27-30, 2009, in Grand Rapids, Mich. RCMA is expected to draw more than 1,300 meeting professionals to this international event.
The meeting is constructed to help religious meeting planners like you increase your knowledge and skills. As an attendee, you can expect to develop strategic partnerships with all types of vendors and to learn ways to improve your performance through an excellent lineup of tutorials.
You also will enjoy great fellowship.
One of the best parts of the RCMA experience, as so many members have discovered, is that this event makes learning enjoyable. You will be inspired by general session speakers. You will improve your meeting-planning skills at the tutorials, and you will enjoy top-notch entertainment. But the one thing that attendees particularly enjoy about RCMA, the thing that keeps them coming back year after year, is the connections they make with other members and associate members.
Over the years, attendees have said that the spirit and camaraderie at RCMA set it apart from other meeting-planning events. The opportunities for professional growth are everywhere: in the hotel lobby, at luncheons, during breaks, or on the way to evening events.
Early Bird Activities
On Tuesday morning, conference attendees go behind the scenes to explore the inner workings of an advertising agency, public relations firm, production company, newspaper, hotel, or convention center. This is your opportunity to gain hands-on experience under the tutelage of leading professionals. This RCMA-exclusive event has attracted thousands of participants through the years, all of whom have expanded their knowledge in religious conference management. Participants must register in advance; the experience begins at 8 a.m. and concludes by 1:30 p.m. Complimentary breakfast and luncheon are served.
You will be able to see the great Michigan city for yourself with the early bird sightseeing tours and other activities that RCMA has planned for January 27. (See page 27 for details.)
Tuesday night, you will enjoy the opening event, “Grand Reception … Carnival on the Beach.” Ride a Ferris wheel, experience the thrill of virtual-reality rides, and view sculptors building a sand castle.
Opening Ceremonies, Expo
Wednesday morning, an energizing extravaganza highlighted by speaker Stef du Plessis will get the day off to a rousing start.
Then it's off to the Expo, which this year will have more than 300 booths, all staffed by knowledgeable suppliers who provide services and facilities for.
At the heart of RCMA's mission are the educational opportunities offered at its expert-led tutorials. This year's lineup continues the RCMA tradition of offering top-notch breakout sessions. RCMA's 2009 tutorials offer something for everyone. From worry-free registration to succeeding in a down economy to going green, these tutorials will give you the tools and information that you need to improve your meetings. (For a complete list of tutorials, see the conference schedule beginning on page 27.)
The RCMA experience will be completed with evenings of fun, excitement, and dining.
The New Shanghai Circus will bring the Orient to RCMA in a fast-paced production featuring internationally award-winning acts. Considered to be China's most celebrated acrobatic company, the performers have amazed audiences worldwide.
On Thursday, the 37th Annual Gala will punctuate the week. This festive evening is always a conference highlight, featuring exquisite cuisine, the President's Award, and delightful entertainment to cap off the night.
Special Airline Fares
American Airlines and Northwest are offering special reduced rates to conference attendees. Contact American Airlines at (800) 433-1790 and refer to Authorization A3119AL or contact Northwest at (800) 328-1111 and refer to Worldfile NM2C4.
Thank You RCMA Sponsors
- Art Craft Display
- Amway Hotel Collection
- Branson Hospitality
- Cancun Convention Bureau
- Conference Resource
- Dayton/Montgomery County CVB
- Detroit Metro CVB
- Fort Worth CVB
- Gail Andrus Travel
- Grand Rapids/Kent County CVB
- Greater Houston CVB
- Jamaica Tourist Board
- Lexington CVB
- Norfolk CVB
- Oklahoma City CVB
- Palm Beach County CVB
- Peoria Area CVB
- Richmond Metropolitan CVB
- Springfield, MO CVB
- Valley Forge CVB
- Willowbank Hotel & Conference Facility, Bermuda
Bobbie Staten, RCMA's Wednesday luncheon speaker, is a funny, funny lady. Staten speaks more than 90 times a year to association and business meetings, and demonstrates how humor can help to keep people mentally and physically healthy. Staten began her career as a nurse; she opened a nursing practice in 1988 to help others reach their personal health goals. She holds a bachelor's and master's degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.