Monday January 24

Arrival day for personal activities in Tampa.

Tuesday January 25

8 A.M. Behind-the-Scenes Experience
(Advance registration required)

Immerse yourself in the inner operations of a creative advertising agency, production company, hotel, convention center, or theme park. Gain hands-on experience as you become involved with key personnel in a range of activities that will enhance your professional knowledge. Through the years, this RCMA exclusive learning event has been a conference highlight. Registrants in the program are also served a complimentary breakfast and luncheon.

Noon-6 P.M. Registration

Refreshments: Dayton/Montgomery County Convention & Visitors Bureau

1:30 P.M. New Member Orientation

Religious meeting planners attending the RCMA Conference for the first time join in a period of fellowship with the Board of Directors and other professionals in the field. Gain insights into the intricacies of the conference and receive tips on how to maximize the experience for personal and professional development.

2:30 P.M. Sightseeing Tours
(Advance registration required)

  1. Florida Aquarium and Cruise on the Bay (Limited Seating)

    The Florida Aquarium is rated as one of the 10 top aquariums in the country and is focused on the aquatic habitats and ecosystems of Florida and other areas. The diversity of the state's marine life is displayed at the aquarium, which also includes an aviary and botanical garden. You will enjoy a journey through the bay aboard a 72-foot, powered catamaran that will allow you to encounter the awesome animals that thrive in Tampa's local waters.

  2. Tampa City Tour

    Visit the Henry B. Plant Museum, a National Historic Landmark featuring unique Moorish Revival architecture and dramatic minarets. Soak in the splendor of days gone by as you see and hear the history of railroad tycoon H.B. Plant. Drive through Hyde Park en route to Ybor City, Tampa's Latin Quarter. Here you will see iron grillwork reminiscent of the old streets of New Orleans and you will explore the former cigar capital of the world.

  3. Lowry Park Zoo and River Safari (Limited Seating)

    With more than 2,000 animals housed on 56 acres of lush natural habitat, the Lowry Park Zoo is a diverse collection that is well suited for Tampa's climate. The animals are native to Africa, Asia, and Australia, and they include primates, birds, and manatees. Experience an up-close view of wildlife and engaging and interactive exhibits. Enjoy the River Odyssey Eco-tour boat ride and see river turtles, hawks, herons, and dozens of other animals.

  4. Tampa Bay's Heritage & Cultural Museum Tour

    Step inside the 60,000-square-foot History Center in Tampa's bustling Channelside District and you'll take a journey through 12,000 years of powerful stories. Follow in the footsteps of the first native inhabitants, Spanish conquistadors, pioneers and sports legends. Next stop is the Tampa Museum of Art. View world-class traveling exhibitions, the growing collection of contemporary and classical art, and amazing visual art experiences.

7-9 P.M. Grand Reception … Fun in the Florida Sun!

Welcome to Tampa … home of surf and sun. Tonight you will have the opportunity to experience the best of the Sunshine State. Join us for an evening of fun Florida experiences and dine on a variety of tasty foods.

Wednesday January 26

8 A.M. Opening General Session and Breakfast

Sponsor: Tampa Bay & Company

ADDRESS: “New Vision … Success Is Within.”

Gary Guller

10 A.M.-12:25 P.M. Grand Opening/Expo 2011

Welcome to the largest exposition in the world exclusively for the religious market and those who serve within it. This arena provides planners the opportunity to build relationships with hundreds of representatives from meeting destinations, services companies, and facilities.

12:35 P.M. Luncheon and General Session

Sponsor: Rochester Riverside Convention Center and VisitRochester, New York

ADDRESS: “New Vision … Change Is Good-You Go First.”

Karen McCullough

2:20-3:25 P.M. Tutorials

  1. We've Got To Stop Meeting Like This!

    Are those board meetings becoming more like “bored” meetings? Does your committee “keep” minutes, but “waste” hours? Does the chairperson suffer from “motion sickness?” Well, if any of these symptoms are showing up in your small group meetings and you believe that Murphy's Law was developed from your own meetings, then this session is for you! You'll learn proven tips to make your next meeting much more effective and productive. Designed primarily for smaller groups, this session will leave you with tools and techniques usable for any facilitative process.
    EDWARD SCANNELL, CMP, CSP, Director, Center for Professional Development and Training

  2. The Changing Landscape
    (For exhibitors; offered once)

    The only certainty in the hotel industry is that our industry is ever-changing, and the speed of change is a cause for new approaches to hotel sales. This session will take a look at the changes and the future outlook, and will provide resources that will assist in your everyday job. How do you find the meeting professionals you are looking for? How can you utilize the technology available today to help you be a better sales person?
    MICHAEL DOMINGUEZ, Vice President, Global Sales, Loews Hotels & Resorts

  3. Adding Pizzazz to Your Meetings Without Breaking the Bank

    Today's meetings and events must be carefully planned, budgeted, and executed with clear objectives and strategies in mind that meet the goals of the organization. They must be managed from conception to the last thank-you with an eye toward quality, effective communication, and return on investment for all involved. But what truly makes an event special and rewarding is the added touch, that something extra that makes your event really memorable.
    MARGARET H. WILLIAMS, CMP, President, Pizzazz Meeting & Event Planning Group Inc.

  4. Performing at Your Best in Any Situation

    In recent years, our culture has created a great test of endurance. Some have survived, some have barely gotten by, and others have been left behind. Now the time has come to write a new and invigorating chapter. Using a combination of science, opera, business models, and stories, audience members get ready for “the next chapter” by examining core opportunities in life. Through an interactive experience, you learn four key rules for performing at your best and taking action immediately.
    KATHY POTTS, Owner, Oncore Performance Group LLC

  5. The Elegant Edge: How to Build and Grow Vital Relationships, One Handshake at a Time

    The ones who get ahead in professional relationships and in life are often those who express their ease with everyone, from noted leaders to custodians. The creation of bonding relationships starts from the inside and radiates outward. It's about your style, the way you hold yourself, and how you move through the world. It's about paying attention to the details of you. Learn how to tap into your inner elegance and incorporate it into your personal brand.
    JACQUELINE WHITMORE, CSP, Etiquette Expert, Author, The Protocol School of Palm Beach Inc.

  6. How to Successfully Negotiate Anything

    You might know what you want, but do you know how to get it? Negotiation skills are the key to getting what you want in your professional and personal lives and to moving your career into the next millennium. You'll learn basic principles, strategies, and techniques for negotiating in easy-to-understand language that you can readily apply on a day-to-day basis. This session will contain an interactive negotiating exercise and will include tips for both beginners and old pros.
    JONATHAN T. HOWE, Attorney/Senior Partner, Howe & Hutton Ltd.

  7. Engaging Your Key Audiences With Social Media

    Social Media is fast becoming a great way to communicate and spread your message quickly and effectively. You'll learn how to use social media applications such as Facebook, Twitter, and blogs to engage key audiences and spread your message. You'll learn how to increase interaction with your followers and readers to produce desired results. Plus, learn some key pitfalls and tricks of the trade to increase your chances of success.
    TRAVIS CLAYTOR, Communications Manager, Tampa Bay & Company
    JEREMY FAIRLEY, Interactive Marketing Specialist, Tampa Bay & Company

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3:25-3:40 P.M. Refreshment Break

Sponsor: Valley Forge Convention& Visitors Bureau

3:40-4:45 P.M. Tutorials

  1. Successful Partnerships in Uncertain Times
    (For planners, offered once)

    To be the most effective professional negotiator for your religious organization, it is important to have a clear understanding of the new ground rules. Take an in-depth look at the challenges and cost structures facing the hotels you utilize. Receive suggestions on how you can meet your budget requirements while being a strong partner with the hotel. This will be a very interactive session with plenty of Q&A time.

    Michael Dominguez, Vice President, Global Sales, Loews Hotels & Resorts
  2. We've Got to Stop Meeting Like This!

  3. Adding Pizzazz to Your Meetings Without Breaking the Bank

  4. Performing at Your Best in Any Situation

  5. The Elegant Edge: How to Build and Grow Vital Relationships, One Handshake at a Time

  6. How to Successfully Negotiate Anything

  7. Engaging Your Key Audiences with Social Media

6 P.M. Busch Gardens Spectacular!

Join in an evening of adventure and excitement as we enjoy an exclusive after-hours visit to Busch Gardens Tampa! A pioneer in the Florida theme park industry, Busch Gardens offers an unparalleled blend of top-rated entertainment, animal encounters, and thrilling rides. Experience up-close visits with exotic animals; dip, dive, and spin on thrilling attractions; and enjoy a fabulous array of foods. We will end the evening with a sensational, world-class variety show at the park.

Sponsor: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Tampa Bay & Company

Thursday January 27

8 A.M. Breakfast and General Session

Sponsors: Arkansas, The Natural State, and its CVB partners: Fort Smith, Little Rock, Hot Springs, Pine Bluff, and Rogers

Join in a fast-paced, spontaneous, and humorous interactive experience. Ignite your creative spirit as you share in a high-energy competition between teams, ultimately choosing a champion in event planning.

Sponsor: World Comedy League, Inc./ComedySportz

9:40-10:45 A.M. Tutorials

  1. Your Roadway to Professional Certification
    (Offered once)

    Learn how to earn the most widely recognized and accepted professional meeting management certification in the world. This intensive session, taught by leaders who hold this distinguished recognition, will acclimate you to the process for obtaining the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) designation. Review the eligibility criteria, timelines, how to earn points, and the informational resources available.
    OZZIE JENKINS-GIBSON, CMP, Meeting Planner, City of Refuge Christian Fellowship
    MELVIN WORTHINGTON, CMP, Executive Secretary Emeritus, National Association of Free Will Baptists Inc.
    KIMBERLY WRIGHT, CMP, Director of Sales, Chicago's North Shore Convention & Visitors Bureau

  2. We're in the People Business!

    Regardless of your title and job responsibilities, a critical part of your day-to-day workload involves your working with different kinds of people. And these people may on occasion test your skill (and patience) in dealing with them. This program identifies the different kinds of people and how to work with difficult “customers.” Granted, we don't have “customers” per se, and yet we really do! They may take the form of colleagues, clergy, members of the congregation, or dozens of other types with whom we come in contact.
    EDWARD SCANNELL, CMP, CSP, Director, Center for Professional Development and Training

  3. Who, What, When, Where to Plan Legally

    The legal environment surrounding planning and conducting meetings requires — particularly now in our most litigious society — the conscientious meeting planner and supplier to be aware of the liabilities that may arise in any given meeting environment. This session will discuss how the planner and supplier, through good planning as well as by exercising risk management, can avoid the common pitfalls of liability. This does not mean you will not be sued; rather it will help you to be in the best posture to defend or, better yet, avoid a lawsuit.
    JONATHAN T. HOWE, Senior Partner, Howe & Hutton Ltd.

  4. The Five C's of a Winning Posture

    Winning posture is having the mind-set, skills, and values that position you to win every time. The objective of this presentation is to have you think and act in new ways about how you see yourself in relation to the goals you want to achieve. The Five C's, which are conviction, commitment, confidence, character, and caring, will help you develop power and influence so others are receptive and attracted to your ideas, concepts, and proposals.
    ANDRE BOYKIN, Managing Partner, CAPITAL iDEA

  5. Meetings and Security: What We Don't Like to Think About But Should
    (Offered once)

    Controversial topics and speakers, gate crashers, crime, and human frailty can add up to an interesting — if problematical — meeting. Law enforcement will tell you that nothing prevents a problem better than anticipating possible issues. Meeting professionals must assess their event for potential challenges, develop a contingency plan, and train everyone involved to help avoid or limit problems. This presentation will provide techniques to handle security-related crises during a religious event.
    BRAD A. GOLDBERG, CEO, TriGold Consulting LLC

  6. Marketing Your Religious Conference or Event

    Getting attention and commitment from the right audience is paramount. What would make people want to attend? Marketing your religious event effectively is the key to success. This tutorial will address knowing your target market, setting clear objectives, determining your method of communication, developing channels to use for your marketing mix, executing marketing activities, and building relationships. In addition, learn how to develop funds to support the event and how to seek sponsorship and partners to enhance its success.
    STEVE MARSHALL, CEO, OMU Consulting and Planning

  7. Hotel Contracts BootCamp — Part 1

    Hotel contracts and the wording of key provisions continue to be of critical importance to meeting professionals. The content of this session will be high-level and will include a legal explanation of damages versus penalties as well as an analysis of several key clauses in hotel contracts, such as attrition and performance damages in guest rooms and catered food functions, force majeure clauses, termination versus cancellation, and more. Participate in several interactive exercises critiquing actual clauses and calculating attrition damages.
    JOHN S. FOSTER, III, Attorney and Counselor, Foster, Jensen & Gulley LLC

10:45-11 A.M. Refreshment Break

Sponsor: Team Winnipeg

11 A.M.-12:05 P.M. Tutorials

  1. Customer Service Counts
    (Offered once)

    Sometimes in the rush to get things done, we forget to focus our events and services on our customers. Gain insight into the power of status and how it affects your ability to find common ground with your vendors and attendees. Hilarious participation games will help you remember that really listening to your customers and their needs can also meet your needs — making your events better, smoother, and more profitable.
    STEPH DEWAEGENEER, National Events Director, World Comedy League Inc./ComedySportz
    PATRICK SHORT, Executive Director, World Comedy League Inc./ComedySportz

  2. The Marvelous World of Religion
    (For exhibitors, offered once)

    In an age when many segments of the hospitality industry are experiencing drastic cutbacks, the religious world remains strong and represents an ever-growing source of revenue. Sales representatives who are most effective in tapping this market are those who truly understand its unique and varied requirements. Learn from professionals in the field how to develop a special rapport with the religious meeting planner — plus gain insight into the varied types of religious conferences and assemblies, ranging from huge citywide events to small weekend retreats.
    ROBERT BOOKER, Church Ministries Director, Allegheny East Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church
    CHRISTINE DOUGLAS, Director of Conference Office, Church of the Brethren
    JIM NIRMAIER, Vice President Group Sales, Fort Wayne/Allen County Convention & Visitors Bureau
    MARIANNE K. PIELIN, CMP, Event Planner, Pleasantview Ministries

  3. We're in the People Business!

  4. Who, What, When, Where to Plan Legally

  5. The Five C's of a Winning Posture

  6. Marketing Your Religious Event

  7. Hotel Contracts Boot Camp — Part 2

12:15 P.M. Luncheon and General Session

Sponsor: Meet Minneapolis

Address: “New Vision … Achieving the Impossible.”

Billy Riggs

1:55-4:30 P.M. Expo 2011

Join in a sharing of information. Visit with your peers, make new contacts, and conduct business one-on-one. Discover the latest that cities, convention centers, hotels, colleges, retreat centers, and service companies have to offer.

6:15 P.M. Grand Reception

Mix with industry professionals during this vibrant social gathering.

7 P.M. RCMA's 39th Annual Gala

Sponsor: Tampa Bay & Company, Tampa Marriott Waterside

This festive evening is a conference highlight, featuring exquisite cuisine, the President's Award, plus a sprightly musical journey replete with beauty, originality, and excitement.

Friday January 28

8 A.M. Breakfast and General Session

Sponsor: Kansas City Convention& Visitors Association

Address: “New Vision … I Can Do That.”

Suzie Humphreys

Breakfast begins with a preview of the 40th RCMA World Conference and Exposition in Kansas City, Missouri, January 24-27, 2012.

After a brief business meeting, energetic broadcast personality and motivational humorist Suzie Humphreys shares her insights on seeing life through the eyes of optimism rather than fear and self-doubt.

9:45 A.M. Adjournment

Register here