Many people dream of soaring with the eagles in their professional, spiritual, and personal endeavors, and the 31st Annual RCMA Conference and Exposition is prepared to help you do just that.

RCMA is expected to draw more than 1,300 meeting professionals to Charlotte, N.C., from January 28 to 31, 2003. The meeting is constructed to help you increase your knowledge and skills, develop strategic partnerships with all types of vendors, and improve your performance through the finest lineup of tutorials that RCMA has offered.

“We are anticipating another successful conference for RCMA,” says Melvin Tennant, president and CEO of the Charlotte CVB. “An immense amount of time and energy has been happily expended by our staff in preparation for RCMA.”

RCMA makes learning fun. You'll be inspired by fabulous general session speakers. You'll hone your meeting-planning skills at the tutorials, and you'll be wowed by top-notch entertainment. But the one thing that attendees really cherish about RCMA, the thing that keeps them coming back year after year, is the connections they make with other members and associate members. The spirit and camaraderie at RCMA is unique and special, and so are the venues.

“We are getting ready to treat our guests in the quality manner they deserve,” Tennant says.

Around the Town

Charlotte offers much to see and do, and you'll get to see and do them for yourself with the early bird sightseeing tours and other activities that RCMA has planned for Tuesday, January 28. RCMA members will be offered a choice of two tours.

If you enjoy horsepower, take the sightseeing tour of famous Lowe's Motor Speedway. You'll enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at auto racing, visiting the Winston Cup garage, the infield hospital/trauma center, the scoring tower, and the media center. Experience the thrill as your motorcoach rides along the 1.5-mile oval track and finishes with a photo in the winner's circle. If you prefer a slower pace, choose the tour of historic Charlotte. Travel through one of America's most interesting cities by exploring the historic Fourth Ward and the Mint Museum.

Also on the early bird lineup is a series of behind-the-scenes experiences, something only RCMA offers. Attendees explore the inner operation of hotels, a convention center, or a convention bureau. This RCMA exclusive event has attracted thousands through the years.

Tuesday concludes with the Grand Reception at Charlotte's Discovery Place, one of the nation's top science museums. Enjoy the Omnimax Theatre and exhibits, ranging from health science to space exploration, while dining at tasty buffets and sharing in fellowship.

Opening Ceremonies, Expo

The Charlotte Convention and Visitors Bureau is planning something special for RCMA's 2003 opening ceremonies. A sensational extravaganza will energize you and fill you with anticipation for what's to come. Then it's off to the Expo, which will have booths staffed by knowledgeable suppliers who provide services and facilities for religious meetings.

Soaring Through Learning

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 the finest breakout sessions. RCMA's 2003 tutorials ensure that there is something for everyone, from the first-time planner to the veteran professional.

From site-selection tips to marketing strategies, resource management to budgeting, these tutorials will provide you with exactly what you need to make your meetings run smoother, cost less, and provide more for your attendees. (See the conference schedule beginning on page 25 for a complete listing.)

A Historic Evening

If you've ever been to RCMA, you know that the evening entertainment is memorable. This year is no exception. On Wednesday, RCMA attendees will be treated to The Greatest Show on Earth, the 132nd edition of the incomparable Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

On Thursday, it's the 31st Annual Gala. This festive evening is always a conference highlight, featuring exquisite cuisine, the President's Award, and musical entertainment.

Attendees find it hard to believe, but RCMA gets better every year. Be part of the excitement in Charlotte in 2003.