(Advance registration required)
A truly unique experience awaits as conference attendees go behind the scenes to explore the inner operation of hotels, a convention center, a leading creative advertising firm, and media production studios. Here's your opportunity to gain hands-on experience under the tutelage of leading professionals. This RCMA exclusive event has attracted thousands through the years who have expanded their knowledge in religious conference management. The learning experience begins at 8 a.m. and concludes by 1:30 p.m. Complimentary breakfast and luncheon are served to participants, who register in advance for this program.
David L. Lawrence Convention Center
Sponsor: Lexington Convention & Visitors Bureau
First-time meeting planner attendees meet the RCMA Board of Directors, become acquainted with 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.
(Advance registration required)
Once a fort in the wilderness, Pittsburgh is now one of “America's most livable cities.” Our travels begin with an delightful array of old and new architecture. From startling glass towers to grand stonework, to the sprinkling of historic churches nestled between skyscrapers, the city's past and present is told through the buildings that line its zigzagging streets. Pass through the Cultural District, over one of the Three Sisters Bridges, and enter the Historic Northside, where you will stop at the National Aviary, the country's premier bird park and home to more than 600 exotic birds, seen in natural habitats. Head upriver to Oakland, the center for medicine and education, and then on to Station Square and the top of Mount Washington for a spectacular view of the city's skyline.
This orientation is planned for those who are attending their first RCMA Conference as exhibitors. Come and meet others in your profession and learn from veterans on how to gain the most from this landmark conference and exposition in the realm of religion.
Carnegie Museum of Natural History Share a “vision of the past” as we mingle among towering dinosaurs, skeletons, mummies, and other treasures from ancient Egypt. Travel through history and view sparkling gems of yesteryear while dining from an array of tasty buffets and sharing in fellowship amid the grandeur of marbled columns of an era long past.
Sponsor: Pittsburgh Hospitality Community
Sponsor: Greater Pittsburgh CVB
Address: “Share The Global Vision”
John Amatt,adventurer, founder and president, One Step Beyond Worldwide
RCMA's Expo 2004 is the largestin the world exclusively for the market, and it offers an opportunity for planners and suppliers to come together for sharing of information. Hundreds of representatives share the latest data regarding meeting destinations, services, and products.
Sponsor: Fort Worth CVB
Address: “Share The Vision”
Ed D. Barlow Jr., president, Creating the Future Inc.
Obtain a comprehensive foundation in practical religious meeting planning and management. The session will assist the neophyte as well as the seasoned professional in a review of critical checkpoints, systems, and methods to ensure a successful event. Goal-setting, budgeting, planning techniques, and site selection will be among the topics.
Dean Jones, CMP, Convention Manager, National Assn. of Free Will Baptists Inc.
In an age in which many segments of the hospitality industry are experiencing drastic cutbacks, the religious world remains strong and represents a growing source of revenue. Sales representatives who are most effective in tapping this market are those who understand its unique requirements. Learnhow to develop rapport with religious meeting planners, and gain insights into the varied types of religious conferences and assemblies.
Charles Melear, conference planner, United Church of God
William J. Sigmon Jr., CMP, director, Sales &, Myrtle Beach Convention Center
Jack K. Stone, general secretary/COO, Church of the Nazarene
Lorraine Thompson, meeting planner, Mount Calvary Holy Church
Meeting planners and event organizers should consider the management of security, safety, risk management, and communications systems as integral elements. Taking appropriate steps to identify, evaluate, and reduce potential risks are important elements of the planning process. Equally critical is the effective management of an incident to ensure that it does not further affect the event or the client. It is important to consider all the areas that may need safeguarding: attendees, staff, property, reputation, financial future.
Lewis Dawley III, senior vice president of Convention Center Operations and Business Development, SMG Convention Centers
This tutorial will provide an overview of innovative presentation and staging technologies and how to apply them for dynamic events. Find out what's on the horizon, including projection, indoor and outdoor LED panels, plasma and large-format LCD display technology. Gain insights on networked electronic messaging systems, wireless technologies, digital video, streaming video, and other tools for use in general sessions. Plus, receive tips on technology planning, budgeting and venue coordination.
Norman J. Cleary, president, Pro-Com Systems
In any situation, what you say or don't say, as well as how you say it or don't say it, influence what people think of you and how they react to you and your ideas and suggestions. Sometimes we do or say things that may seem innocent to us, but that affect others in a dramatically different way. Our perceptions, assumptions, conclusions, and reactions sometimes do not match reality, and this can cause us to “shoot from the hip.” The results can become “self-inflicted wounds.” This highly interactive program will help you learn how to avoid these pitfalls and how to use your instincts to your benefit. Learn how to influence people with your leadership style.
Al Borowski, MEd, CSP, Priority Communication Skills Inc.
The future started yesterday! Technology-based meetings are here to stay. This tutorial will explore some of the countless options available to planners for alternative meeting formats and provide a step-by-step guide on how technology will expand the reach and enhance meeting content in our changing environment. The tutorial includes a complimentary copy of Meeting Professionals Guide to Technology.
Thomas Maguire, CMP, director, National Catering & Videoconferencing, Marriott International
Your marketing materials are the first impression a person has about your conference. Learn how your marketing efforts can be more successful by developing a visual identity that draws attention and makes your event look professional and credible. You'll learn a step-by-step process for creating affordable, eye-catching promotional materials that make an impact. This tutorial covers common mistakes made, helpful principles for making good design and production decisions, and tips on working with designers and printers.
Angela Yee, director of Serving Ministries, Fremont Evangelical Free Church
How to sing in the rain with a frog in your throat. You'll laugh while you learn practical strategies for creating positive solutions to stress. This high-energy program reveals you can't control the major events in your life, but you can control your reaction through humor. Use humor to manage stress, unlock your creative problem-solving ability, deal with difficult people, adapt to change, and stay healthier!
Maureen Murray, president, Humor Associates
Many planners in the religious meetings world are in charge of very large conferences. With that size come complexities: choosing hotels in a city for the best value; transporting attendees from outlying hotels; planning parking and traffic flow; and interacting with the convention bureau and departments of the host city to create a smooth, harmonious meeting. This session will explore these factors and many more that the professional meetings manager must handle.
Linda M. deLeon, CMP, meeting planner, General Conference Seventh-day Adventist Church
William Edwards, associate general minister and vice president, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Thomas M. Jackson, CMP, executive administrative assistant, general conference coordinator, United Pentecostal Church International
Judy K. Lamborn, conference department manager, Joyce Meyer Ministries
Regardless of your event's size or how many months or years you have spent planning it, the final details of overseeing a meeting on-site are critical to its success. From locating lost conference materials, to dealing with overbooking of hotel rooms, to setting up a “pre-con” meeting, to monitoring daily meeting operations or making food and beverage guarantees, this tutorial will show you how to deal with all phases of on-site management.
Ruth Gregg, conference manager, Engineers Society of Western Pennsylvania
Sponsor: Valley Forge Convention & Visitors Bureau
The Certified Meeting Professional designation recognizes those who have reached the highest achievement in meeting management. Three RCMA members who hold CMP recognition will explain the process of becoming certified and will answer questions concerning this program.
Willie B. Clay, CMP, senior account executive, Chicago Downtown Marriott
Cynthia A. Winter, CMP, conference coordinator, National Council on Family Relations/Minnesota Christian Convention
Melvin L. Worthington, CMP, executive secretary emeritus, National Association of Free Will Baptists Inc.
Time is totally fixed in quantity: You can't stretch it, shrink it, save it, borrow it, loan it, leave it, or take it with you. You can only do two things with it: Use it or lose it. This session will focus on how to live a more responsive and effective life in your own gift of time. An explanation of basic concepts for “top performers.”
R. Harold Hipps, CMP, executive officer emeritus, Christian Educators Fellowship, United Methodist Church
Here's your chance to receive insiders' views of holding a conference at a college or university, retreat and conference center, camp, lodge, and other nonprofit meeting facilities. Learn what to look for, what questions to ask, and what to expect. Identify how these venues differ from hotels, resorts, and convention centers.
Jerry E. Donner, vice president of membership & Sales, YMCA of the Rockies
Robert Gibbs, associate director of conferences, University of Tennessee
Steve Hagaman, managing director, Guest Group Events, Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove
Ann Knoebel, director, Office of Conferences & Special Programs, Trinity University
Marvel at the breathtaking theatrical presentation of animals brought to life in the award-winning Broadway musical “The Lion King.” Thrill to the pulsating rhythms of the African Pridelands and an unforgettable score. You're treated to an experience that Time magazine calls “awe-inspiring! A gorgeous, gasp-inducing spectacle!”
Sponsor: InterContinental Hotels Group Address: “Share the Creative Vision”
Jeff Tobe, CSP
Communication research confirms that our words account for about 7 percent of the messages we send. Let's talk about the other 93 percent. Actually, let's not talk about it, let's show it. You'll “see” pupils grow, eyebrows fall, and gestures that condemn. You'll “feel” handshakes that bond. You'll “hear” voices that excite. You'll harness your nonverbal communication.
Sam Deep, president, Sam Deep
The paperwork trail of events can be a blessing or a curse. This session will teach you to design and organize forms, charts, and other crucial pieces of the event picture to ensure successful communication with the supplier. You'll learn to map events in flowchart form, revise antiquated forms, and juggle responsibilities.
Dean Jones, CMP, convention manager, National Association of Free Will Baptists Inc.
Learn to squeeze all possible value out of every meeting dollar. Receive tips that will save your organization money through careful planning and. Presented by professionals from various segments of the industry, this tutorial will demonstrate how you can apply strategies when dealing with hotels, airlines, and convention centers.
Anthony P. Aslanian, CMP, director of sales and marketing, Hilton Pittsburgh
Dittie F. Guise, general manager, The Greater Columbus Convention Center
Warren Manns, business development manager, American Airlines
J. David von Gunten, CMP, director of administrative services/controller, Missionary Church Inc.
Your members are introduced to your organization through your registration process. Do you convey warmth, competence, and forward thinking? Let this tutorial be your first step toward improving your registration. Learn how to cover all the bases with advanced preparation and on-site execution, from building a database that answers your questions to producing confirmation letters and packets.
Nick Topitzes, CMP, President, pc/nametag Inc.
Buyer's Market? Seller's Market? What does it mean?! The meeting industry is ever-changing. Hotel contracts containing stringent liability clauses will be tested as attendance predictions are not realized and economic conditions are volatile at best. In this interactive session, discuss common liability issues that organizations and hotels are facing, and review tools and strategies that each side can implement. Analyze poorly written and well-written, cancellation, meeting room rental, and F&B performance clauses.
Jeff Sacks, CMP, vice president, Midwest Region, Conferon Inc.
A must-attend presentation to planners responsible for the arranging and execution of catered events at hotel and restaurant locations. This presentation will discuss national food and beverage trends, catering pitfalls and solutions, food and beverage planning and where hotels and restaurants are coming from in negotiations.
Thomas Maguire, CMP, Director, National Catering & Videoconferencing, Marriott International
If your clutter is overwhelming or your “stuff” is cramping your style, this program is for you. Learn five approaches to reducing clutter. Discover new and better ways to de-clutter your life. Create an organizing plan. Improve organizing techniques. Become more focused, less distracted, and end your clutter embarrassment.
Dennis Snedden, Time Management Services
Here's an opportunity to share in an advanced edition of previous years' highly popular sessions on negotiations. Open to previous attendees as well as first-timers, the tutorial will focus on a myriad of negotiable items, sophisticated techniques and often overlooked areas open to negotiations. Bring with you the “impossible” to see if it could be made “possible.” This is for both planners and exhibitors.
Jonathan T. Howe, senior partner, Howe & Hutton, Ltd.
We all plan meetings. And many of them include one or more on-site or off-site events. What's the purpose? Is it a commemorative event, a groundbreaking, a dedication, or an anniversary? Does it involve décor and catering? How about entertainment and speakers? How do you select a suitable venue? Is crowd control an issue? Are there legal issues (permits, sound levels, insurance, ADA compliance)? Those are just a few of the questions bound to surface when you're faced with managing an event. Learn new slants on producing events, including the No. 1 question: What's the Big Idea?
Blaise Box, Staging and Design Inc.
Ken Peters and Laurie Streiner, Corporate Performance
You can save meeting dollars without sacrificing quality. Learn how creative cost control begins while you're choosing an appropriate site for your next meeting. Tips on maximizing the effectiveness of your site inspection and ensuring the greatest value in room rates, comp policies, and extra services. This specialist will address the elements necessary for you to approach this task with know-how.
James Fausel, CMP, president, Institute for Effective Ministries
Sponsor: Louisiana Office of Tourism
With the trend toward globalization, more religious organizations are holding international events. This presents challenges to the meeting planner's skills and talents, yet provides rewards for attendees. Learn what to consider before going overseas, dealing with customs, ground operators, airlines, hotels, safety issues, costs. Plus, step-by-step operation for dealing with foreign attendees at a U.S. meeting.
Stella Beene-Venson, meeting planner, General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, The United Methodist Church
Marcia Bullock, manager, Groups & Conventions, Jamaica Tourist Board
Paula Hill, associate publisher/international, Primedia Business Magazines & Media
F. Martin Ytreberg, CMP, meeting planner, Seventh-day Adventist Church
Designed for anyone who plans meetings, whether for 25 or 25,000. A one-stop service center can save leg work, time, and ultimately money. Take advantage of services available to you: site selection assistance, housing offices, check hotel availability, busing, press release assistance, and other detail services offered by the bureaus. How can you best use their resources? What are their strengths?
Cleo Battle, vice president of sales & services, Richmond Metropolitan CVB
Sally Gardiner, director, Convention Sales, Daytona Beach Area CVB
Alice Steele-Robinson, Woman's Home & Overseas Missionary, African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church
Carol Werchan, executive administrator, Conventions & Meetings, International Lutheran Laymen's League
Traditional selling techniques are less effective today. Buyers have heard all the lines and gimmicks. That's why they can easily control the sales call and destroy a salesperson's self-esteem in the process. Understand the conventional rules and the ineffective impact they have on the process. Develop an honest, no-nonsense, proven sales system that gets results while preserving the sales professional's self-respect.
Russell S. Davis, Peak Performance Management Inc.
Sponsor: Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau
EXPO 2004. Discover the latest and greatest that cities, convention centers, hotels, colleges, conference centers, airlines, and service companies have to offer for your conferences and meetings. Visit with your peers, make new contacts, and conduct business in one convenient location.
Mix with industry professionals during this vibrant social gathering. This festive evening is a conference highlight, featuring exquisite cuisine, the President's Award, plus electrifying musical entertainment with audience interaction.
Sponsor: Hilton Pittsburgh & Towers
This spirited breakfast offers a preview of the 33rd RCMA World Conference and Exposition slated for St. Louis, Missouri, January 25-28, 2005.
Sponsor: St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission
The annual business meeting of the Religious Conference Management Association focuses on the many programs offered by the association and recognizes those who have given special support to the society.
New problems have arisen to challenge the wits of the best minds in the meeting industry. These may be summed up with two acronyms: ROB (rooms outside the block but within contracted hotels) and ROCH (rooms outside contracted hotels). The Internet has unleashed a whole new way for people to do business. The current economic environment drives attendees to book outside the block and contracted hotels. What can you do? This interactive panel session will focus on discussing possible solutions as well as key negotiating points for attrition fighters.
Jack Horne, vice president, Sales, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts
Jonathan T. Howe, senior partner, Howe & Hutton Ltd.
Jeff Sacks, CMP, vice president, Midwest Region, Conferon Inc.