Michelle Penner is the event manager for the Canadian Conference of Manitoba Churches, Winnipeg, Manitoba. She has attended the last three RCMA conferences and has already registered for RCMA 2010, to be held January 26-29 in Fort Worth, Texas. We asked her to explain how she benefits from being at RCMA.

Religious Conference Manager: How do you use the conference expo?

Michelle Penner: I spend every moment I can in the expo building relationships with vendors. I have made many wonderful friends with vendors. I regularly communicate with these vendors

RCM: What do you get from attending the tutorials?

MP: Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” The tutorials provide me with an opportunity to hear what other event planners and organizations are doing, and to apply what I learn to the events that I plan and the organization for which I work.

RCM: What do you gain from hearing the speakers: keynote, breakfast, and luncheon?

MP: The speakers inspire me with their stories of their personal journeys. These speakers take a large room filled with people and provide each of us with an intimate experience as we share laughter and tears through their stories. I leave those sessions inspired to take my life and my work to new levels of excellence.

RCM: Describe the fellowship that you have experienced with conference attendees and vendors.

MP: I have made some of the greatest friends of my life at RCMA!

RCM: Do you have any other comments on why religious meeting planners should attend RCMA?

MP: RCMA is a unique experience for event planners. You don’t need to worry about backstage, audio, food services, registration, or anything. Then you realize, “This is what it’s like to attend an event!” RCMA is a week filled with “me” time; RCMA fills up my event-planning bank with ideas, rest, fellowship, relaxation, enjoyment, good food for my body and soul. Thank you!