“Learning about what's happening in hotel contracts was very informative. I was reminded that it's very important to have the courage to ask for the provisions that you want in a contract. I also learned to ask for audit forms from the hotels when dealing with attrition. Also, I learned that post-9/11, hoteliers and planners are facing unknown territory. We're so often told to think outside the box, but now we don't know what the box is in regard to contracts. It will cause all of us to think.”
Winifred G. Grizzle
Director, Cokesbury
Education Sales/Services
The United Methodist
Publishing House
Nashville, Tenn.

“One thing I learned was to have one contact person on your meeting staff in case of emergencies. It's important to have one point person if a disaster strikes. If you don't have that, then everyone goes off in different directions. All of these people have good intentions, but you need one person in charge for outsiders to contact to get information in times of crisis.”
Joyce S. Barrow
Michigan District
Assemblies of God
Chebaygon, Mich.

“At the session on expanding your brain power, I learned that it's really important to give people breaks during seminars or tutorials, in order to help people remember the information that they're hearing. I also learned that it's important to get attendees up and moving during classes so that they can retain the information. You also need to encourage dialogue in classes — having time for question and answer will help people remember the material. The other thing that I was reminded of is that it's so important to follow your dream. That message from Willie Jolley helped put me back on target.”
Angela F. Johnson-Boyce
Program Planner
Pentecostal Assemblies of the World
Fresno, Calif.

Attending RCMA was an education in itself. Observing how the convention was put together was very helpful. It's like a model for religious meeting planners on how to do things when hosting a convention. If there had been nothing else at RCMA, that would have been very helpful to me. For example, I might put up signs at a convention center that instruct people where to go for a breakfast or a general session. But here at Tampa they had living, breathing people helping us with where to go, in places where we would have signs. Having people instead of signs made us feel as if they'd been waiting for us for years. [RCMA] also allowed attendees to customize our own training path, depending on our experience and knowledge and ability level. That's very applicable to meetings of all kinds. Through that, I learned that you have to keep your audience in mind with everything you do.”
Mary K. Selzer
District Director
Women's Ministries
Michigan District
Assemblies of God
Farmington Hills, Mich.

“I just began in January as a meeting planner, after being a youth pastor. I really enjoyed the seminar on negotiating. I learned what hotels and convention centers look at, and what's their agenda. It's something I hadn't thought about before — it involves knowing a lot of information. I also became familiar with the vocabulary and the terms that are involved with negotiating in meetings. I didn't get to attend the negotiation seminar at Tampa, but I listened to the tape. My director attended that session and told me about it. That's one thing we did that was very helpful: We attended different sessions and then shared the information when we got back to our offices, so we combined forces. RCMA was very helpful in terms of what is involved overall in meeting planning and what it entails. I've been focused primarily on programming in my job so far, and this opened my eyes to another big portion of meeting planning.”
Lana Miller
Mennonite Church
USA Executive Board
Elkhart, Ind.