If you're like many RCMA members, you've had the January dates circled on your calendar, or blocked in your planner, for quite some time now. That's because RCMA is the first place religious meeting planners turn to for education, inspiration, and networking.
The 31st RCMA World Conference and Exposition 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 religious meeting planners like you increase your knowledge and skills. As an RCMA attendee, you can expect to develop strategic partnerships with all types of vendors and improve your performance through the finest lineup of tutorials RCMA has offered. You also will enjoy wonderful fellowship.
“We're looking forward to providing RCMA with the kind of experience that its members deserve,” says Melvin Tennant, president and CEO of the Charlotte CVB.
One of the best parts of the RCMA experience, as so many members have discovered, is that this event makes learning enjoyable. You'll be inspired by general session speakers. You'll improve your meeting-planning skills at the tutorials, and you'll enjoy 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. You will make good friends.
Over the years, attendees have commented that the spirit and camaraderie at RCMA set it apart from other meeting planning events. The opportunities for professional growth are available everywhere: in the hotel lobby, at wonderful luncheons, during breaks in tutorials, or on the way to evening events.
There's much to see and do in this welcoming North Carolina city, and you'll get to see and do much of it for yourself with the early bird sightseeing tours and other activities that RCMA has planned for you on Tuesday, January 28. RCMA members will be offered a choice of two tours.
If you enjoy motorsports, then select the sightseeing tour of famous Lowe's Motor Speedway. You'll enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at auto racing, include a visit to the Winston Cup Garage, infield hospital/trauma center, scoring tower, and 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 gentle pace, choose the tour of historic Charlotte. Travel through one of America's most interesting cities, 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. A unique experience awaits as conference attendees go behind the scenes to explore the inner operation of hotels, a convention center or convention bureau. This RCMA exclusive event has attracted thousands through the years, expanding attendees' knowledge of just what happens to prepare for a religious conference.
Tuesday's events conclude with an RCMA tradition, the Grand Reception. This year the reception will be held at Charlotte's Discovery Place, one of the nation's top science museums. Enjoy the amazing Omnimax Theatre while dining at tasty buffets and sharing in fellowship and perhaps renewing acquaintances with fellow attendees.
Opening Ceremonies and Expo 2003
The Charlotte Convention & Visitors Bureau is planning something special for RCMA's 2003 opening ceremonies. A sensational morning extravaganza, featuring keynote speaker Nido R. Qubein, will energize you and fill you with anticipation for the rest of the week's events.
Then it's off to the Expo, which this year will have at least 340 booths, all staffed by knowledgeable suppliers who provide services and facilities for. Again this year, booth space sold out almost as soon as the general mailing hit the post office — and for good reason.
Expo 2003 is your opportunity to make contacts, develop relationships, and get plenty of work done in a short period of time.
Soaring through Learning
At the heart of RCMA's mission are the valuable educational opportunities offered at its expert-led tutorials. This year's lineup continues the RCMA tradition of offering the finest breakout sessions anywhere. RCMA's 2003 tutorials ensure that there is something for everyone, from the first-time planner to the veteran professional.
For example, learn how to take your fear of negotiating and make it a strength by attending “Negotiating Win/Win,” led by Brad Weaber, CMP, vice president, Mid-Atlantic Region, Conferon Inc.
Popular RCMA speaker John Foster III, attorney at law with Foster, Jensen & Gulley, LLC, is back this year, and his tutorial offerings include “What's Hot InNow.”
From site-selection tips to marketing strategies, resource management to budgeting, this year's 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 that begins on page 37 for a complete listing of all the tutorials planned for 2003.)
The Greatest Show
RCMA's evening entertainment always is special, and this year's will be, too. 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, wear your Sunday best and mix and mingle with industry professionals during the 31st Annual Gala. This festive evening is always a conference highlight, featuring exquisite cuisine, the President's Award, and musical entertainment with audience interaction.
With so much to experience, see, and do, RCMA 2003 promises to be a soaring success.
Wednesday Keynote Speaker: Nido R. Qubein
Would you respect a man who came to the United States as a teenager with no knowledge of English, no contacts, and only $50 in his pocket, yet ended up a mega success story? Would you listen to his proven strategies and solid ideas for peak performance and maximum achievement in business and in life?
Meet Nido Qubein: An expert and accomplished author on leadership/communication/sales skills. Substantive, persuasive, and entertaining, Qubein is CEO of an international consulting firm, chairman of Great Harvest Bread Co. (200 stores in 35 states and Canada), a director of 15 organizations (including a Fortune 500 company with $75 billion in assets and 25,000 employees), and recipient of many prestigious awards, including the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, and Toastmasters International Golden Gavel. He has also been inducted into the International Speakers Hall of Fame and Beta Gamma Sigma, the honor society for business leadership.
Nido Qubein doesn't just talk business: He lives it. He understands what works, what doesn't, and why. His audiences benefit from his unique blend of inspiration, motivation, and business know-how — all flavored with a humorous style and substantive delivery.
His books include Achieving Peak Performance, How to Be a Great Communicator, Stairway to Success, How to Get Anything You Want, How to Be a Great Sales Professional, The Time Is Now: The Person Is You!
His charitable foundation provides scholarships to 45 deserving young people each year. He is also the founder of the National Speakers Association Foundation.
A Salute to Our Sponsors
RCMA would like to thank the following sponsors, whose generosity enables us to bring outstanding programs to planners and suppliers during our conference.
- Adam's Mark Charlotte
- Avis Rent-A-Car Systems Inc.
- AVHQ Rental Services
- Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau
- Cabarrus County Convention & Visitors Bureau
- Charlotte Arrangements
- Visit Charlotte, the Convention & Visitors Bureau
- Charlotte Convention Center
- Charlotte Marriott City Center
- Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau
- Discovery Place
- Hilton Charlotte and Towers
- Holiday Inn Center City
- Jacksonville and the Beaches Convention & Visitors Bureau
- K.T.C. Transportation
- Lexington Convention & Visitors Bureau
- Louisiana Office of Tourism
- Lowe's Motor Speedway
- The North Carolina Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus
- Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau
- Omni Charlotte Hotel
- Greater Pittsburgh Convention & Visitors Bureau
- Renaissance Suites Hotel
- Greater St. Charles Convention & Visitors Bureau
- Sheraton Charlotte and Interstate Hotel Corporation
- Valley Forge Convention & Visitors Bureau
- The Westin Hotel Charlotte
- Richmond Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau
Thursday speaker: Emory Austin
Leadership expert and former talk show host Emory Austin focuses on dealing with change. She teaches people how to build on their individuality and to analyze their strengths to move beyond where they are toward a heightened role that the winds of the future will demand.