TAMMY YOUNG,
EVENT SPECIALIST/CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, EXQUISITE EVENTS, SARASOTA, FLA.

After suffering a huge loss in attrition last year, one of my clients decided to wrap registration and hotel rates into one price that is managed as a package, in-house, by the client. This can be done inexpensively by using a spreadsheet, or it can be managed by a professional group that handles the details for you. Registration and room are not refundable, but are transferable. Large youth conventions have done this for years, and by managing the event this way, attrition is eliminated.

CHRISTINA CHAPPLE,
COORDINATOR OF MEETING SERVICES, UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST, CLEVELAND, OHIO

Our commitment to become a greener church has increased. The church body will be hearing a resolution regarding this movement during our biennial meeting in July. In response, the Meeting Services Department has created a one-page listing of what groups can do at meetings and what individuals can do at meetings to be less of a burden on our natural resources.

We also searched for an online registration program, which has many extra capabilities. We're able to cut down on cumbersome check collecting with the credit card feature, as well as send out e-mail blasts to participants if there are changes or updates to the meeting. The alleviation of the mailing costs and the paper waste has been noticeable.

In addition, we're using Smart Boards during our meetings as well as videoconferencing for our satellite offices. This has cut down on our carbon footprint. The youth program coordinator is taking full advantage of social media to market youth meetings, which alleviates the need for “keep the date” postcards or letters to churches. It's a newer way to connect with the younger generation as well as cut down on mailings.

DESHAWN WYNN, CMP, CMM,
PRESIDENT/PLANNER, WYNNING TOUCH EVENT DESIGN, LOS ANGELES

I am really trying to make sure that my meetings are interactive. A lot of my conferences have smaller budgets and therefore cannot afford the latest and greatest in audience-response equipment. But I have learned that if you give a person a good old-fashioned piece of 11 by 17 paper, some markers, and pencils, you can really get your audience to engage. People start to let down their barriers and the discussions generated truly help people grasp the content.

DANIEL BACZKOWSKI,
DIRECTOR OF EVENTS, NATIONAL CATHOLIC EDUCATIONAL ASSOCIATION, ARLINGTON, VA.

With the 2011 NCEA Convention & Expo, we ventured for the first time into the realm of social media. We are still very young in getting our members and staff involved and educated, but we are moving forward with our plans. We have a Twitter account and have created a NCEA MashUp page with highlights of a number of events that took place at the convention. We are continuing to post updates on the page in hopes of building an event that lasts all year round on the Web in addition to the actual convention itself.