The leaves haven't changed colors yet here in Massachusetts, and the weather is unseasonably warm as I write this in late September. Yet I'm thinking of what I'll be doing come January when I get to Kansas City for RCMA's 40th World Conference & Expo. As it's nearly lunch hour, I'm daydreaming about some Kansas City-style barbecue — the best, in my view, in the world. That's just one reason to attend January's conference. Here are four more:

  1. You can't afford not to attend. RCMA is offering its Hosted Buyer Scholarship Program for the second year in a row. RCMA meeting planner members who meet certain criteria can qualify for reimbursement of conference fees, lodging, and airfare. Visit rcmaweb.org for more details.

  2. There is no better educational opportunity. The longest-running, most successful educational event for religious meeting professionals will present more than a dozen expert-led tutorials, plus inspiring general-session speakers and the popular Behind-the-Scenes learning experiences.

  3. Meet your peers and shop for facilities. You'll have lots of opportunity to network with planners from around the country. Plus, hundreds of suppliers will be on hand at the annual exposition, offering planners an opportunity to meet with CVBs, hotels, convention centers, and other vendors.

  4. You'll enjoy the red carpet treatment. Kansas City is rolling out a big welcome for RCMA. During a night at the storied Kansas City Music Hall, you'll see segments of the hit musical Joseph, and enjoy musical entertainers John and Ambrus Presley, the vocal group The Platters, and the Todd Oliver and Friends comedy act. The final night gala features the talented 12 Irish Tenors and a sumptuous banquet.

See you there — for some barbecue and all the rest.