In the past, Religious Conference Management Association members have had only one chance to congregate each year, the annual meeting. But for 2013, Emerge is only the beginning of the community and fellowship-building opportunities.

RCMA is in the process of developing three regional meetings in 2013, located in the U.S. regions with the largest pockets of faith-based planner members: Nashville, greater Chicago, and Colorado Springs.

“Knowing that there are large numbers of religious-based organizations in and around those areas, we feel it will be an easy draw to continue to build the community that we are creating with RCMA,” said Dean Jones, RCMA’s director of conferences and events.

The goal of the regional meetings is to reach members in those organizations who may not have had the time or budget to attend RCMA’s large annual event, or whose staffs might feel more comfortable in a more intimate meeting setting, Jones explained.

These meetings will also provide a venue for planners and suppliers who share the same geography to get together and network.

Programming will likely vary in each location, but each meeting will contain networking opportunities, a small trade show, educational content, as well as community-building initiatives.

Jones said RCMA plans to hold the three regional meetings either in the spring or the fall of this year. In 2014 the association plans to expand to six regional meetings.