Educational Sessions 2021-08-23T13:41:22-04:00

Educational Sessions

Core Competency-Centered Sessions Help You Get the Right Knowledge

Educational sessions are organized around the nine core competencies of the CGMP, including education/programming, facilities and services, logistics, financial and contract management, technology, leadership, ethics, protocol and travel.

You can earn at contact hours toward your Certified Government Meeting Professional (CGMP) designation and Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) certification by attending educational sessions. Additional hours can be earned by registering for pre-conference sessions. Contact us with questions.

Marketing: The Plan. The Tools
It’s easy to think that there is a magic formula to successful sales and marketing. The best formula is a set of simple, effective steps and doing them consistently. Explore what works and what doesn’t work in marketing now. With this session, you will learn to develop a 20-day marketing formula that’s simple for everyone to execute. This active, hands-on session will explore effective marketing tools that have worked for others in the industry.

Debra Burton Brown, Owner, Companybydesign


Human Trafficking

Gain an understanding of what human trafficking is, what to look for and what to do if you suspect a child or adult may be in danger.

Speaker TBD

This session will not be recorded.


A Legal Perspective on Planning Meetings in a COVID World
Although vaccines are here, coronavirus is still with us and meeting contracts have forever changed. Planners must be diligent in understanding their role as risk managers in adding wording to facility and other vendor contracts that protect the event sponsor legally and financially. Learn how event sponsors can manage risk and liability by ensuring that facilities comply with proper health and safety guidelines and practices, hold to harmless, indemnification and insurance requirements and discover well-written force majeure clauses. The session will also cover the use of waivers of liability and what they should say and how to handle deposits.

John Foster, Attorney, Foster, Jensen & Gulley


Mitigating Your Event Risk – Why & How to be Safe and Secure in 50 minutes
Do you know you need a plan to mitigate risks at your event, but don’t know where to begin? Are you worried you left something out of your plan? This session will review why your meetings should have a plan, why it must be written down and why it must be communicated to your staff, partners and attendees. Then, you will dig into HOW to create or improve your plan and customize it for your next event. Attendees are encouraged to bring any existing plans to the presentation – 50 minutes later, you’ll be on your way to a complete plan that keeps your meeting and attendees safer.

Ruth Gregg, Speaker


On the Road Again: Safety for Travelers
It seems like every time we turn on the news, we see acts of violence happening all over the place. Most likely, it’s just the news cycle of the day. That doesn’t mean you don’t prepare when traveling out of town to manage your event or attend a business function. Despite the risks, you can protect yourself. Learn what you need to know from a police officer and safety professional, including where the safest part of a hotel is located, small items to carry with you for your safety and what you can learn from checking the local weather. Find out how to keep yourself safe when you’re on the road again.

Alan Kleinfeld, Director, Arrive Conference Solutions


Don’t Overlook the Obvious: Safety & Site Selection
Between health pandemics, shooting violence and weather incidents, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with managing risk and keeping your attendees safe. So, are you overlooking a key element? What about the venue? This session offers points and takeaways on how to conduct a site visit from a safety and security perspective. Venues are easy to overlook. Make sure you don’t forget to include them.

Alan Kleinfeld, Director, Arrive Conference Solutions


Teamwork Makes The Dream Work (Project Management)
Projects can be successful in the workplace if everyone can concentrate on their own performance and behavior, not that of their counterparts. This session will prepare to you to choose activities to help establish and support your organizations’ mission, vision and strategic goals. You will address challenges in the workplace due to poor planning, eliminate communication distractions and focus on not just personal but also team goals.

Robert Lemon, CEO, Believe Your Dreams


Opening Keynote: Reset, Renew & Recharge: Learn to Use Your DNA for Prime-Time Success
Forty years ago, hospitality industry professionals convened to meet, think, talk, share, eat, explore and engage. It was then that the Society of Government Meeting Professionals (SGMP) formally organized, and the nation recognized the masses of federal, state and local agencies that addressed the collaborations and coordination of the planner/supplier partnerships. Through the formation of SGMP, meetings that dotted the nation’s map became known for the tremendous number of government employees receiving education and training with millions of dollars in revenue pumping into the economy.

Forty years later, the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world and the global meetings landscape became barely recognizable. The plotted course for 2021 and beyond is forever changed. Exploring new ways of convening are the practice of every hospitality service provider and planner. This is why every meetings professional is equipping themselves with know-how, renewing connections and seeking new skills so they can be at the forefront of navigating the uncertain and unknown course of actions. Sandi Lynn will give you key takeaways inspired from her years of experience that will help you put things into perspective and gain a new sense of direction through the uncertainty. Attendees will be able to recharge and find a renewed path to resilience and success to implement in their daily lives and careers.

Sandi Lynn, CMP, Keynote Speaker


Meetings Industry Moves Forward – Are Your Meetings Doing the Same?
We all know what we’ve been through in the past 19 months! In this session, learn where the meetings and travel industry stands with recovery, the initiatives being taken and how your organization can benefit. Walk away with a deeper understanding of our industry’s economic impact, the importance of advocating/education for the industry and how you can support efforts of the Meetings Means Business Coalition, of which SGMP is a member.

Nan Marchand Beauvois, Senior Vice President of Membership and Industry Relations, U.S. Travel Association


The Power of National Sales
The role of the national sales representative is more resourceful today than ever before. You will learn how event planners and travel intermediaries can use quality national sales representatives to gain the very best advantages for your programs.

Chris McLaughlin, CGMP, Director, Global Government Sales, RLH Corporation


Amplify Your Ethical Corrections
Navigating conflict and misunderstanding can present ethical challenges. And, doing what is right and doing what is popular can be contrasting obligations. It is possible to deescalate conflict and address correction with ethical clarity and accountability. In this session, discover how to handle conflict with respect and integrity. Learn how to balance your emotions and facts while maintaining integrity, and correct others with clarity and accountability.

Vincent Phipps, Speaker, Communication Coach


Making Virtual Meetings More Inclusive for People with Disabilities
This session will address crucial points you need to know to anticipate challenges to achieve a smooth, gracious, and respectful meeting and event experience for every participant. You will learn why disability inclusion is so important, communication strategies to accommodate people with disabilities at meetings and events and important resources designed to ease your way as a successful meeting professional. You will learn what questions to include on your registration materials to identify people with disabilities, identify barriers to full participation in virtual meetings, and how to implement technologies to enable attendees to fully participate in virtual meetings.

Rosemarie Rossetti, Owner, Rossetti Enterprises, Inc.


Closing Keynote: Five Components of Extraordinary Teams
Teamwork and productivity author, speaker and educator Lee Rubin will give the closing keynote on “Five Components of Extraordinary Teams” to help attendees amplify their leadership and teamwork skills.

Machines are evaluated based on the output of the entire unit, not the impressiveness of their individual parts. Extraordinary teams, like great machines, require certain components that hold their pieces together. While most organizations focus exclusively on building the skills of their individual members, elite organizations invest in the “stuff” that transforms a collection of talented individuals into extraordinary, machine-like teams.

Lee will focus on key points including making sacrifices to achieve your team’s common goal, creating open and honest communication as the foundation of trust, and focusing on discipline as the key to consistency. Don’t just play…WIN!

Lee Rubin, Keynote Speaker


Protocol and Pandemic – Adapting to Change
This session will cover how traditional disciplines of protocol, business etiquette and event planning have been impacted by our current COVID and social distancing environment. You will learn to identify and determine the goal of an event and how attendees will participate. Learn how various state and local government guidelines on social distances will affect your event plan and seating. This session will give you an opportunity to review and practice etiquette guidelines as we transition back to an office environment.

Kathleen Ryan, CGMP, Customer Engagement, The Boeing Company, and Lauren Hagen, Customer & Market Engagement Specialist, The Boeing Company


You Can’t Quarantine Laughter
Is COVID-19 funny? Absolutely not. But you can learn to utilize humor to cope with tragedy and hardship. This session will introduce you to the Five Stages of a Pandemic: Fun, Creative, Panic, “Meh” and Normal. You will see how humor can be a powerful weapon in dealing with a new normal with examples from businesses who used innovative means to cope during the quarantine.

Greg Schwem, President, Comedy With a Byte, Inc.


Working From Home: The Feelings Vary From Best To Worst
This session will outline and rank order the positive and negative perceptions about this new remote work world. It will also outline the related best practices for remote work and team management. You will learn best practices on how to become a world-class and fully engaged remote worker and/or virtual manager.

Kevin Sheridan, Speaker, Kevin Sheridan International


Are You Digitally Secure? Find Out!

In this session we’ll review tech tools that can be used by SGMP members that are inexpensive and practical. We’ll identify and use more than five tools that can be created and implemented at little to no cost. Participants will be invited to create an organization or conference app at no expense. Lastly, attendees will understand the meaning and implications of the low-code/no-code tech movement for most businesses and organizations.

James Spellos, President, MeetingU


Your New Normal: It’s High Tech, Low Cost, and DIY

In this session you will learn how to keep your personal and organizational information secure and protected. We’ll identify five critical terms about digital security that you need to know about for your organization. You’ll learn how to keep your personal digital presence from being compromised. Lastly, we’ll discuss five tools that will greatly increase your online protection.

James Spellos, President, MeetingU


Seeing 20/20 in 2021
In this session, you will learn where the state of government meeting exists in 2021 and where meetings in general exist. The session will provide a deep dive into new trends in contracts, who is booking meetings and who is not, what a pandemic does to the meetings industry, what a new administration does to the meetings industry, what you should include in your RFPs and what the future year will look like.

Brett Sterenson, Owner, Hotel Lobbyists


Surprise! You’re on Candid Camera: When Protocol and Social Media Collide
Social media can rightly be described as an amazing blessing, a technological marvel, a bridge builder… and a more destructive force than the boll weevil. Most organizations have marketing gurus who know how to harness the power of social media. This session focuses on the opposite – you will learn strategies for ensuring that you personally and your organization avoid some of the major protocol and etiquette blunders wrought by social media and those who use it.

Chris Young, Senior Public Sector Consultant, Accenture


It’s Better to Give than to Receive…Unless it Lands You in Jail
We give gifts to build or cement relationships, to say “I’m sorry,” to celebrate something momentous or even to foster goodwill. But why do organizations keep stocking their supply closet with tired trinkets and tchotchkes? Good gift giving can set you apart… and it does not have to be expensive! This session will explore strategies for creative inspirations, local sourcing and ultimate presentation. The session also will discuss relevant legal and ethical considerations surrounding gifting.

Chris Young, Senior Public Sector Consultant, Accenture

Titles and descriptions subject to change.

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Photos courtesy of Christie’s Photographic Solutions.