Educational Sessions 2019-06-18T11:10:23-04:00

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. Read the bios of each speaker and our keynote presenters to decide which sessions you want to attend.

You can earn at least 10 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. Register now or contact us with questions.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

8:00 am – 9:45 am
Opening Keynote: Disruption and Transformation of Our Industry: What Else Should We Expect
From disruption of technological forces that are changing the way we work and play to changes in Washington which will take time to understand its full impact, it is important to understand the context of what is taking place. The speed of change is a force that we will all wrestle with over the next decade.

As the economic environment and hotel structure continue to change at a rapid pace, it is important to understand the current outlook, economic concerns and forecasts that will dictate behavior in all business environments. The impacts of global political and economic instability still exist although the global economy is growing together for the first time in modern history. Our world has become much more complex with a variety of issues from: Automation, Business Transformation, Customization, Cannabis Industry, Machine Learning, Biometrics – the changes are endless and so are the opportunities.

In this dynamic session, industry veteran Michael Dominguez shares perspective on the latest trends and the impact in the hotel industry and meeting dynamics. Gain a better understanding of the economic environment, how structural changes will have an impact in 2019 and beyond, identify ways to optimize your ability to maneuver through this quickly changing environment.

Michael Dominguez, Senior Vice President and Chief Sales Officer, MGM Resorts International

10:00 am – 11:00 am
Body Language Confidential
Body language expert and professional speaker Traci Brown will uncover what people are hiding from you. Learn how to interpret body language to uncover secrets hidden in plain view and hear “Yes!” more easily and more often during interviews, networking events, board meetings, negotiations, and conversations with your kids or spouse. Attendees will laugh, learn and win fabulous prizes behind curtain #3 in this eye-opening, game show-style presentation. Discover how to get people to like you using only body language, how to easily get others to buy in to your ideas, what message is hidden in a handshake, how to uncover deep truths, how to detect lies and much more.

Traci Brown, Speaker, Body Language Expert

10:00 am – 11:00 am
Virtual Meetings / Webcasts / Webinars
Augmented (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) represent a new wave of immersive technology holding tremendous potential for use in government meetings and operations. You’ll learn about the latest industry developments and how technology will transform communication. We will discuss where the technology is headed and how it can support virtual meetings, bridging the barrier of distance. Specific case studies will be examined along with implementation strategies and potential ethical challenges in using VR and AR in meetings and educational activities. Exploring both low-cost and high-end solutions, participants will be prepared to take a leadership role in using this groundbreaking technology for future government meetings and events.

Emory Craig, Cofounder and Partner, Digital Bodies

10:00 am – 11:00 am
Don’t Get Wasted: Managing Food Waste at Events
Organizing a meeting often means planning for a large quantity of food. But unfortunately, not all the food will get used leading to food waste and missed opportunities to donate excess food where it can be most used. This presentation covers how you can redesign menus and creatively display food, myths and realities of the liabilities meeting planners and suppliers face from donating food after an event, and what federal and local legislation exists surrounding food waste and donation. Yes, it is possible to plan a zero waste event! We know donating is the right thing to do, and this presentation will help you push through the barriers to be a good steward of food resources.

Suzanne Morrell, Founder of STM|enterprises, LLC

10:00 am – 11:00 am
Top 10 F&B Questions Answered
Good food and beverage is imperative to an event’s success, so being on the same page as your caterer with food selections, cocktails, style of service, and food sourcing makes all the difference. For many events, F&B is a significant portion of the meeting budget. It also makes an impact on attendees’ view of the event. The questions and decisions that need to be made in the event food chain are vital to a successful function. With so many decision points, there is a virtual buffet of opportunity for slip-ups. This is why we’ve rounded up the top 10 F&B questions you should be asking and giving you the answers in this session. We’ll arm you with savvy tricks and better knowledge on how to feed your meeting participants healthfully, safely, and deliciously.

Tracy Stuckrath, Founder and Chief Connecting Officer, thrive! meetings&events.

11:15 am – 12:45 pm
Expo Trade Show (for Planners and Exhibiting Suppliers only)

1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Full-Throttle Goodness: Fueling Meetings & Events with Passion, Power and Purpose to Give Back and Change the World
Thomas Edison said it best: “If we did ALL the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves.” And not just that, we would change ourselves and change the world. This fact is certainly true for the world of meetings and events where the desire to support local communities and help those in need has become an integral part of the attendee experience. However, some people might believe that finding ways to fully engage participants in making a meaningful difference as too challenging a task or even a hopelessly idealistic effort. Count on sage advice from Steven Foster to help you tap into existing resources and discover key ingredients to make “giving back” an effortless and integral part of your meetings and events.

Steven Foster, Managing Partner, Foster+Fathon

2:45 pm – 3:45 pm
10 Hotel Contract Clauses You Should be Using But Probably Aren’t
Whether you are a novice or an old pro, keeping up with changes in hotel contracts in the meetings industry is a challenge. You’ve heard about the big three clauses (Attrition / Cancellation / Force Majeure), but there are more that need to be included in every hotel contract. This eye-opening session will cover the “Purpose of the Meetings” clause and why it is important; how to avoid unapproved miscellaneous charges; the importance of the “Overbooked Hotel Prior to Cut-Off Date” clause; the “Audit Arrangements” clause, why you need one and what it should say; what wording is needed to protect the government agency if the event is cancelled due to budget issues, including government shutdown; what wording is needed to protect the meeting sponsor under the new privacy laws; wording that guarantees that meeting and function space will not be moved, plus much more. Hone your knowledge of hotel contract clauses to meet today’s challenges and ensure successful and hassle-free meetings or events involving hotels.

John Foster, Esq., Senior Partner, Foster, Jensen & Gulley, LLC

2:45 pm – 3:45 pm
Until Help Arrives
Impacts on events nationwide – from extreme weather, personal health and safety, active shooter situations, and terrorism – have played out in the media. This has led to meeting professionals becoming even more aware of the need for emergency management plans. However, in the immediate aftermath of these scenarios, the first people to respond aren’t “first responders” the way most people think. Rather, the people *in* the situation – citizens, neighbors, attendees, and meeting professionals – are often first on the scene, and they need to know what to do until help arrives. In this session, we’ll learn what skills you should have, what resources are available, and how to recognize and respond safely to situations until help arrives, so you can be prepared for any situation that arises.

Ruth Gregg, Meeting/Sourcing Manager, Maritz Travel

2:45 pm – 3:45 pm
Unconscious Bias:  A Quiet Performance Killer
Noise is anything that interferes with the accurate transmission of a message between a sender and a receiver. It can be categorized as internal, external, emotional or cultural; however, unconscious bias is the loudest form of noise because it not only interferes with our ability to build powerful relationships across cultural differences, but also leads to bad decisions that impair individual and organizational performance. The primary purpose of this session is to describe unconscious bias, to identify the ways it can diminish your effectiveness, and to identify steps you can take to reduce your bias and its impact on your performance.

Dr. Tyrone Holmes, Professional Speaker, Coach, Diversity Consultant and Author, T.A.H. Performance Consultants, LLC

2:45 pm – 3:45pm
ADA: What’s F&B Got to Do with it?
Eating and drinking are fundamental requirements for life. We all must eat to survive. Thus, having safe and healthy food to eat is a right, not a privilege. And yet safe and healthy food and beverage are often disregarded at events. There is definitely plenty of food and beverage at events, but in most cases what is offered fails to meet the safety needs of attendees with dietary requirements. As a meeting professional, you have a duty of care to ensure all attendees are kept safe and not excluded in the workplace as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). That care includes what food is served and how food is handled in the workplace, including your event venue. This presentation will provide a basic understanding of how the laws protect individuals with disabilities and will offer guidance on how to create safe and inclusive food environments for meeting attendees.

Tracy Stuckrath, Founder and Chief Connecting Officer,THRIVE! Meetings & Events

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Panel: Talkin’ Bout My Generation
There are four distinct generations working together in the workforce currently. And each generation—Baby Boomers, Gen X, Gen Y, and Gen Z—have different communication, learning and meeting preferences. Bring your most pressing questions to this interactive panel discussion featuring government meeting professionals from each generation who will tell you what venues they prefer, types of speakers, pet peeves, communication styles and more. Find out what you need to know to more effectively work with colleagues and vendors from any generation on your next government meeting.

Moderator: Carolyn Wence, CGMP, CMP, Owner, Plans & Action
Brett Sterenson, Owner, Hotel Lobbyists
Andy Silver, CGMP,
LaTwanda Broughton, CGMP, Project Manager, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Wonderful Webinars: How to Create High-Content, Engaging and Entertaining Sessions
Webinars are an excellent tool to deliver information. However, there are challenges in engaging learners. The good news: there are many strategies to create and present webinars that your audiences will love! In this high-energy and upbeat session, you will discover techniques to engage your audience through learner-friendly slides and interactive questions or polls. At the conclusion of the session is a strategy that moves the Q & A session from potential disaster to a guaranteed success! When presenting webinars, you have two tools, your voice and your slides; learn how to invigorate both!

Edward Leigh, Workplace Productivity Expert and Owner, Edward Leigh Enterprises, Inc.

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Doing More With Less
Getting more attendees to your events is the key to your success, but the cost of marketing has skyrocketed in the face of increased competition and decreased effectiveness. To get provable results from your efforts, you have to think like a “Street Fighter,” with clever and shrewd, low cost marketing tactics that get proven results. Attend this session to get not only the best promotional ideas but a plan-of-attack specific to your event. Whether you need free local publicity, cross-promotion ideas with event partners or agencies, and other savvy strategies, Jeff Slutsky will share his best marketing, advertising promotional and public relations ideas to push top line sales with bottom line results.

Jeff Slutsky, Owner, Street Fighter Marketing

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Street Smart Travel: A Police Detective’s Guide for Travelers
Everyone travels – whether for business or leisure, however, having more than basic “street-smart” awareness can make a huge difference to the outcome of your domestic and international trips. Nowadays it takes more than the old adage “just use common sense” to avoid the many pitfalls of travel. This program will provide you with forethought and “what if planning” to help reduce a variety of travel pitfalls and to minimize emergency situations. The program will also cover defensive strategies for protecting property such as laptops and phones and share how and where travels are victimized so you will know how to avoid them.

Detective Kevin Coffey, Author, Speaker, Trainer,


Thursday, June 27, 2019

8:30 am – 9:30 am
Panel: Taking the Mystery Out of CVBs
CVBs – what are they and why do you need them? This panel discussion will help both planners and suppliers understand how and why Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVBs) exist, learn how to best utilize the wide range of resources offered by CVBs to help make future meetings successful and worry-free.

Moderator: Mary Lou Wallace, CGMP, Program Assistant, UCD AMC-Center for Bioethics & Humanities
Brittany Callahan, CGMP, National Account Director, Visit Tampa Bay
Shaun Ballard, Business Development Manager, MBA, Discover Kalamazoo
Lisa Maney, Convention Services & Sales Manager, Visit Cheyenne
Chanel Sheragy, CMP, CASE, National Account Manager Travel Portland

8:30 am – 9:30 am
The 10 Commandments of Going Global
No matter if you never leave the US, chances are you’ll be interacting with customers, coworkers, and colleagues from different countries and cultures during government meetings and events. Understanding and respecting different cultures is critical to building relationships in business. In this session, you’ll get an overview of cultural differences including body language, verbal communication, electronic communication, and International Do’s and Taboos to set you up for success in today’s global environment. Learn how understanding cultural norms and business styles from around the world can lead to more productive, positive and polite meetings for all who attend.

John Breil, Principal, The Professional Edge, Inc.

8:30 am – 9:30 am
Marvelous Meetings: How to Make Your Events Productive and Enjoyable
For meetings, content is king, however the delivery of the meeting is also vital to create a sense of excitement among participants. No one learns when they’re sleeping! Energize your meetings with fun and practical techniques at this content-rich and invigorating session. Workplace Productivity Expert Edward Leigh will share easy-to-implement tools to enhance every aspect of the meeting process. You will learn strategies to enhance pre-meeting announcements, openings, icebreakers, agenda planning, audiovisual tools and closings. This program provides all the tips you need to have spectacular meetings.

Edward Leigh, Workplace Productivity Expert and Owner, Edward Leigh Enterprises, Inc.

8:30 am – 9:30 am
Human Trafficking
A Special Agent from the FBI’s Southeast Michigan Trafficking and Exploitation Crime Task Force will provide information on current statistics, warning signs, how planners and suppliers can assist in the problem and resources available for survivors.

FBI Special Agent Christopher Szczygiel from the Southeast Michigan Trafficking and Exploitation Crime Task Force

9:45 am – 10:45 am
Best in Class: People Skills for Your Career
A critical success factor for meeting planners is the ability to interact effectively while making others feel comfortable and respected. But misunderstandings about business behavior and etiquette can project the wrong image when trying to make a sale or organizing a meeting or event. That’s why it is important for people at every level to project a professional, credible image, while making the most of every business encounter. This entertaining and eye-opening workshop includes useful tips to avoid: handshake hazards, networking that’s not working, forgotten follow-up, down and out dressing, erroneous email, mobile device mishaps, and dirty dining. Attendees will leave with ways to add professional polish to all of their business dealings to maximize their effectiveness.

Lynne Breil, Principal, The Professional Edge, Inc.

9:45 am – 10:45 am
Leadership Through Relationships
Have you ever had to micromanage a group to get things done? Have you ever had to raise your voice to be heard or wasted precious time with power struggles among co-workers? Make conflict a thing of the past by learning how to build strong relationships. Whether you are leading a small group of kids on a hike or leading a giant corporate organization, relationships are the foundation for success in leadership. Understand how your group and its dynamics can add success to the bottom line. You’ll learn tools for improving your leadership skills and how to get kids or adults to follow you simply because you asked. This session will share strategies for building great businesses, accomplishing tasks at record speed, and inspiring others about your shared vision.

Jen Mac, Owner, The Enrichment Academy

9:45 am – 10:45 am
How To Get Hotels to Say “YES” To My Government Business
Government regulations and tight budgets can make finding the right hotel partner a challenge for meeting planners. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Get a behind-the-scenes look at the decision process behind the criteria that hotels use to accept or reject business. This interactive session will give hotel sales persons the ability to add their own touches, while giving planners a new understanding about hotel methodology, tips for better positioning their groups and meetings, and enhancing their negotiation techniques. Walk away empowered with the knowledge you need to advocate for your next government meeting.

Brett Sterenson, Owner, Hotel Lobbyists

9:45 am – 10:45 am
Four Critical Concepts for Ethical Meetings, Meeting Buyers, and You
Ever wonder, if what you have just agreed to is ethical? If so, then come explore four of the most critical practices when planning and working with government meeting suppliers for your next meeting or event. Together we will learn, discuss and practice case studies in ethical and some not so ethical behaviors.

Gerry van Rossum, Owner, Smith van Rossum and Associates, LLC and assistant professor and division chair of the Professional Studies Business Division at Marygrove College

11:00 am – 12:00 pm
To Sue or Not to Sue: A Case of Room Poaching
Room block poaching is a practice by businesses that actively seek to recruit or divert event attendees away from officially contracted room blocks at hotels and into other hotel bookings. Learn about room poaching through a simulated court case with Judge Laurie presiding. Hear about the issues from the perspectives of the plaintiff and the defendant including the rationale, reasons and impact of room block poaching.

Chris Rowley, Executive Director, Mt. Pleasant Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Meeting Apps: The Planner’s Perspective
SGMP planners who have used apps will join AgendaPop’s Phil Rappoport in a lively discussion to share their best practices. Topics will include: gaining the organization’s approval to use an app, comparing apps, budgeting, attendee app adoption, usage/metrics, popular app features, and more.

Moderator: Phil Rappoport, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, AgendaPop
Erika Noyes, CMP, CGMP, CGSP, Senior Meeting Planner, PSA
Robin Pollock, CSUS
Kristen Taylor, CTA, Director of Events, Ngage Management

11:00 am – 12:00 pm
14 Best Tips for Hiring and Managing Speakers
Wish you had known to keep a list of helpful hints to deal with speakers and performers earlier in your career? This session covers sage speaker recruitment advice gained through the school of hard knocks. Save yourself time and challenges by having the answers to questions before you ask them. In this collaborative session, attendees will learn Lynne’s best tips for hiring and managing a wide variety of speakers. In addition, you will leave the session with a better understanding of how to choose which type of speaker to book to meet the specific goals of your government meeting or event.

Lynne Wellish, Hospitality Industry Trainer and Speaker

11:00 am – 12:00 pm
DecisioNinjas! Growing the Next Generation of Meetings Industry Problem Solvers
Are you a DecisioNinja™ – someone who works independently, takes smart risks, and inspires those around them to do the same? Based on interviews with more than 2,700 leaders and managers, you’ll discover how the best decision makers share the attributes that propel them past their peers. In today’s crazy-busy meetings industry, the ability to make effective decisions separates those who lead from those who follow. Join us for an engaging and energy-filled session that will help you boost your career trajectory. Walk away with practical strategies for improving your own decisions and the decisions of those around you.

Bob Wendover, Author and Principal, Common Sense Enterprises

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
From Travel Hell to Travel Well: Inside Secrets to Stay Energized, Healthy and Balanced When You Travel for Business!
Have you ever been sick on day two of a 10-day business trip? Have you ever been so jet lagged you just couldn’t think straight? When traveling for business, the stakes are high, and if we can’t perform at our best, it can impact the profitability of our business and certainly our productivity. Whether you travel domestically, internationally, only a few times a year, or are a road warrior, you will leave this session equipped with insider tips from a traditional naturopath who has spent 30+ years traveling around the world for IBM…and lived to tell the stories.

John Ayo, Speaker, Author, Traditional Naturopath, Travel Balance

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Creating a Welcoming Space that Includes Everyone: American with Disabilities Act
Hosting a government meeting means welcoming all attendees, including those with disabilities. But that can present certain challenges to meeting organizers. Attend this session to learn more about providing reasonable accommodations for meetings in accordance with the American with Disabilities Act Title III, which prohibits discrimination based upon disability during activities occurring in public spaces serving the public. Gather the information you need to create a welcoming atmosphere at all of your meetings and events to foster diversity, respect and inclusion of all participants.

Sharon Delvisco, Training Development & Project Management, Team Dynamics, LLC

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
From Blindspots to Break Throughs
Not recognizing that we don’t know what we don’t know can be costly in any organization. By definition, we are incapable of seeing our own blind spots. Rebecca’s “Blind Spots to Break Throughs” workshop helps employees identify and overcome behaviors that act as barriers to their optimal performance on both an individual and organization-wide basis.

Dr. Rebecca Heiss, Speaker and Evolutionary Biologist

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
A Lesson in Protocol: Dining Etiquette
Dining etiquette for meetings extends to more than proper place settings and use of utensils. In this practical session on protocol, Lindsay will raise your awareness about what you need to know about international dining styles and how to navigate dining protocols. Find out more about receiving lines, host and guest duties and silent service codes. Find out what you need to know to take your knowledge of dining etiquette and protocol to the next level so you will be prepared when foreign dignitaries and VIPs attend your next government meeting or event.

Lindsay Kirchinger, Director of Protocol and Events, Michigan Economic Development Corporation

3:15 pm – 4:30 pm
Closing Keynote: The Future of Technology for Event Professionals
Wearable tech, augmented reality, the near ability to use apps to run the world from your pocket/purse the future is already here! Are you currently exploiting new technologies as an event professional? In this high-energy talk, Crystal will break down important concepts for the events industry including “disruptive innovation,” and “Big Data” while giving you a peek into impending technology that will shift the wants and needs of your attendees in the next five years. You don’t want to get left behind!

Crystal Washington, Speaker, Author and Social Media Strategist, CWN Enterprises

Photos courtesy of Christie’s Photographic Solutions.