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Connect Marketplace Florida 2016 Education Sessions

Wednesday, October 26

Thursday, October 27

11:00 a.m.-Noon

  • Adopt These Heaven-Sent, Research-Proven Conference Insights

    A sociologist and a meeting professional walk into an event. Sounds like the start of a joke, right? It’s not. It’s a session from a leading researcher and meeting professional regarding today’s institutions: organizations, government, education and even your conference. Discover insights about what society wants and expects from your event today. What drives people away from your events, and what compels them to come back?

    Learning Objectives

    • Identify four research-backed insights about what attendees want from your event.
    • Discuss the shift needed in your conference from 20th to 21st century demands.
    • Explore how studying sociology can give your conference the advantage.


Presented by Jeff Hurt and Josh Packard

4:45-5:30 p.m.

  • Creative Blocks, Melting Clocks, Salvador Dali and You

    Join the team behind The Dali Museum's Innovation Labs in St. Petersburg, Florida, as it reveals its unique methodology for designing and facilitating creative off-site retreats. Dali Labs Founding Co-Director Nathan Schwagler will showcase tools, techniques, agendas, flows, images, case examples and up-to-date research on ways you can design meetings optimized for creativity.

    Learning Objectives

    • Learn tools and techniques for deliberate creative thinking.
    • Experience a custom-built, applied creative thinking exercise from The Dali.
    • Explore new approaches to creative meeting design.

Presented by Nathan Schwagler

  • CMP Certification: Your Questions Answered

    Achieving CMP certification proves to your colleagues and peers that you have mastered the knowledge and skills necessary to be a successful meeting professional. Come to this session to hear the requirements to apply, how to study and why earning the CMP designation will enhance your career.

    Learning Objectives

    • Receive an overview of the CMP program.
    • Learn why the CMP is recognized worldwide as the premier certification for meeting professionals.
    • Get answers to your questions about application requirements and the exam.

Presented by Gayle Dahlman

  • #AskUsAnything

    Have questions about productivity apps, mobile devices or anything tech-related in general? Bring them with you to this session. We’re bringing in tech geeks to address all your questions. We challenge you to stump the panel!

    Learning Objectives

    • Get answers for your tech-related issues, questions and concerns.
    • Get help from a group of tech geeks.
    • Learn answers to tech questions you didn’t even know you had.

Presented by Dahlia El Gazzar and Tess Vismale, CMP

  • Meeting Economics: Strategies to Improve Attendance,
    Sponsorship, Engagement and Your Bottom Line

    In this interactive session, review best practices for attracting and retaining event sponsors; learn how to deliver benefits that enhance value for sponsors, attendees and event owners; and explore pricing strategies to increase attendance and encourage earlier registrations. This session also examines ways to improve collaboration between planners and suppliers to address the challenges of pickup within contracted room blocks and threats of room block poaching.

    Learning Objectives

    • Learn how to customize a road map for attracting and retaining sponsors.
    • Explore innovative pricing models to encourage increased and earlier registrations from attendees, sponsors and exhibitors.
    • Discover new collaboration methods that both planners and suppliers can put into practice.

Presented by Mariela McIlwraith, CMP, CMM, MBA

9:45 a.m.-10:45 a.m.

  • Negotiating Difficult Contract Clauses

    Meeting professionals tend to focus most of their negotiating time on big-dollar performance clauses, like attrition and cancellation. But if you aren't negotiating as intensely on the clauses that affect the quality of your meeting, you are doing your attendees, client and organization a disservice. This session will help prepare you for issues that can have a major impact on your attendees, your meeting and your bottom line.

    Learning Objectives

    • Know to ask for and how to deal with pending construction and remodeling at a property.
    • Assess the effects of the current environment on contract negotiations, including everything from drone usage to the latest surcharges.
    • Learn how to address other groups meeting in the hotel over the same dates in your contracts.

Presented by Tyra W. Hilliard, Ph.D., JD, CMP, and Cheryl Payne, CMP

  • Walk a Mile in My Shoes

    The most difficult part of the meeting professional’s job is not knowing what the other party knows. Whether you’re dealing with hotel negotiations, food and beverage decisions, or technology selection and implementation, knowledge is power, and awareness of the needs and information the other party has is essential. Join two industry professionals in this engaging and interactive workshop designed to get you participating and thinking like the person on the other side of the table.

    Learning Objectives

    • Understand the nuances and issues that affect your industry counterparts.
    • Interact more successfully within your organization through a thorough review of industry issues.
    • Identify critical deal-breakers and obstacles that prevent you from maximizing contract value for your organization.

Presented by Shawna Suckow and Jim Spellos, CMP

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