Official Newsletter of The Association for Convention Operations Management

August 2009

Networking Zone: The cool place to “meet” up with
fellow members
• September Idea Network
• Are You from the Baton Rouge Area?
• Members a Chance to Win $250 American Express Gift Card


Conference Corner: The name says it all
Register by September 7 for Nearly $150 in Savings!

What CSMs Are Talking About: The latest buzz from a fellow CSM
• Managing the Multi-Generational Workforce

Benefitting You: Did you know that ACOM offers...
• Award Opportunity: Attention New CMP Designates

Tips of the Trade: Helpful tools for the services profession
• Watch That Tone of Voice

Recent Releases: ACOM in the News
• ACOM Addresses Challenges with a "Letter to the Industry"

What's New: New happenings in ACOM
Need Help Getting Management Approval for ACOM?

Please send article suggestions to Katie Guasco, Baton Rouge Area CVB, At-A-Glance Editor. Remember - authoring articles offers CMP points!

Networking Zone
The cool place to “meet” up with fellow members

• Upcoming Idea Network

September 17, 2009
1:00 pm ET
Working Effectively with MINT

We're asking every single ACOM member to participate in at least one of our monthly programs during the upcoming year. They're virtual. They're inexpensive ($20-50). They're one hour — just long enough to squeeze into your lunch hour. They offer CEUs and they allow you to "meet" with other members from your own office. What are you waiting for?

Visit to sign up.


If you live in the Baton Rouge area - ACOM is coming to you!
Join ACOM and the Visit Baton Rouge for a networking luncheon


Thursday, October 15


11:30am-1:30pm CST

Topic of Program:

Times are Tough...How CSMs Can Keep Providing the Best Service to Meeting Planners


Member Hosts: Katie Guasco
Destination Services Manager
Visit Baton Rouge
359 Third Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70801

If you would like to participate in the Baton Rouge area Local Luncheon, please fill out the registration form and return it to ACOM Headquarters.

Want to be Our Next Host?

This is a great avenue for members to meet other CSMs in their local area, and kick off local get-togethers!

For more information on the program, please visit the ACOM Website.

Interested in hosting? Contact ACOM Headquarters.

• 2009 ACOM Member Get a Member Campaign
Give back to your industry! The benefits are plenty, including a chance to win a great prize!

Get your colleagues to join ACOM today and you will be entered in a drawing for a $250 American Express Gift Card.

It’s quite simple are the Rules of the Game:
- Recruit a minimum of 3 new members.
- Renewals do not qualify unless they have been a non-active members for 3 years or more.
- In the event of a tie, there will be a drawing to determine the winner.
- Your name must appear on the application under "Name of Person Who
Referred You.”

Share with your colleagues the benefits of an ACOM membership:

- Networking opportunities with other services professionals
- Access to educational programs for new and senior convention services
managers (Annual Conference)
- Local Luncheons and informal monthly educational session programming (Webinar and Idea Network)
- Career development
- Points for your CMP
- Give back to your industry

Campaign Deadline: October 31, 2009

Feel free to contact ACOM Headquarters at 609-799-3712 with questions or for more information. Don't forget to visit our website at

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Conference Corner
The name says it all

ONE Week Left to SAVE Nearly $150 on the Annual Conference Registration and Hotel Sleeping Room

Register Now!

Members: Register by September 7 to take advantage of our low Stimulus Rate of $495 AND a reduced hotel rate of $150!

ACOM is heading to the Big D! Visit the ACOM Conference Website to start planning your trip to Dallas. Even as the Conference Committee is busy putting together an impactful program - full of topics that will get you thinking and learning - we're still providing preliminary information for you at this early stage.

January 8-10, 2010 • Westin City Center • Dallas, Texas
Register Now!

ACOM has compiled some useful information that will help you approach your management and convey the value of your attendance at the Conference - how having educated, effective Convention Services leaders will help their bottom line. Visit the ACOM Conference Website for more details.

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What CSMs Are Talking About
The latest buzz from a fellow CSM

Managing the Multi-Generational Workforce
By: ACOM Member, Philipa Blair, Director of Destination Services, Visit Baton Rouge

One of the tasks assigned to all directors of our respective servicing departments is managing a very broad range of workforce. This can be somewhat of a daunting task; therefore, it is important for directors to understand the talent behind each generation and what they can bring to your respective organization. As a manager of “Traditionalist” and “Millennial,” I have learned that each set of employees can educate me. The Traditionalist with their 30-40 years in the workplace brings loyalty and knowledge. The “Millennial” brings a wealth of technology to the department.

As a Manager, I have come to understand that I play a key role in establishing understanding and agreement among the generations that work for me by:

  • Setting an example of respect, tolerance and appreciation of efforts and contributions made by all employees.
  • Establishing a culture of trust and confidence by giving people freedom to achieve outcomes their own way.
  • Managing different people differently, knowing not everyone has the same motivation for success or perspective of how to get the work done.
  • Caring about the people who work for them, and stepping in when misunderstandings or clashes arise.
  • Encouraging cooperation and a “team mentality.”

With this understanding, all managers can produce a productive department which is the key to outstanding service.

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Benefitting You
Did you know that ACOM offers...

Annual William H. Just, CAE, CMP Memorial Award
New CMP Designates: Apply to be considered for a complimentary Conference Registration

In memory of meetings industry visionary and ACOM Founder, William H. Just, CAE, CMP, ACOM is celebrating his life and commitment to the industry by establishing the Annual William H. Just, CAE, CMP Memorial Award. This award is developed as recognition of Just’s instrumental involvement with the launch of the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) program.

The recipient of the award will receive complimentary attendance to the ACOM Annual Conference. By attending the Conference, the award recipient will receive Continuing Education Units (CEUs) to help support their CMP status moving forward.

Only ACOM members who have received their CMP designation within the last three (3) years are eligible for the award.

For more information or to fill out the application, please visit the ACOM website.

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Tips of the Trade
Helpful tools for the services profession

Watch That Tone Of Voice
By: Nancy Friedman

Your Mom was right. It's not what you say, but how you say it. Several times while I was out shopping recently, I've been told things that frankly, weren't that bad, but the tone of voice was so wrong. I walked away not wanting to do business with that company anymore.

It reminded me of that game we played a long time ago. You take one sentence and emphasize each word one at a time every time you say the sentence. Something like this:

I love my job.
• I love my job.
• I love my job.
• I love my job.

You can take most sentences and do that. Point being, the way we emphasize and use our tone of voice means a whole lot in the customer service arena. Think of all the 'tones' and deliveries we can use. A few that come to mind are:

• Bored
• Happy
• Sad
• Angry
• Terrified
• Worried
• Unconcerned
• Hurt
• Inconsiderate
• Shocked

You can take your own sentence and infuse it with any one of the emotions listed above. Certainly you can think of other emotions to use also.

Obviously, there are various tones we don't want to use in certain situations. As basic as this sounds, we cannot forget that our voice is a key instrument delivering customer service.

Let's go back to the opening paragraph and my true story. I went into a store and purchased an item. When the clerk told me the amount, I wrote out a check. He took it and looked up my account. Without even looking up at me he said, "If you're gonna write a check, I have to see a picture ID." The tone he used was rather threatening in my perception. I'd been a customer there a long time and this was the first time I was asked for ID. I immediately made a decision not to return there any more.

There were several ways he could have told me he needed ID. Especially since he saw from the database, which he found prior to my handing him the check, that I was a frequent customer.

He could have said, "Mrs. Friedman, I see you're on the database and shop here often. Most clerks know you. However, I've only been here three days and haven't met everyone yet. If I can get your ID this time, next time I'll recognize you."

That's just one way. Gosh, you even feel the difference just by reading the words. See the difference? More importantly, I'm sure you could hear the difference.

At the other end of the customer service spectrum, I went into a jewelry store the other day to pick up an item. When I said to the owner, who does know me, that I was here to pick up my watch, I could sense he seemed to blank out on my name. With a big smile he said, "Good, glad to get it. By the way, which name will that be under?" A class act. And he didn't make me feel as though he couldn't remember my name.

So practice using your most positive tone with which to talk to customers. Then, practice saying positive things. It works wonders. And remember, you can "HEAR" the SMILE.

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Recent Releases
ACOM in the News

ACOM Addresses Challenges with a “Letter to the Industry”

Initiatives such as the Meetings Mean Business campaign continue to become important as the travel and meetings industry experiences difficult times due to current economic conditions. ACOM has decided to spearhead its own response to the recession in the form of a “Letter to the Industry” to illustrate the important role of convention services and its impact on the quality of meetings. In addition to compiling information from the Board of Directors, the association has been reaching out to its members’ meeting planner clients to assess their perception of the role of convention services with regards to their meetings’ success and their opinion of a destination. The letter will be placed in USAE at the end of September. Please feel free to provide any comments by emailing

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What's New
New happenings in ACOM

Need Help Getting Management Approval For ACOM Participation?

ACOM has compiled some useful information that will help you approach your management and convey the value of your ACOM membership and attendance at the conference – how having educated, effective Convention Services leaders will help their bottom line.

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Print out this document, Why Participation in ACOM is Important. Review the information, attach it to your request for dues renewal or attendance, or arrange a meeting to review it with them.
  2. Include information on ACOM Committees you would like to get involved in or a list of monthly Continuing Education sessions you will take advantage of as a member. Print a copy of the Annual Conference Agenda highlighting which sessions you find beneficial to furthering your career.
  3. Be sure to submit requests as early as possible, so they can be considered in time for budget preparations.
  4. Be sure they realize that your participation helps enable you to earn the CMP (Certified Meeting Professional) designation through the CEU points you will receive.
  5. Offer to write up reports of the information you learn and provide it to other members of the team throughout the year.

Please be sure to contact ACOM if you require any other supporting documentation for your request for approval.

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Princeton Junction, NJ 08550
Tel: 609-799-3712