Official Newsletter of The Association for Convention Operations Management

July 2009

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

     • Where will you be August 20?
     • Want to be our next host?

Conference Corner: The name says it all
     • Did you say $495?

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

     • Be the Pig!

Benefitting You: Did you know that ACOM offers...
     • ACOM is tooting our services horn

Tips of the Trade: Helpful tools for the services profession
     • Check your ego at the door

Recent Releases:  ACOM in the News
     • Have you seen USAE recently?

On the Move
     Keeping up with members

What's New:
    New happenings in 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

Where will You be August 20?

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 ($25-50). 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?

Next program: Thursday, August 20, 2009 at 1:00pm ET
Economic Update from the Industry Experts

Visit for topics and to sign up.

ACOM Local Luncheons — Want to be Our Next Host?

Have you heard the buzz about ACOM’s Local Luncheons?

Here is what a few of our Hosts had to say about their Local Luncheon experience:

Arona Carroll, Manager, Meeting Services, Washington Convention Center Authority
We thank ACOM for the opportunity and hope to host other ACOM webinars in the future. This was definitely an opportunity that strengthened my ability to multi-task and I am thrilled that it went well and served as a learning tool for everyone that attended.

Ruth Warden, CMP, Senior Convention Services Manager, Meet Minneapolis
Our group enjoyed the webinar and I thought the presenter did a very good job. Our questions were discussed among our own group, so that was good.

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.

Stay tuned: ACOM's 1st National Mingle Night this October.

A great way to meet more of your local Convention Service Manager community! Interest piqued? Email us to get more information and watch for more details.

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Conference Corner
The name says it all


ACOM Annual Conference
January 8-10, 2010
Westin City Center
Dallas, TX

The Annual Conference will be bigger and better than ever in 2010! Did you expect anything less as ACOM heads to the Big D? This year’s event will feature an exciting new format – junior- and senior-level tracks, specific break out sessions for all disciplines and great general sessions where we can all come together to share ideas, suggestions and to learn from each other.

ACOM introduces its Annual Conference Stimulus Package! We know it’s tough out there right now. And we’re doing what we can to help you attend in January. Register by Labor Day and receive our great Stimulus Package Registration fee of just $495. (Registration will open at the end of July).

For your budgeting purposes:

Member Registration Fees
“ACOM Stimulus” Package (registration received by Labor Day)
Early Registration (registration received by Nov. 13, 2009)
General Registration
Texas Two-Step (one-day local registration)

Hotel Room Rate - $165/night

ACOM Summer Education Conference – 2010
Under Construction

Our Summer Education Conference is Under Construction in 2010. Simply put, we’re evaluating the objective and focus of this conference, how we can make it most effective, and how we should differentiate it from the Annual Conference. We are currently exploring a partnership with UNLV for a new concept for our summer program. So for 2010, direct those summer conference dollars to the Dallas Annual Conference. We’re making sure that all members’ needs will be met — from junior to seasoned, small to large venues, and CVB, hotel and center folks. And...see again our note about our stimulus package rate!

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

Be the Pig!
Submitted by: ACOM Member, Theresa Sellers, Group Services Manager, Rockford Area CVB

Martina Navratilova once stated, “The difference between involvement and commitment is like ham and eggs. The chicken is involved; the pig is committed.” When it comes to ACOM, I encourage you to “become the pig.”

I just joined ACOM in 2008. At the Annual Conference in January 2009, I decided it was time to get more involved and begin giving back to an organization that has taught me so much through its educational and networking opportunities. Participating on the planning committee for the recent Summer Education Conference held in Las Vegas was my first experience in doing so.

The Summer Education Conference was packed with great content applicable to each one of us. A couple of the key points I walked away with are:

• Authenticity is not something we have; it is something we choose. We must be boldly honest with our personal and professional contacts in order to succeed through challenges, and then prepare for change and success to follow. Our families, our employers and our staffs are counting on us.

• These tough economic times can be a benefit to CSMs because it allows us to proactively reposition ourselves to develop long-term relationships with our clients that will continue when business is good. Our conversations are our relationships; we must make them worthwhile.

• We must interrogate the bottom line of our meeting planners’ goals. Learn what their exact needs are, then offer creative solutions to assist them, even when we have to say, “Yes, however....” Timely communication and trustworthiness are often the two best services a CSM can provide.

Each session was fantastic and left me with applicable solutions to issues, suggestions for the future, and ideas for strengthening and expanding my social and professional network. Business cards were exchanged and Las Vegas was conquered by ACOM. I am so glad I was there and actively a part of it all. I look forward to the Annual Conference in Dallas in January. Meanwhile, I encourage you to find additional ways to support ACOM through a small dedication of your time and by watching our organization become even better. Be the pig...the rewards are worth it.

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Benefitting You
Did you know that ACOM offers...

For the success of meetings, services is KEY. It is ACOM’s mission to support YOU in your services role, and to help you convey the value of your services education. Our mission is also to invigorate the awareness of services in the meetings industry.

• We will be developing talking points to help you convey not only the value of your ACOM membership, but also attending the annual conference to your executive management. Do they clearly understand the tangible benefits of their services team getting great education? We want to help you get that message across. Watch for this in the mail.

• ACOM is on the verge of spearheading some meetings industry PR buzz about the role of convention services in the meetings biz. Why not toot our own services horns a little, huh? Keep your eye on the media!

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Tips of the Trade
Helpful tools for the services profession

Leadership—Check Your Ego at the Door
By: Rick Johnson, expert speaker, wholesale distribution’s “Leadership Strategist”, founder of CEO Strategist, LLC

A leader’s role is to serve those people that report to him/her. He or she is not a dictator — their ultimate role is to serve, to allow those people to achieve their goals. It’s a style that starts by asking: What do you want to accomplish, rather than telling them what you want them to accomplish. Effective leaders demonstrate a respect for employees recognizing their value as their most precious asset and the innovative use of planning and control systems demonstrates a unique ability to balance predictability with simplicity.

Effective leaders are consistent, explicit and concise and they command a presence when they walk into a room. But, they are not arrogant and ego driven. When they move on, others want to go with them. Their openness and honesty creates a legacy which people admire and look up to. They gain commitment and foster trust.

Check your EGO — Don’t be Arrogant — Follow these tips:
• If you start to believe you are special and nobody is as good as you, just look at the number of people in your industry, in your state, in your country. Then ask yourself how many of this grand total of people even know your name. Unless you’re Tom Cruise or Angelina Jolie, chances are not many people really even know who you are let alone actually care how good you think you are.

• Arrogance is often just a mask that hides your personal self doubt. Try to figure out what is causing your insecurity and work on improving that area. But first you have to be honest with yourself.

• Speak clearly about other people in a positive sense. Make a special effort to ask questions concerning other people’s activities and lives. Take the “I” out of your vocabulary and only answer specific questions about yourself but keep your answer short, brief and to the point.

• Make it a point to listen at least twice as much as you talk.

• Model yourself after the most respected people in your industry. Note, I said respected not the most successful. Success does not necessarily mean respect. It depends on how success is achieved and how success is defined.

• Create a leadership survey and ask your peers and subordinates to actually rate your performance. E-mail if you would like a template.

You are the only person that can affect a change in your thinking or your attitude. Your thoughts are powerful. They are energy. How you feel and how you act depends on your thoughts. Master your thoughts and you control your attitude. So how do you create a leadership model you can be proud of, one that speaks volumes about who you are and not what you accomplished? The answer begins by taking an inventory of your personal values. Your core beliefs and how you treat other people will speak volumes about who you are. It also reflects the size of your ego.

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Recent Releases
ACOM in the News

ACOM Holds Summer Education Conference in Las Vegas
By Jonathan Trager
Reprinted with permission from USAE

Reflecting an economic recession that has cut attendance at many industry events, about 60 convention industry leaders gathered on June 14-16 for the 2009 Association for Conventions Operations Management (ACOM) Summer Education Conference. The conference was held at the Westin Casuarina in Las Vegas.

Read the full article.

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On the Move
Keeping up with members

José Garcia has been promoted to Director of Event Services at the SMG-managed Albuquerque Convention Center (ACC). José has been a member of the SMG team since they assumed management of the ACC in February 2004. He has been involved with ACOM as a conference attendee and committee member since 2007.

The announcement was made by Carisa Malanum, CMP, Director of Sales and Marketing, who said, “In the past five years, José has proven himself a dedicated professional. His commitment to service above and beyond the call of duty makes him a favorite with our clients and has been instrumental to our success with convention groups. I have no doubt that José and his staff will take the level of service to new heights in the years to come.”

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What's New
New happenings in ACOM

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 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, and don't forget to visit our website at

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Contact Us:
191 Clarksville Road
Princeton Junction, NJ 08550
Tel: 609-799-3712