Official Newsletter of The Association for Convention Operations Management

MAY 2008

Chicago Chronicles: Meeting Planners Don't Bite!
Hear from them in Chicago this June

ACOM to Present Webinar on How to Deal with Difficult Conversations or Complaints

Planners that Don't Use CVBs - Insights

Make Your Own Luck

6 Tips to Better Networking Success

5 Steps to Better Decision Making

On The Move


Chicago Chronicles: Meeting Planners Don’t Bite! Hear from them in Chicago this June

ACOM Summer Education Conference

June 26-28, 2008
The Palmer House Hilton
Chicago, Illinois

Did you ever want to sit down for a Q&A session with leading meeting industry planners? The ACOM Summer Education Conference is the place to do it! Meeting planners want to talk to you and answer all of your questions – no matter what your experience level, they will give you the inside scoop on what they are looking for, how the economy has effected the way they plan, their thoughts on going green and so much more!

For more details and to see the all of the program details or to register, visit the ACOM Website. Be sure to register by Friday, May 23 to get the Early Rate!

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ACOM to Present Webinar on How to Deal with Difficult Conversations or Complaints
May 15, 2008
1:00 PM EDT

As a CSM, we often find ourselves in the middle of conversations that are not easy. This webinar will provide strategies to deal with those conversations. We will look at:

- How to bring up unexpected news or changes to a client and
  how to deal with their reaction
- How to have honest conversations with planners about a CSM's role
- How to address the difficult conversations between internal staff members or departments
  within an organization
- How to address overstepping boundaries between team members
- How to maintain positive conversations between Hotel, CVB, and Center representatives

Dr. William M. Hodge from the College of Human Environmental Sciences at The University of Alabama will present this month’s webinar program.

To learn about the speaker or to sign up for this session, please visit the ACOM website.

Members can take advantage of a Special Continuing Education Offer. Click here to register.

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Planners that Don’t Use CVBs - Insights
In a recent issue of MeetingNews magazine, the following were the most common reasons given by planners that do not utilize the services of CVBs.

• I don’t really know what they can do for me
• I don’t think bureaus are interested in servicing meetings of my size
• They only provide me with information on hotels/event venues that are their dues-paying members
• They send my RFPs to suppliers without regard to the specific needs of my meetings.

So, CVBs, time to hone in on overcoming these perceptions in your marketing communications!

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Make Your Own Luck
By: Judy Moreo, Keynote Speaker from the 2007 ACOM Summer Education Conference

Are you lucky? Do good things just come your way? Do you always seem to be in the right place at the right time? Are you the person who gets the promotion, the great deal or the perfect mate? If not, you might want to consider making some changes in your habits.

Richard Wiseman, head of the University of Hertfordshire’s (England) psychology research department, together with his colleagues at the Perrott-Warrick Research Unit have actually studied what makes some people lucky and others not. After thousands of interviews and hundreds of experiments, they determined that “luck” isn’t due to coincidence or karma. It is our thinking and behavior that create good fortune in our lives.

Sound familiar? For years we have heard phrases like "Change your thinking, change your life," "What the mind can conceive, and the heart can believe, you can achieve," or "If it is to be, it’s up to me." Many of us dismiss these ideas because of negative programming in our past. We tell ourselves we’re not smart enough, good enough, thin enough or tall enough to get what we want, that no matter what we think, we will never achieve our dreams. Good things are true for other people but not for us. We feel unlucky. The world passes us by. Is it because we aren’t enough and just unlucky or is it that we are not recognizing our own worth and making our own luck?

Researchers have found that “lucky” people have several things in common. While they are usually those who work hard, stay focused and push on in the pursuit of their goals, they are also flexible. When we are willing to see obstacles as opportunities, detours as a new path and change as a choice, we begin to open ourselves up to new ideas, new ways of doing things and frequently find a shorter, more direct route to our destination. Being prepared to change, take risks and grab opportunities is the key to becoming lucky.

Lucky people are also awake and alert. They see everything around them, not just the task at hand. People who are lucky observe and listen. Life long learning is part of their nature. The more they learn about the world around them, the more they can use to their advantage. Like any other habit, we are unconscious of it acting in our lives, but the more we use our powers of observation, the more we learn. The more we learn, the easier it becomes to make quick decisions with positive outcomes.

Positive, future focused expectation of good is part of the make up of “lucky” people. Brian Tracy said, “Whatever you believe with feeling becomes your reality.” If we are focused on our good and expecting miracles in our lives, we will most likely find good things happening and experience miracles all around us. If we believe that our lives are full of pain, frustration, and struggle, we generally speak in negative terms about our expectations. Our thoughts, words and feelings have the power to bring into our lives what we are focused on. Whether we experience our lives as lucky or unlucky is a direct result of our expectation and actions.

Luck is a matter of perspective. Lucky people look at every situation differently than those who consider themselves unlucky. While it may seem somewhat optimistic to look for the good in every situation, it is this outlook that opens doors of opportunity that we may not otherwise have seen. By taking control of a situation and looking for the lesson, the opportunity or the good that can come out of it, we create our own luck.

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6 Tips To Better Networking Success
Published in Dale Carnegie® Training newsletter

Networking means: "The building up or maintaining of informal relationships, especially with people whose friendship could bring advantages such as job or business opportunities".

Smart business professionals know the value of networking. They understand that the more people you know in different industries, businesses and functions, the easier it will be to find the right connection when you need it.

Below are 6 tips to widen your circle of contacts and improve your networking strategy:

Tip #1. Offer Help, Experience And Insight To Others
End meetings you are attending by asking other attendees if there is anything you can do for them - and if you do agree to something, make sure you get it done. If not, you will lose a lot of credibility with them.

Tip #2. Communicate And Market Your Unique Knowledge And Expertise To Others
Let people know how your experience and background will help them. Do this from a position of support, not competitiveness. Don't forget to put them on some type of drip marketing campaign so they remember what you do.

Tip #3. Do Not Be Afraid To Share Your Own Personal Contacts Judiciously
If you have a contact that can provide a product or service to another contact, facilitate communication between them. You have nothing to lose by helping one contact solve another contact's problem and you'll be the most successful participant in this scenario.

Tip #4. Always Be Approachable And Willing To Talk
Present an air of friendliness and helpfulness. If people are afraid or reluctant to approach you, you'll risk not connecting with some potentially valuable contacts.

Tip #5. In The Event Someone Helps You In Any Way, Always Remember To Write A Personal Thank-You
People who actually do assist you deserve to be thanked in an appropriate manner. Never risk the perception of appearing ungrateful. Always remember to thank those who should be thanked with a personal handwritten note.

Tip #6. Follow Through On Your Commitments
If you said you would do something or be somewhere, make sure you do so. Never let a commitment slide or be ignored. Not only is it insulting to the other people involved, you risk acquiring the reputation of being unreliable.

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5 Steps to Better Decision Making
By: Competitive Advantage E-Zine

When the pressure is on, you need a proven system for making effective decisions quickly. Take these steps:

• Size up the problem. Ask yourself "How important is this decision?" That allows you to gauge    how much time and effort you should devote to deciding.
• Do your homework. Round up all the facts before you start to choose a course of action.
• Consider different perspectives. Many people throughout your team and organization may be    affected by your decision. Weigh their opinions before you choose.
• Test your conclusion. Approach a trusted colleague to ask: "I'm thinking about doing X.
   What's your reaction? Can you think of any repercussions I have overlooked?"
• Realize that the worst decision is indecision. If you are waiting for input from others, give
   them a deadline and stick to it. Set a deadline for your final decision too, so you don't

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On the Move

Arlington Convention & Visitors Bureau announces new CEO, Jay Burress

The Arlington Convention & Visitors Bureau Board of Directors announced the hiring of Jay Burress to helm the destination marketing organization during its next phase of growth. He was most recently Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing for the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau, and will begin his new duties on June 2.

Mr. Burress co-managed convention sales efforts in Dallas where his team of over 21 exceeded goals for the last three years, booking over 865,000 definite room nights in fiscal year 2006-07. He comes to Arlington with extensive tourism sales experience as well, with the department having exceeded goals for business leads, familiarization tours and client services for the last six years.

Mr. Burress joined the Dallas bureau in January 1988, and in addition to executive positions in both convention sales and tourism sales, his experience also includes international marketing, management of five regional offices and member of host committees for National Tour Association, Travel Industry Association’s Pow Wow, and Meeting Professionals International’s World Education Congress in 2006. He has served on the Dallas Fort Worth Area Tourism Council’s Board of Directors and was chair in 2007. He also served on the Texas Office of the Governor’s Tourism Advisory Council since 2005, and chaired the Marketing Advisory Committee for the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and Tourism in 2002.

Keith Sexton-Patrick, CMP, and ACOM Past President, is serving as the Chair of the 2008 CMP Board of Directors, with the Convention Industry Council. Also on the board, representing ACOM, is Cary Bradley, CMP, CMM.

The Convention Industry Council (CIC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Susan M. Tinnish as the Director of the Accepted Practices Exchange (APEX) program, effective April 1, 2008. Since 1996, Sue has been the head of SEAL, Inc., a firm providing facilitation, training and team building services. She is well known in the meetings industry through her speaking and writing for CIC member organizations such as the International Association of Conference Centers (IACC), Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) and Meeting Professionals International.

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Being on par in terms of price and quality only gets you into the game.
Service wins the game
.” - Dr. Tony Alessandra

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