Official Newsletter of The Association for Convention Operations Management

May 2009

What's New
    New happenings in ACOM

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

Conference Corner
     The name says it all

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

Benefitting You
    Did you know that ACOM offers...

Tips of the Trade
     Helpful tools for the services profession

Recent Releases
     ACOM in the News

On the Move
     Keeping up with members


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


What's New
New happenings in ACOM

ACOM has a LinkedIn page!

Members have spoken and ACOM has heard you! ACOM is giving members a forum for open discussion and networking through one channel of communication. Don’t miss the opportunity to ask for a solution, provide an idea or share your success stories with other CSMs!

All members received an invitation via email but if you need the link, email ACOM Headquarters!

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

Local Luncheons

Kudos to Meet Minneapolis!
Ruth Warden, Senior Convention Services Manager, Meet Minneapolis will be hosting ACOM’s May Local Luncheon in conjunction with ACOM’s Webinar on Thursday, May 21. Meet Minneapolis has arranged for a great group of people to come together, network, have lunch and join in the Webinar.

Are you a local Minneapolis CSM? Make sure you don’t miss out on this great networking opportunity! To register (there is no fee for attending the Local Luncheon), please fill out the registration form.

Are you interested in hosting an ACOM Local Luncheon? This is a great way to meet with other CSMs in your local community, while offering an educational component, courtesy of ACOM. We are in the process of confirming locations for the remainder of the year. If you are interested in hosting one, please contact ACOM Headquarters. We are arranging one location per month.


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

May Webinar

ACOM May Webinar – Register Today!

When: Thursday, May 21
Time: 1 PM ET
Topic: Hot Topics in Contract Negotiations
Presenter: Samuel J. Erkonen, Howe & Hutton, Ltd.

Contracts have never been analyzed as much in our industry as in current times. This month’s program will feature a discussion on the current “hot topics” with contracts as well as dealing with the current fallout from the TARP program and the possible fallout from the swine flu scare.

To read about our presenter, please visit the ACOM Website.

Click here to register!

Every other month, ACOM hosts a live Webinar featuring an industry leader, or expert in a related industry, delivering a virtual presentation. Participants can listen to the presentation via a conference call portal, and watch the PowerPoint presentation online. Participants have the opportunity to post Q&A during the presentation. So, from the convenience of your own office or conference room, you and your colleagues have a great educational resource. And you also get .1 CEU credit for each Webinar.

So get together with your co-workers and pack a lunch for these fun one-hour learning experiences.

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Conference Corner
The name says it all

2009 ACOM Summer Education Conference
Always Bet on Services

June 14-16, 2009
Westin Casuarina
Las Vegas, Nevada

Because you can Always Bet on Services – Register Now – Discounted Deadline Extended!

No matter what the economic climate, ACOM’s members are ready – to learn how to overcome obstacles, to join together to share solutions, to be the best and most effective CSM partners we can be for our planner clients. The camaraderie and enthusiasm of our membership is stronger than ever! Join your ACOM colleagues for this two-day event on the newest trends, ideas, technology and solutions in the convention services profession. Sessions will target a full spectrum of subjects in order to appeal to seasoned service managers, as well as those who are new or mid-level.

Sessions will include topics such as:
- The Economic Impact on the Things We Do
- Managing Your Budget
- Learn from the Meeting Planners
- What Does “Green” Mean in Hospitality?
- and so much more!

Registration Fees

 
Early Rate (by 5/27/09)
General Rate
ACOM Member
$295
$310
Student
$50
$50
Non-Member
$325
$350
Las Vegas CSMs: Host City Offering
In an effort to provide Las Vegas’ hospitality partners a warm welcome to join us, as well as provide them with the educational and networking advantages of our organization, ACOM is offering a One-Day only, Host City offer. This includes Monday’s programming only. Click here to take advantage of this registration.
$125
$125

How and When to Reserve Your Room
The special ACOM group rate at the Westin Casuarina is $109 which includes a mandatory resort fee. Reserve your room today, by calling 866-837-4215, and be sure to mention ACOM.

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

 

How fellow CSM, Heather Kubisiak is “Getting Personal”
By: Heather Kubisiak, Convention Services Manager, the Westin Indianapolis

We have all heard about the dreaded “Recession” and “The Economy is Failing” on the news. Be that as it may, this is the time when we need to exit our comfort zones and create the personal ties that keep them coming back for more. Something as simple as a personalized amenity is exactly the type of thing that can turn a typical convention services relationship into an “over and above” situation. You can’t win over every contact, but, more often than not, simple conversation can help increase the likelihood they will continue doing business with your venue — since you’ve taken the time to get to know them — rather than just sending a fruit basket, or wine and cheese from across the street.

Establishing a rapport with your clients is key to finding what amenity would best impress upon them that you care. Asking them simple questions you would ask while networking at an event or nurturing a new friendship are all you need. In a recent meeting with a client, the conversation began about how she was moving into a new place. Upon asking how it was going, she revealed how she was struggling between painting a room Red Sox colors or something her husband suggested. Latching on to this Red Sox reference, we talked more about her love of baseball, how many times she’s been to a game and so on. That’s when I came to the conclusion; the perfect amenity for this client was a personalized Red Sox business card holder. Total cost: $20 and a few extra minutes finding it.

Not everyone wants to spill the beans about their life. All they want are to meet their food and beverage minimums, negotiate other concessions after contracting and so on. But, most contacts have something that makes them sing like a bird — you just have to find what that is. It takes a little extra time to find it, but its well worth the effort. Maybe they like planting flowers in their garden, going to the symphony, or fresh chocolate chip cookies. No matter what it is, you can find an amenity to show them this is more than just business.

We all have budgets for amenities and, sometimes, a standard gift is good. However, when you take some extra time to get something they would enjoy receiving, you are redefining the meaning of a gift to them. You are going to give them something, why not make it special like a Christmas or birthday gift. Challenge others around you to get personal with their clients. They’ll appreciate the extra effort, tell others about it, and more likely do business with you again.

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Benefitting You
Did you know that ACOM offers...

Need CEU Credits Towards Your CMP Designation?
ACOM has made it easier than ever to accrue points towards your CMP Certification or Re-Certification!

How to earn CEU Credits:
• Attend the ACOM Conferences – the Annual Conference held every January (2010 will be held January 9-11 at the Westin City Center in Dallas, TX) or the Summer Education Conference held every June (2009 meeting will be held June 14-16 at the Westin Casuarina in Las Vegas, NV)

• Join in the monthly continuing education sessions – Idea Networks or Webinars. From the convenience of your own office or conference room, you and your colleagues have a great educational resource.

Every other month, ACOM hosts a live Webinar featuring an industry leader, or expert in a related industry, delivering a virtual presentation. Participants can listen to the presentation via a conference call portal, and watch the PowerPoint presentation online.

Every other month, ACOM also presents the Idea Network, via a conference call portal, which allows you to network with other CSMs to discuss the hot topics of the industry. It is an open forum for you to ask questions about a specific topic, give suggestions on new programs you are starting within your own city.

• Do you run into the same dilemmas on a daily basis and have finally come up with a solution to make your job that much easier? Have you done an event that required you to think outside the box? Why are you keeping all these secrets to yourself?!? Share your experiences with other CSMs by writing an article to be included in an ACOM newsletter! Take the opportunity to share your stories, frustrations and successes and at the same time you can receive CEU Credits!

• Join an ACOM Committee! By participating in one of the ACOM Committees you can easily earn CEU credits. For a list of all committees and how to get involved, visit the ACOM Website.

For more information on how to obtain CEU credits, please contact ACOM Headquarters.

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Tips of the Trade
Helpful tools for the services profession


Lose These Three Bad Speaking Habits
Published in the Competitive Advantage e-zine

Whenever you give a speech or presentation of any kind, you want to win over your audience. To do so, you must lose three bad habits forever: Never apologize, confess or make excuses. If you do, you are saying to your audience “Don't expect a lot from me today because I'll disappoint you.”

Here's how to sidestep those speaking pitfalls:

Avoid apologizing. Don't say “I'm sorry I didn't bring a sample, but I couldn't arrange it on such short notice.” Instead, cast your comment in a positive light. Example: “I'm working on getting you a sample, and I can deliver it next week.”

Stop confessing. Don't say: “I'm so nervous” or “This is my first time speaking in public.” That only serves to increase the audience's scrutiny of your performance. Instead, proceed with your well-rehearsed speech, knowing that nervousness is far more evident to you than to your audience.

Drop the excuses. Don't make excuses such as “I just found out about this presentation yesterday, so I didn't have as much time to prepare as I would have liked.” Instead, put your energy into delivering the best possible presentation, and then stand behind your performance. Tell yourself “I did the best job I could given the circumstances.”

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Recent Releases
ACOM in the News

Organizations & Associations: Association for Convention Operations Management (ACOM)
Reprinted with permission from Missouri Meetings

The Association for Convention Operations Management (ACOM) is an opportunity for those in convention services management, the meeting industry and their supporting vendors to connect and grow through education and networking. ACOM members hold many vital roles in Convention & Visitors Bureaus, convention centers, conference centers, hotels and resorts. In addition, they often work for organizations regularly interacting with this industry, such as audio visual companies, decorator management companies, event service firms, attraction/entertainment facilities and catering companies.

Membership includes numerous benefits. Perhaps the two most exciting benefits are the Annual Conference and Summer Education Conference. The Annual Conference, hosted each January, draws exceptional speakers ready to address the most pressing issues impacting convention service professionals. The Summer Education Conference is an intensive hands-on training opportunity each June.

While ACOM does not offer local chapters, the organization does have opportunities for monthly education, networking and idea-sharing sessions. Idea Network is a monthly call that allows members to discuss designated topics related to the industry. Webinars are online presentations held monthly, with leading experts discussing topics members can put to use in their daily tasks. Both allow members to connect from the comfort of their home or office.

In addition, ACOM has launched a new local luncheon meeting program in conjunction with their Webinars and Idea Network programs in 2009. Members can stay tuned to the ACOM Web site to see if a local luncheon is added to the Show Me state or they can volunteer to host one in their area.

ACOM offers varying levels of membership, from students to service providers and meeting planners to actual representatives of convention facilities.

http://www.missourimeetingsandevents.com/articles.aspx?aid=561

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On the Move
Keeping up with members


Congratulations to ACOM Members and Everyone who Received the CMP Designation!

The Convention Industry Council (CIC) announced that 356 individuals passed the Certified Meeting Professionals (CMP) examination after its January exam! This distinguished credential, recognized throughout the meetings, conventions, and exhibitions industry demonstrates an individual’s comprehensive knowledge of meeting management and the next step in their commitment to the meeting profession.

View the full list of individuals who have received their CMP Designation.


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Contact Us:
ACOM
191 Clarksville Road
Princeton Junction, NJ 08550
Email: info@acomonline.org
Tel: 609-799-3712