30th Anniversary Annual Conference
Sessions are created for event service professionals – and note that there are different tracks to suit your preferences. Be sure to select your track sessions during the registration process.
ESPA offers valuable continuing education credits! As a CMP Preferred Provider, our aim is to make the earning of credits seamless for you! Sessions are pending approval from the Events Industry Council and will be noted on the schedule once approved.
We have great sessions for maximum interactivity and discussion among members! With discussions on challenges & solutions, roundtable sessions, and new this year we will have opportunities for people in similar disciplines to network together – Small, medium, large CVB, Center and Hotels.
Each year, through our community support initiative, ESPA's awesome attendees give back to a charity. This year we are making it interactive and encouraging our members be hands on in assembling kits for Clean the World while at the event. The idea for soap recycling came about after Shawn Seipler, the organization’s founder, learned the barely used bars of hotel soap he left behind each morning ended up in a landfill.
Clean the World collects and recycles soap and hygiene products discarded every day by the hospitality industry and other sectors that generate environmental waste. Through the distribution of these and other donated products to impoverished people, they are preventing millions of hygiene-related deaths each year, reduce the morbidity rate for hygiene-related illnesses, and encourage vigorous childhood development.
An assembly station will be located in the ESPA networking area for members to help assemble kits during coffee breaks. A great way to give back and network at the same time.
To find out more about Clean the World please visit https://cleantheworld.org/
THE EVENT SERVICE PROFESSIONALS ASSOCIATION
This brochure describes the value of professional development and education for services managers. Print this out and provide it to your manager – it contains quotes from meeting planners about the value they place on their CSMs, including when making re-booking decisions.
The Music City Center is Nashville’s convention center. Located in the heart of downtown, this 2.1 million square foot facility opened in 2013 and was built so that Nashville could host large, city-wide conventions in the downtown area. The Music City Center champions environmental sustainability and is LEED Gold certified for New Construction by the U.S. Green Building Council.
For the Music City Center tour, register on the ESPA Conference registration site, there is no fee for this tour.
For those who want to join other members for dinner tonight, we have arranged a limited number of tables at Puckett’s, which is just a short walk from the hotel. Puckett’s roots stretch back to the ‘50s and to a little grocery store in the village of Leiper’s Fork, Tenn. Since those early days, Puckett’s has focused on providing friends new and old with great food and Southern hospitality. Four restaurants later, that aim still rings true. Puckett’s has built a name on hosting local musical acts and serving Southern food in a laid-back and down-home atmosphere. Fee: $50, Register through the ESPA Conference Registration portal, space is limited.
Drive for any length of time on a true open road and you’ve more than likely experienced the remarkable mind-opening phenomenon that results: Our imagination is released, and problems resolve quickly. Why? Why does this ALWAYS work? No one knows exactly, but most everyone acknowledges the effect, and I call this effect the Spirit of the Open Road. Regardless of what we do as adults, including our ever-evolving role as event service managers, the continuum of every day is spent solving problems, so… how DO we access the Spirit of the Open Road and turn it into an attitude for everyday problem solving?
Steve Uzzell is one of the top advertising and corporate photographers in the United States. He started in the photography business 40 years ago as the assistant to the editor of National Geographic and a member of the photographic staff there. His assignments have taken him to all 50 United States and 30 foreign countries. His work has garnered international acclaim and won numerous awards, including ten from Communication Arts. Along the way, he has photographed two books and had editorial work published in over 100 publications.
Members: The Showcase is your chance to strut your stuff! Place your marketing materials on our display tables for others to see. This is a great way to share and to learn from your peers. Also look for the Clean the World assembly station to help create kits for those in need.
1) CVB Challenges & Case Studies
Have you been wondering how other CVBs deal with unconventional requests regarding site visits? Maybe you’d like to know how other cities are quantifying their services. Join this lively and interactive discussion to discover how other cities are facing these and other challenges. Bring some questions of your own to join the conversation.
2) Hotels & Centers – Challenges & Case Studies
Are you looking for new ideas to optimize space? Do you want to know how other event managers are saying “no” nicely? Join us for this lively and interactive discussion to discover how other venues are facing these and many other challenges. Bring some questions of your own to join the conversation.
Integrating customer service into every aspect of your business is important. The Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp has taken Southern hospitality to a new level and achieved unprecedented success in visitation and visitor spending as well as record growth in hotel room sales. With attention to detail in everything it does – from tying its convention services team to its marketing department , to staging world-class events and providing consistent branding — Music City’s authentic hospitality and friendliness is a key reason it’s been ranked a top destination in the world for the past six years.
Butch Spyridon has served as the head of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp (NCVC) since 1991. Over the last 25 years, the NCVC has led the strategic development of Nashville’s hospitality industry. During that time, Nashville has evolved into a global, year-round destination. Visitor spending in Davidson County exceeded $5.7 billion and accounts for one third of the visitor spending in the entire state.
During Butch’s tenure, the NCVC has been involved with development initiatives that include the Tennessee Titans, Bridgestone Arena, Music City July 4th, New Year’s Eve in Nashville, the Music City Center, Music City Walk of Fame, and the first ever citywide branding initiative.
1) Cornhole, Footbag, Fencing and Gymnastics – Sports planners don’t necessarily have the same needs as the traditional meeting planner. This session will reveal how other cities are providing unique and memorable services in order to create a culture for repeat business. This active discussion will feature a panel with a representative from a hotel, a center, a CVB and a planner.
2) Forecasting Room Blocks – Straight from the horse’s mouth! Hear from a director of revenue management how the hotel forecasts room blocks and why it’s important to you. Your client – whether you work for a hotel, a center or a CVB – will be better served by your knowledge of this intricate process.
3) Leadership Focus – Evaluating Convention Services Value. Knowing how difficult it is to measure productivity and success in convention services, how do you show value to your leadership? Join a brainstorming session with other team leaders to discover new ways to measure value.
This session will feature a security and safety expert who will present actionable event security guidance and strategy combined with industry peers discussing critical event security issues they have directly encountered. This session will provide event service professionals hands-on, step-by-step guidance on how to incorporate safety and security elements and emergency preparedness into meeting and event planning.
Grab your cowboy boots and hats – put on your denim and diamonds, and let’s head to a Nashville Honkey-tonk for a night to celebrate ESPA’s 30th year. We’ll gather at The Wild Horse Saloon for great live country music and a line dancing for those who want to kick up their heels. And what’s a Nashville night without some good BBQ with all the fixin’s? Come hungry!
Note: Cash bar. There are two registration fees – one includes the full conference plus this dinner. If you are not able to attend the dinner, you can select the full conference registration without dinner included. Separate Dinner-only tickets are available for spouses or other guests in the Online store.
In addition to our regular networking breakfast, this morning we will offer breakfasts for the following subgroups:
-Leadership Breakfast (Assistant Director/Director Level and higher) – Challenges and Successes
-New CSM Breakfast – Ask-it basket – What are your burning questions as a new CSM? Drop them in the basket!
Given today’s political climate, the industry is experiencing a variety of challenges. At a May Events Industry Council meeting, the impact of the US Political Climate was designated as one of the top 5 trends currently shaping the events industry.
During this session, learn how legislative and political decisions impact meetings, and hear how CVBs are responding and successfully working around some of these issues.
1. Roundtable Discussions – At this session, you will have the opportunity to speak with peers about issues of importance to you. Each table will be pre-set with topic questions to help get the conversation started and keep it moving along. This is a great opportunity to share ideas and solutions with your services peers. Please be prepared to select your preferred topic during the registration process so that we can have ample space available for each topic.
2. Technology Focus for Venues
a)Technology’s Impact on the Future of Events: Will You Be Ready? Presented by Dan Berger, CEO, Social Tables
Learn about global trends and predictions for hotels, meeting spaces, and the hospitality industry and how technology impacts them all. Find out how properties and planners alike are experiencing a paradigm shift, from customization to the new tech renaissance and what you can do to make sure you’re ready when these trends take shape.
-Review technology’s impact to date
-How you can integrate technology into all stages of the planning lifecycle
-Prepare for the technological trends that will impact the industry at large
b) Up and coming AV technology, Presented by PSAV
PSAV will discuss the latest developments in event technology so that you can be more of a resource in bringing these new technology ideas to your clients, including:
3. Ask a Pro!
Are you new to the CVB world? Do you work with a small team and want some fresh opinions? This is your opportunity to ask experienced CSMs all of those burning questions. Let’s bring the ESPA Connect forum to life!
Participate in this intimate exchange between event service professionals and meeting planners, led by a facilitator. Topics will be established based on member input. What are they looking for from their CSMs and what do the CSMs need from planners? What trends are on the horizon for groups? Come ready for interactive dialogue and information sharing.
How would you feel if…
Through personal stories, Improv games and with over 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Judi Holler will help you understand how to harness the power of your unique personal brand to build confidence and manage fear.
The qualities of a good improviser can be learned. Just like it’s common knowledge that eating well and working out will help you lose weight … practicing and using the fundamentals of Improv is like Yoga for your professional development! It’s a mental workout that will improve your emotional IQ, help you get out of uncomfortable spaces, allow you to think on your feet, and become a more collaborative event professional along the way.
Participants will take away the following:
Judi Holler-Durkin, DES, has worked in the hospitality industry since the age of 13 and has spent over 15 years working in Sales and Marketing for companies like Marriott, Omni and Starwood before starting her own company: HOLLA! Productions, in 2016. In 2014, Judi was selected as a Connect Magazine 40 under 40 in the Hospitality Industry, she recently received her Digital Event Strategist Certification from PCMA and is a proud past President for the Chicago Area Chapter of Meeting Professionals International.
As a professionally trained improviser & Second City Alumni with a radio/television degree, Judi uses her training every day to create authentic, relevant and memorable experiences for her clients. Judi works as an event emcee, on-camera host and keynote speaker, with a focus on personal branding and fear management for the hospitality professional.
Judi’s Mission: To help hospitality professionals stand out in a sit-down world by embracing fear and maximizing hustle.
Atlantic City Convention & Group Sales
Northern Quest Resort & Casino
Visit San Antonio
Atlantic City Convention & Group Sales
Cabarrus County CVB
Visit Syracuse CVB
The Jefferson Hotel
Hyatt Centric French Quarter
Fort Worth CVB
David L. Lawrence Convention Center
Richmond Region Tourism
Forth Worth CVB
Meetings and More Inc.
Visit San Antonio
Hilton Hotels & Resorts
Greater Birmingham CVB
Bryan College Station CVB
Pennsylvania Convention Center
Dallas Convention Center
Please note to receive Continuing Education (CE) Credits for attending sessions, you must pre-select all sessions during the registration process. Only sessions listed on the agenda with a CMP Credit noted will be eligible for CMP Credit. You may add/delete sessions prior to the conference. You will only receive CE Credits for those sessions you selected. Additionally, following the conference, your sessions will be listed in the My ESPA Portal under the "My ESPA" drop down on the "My Continuing Education" page and on the new Event Industry Council portal.
The following are the ESPA Conference Individual registration fees: (Note: Members whose companies are Organizational members of ESPA, and who are registering 3+ people see below for group registration fees.)
|Advanced Rate (valid through November 10)||General|
|Active ESPA Member (Includes Saturday Dinner)||$695||$805|
|Active ESPA Member (Dinner Not Included)||$665||$775|
|Non-Member (Includes Saturday Dinner)||$755||$865|
|Non-Member (Dinner Not Included)||$725||$825|
|One Day Member (Either Saturday OR Sunday; Dinner Not Included) (You may only register at this rate for one day)||$299||$325|
|One Day Non-Member (Either Saturday OR Sunday; Dinner Not Included) (You may only register at this rate for one day)||$325||$350|
|Student Rate (must provide proof of student status upon request)||$250||$250|
Organization and Corporate Member group registrations fees are listed below. In order to register at the group registration fees, your company must be an Organization or Corporate Member of ESPA. Click here for the group registration form (group registration is not available online)
|# of People attending from your company||Advanced Total Rate (valid through November 10)||General Total Rate|
|Includes Saturday Dinner|
|Dinner NOT Included|
Day of PCMA is non-refundable, regardless of date of cancellation.
Conference registration cancellations received in writing by December 4, 2017 are eligible for a 50% refund on the ESPA Registration fee only. There are no refunds for cancellations received after this date.
Optional Tours: Three Nashville Tour Experiences offered Friday afternoon!
NOTE: Separate registration required. Register and pay for the two sightseeing tours directly through Destination Nashville’s online registration site, links are below. For the Music City Center tour, register on the ESPA Conference registration site, there is no fee for this tour.
The Sheraton Grand Nashville Downtown is ideally located in the heart of Music City near many dining, shopping, and entertainment options. It is within walking distance of popular destinations in Nashville’s financial, historic, and entertainment districts. We’re just two blocks from the Tennessee Performing Arts Center, three blocks from the Convention Center, and four blocks from the Predators’ Bridgestone Arena. Also nearby are Music City Center, Schermerhorn Symphony Hall, Ryman Auditorium, Ascend Amphitheater, and Nissan Stadium, the home of the Tennessee Titans.
The Library Bar is open for lunch and dinner daily and features over 55 varieties of bourbon. The hotel also offers a fitness center and an indoor pool.
ESPA Group rate: $182 Single / $202 Double. The cut –off date is December 4.
Click here to reserve your room. Please note due to high demand, the Sheraton may be sold out on certain nights of the event. We are unable to add additional rooms at this time. Saturday and Sunday availability is very limited. Thursday and Friday have no limitations at this time. Please book your Thursday – Saturday rooms immediately to ensure availability. If you find no availability for your needed dates, we have secured an overflow block of rooms at the nearby Homewood Suites, just a block from the Sheraton. The room rate is $159 per night and is available until December 5, 2017. To make reservations, call 615-742-5550 and use the code “ESP” to get the group rate.
Additional nearby hotels are:
The Nashville International Airport (BNA) is very convenient – only 10 miles from the hotel (a 15-25 minute ride). Taxis to the hotel are a flat $25 fare, plus gratuity. The hotel also offers 24-hour valet and self-parking for $35 to $39 a day. You can find the airport transportation options here. Additionally, the hotel offers a complimentary shuttle to locations in the downtown area.
Nashville is known as Music City for a reason. Take a walk down Broadway and hear the music coming from all the honky tonks for a real feel of Nashville. The Nashville CVB website provides valuable information to help you experience the real Music City. From its very beginnings, Nashville grew from a foundation built on music. Music has been the common thread connecting the life and soul of the city and its people. And visitors have ventured here to experience the music that weaves such a fundamental pattern in its cultural, business and social fabric.
The most famous music venue in Nashville, the Ryman Auditorium, was built in 1892 when riverboat captain Tom Ryman completed was what originally named the ”Union Gospel Tabernacle.” When it opened it was the largest auditorium south of the Ohio River. It is nicknamed the “Carnegie Hall of the South” and attracts musicians and fans from all over the world.
If you’re a music lover, you will definitely want to visit the Honky Tonk Highway. A honky tonk is an establishment that contains at least one rockin' stage, cold beverages, and a party that lasts all day, every day. Nashville's Honky Tonk Highway, located on Lower Broadway, is a row of these venues pumping live music into the streets from 10am to 3am. One of the best parts: it doesn't cost a thing. Meaning no cover charge. This part of Nashville is about a 10 minute walk from the hotel. There is plenty of free music to see in Nashville.
If you want more than just music, Nashville has a unique flavor to its culinary scene. Food Arts Magazine noted the "emerging culinary scene putting Nashville on the gastronomic radar" and, most recently, Condé Nast Traveler stated this about Music City: "There's enough going on food-wise to warrant a trip solely for eating".
Is your manager committed to excellence in Convention Services?
Each year at the Annual Conference, ESPA recognizes an executive for his or her commitment and dedication to the profession of event service and to giving key support and leadership to members of their services team. As a member of ESPA, if you feel your organization has an executive who is a mentor, an ESPA supporter and convention services advocate, if he/she encourages your team’s professional development, submit your nomination!
Please fill out our online Nomination Form – winners will be selected at the end of November and the winner is invited to attend and receive the award in person.
Criteria and Guidelines
2016 Recipient: Linda Atkins, Austin CVB
This award was designed to recognize the hard-working meeting professional who exhibits personal and professional characteristics that create an environment that focuses on team work, as well as shows support for the event services profession.
This is your chance to recognize a planner that represents the best of the best! Event Service Professionals know better than anyone when a planner is prepared, shows professionalism and is a great leader when producing an event or meeting. Why not recognize them for their dedication and hard work?
To submit a planner for consideration, please fill out our online Nomination Form
– winners will be selected at the end of November and the winner is invited to attend and receive the award in person.
Criteria and Guidelines
You must have worked with meeting planner during the past year
Shows superior leadership and management qualities before, during and after the meeting
Recognizes the importance and supports the role of the CSM in the meeting planning process
2016 Recipient: Jeannette LeGault, Gen Con LLC
Recent CMP recipients – Apply to attend the ESPA Annual Conference on a Scholarship!
Have you earned your CMP Designation within the last five years?
The Annual William H. Just CAE, CMP Memorial Award recognizes an ESPA member who has earned their CMP certification within the last five years and remains in good standing with the association. The award was established in honor of the late William H. Just, CAE, CMP who founded ACOM (now ESPA) in 1988. Just also played a key role in the establishment of the CMP program. Bill Just embodied valuable attributes including being a visionary, incorporating creativity, professionalism and leadership into his endeavors. This award recognizes these qualities in its recipients.
ESPA members can submit an application which includes an essay on how the CMP designation has been beneficial to them, why they decided to receive this certification and details on their industry and community involvement. The winner will receive a complimentary registration to the next ESPA Annual Conference which helps to support their CMP continuing education status.
Download the application – Due November 18