May Event Trend: Crowdsourcing

The idea of crowdsourcing isn’t new. But the meetings industry is becoming increasingly savvy when it comes to using this tool to enhance events. Crowdsourcing is soliciting information from a large group of people for a specific project or engaging attendees before the event. Meeting planners can use this information for everything from determining which guest speaker attendees would like to hear from during their general session to getting valuable topic ideas about breakout sessions. For more information on crowdsourcing and its uses, check out this blog from Kalahari Resorts & Conventions.

National Celebrate Services Week Announced

It is time to start planning your 2018 events! It’s time to gather CSMs from your venue, your hotel, and your community for a celebration of our profession and to give back to the community. The week of July 30-August 3… Hosting is as easy as 1… 2… 3…

1. Set your date.
You can plan a single day event or do something ongoing during the whole week.

2. Identify a venue or charity to support.
Need some ideas? Find out more about what type of event you can host here.

3. Invite local ESPA members… and prospective members!
To invite your local community, create an invitation and send it to your fellow CSMs. The member directory on the ESPA website can be searched by city and by state and of course the local CVB will have contact lists for other non-member CSMs who should be invited as future (hopefully) ESPA members!

Visit Celebrate Services on the ESPA site for all the details.

ESPA – Full Throttle!

Our January 11-13, 2019 Conference will feature two full days of education & networking: We are expanding to benefit you. The conference will begin on Friday, January 11, with afternoon Charlotte tours and a Welcome Reception, then will continue through the full day on both Saturday and Sunday. We will be featuring a Leadership Track in 2019: With programming for all our members that are Associate Director, Director, VP and higher. And Experiential education: Mobile workshops will take members off-site for localized learning. Charlotte has great opportunities to take advantage of. We will go Full Throttle! so mark your calendars now.

ESPA Congratulates Board Members Paola Bowman and Daniela Rindler

Paola Bowman, CMP, CMM, formerly of the Fort Worth CVB will be starting the role as Director of Destination Services with the Grapevine CVB. In her new role, she will oversee the convention and visitor services operations to enhance the planner and visitor experience in Grapevine, Texas. Congratulations to Paola!

ESPA Board Member Daniela Rindler, CMP, formerly of The Jefferson Hotel is now Conference Services & Meeting Manager at Troutman Sanders.

ESPA would like to congratulate Marcy Roitman-Boothe on her retirement

ESPA would like to congratulate our friend Marcy Roitman-Boothe on her retirement. Marcy leaves quite a legacy at the Grapevine CVB after 25 years of service there. She has been an active ESPA member, served on the Board of Directors as well as the Continuing Education and Marketing committees, and has always been an advocate to our profession. The absence of her charisma, mentorship and passion in our industry will certainly be noticed. We wish you the best enjoying life with your family. We will miss you Marcy!

Start your Engines!

Start your Engines! The ESPA 2019 Annual Conference is headed to Charlotte! Why? Because Charlotte’s got a lot.

On January 11-13, 2019, The awesome services teams at the Westin Charlotte and Visit Charlotte will be our partners for ESPA…Full Throttle! What can you expect? Two full days of Services education (expanded!) and networking with the coolest Services managers in the business (ESPA’s members!), a new Leadership level track, mobile workshops to get you out of the ballroom, a CRVA-hosted Saturday Reception at the famous NASCAR Hall of Fame, and so much more. Mark your Calendars…and Start your Engines….

ESPA Past President Doris Sims Retires

ESPA sends warm wishes to Doris Sims, ESPA Past President and 2018 Executive Excellence Award recipient, who has officially retired from the Louisville CVB after 30.5 years of service. Pictured is Doris with her beautiful grandchildren who joined her at the retirement event hosted by the CVB.

The CVB has also announced that Zack Davis has been promoted to the role of Vice President of Destination Services. In his new position, Davis will lead the CVB’s Destination Services and Housing team for Louisville’s booked meetings business. He will also work to help retain convention groups as well as increase their profile and attendance while in Louisville.

Creating Event Experiences: Food Truck Program

In February, ESPA hosted a webinar on Creating Event Experiences featuring Amanda Bonvechio, CMP, CSEP, Director, Convention & Event Experience, Destination Cleveland. A hot topic during that session was on a Food Truck program offered in Cleveland called the CLE Meet & Eat. There were so many questions from our audience that we ran out of time, so here we continue some of that Q&A with Amanda for the benefit of all of our members.

Q: Do the food trucks require a flat fee to show up for the lunch hour? Or do they allow the conference/group to pay the bill at the end?
A: No, the food trucks do not require a flat fee to show up, however Destination Cleveland obtains their food minimum costs prior to the event and budgets extra funds to pay the difference of what money they make during the event and their food minimum. Most times, the trucks make over their minimums.

We have done payment both ways where the attendees pay for their own and where the planner sponsors the event and pays at the end. As long as the food truck is notified prior to the event about how and when they will get paid (in writing), they are good with both ways.

Q: How close is your convention center to restaurants? Does the truck program impact fixed restaurants?
A: Our convention center is close to restaurants, however they are on the higher end and wouldn’t be considered for a quick, inexpensive option for a breakfast or lunch. Therefore, the program doesn’t impact those restaurants as they wouldn’t have been utilized without it.

It is also important to note that we do not want to displace potential revenue from the convention center caterer or impact any F&B minimums that are contracted. Therefore, we wouldn’t offer, or agree to, this service if those factors were impacted by the program unless the planner and caterer came to a mutually beneficial agreement prior to the event.

Q: What are the costs associated with the Food Truck program besides permits, picnic tables, electricity access?
A: – Food Truck Minimums – No matter how the food trucks are paid (prior to event by planner, at the time-of-sale by the attendee, etc., Destination Cleveland will make up the difference if their minimum to participate is not meant. For example, if the food truck has a minimum of $2,000 per day to participate, yet they only make $1,350 during the event, Destination Cleveland will pay the food truck the difference of $650 post-event. This is to ensure that the food truck will show up to the event day.

– Waste Management – Destination Cleveland will also obtain and pay for waste management services to include trash and recycle receptacles, set up, onsite trash removal and clean-up post-event.

– Possible Entertainment – for certain groups, we will also provide live entertainment to enhance the experience.

– Security – The City of Cleveland requires security to block traffic to the closed street, as well as to observe during the event.