Get Organized

No Comments

checklistA successful conference needs a highly organized meeting planner running the show. Make sure your event is up to par and ensure no detail is overlooked by making an event binder. This will be your lifeline onsite at the event. Below we share some of our must-have items to include in your binder. Be sure to let us know what you would add!


  • Schedules
    • Personal Schedule: day-by-day works best for larger conferences
    • Meeting Schedule: be sure to include room numbers
    • Staff Schedule: include who is working check in, registration, etc. and the shift time
  • Venue Information
    • Event Contract
    • Venue Contact List
    • Rooming List: ask for an up to date list on arrival day
    • Room Set Ups: highlight any changes from the version the hotel received
    • Food & Beverage Order Forms
    • Hotel Floorplan
    • AV Requests
  • Exhibits
    • Exhibiting Company Lists: alphabetical & by booth number
    • Exhibitor Contracts: include copies of check or credit card numbers
    • Set-Up Instructions: include all drapery colors and any other set-up details sent to the venue
  • Signage: a list of all signs and placement locations
  • Speaker Information: contact information and arrival times
  • Additional Details
    • Last minute action list
    • Security schedule
    • Insurance certificate

    What additional information do you include in your binder? Send a tweet to @conventionplani with the hashtag #cpeventbinder and let us know!


    Information compiled with the help of the National Council of Teachers of English

Add To

Meetings Tech Expo Hits NYC

No Comments

Meetings Tech Expo

ConventionPlanit attends many tradeshows throughout the year, and the Meetings Technology Expo this October was a must on the list.

MTE is the first and still the longest-running conference and expo focused on meeting & event technology, and will take place October 28 in New York City.

In its 10th year, MTE will feature CMP and CAE accredited sessions, over 50 tech demos, and play host to dozens of 1-on-1 meetings between tech vendors and tech-buyers. Receive the hands-on education you need to make an informed decision when selecting new technologies for your meetings and events.

As part of your registration you’ll have the opportunity to sign up for 1-on-1 meetings with any MTE exhibitors. The pre-arranged appointments are made to fit within your schedule and help get the most out of your time while at the show.

Plus, learn from your peers what tech solutions have worked for them and share your own tech experiences at the Networking Breakfast & General Session, Networking Luncheon & Tech Round Table Discussions, and Post-show Networking Reception.

Register to attend the Meetings Technology Expo. We hope to see you there!

How To Double Your Conference Attendance & Revenue

No Comments

Please enjoy the following guest post from member, Digitell, Inc. digitell live streaming

Double your attendance at your next conference. And your revenue. And create a new benefit for your members. Sound too good to be true? It’s not.

And it is not a matter of whether you can, or can not “double your attendance and conference revenue.” With Live Streaming it is only a matter of when!

Did you know that 100 hours of new video content is uploaded to YouTube every minute of every day? YouTube attracts 800 million unique visitors every month—video is so much more engaging than still photography. It is the third most visited site behind only Google and Facebook—and the second most popular search engine after only Google. Also 75% of YouTube’s content is generated outside the U.S.

If you think, or have been told, that the video medium and Live Streaming your content is not for associations, or your organization for fear of cannibalizing conference attendance, membership and revenue, consider this: For the past several years, hundreds of associations and corporations including the American Institute of CPAs, US Lacrosse, and The Expo Group have tapped into the power and reach of Live Streaming to increase their member and customer engagement;  add significant value to their membership benefits; and replaced aging advertsing and revenue streams that have been dwindling and disappearing for years. live streaming

Consider these three recent real-world examples of how Live Streaming your next conference keynotes and education sessions can generate these results and more.

National Speakers Association (NSA)

Just last week NSA held its annual convention in sunny San Diego, CA. Record-setting attendance of 1400 professional speakers and staff participated in a full conference schedule of over 50 keynotes and education sessions by the top speakers, live performers and consultants in the country. Included were pros like Steve Forbes, Chairman of Forbes Media, Penn Jillette of Penn & Teller, and dozens of NSA Hall of Fame Speakers including Nancy Duarte, Mark Sanborn, and Sean Stephenson.

However, for the first time ever, NSA Live Streamed fourteen of its keynotes and education sessions to members who could not attend. The Live Stream received rave reviews and attracted an enthusiastic virtual audience of over 1200 members from 22 countries that nearly doubled its attendance this year. Wow! The Live Streamed sessions were a huge hit with members—many of them saying they wanted to attend the next annual event in-person*.

Radiological Society of North American (RSNA)

Last December, RSNA held its annual convention at McCormick Place, Chicago. Over 20,000 members and industry professionals attended in-person.

However, by Live Streaming select keynotes and education programs, RSNA was able to reach and virtually engage more than 8,000* physicians and medical professionals worldwide in 72 countries. With their virtual audience, they doubled the attendance inseveral of their sessions and significantly increasing the engagement of their membership. They also awarded nearly 80,000 CEUs via the Live Stream platform.

American Society of Microbiology (ASM)

Attendance increases and adding member benefits are valuable attributes of Live Streaming of course; but can you afford it? Well, like most technologies, the cost of Live Streaming your events has progressively dropped over the past few years which can make it a profitable venture with your very first launch.

Take, for example, the experience of the American Society of Microbiology (ASM). Two years ago ASM contracted with a technology provider to live stream their annual conference. They generated $40k in revenue from virtual registrations and sponsorships. Unfortunately the vendor charged them $72k to live stream their conference. So ASM lost $32k.

Fast forward to ASM’s most recent conference. ASM changed to a technology provider offering a more mature pricing and marketing support model. The cost for Live Streaming this past year came in at only $24k, Live Streaming revenue increased to $52k, and instead of losing $32k, ASM made a $28k profit—a $60k swing in ROI in one year. In addition to the positive benefits of virtual attendee registration, sponsors and exhibitors clamor for Live Streaming and sponsorship options tied to content syndication. They know these opportunities generate greater brand visibility and creditability, better lead generation quality, and higher conversion to sales.

So What Are Your Goals?

Maybe it’s time to expand your goals to include increasing virtual conference attendance, improving member and customer engagement, and growing your conference revenue and profitability. Live Streaming your next event has huge potential to do all these for your organization.

For more information on how you can Live Stream your next event, a demo or budget estimate, contact Michael Hatch at Digitell, 240-603-6044.

( * ) Recent studies conducted by PCMA and Digitell found 15% to 30% of virtual attendees typically convert and attend the next conference in-person—increasing both conference attendance and revenue.

ASAE by the Numbers

1 Comment

Your dedicated blogger is not one to quote statistics. However, the following numbers associated with the 2014 ASAE Annual Meeting and Expo that wrapped up in Nashville are notable enough to share with our audience.

  • The event welcomed 5,924 total participants – among them 3,142 participants and 1,863 exhibitors
  • This year’s event saw the most attendees since the Chicago meeting of 2007
  • The Expo ran for 2 days and showcased 707 booths representing 441 companies
  • The buyer-to-seller ratio was 63 to 37
  • Some $500 million in business is projected to be booked in Nashville by attendees over the next 10 years

So, the ASAE Annual Show moves from the “Music City” this year to the “Motor City” in 2015. See you in Detroit next August!!

The ConventionPlanit Booth. Check out our new signs from GNP Branded Gear!

The ConventionPlanit Booth. Check out our new signs from GNP Branded Gear!

ASAE’s Opening Night Celebration

No Comments

“Singin’ in the Rain” – a.k.a the Opening Night Celebration.

A major rainstorm erupted at the beginning of the reception driving the group inside the Music City Center and putting a damper on the outdoor block party scheduled for the evening. The good news was that they were able to move the Bars inside as well.

Bad news was you had to wait until the rain subsided around 9:30pm to enjoy the phenomenal food still parked outside. And, after drying off the stage, everyone enjoyed country music star Dierks Bentley sing from his 11 Grammy nominated repertoire of hits.

The “Welcome to Splashville” evening was salvaged by the city’s ability to turn adversity into a memorable event. And isn’t that our entire industry’s stock in trade??

A is for ASAE

No Comments

“A” is for August and ASAE. Your intrepid blogger set out for Music City a.k.a. Nashville to attend the Aug. 9-12, 2014 Annual Meeting and Exposition.

The location for the event was the Music City Center, built to be large enough to accommodate 75% of the nation’s convention and visitor market. This state of the art venue features 1,800 parking spaces, 22 elevators and escalators, 1,100 doors, 845 solar panels and 13,500 light fixtures. In other words, well equipped to handle the record-breaking 6,000 attendees in attendance.

As usual, there was a variety of innovative learning formats available: Ignite Sessions, Game Changer Sessions, Learning Labs, Master Mind Sessions and Flash Learning opportunities.

The Expo Hall provided a wide variety of suppliers with interesting booths. Travel Portland showcased an old fashioned ice-cream cart filled with (you guessed it) ice cream for the masses. Business Events Canada toted along the Molson Canadian Beer Fridge, and Reno Tahoe USA brought David Wise, 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics halfpipe skiing gold medalist to the hall for photo ops.

CP Member Visit Anchorage won 2nd Place for Best Booth!

CP Member Memphis CVB won 2nd Place for Best Booth!

Plus, ASAE executives could also shop for meeting destinations, facilities and service providers! I was joined by team members, Katherine and David Markham and Carolyn Pemberton in the booth to highlight  our unique RFP Organization tool to the planners.

The ConventionPlanit Team at ASAE: Carolyn Pemberton; Maureen Pickell, CTC; David Markham; Katherine Markham, CHME

The ConventionPlanit Team at ASAE: Carolyn Pemberton; Maureen Pickell, CTC; David Markham; Katherine Markham, CHME

New Contest Announced

No Comments

Calling all meeting professionals:

Do you use Do you have industry colleagues or peers who could benefit from using these services?

If so, you can refer your colleagues and enter to win a trip for yourself at the same time!

Enter the Refer a Meeting Professional Contest for a chance to win a trip for two to the all new Tropicana Las Vegas, located on the strip!

Package Includes:

-Three nights in a Club Deluxe Room
-Round trip air for two
-Dinner at Bacio Italian Cuisine
-Tickets to The Mama Mia! Musical


IMEX America Hosted Buyer Opportunity

No Comments

IMEX AmericaEveryone knows that IMEX America is the biggest meetings industry event in Las Vegas this year, but did you know that you can attend for free?

If you are responsible for placing two or more international meetings annually (away from the US, Canada and the Caribbean), join at IMEX America 2014 via the Hosted Buyer Program!

IMEX America returns to the Sands Expo in Las Vegas October 14-16, 2014. Don’t miss your chance to be part of our Hosted Buyer Program and join this group of valued meetings organizers as a guest of IMEX. At IMEX America you’ll meet suppliers from across the United States and around the world under one roof. Along with conducting business with them, you will be able to benefit from tailored education and peer-to-peer networking.

What is included?

  • Roundtrip airfare
  • Accommodation at one of our partner hotels
  • Transfers within Las Vegas between Las Vegas McCarran Airport, the Sands Expo and hotels
  • Access to the Hosted Buyer Lounge with phone charging stations, free luggage storage and complimentary WiFi
  • Dedicated Hosted Buyer team to support you and your clients

Bonus – our Hosted Buyer group is led by me and my colleague (and fellow blogger) Maureen Pickell. We’re a pretty fun duo!

For more information or to register, please comment below and we will be in touch!

VIP (Very Important Planner) Golf Outing

No Comments

Carrie Abernathy, CMP, CEM,CSEP (and Advisory Council Member) was at it again, last Friday, this time with a VIP (Very Important Planner) Golf Outing at the Reston National Golf Course that raised money for a good cause and connected the meetings industry together in a unique way.

This golf event was different from other tournaments in that there were no scores, no pressure—just fun, food, drinks, and camaraderie! The event was free for planner golfers to participate and included unlimited beverage cart drinks, BBQ lunch, a round of golf, and rental clubs.

Each sponsored hole featured prizes, gifts, or other fun activities for the teams. There were also raffle tickets for amazing prizes: Bulova Watches, Maui Jim prize package, and a 2 night vacation to the following destinations: Rancho Bernardo Inn, Tropicana Las Vegas, Atlantis Resort, and PGA National Resort.

Most importantly, all proceeds from this event will go directly to the AJ Janosko Education Trust. For more information on this fund and the wonderful family, please click here. $7,5000 was raised for the trust. co-founders Katherine & David Markham were on hand with a fun game for the meeting planners to compete in called Colossal Golf in which a putter was used to compete for a hole in one. The winning planner Thank you Video for her organization, The ASAE Foundation.

Prizes were also awarded in each of the following categories:

Most Matching Team
Best Dressed Male/Female (two winners)
Best Team Name
Best Sponsor Hole

Here are some photos of the golfers. Let us know if you’re featured!

photo 3

Best Matching Team Winners

winner 2

Colossal Golf Winner!

photo 16

Nancy Crum, CMP, seated on the ball, won for best individual outfit

photo 1  photo 4 photo 5 photo 6 photo 7 photo 8 photo 9 photo 10 photo 11 photo 12 photo 13 photo 14 photo 15

Luxury On Sale

Comments Off

ALHI Private Sale

Who isn’t a fan of ALHI’s luxury hotels?

ALHI’s Private Sale provides one complimentary room for every 30 rooms actualized in 2014 for programs booked at select ALHI hotels and resorts.

Call 866-303-ALHI (2544) for more information and a list of participating ALHI members or click here for more information.

Offer valid for new programs only booked and actualized between June 1, 2014 and December 31, 2014.  Minimum 30 rooms on PEAK, minimum three-night stay.  Based on availability.  Not valid with any other offers.

Older Entries