After 40 years, the Association of Meeting Professionals (AMPs) continues to stand strong. Founded in Alexandria Virginia, it sits alone as the premier local organization of powerful DC, VA, and MD meeting professionals and supplier partner members from around the country. Even through the height of the pandemic, AMPs was solid in its footing and did what it does best…provide education and networking opportunities to its members. I recently had the opportunity to speak to Annette M. Suriani, CMP, CFMP, DES, Business Events Strategist, AMS Meetings Solutions, and AMPs’ Executive Director what kept AMPs going.
As the Executive Director, what is your vision for AMPs?
My goal is to move forward the mission of the organization and that of our current Chairman’s vision. I believe the passion our leadership and volunteers have for this organization is its driving force.
What is AMPs’ purpose and what makes it so unique?
It is a true community of industry meeting and events professionals that gather for quality educational opportunities and networking with peers and suppliers. We make it affordable so planners who join the organization obtain complimentary registration for our quarterly education meetings. Because we’re an independent organization, we do not have to get approval from a “corporate office” on initiatives that make sense for our members. The Board is strategically made up of planners and suppliers that have a deep understanding of what our members face on a daily basis.
How did AMPs cope during the pandemic?
It was hard, especially for smaller organizations like AMPs. We held monthly virtual education programs to stay connected. When we couldn’t meet in person, we held 5K fun runs/walks. Everyone enjoyed the camaraderie and just being outside even though we required them to wear masks! AMPs truly is a community in unity.
Who can join AMPs and how do they sign up?
Anyone in the meetings and hospitality industry can join. We are very affordable and don’t charge extra for most of our programs. Just visit www.ampsweb.org or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We have a very active committee scene and we’re always looking for members to join and provide new ideas and insight.
Advocate for the Meetings Industry
Maintaining a thriving meeting industry is a personal passion for Annette M. Suriani, CMP, CFMP, DES, Business Events Strategist, AMS Meetings Solutions, and Executive Director for Association Meeting Professionals (AMPs).
As PCMA’s Capitol Chapter President in 2015, Annette reinstated the government relations committee because she saw a need to educate our representatives and even those in our industry of the importance of the meetings and events industry. Who knew how much more important this committee would be in 2020?
According to Annette…“The meetings and events industry provides a major impact for local, national and global economies. Yet, we are often overlooked when it comes to legislation that can help us. In the most simplistic terms, It is incumbent upon all of us in this industry to stay on top of our elected officials and educate them on the numbers of jobs that employ their constituents, let alone solutions and discoveries that are made when people collaborate when they meet face to face.