Government Connections - Spring 2013 - (Page 21)

CONFERENCE CONNECTION 2013 NEC & Expo Krystal Bushell, CGMP I SPENT A great deal of time thinking about how to sum up this year’s National Education Conference & Expo in just one article. It’s not easy to do! After all this a large event; 1,000 attendees, over 100,000 square feet of meeting space, dozens of education sessions, 32 chapters nationwide, nine national board members, seven national headquarters staff, and a partridge in a pear tree! You get the point, and if you have ever been to a NEC & Expo, you know that it is magical event, filled with outstanding meeting professionals connecting and elevating our profession year after year! After taking everything into consideration, I decided I would focus on a few of the new and notable components of this year’s event. REGISTRATION Year after year the SGMP headquarters staff collects feedback from our attendees via survey, face to face meetings and communication that we receive prior to, during and after the NEC & Expo. We listen and we improve. This year we completely redesigned the NEC online registration process. All registrations are now housed under the CVENT database. Our goal was to create a user-friendly registration process that was easy to navigate and allowed attendees to manage and/or adjust their registrations all the way through the week of the NEC. We have implemented an option that allows individuals to indicate their food requests if they require a vegan, vegetarian or gluten free meal (our three most common requests). Another exciting addition was the option to make a donation to our national charity, The Mustard Seed of Central Florida. We often have plenty of attendees inquiring about how they can support the national charity efforts and this is one, easy option that we have created! EXPO For the last couple of years I have had the pleasure of working with the exhibitors. Last year we held a face to face meeting with the 2012 exhibitors immediately following the Expo. They spoke and we listened. This year we have changed the Expo to two days! The Expo is now right before the Welcome Reception on Wednesday and during lunch on Thursday. Food and beverage will be provided on both days and the hall will be host to the 2013 SGMP Chapter Challenge. New this year, all planners are required to pick up their ticket to the Welcome Reception and Gilmer Awards Banquet in the back of the hall on the respective days in an effort to increase traffic. Continued on page 26 Honors Per Diem Rate $77 per night 318-698-0900 Connected to the Shreveport Convention Center BOOKNOW 623589_Crowne.indd 1 27/02/13 9:03 PM 626371_Hilton.indd 1 06/02/13 21 PM 4:04

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Government Connections - Spring 2013

President's Letter
Editor's Letter
SGMP Nation
The Meeting Minute
Advertisers' Index
Plan Green: Why Create a Sustainable Event?
Good to Know: Do You Need Per Diem?
That's Technology: Dispelling the Myths about Strategic Meetings Management
Conference Connection: 2013 NEC & Expo
SGMP's New Headquarters
Working With Your Convention and Visitors Bureau
Starwood Looks Forward to Seeing You

Government Connections - Spring 2013