Government Connections - Summer 2014 - (Page 29)

SGMP NATION Saddle Up for the PIE of Your Life! The 2014 Region V Partners in Education (PIE) Conference was held in Houston, Texas, on March 7-9, at the Hilton Houston Westchase Hotel. The theme was chosen by a Region V member as "Saddle Up for the PIE of Your Life!" This year's PIE conference was special since the regional conference had not been held in Houston in more than a decade. The conference attracted primarily government planners with a mix of supplier members, to round out a crowd of 80 attendees from Houston Gulf Coast, North Texas, Texas Lone Star Capital, Oklahoma Wild West and San Antonio Alamo chapters. Major sponsors of the conference were Irving Convention and Visitors Bureau, Visit Laredo and the Hilton Houston Westchase Hotel. Attendees woke up on Saturday morning and listened to the opening session featuring Jeff Butcher's presentation of "How to Build and Lead a Dynamic Team," visited the morning tradeshow with 20 supplier members and enjoyed lunch during the "Industry Best Practices Expert Panel," moderated by Texas Lone Star Capital chapter member Joe Bedsole. Throughout Saturday afternoon, attendees made tough decisions between which educational breakout sessions to attend. Presenters included SGMP national board members, a trustee from the Gilmer Institute of Learning, and specialists on meeting technology and government purchasing card usage. Conference registration included transportation and dinner at the Saturday evening networking event offsite at the Armadillo Palace, a Western-themed restaurant and bar. Attendees hopped aboard the shuttle provided and joined the fun with a BBQ dinner, cash bar, and networking. The dress code was "Western casual," so attendees suited up with their boots and cowboy hats. Professional speaker Crag Price closed the conference on Sunday morning with his animated and comedic presentation "Getting a Grip on Negativity." Overall, attendees were treated to an education and networking that will not soon be forgotten. The conference hosted several fundraising activities. All day on Saturday, there was a silent auction featuring hotel stays from all regional chapter areas, gift baskets, jewelry, photography and other specialty items. There was also a special raffle of a "gift card tree," featuring gift cards from Marriott, Goode Company, Amazon, AMC Theaters, Chick-fil-A, Alamo Draft House, Hilton Houston Westchase Rio Ranch Restaurant, Starbucks and more. Attendees were encouraged to donate a gift card valued at $5 or more for the tree. All gift cards were collected at registration and added to the "tree." The entire "tree" was raffled off after the closing speaker on Sunday morning. The value of the gift card tree totaled more than $600. The conference raised more than $4,000 for conference operations and scholarships between the silent auction and special raffle. This year's conference charity was BARC, the City of Houston's Animal Shelter and Adoption Facility. PIE conference attendees showed their support of BARC by purchasing raffle tickets and by donating items such as newspaper, peanut butter and dog toys for the supply drive. The conference made a donation of $750 to BARC, which will be used to support the shelter's operations and adoptions. For the first time ever, the Region V PIE Conference hosted a mobile app. Attendees were able to download the Guidebook App on their smartphones and either search "SGMP 2014 PIE" to download the conference schedule or scan a QR code. Attendees were able to create their own custom conference agenda, read breakout session descriptions, learn about exhibitors, and share their contact card with others. All SGMP members are invited to join the PIE fun next year in San Antonio. Save the date: March 6-8, 2015. We hope to see you then! - Melinda Mintz, 2014 Conference Chair 29

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Government Connections - Summer 2014

President’s Letter
Editor’s Letter
Going Places
Get Your Green On
2014 SGMP NEC & Expo Highlights
Conference Connection
Plan Green
Technology for the Meeting Traveler on the Go
Supplier Strategy
Technology Trends
CGMP Corner
National Updates
SGMP Nation
Advertisers’ Index

Government Connections - Summer 2014