A Convention and Visitors Bureau offers valuable information and most importantly, valuable services to a meeting planner. Midwest Meetings spoke with a few CVBs that are stepping up their game and offering just a bit more.
Brandie Putnam, CMP, CTA, has been with the Greater Lansing Convention & Visitors Bureau since she began as a special events intern in September 2000. She was then hired full time in July 2001. She became the Convention Services Manager in 2004 and is also a member of the Event Service Professionals Association (ESPA).
Forever a Michigan State University Spartan, she enjoys sharing all that the Greater Lansing community has to offer a convention group. She works alongside meeting and event planners to ensure they have all the local tools and resources they need to plan a successful event in the Greater Lansing area.
At first glance, the meetings industry’s lingo and long list of acronyms and terms can seem as complex as deciphering your teen’s texts. Luckily, with today’s technology at your fingertips you can do a quick online search or email or text a colleague to quickly interpret any unknown terms. Whether you are new to the meetings industry or a seasoned professional, we hope the mini-cheat sheet below will offer you some new knowledge of acronyms commonly used by Convention and Visitors Bureaus (CVBs) and other industry professionals.
Spend a day with Red Wing VCB Executive Director Kathy Silverthorn
“I am fortunate enough to be the promoter of this beautiful, historic river city nestled among the bluffs… Life is good.”
Every city, big or small, has hidden gems that tourists usually only hope to discover - that special restaurant that might not make the official tour guide book, but offers the best burger this side of the Mississippi, or the eclectic and cozy piano bar tucked onto a lesser known street that has the entire place singing by the end of the night. From the inside experts who live, dine and experience these unique hot spots and fun activities firsthand, here’s a list of some must-see and do places and events throughout the Midwest.
Meet Kristina Buckenberger, CMP
Kristina Buckenberger, CMP, Senior Meetings Manager, Event Planning, Kellogg Company, had 10 years of hotel experience that primed her for Meeting Management at the Kellogg Company in Battle Creek, MI. She started her career in 2001 as a Meeting Manager and was promoted to Senior Meeting Manager in 2003.
An MMPI member for over 15 years she has been active as an Ambassador, a Mentor, served on the Board of Directors as Director of Monthly Programs and Director of Education and is currently on the Member/Growth Committee.
Networking Ideas that Work!
By Terry Matthews-Lombardo, CMP
As planners, we are constantly searching for the latest trends to tap into in order to make our events pop - food, beverage, technology, décor, entertainment, speakers, mobile apps, staging – you name it, and we are in the search for ways to incorporate it “to the nth degree’ into our next event. But what if the overwhelming feedback from your most recent event clearly told you to forget about the zing and the wow-factors and to just please provide attendees with more opportunities to meet other attendees? Say what?! That’s right, sometimes the purpose of a networking reception is to actually network and meet new people; and many times that purpose is lost in the never-ending quest to amuse, entertain and impress.
Focus on the Four C's
by Shawna Suckow, CMP
Have you ever stepped back and asked yourself the simple question, “Why do people go to conferences?” It’s been on my mind lately so I’ve posed this question to audiences all over North America and the answers always fall into four key categories, which I now call “The Four C’s.” Stick with me to the end, though, because although you may nod your head in agreement, I’d like to take the discussion a step further and challenge all planners out there.
by Rita McClain
One of the most rewarding things I do as a Professor at AIB College of Business is creating within the students an excitement about entering this challenging, fast-growing and even faster changing career. I also feel it’s important to instill in the students the desire to be life-long learners. Graduation is not the end of their educational journey, rather it is just the beginning. I encourage students to pick up magazines like Midwest Meetings to stay current on the issues, trends and challenges facing meeting planners. I want them to appreciate the value of associations and certifications to enhance their skills, knowledge and career advancement. My ultimate goal is to introduce students to the wide-range of opportunities available to them upon graduation if they continue to be life-long learners.
Charitable components are becoming increasingly popular at meetings across the country and implementing them into your next meeting is easier than you might think.
While there are any number of national organizations to choose from, there are probably plenty in your host city that would benefit greatly from your donation.
Catalyst Ranch, in Chicago’s West Loop, has taken the offsite meeting experience to creative new levels. For more than 10 years, they have focused on corporate meetings and events in unique and innovative ways. The atmosphere at Catalyst Ranch inspires creativity and imagination and fosters collaboration.
By Corbin Ball, CMP, CSP
There are millions of meetings each year generating massive amounts of data. However, information is cheap; knowledge is dear. This data, when organized and distributed properly, can be of significant value for participant review or to broadcast to a larger audience. It can also be very effective in promoting future events. This is where content curation is becoming essential for many events.
by Terry Matthews-Lombardo, CMP
After years of attendees being merely the passive receivers of information, planners have been told to rethink their educational opportunities from all different angles and the result has been to seek fresh new ways of actively involving our audiences. The old standard networking reception still serves a purpose but has been updated in all sorts of ways to meet the needs of the new electronically plugged in and more sophisticated audiences.
When special requests are imperative to the attendee
by Rachael Alford
According to Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) there are 15 million people in America with food allergies. Chances are your meeting and event participants are among them. Although there are more than 150 foods that are known to cause allergic reactions, the top eight allergens - wheat, soy, tree nuts, peanuts, dairy, eggs, fish and shellfish - cause more than 90% of all allergic reactions.
Hybrid events are ready for prime time. Are you?
by Jay Ward
In recent years hybrid meetings have become quite popular due to less expensive and more reliable technology, but it seems many meeting professionals are not yet taking full advantage of the opportunities that are available. With some basic understanding of how hybrid meetings are managed, the “virtual” portion of your event can be a seamless and natural extension of any live program.
To Add Some Pop and Pizazz!
By Terry Matthews-Lombardo, CMP
When planners think of coffee breaks at their meetings, it’s usually in the context of “what time do we schedule it in to the program and how long will it last?” In an age where every line item in the program schedule is being questioned and challenged, savvy planners are rethinking the standard breaks of the past and jazzing them up in many ways. Even standard Java breaks are being reinvented thanks, in part, to our unfailing devotion to all things coffee.