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Vol. 32, No. 2

A Publication of Meeting Professionals International Potomac Chapter

Strategies for Social Media Success The Un-conference Cold Calling – It Happens

8 9 11

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If your group isn’t happy, our group isn’t happy…especially our President. We’ll even give you a dedicated line to him (even though we know you’ll never need to use it) – our guarantee that you will have a successful meeting at the best deal possible. LOEWS PHILADELPHIA HOTEL 215.627.1200


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2010/2011 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE President Michelle Allgauer, CAE, CMM, CMP Immediate Past President Carlos Pelham, CMP President-Elect Kumi Anzalone, CASE Vice President of Education Shonzia Thompson, CMP Vice President of Finance Naomi Mundy, CMP Vice President of Communications Lesly Connolly

Volume 32, No. 2

departments 6 7 18

Calendar of Events President’s Message Advertisers’ Index



planners & suppliers features

Vice President of Membership Will Trokey BOARD OF DIRECTORS Community Outreach Heather Turner, CMP Chapter Special Interest Groups Tammy Kockaya Member Care Kerry Lambert, MTA, CMP Member Recognition Jessica La Vay Professional Development Jason Watkins Publications Rebecca Hunter, MTA, CMP PR/Marketing Michelle Marie Adams, CMP michelle@potomac Regional Conference (MACE!) David McKennon, CMP Strategic Alliances & Site Selection Dot Hewitt Strategic Events Matthew Wales CHAPTER ADMINISTRATION Association Manager Melissa Benowitz, CMP (301) 948-4600 Web Administrator DH Web Web Advertising Beth Sheahan Chapter Photographer Joanne Amos, Reflections Photography, Inc.

The Potomac Memo is published 6 times annually by


Three Strategies for Social Media Success


Meeting Architecture and the Un-conference

by Jason Linett

by Elizabeth LaChall, CASE, PSAV


Naylor, LLC 5950 Northwest 1st Place Gainesville, FL 32607 352-332-1252, 800-369-6220 fax 352-331-3525


by Anita Cerana


Publisher Tracy Thompkins Editor Leslee Masters Project Manager Heather Ciocca Advertising Sales Kathryn Hillgardner, Beth Sheahan Research Rebecca Wentworh Layout & Design Concept Catharine Snell Advertising Art Julius Muljadi Any correspondence relative to the Potomac Memo should be sent to Statements of fact and opinion within this newsletter are the responsibility of the author only and do not imply an opinion of the officers or members of PMPI. News contributions or other suggestions for this publication are welcome. PUBLISHED OCTOBER 2010/PMP-S0610/4762

Cold Calling – It Happens

new & noteworthy 13 13 14 15 16 16 17 17 18

Summer Sizzle MACE! 2011 – The Secret is Out! Summer Educational Alliance Potomac Profiles Community Outreach New Member Spotlight Members on the Move New Members Where in the PMPI World?

Visit Vi Visit our our online online Meeting Meeting Planners’ Planners’ Guide. Guide. p m




calendar of events November 17 - Learning Experience: Something Needs to Change Around Here – YOU! (Location: The Westin Alexandria) Being a meeting planner means the success of your meetings are often dependent on you and your leadership. What if you could learn how to be a better, more productive person? Would it be worth two hours of your time? We think so. Join us as we hear from the Dragon Lady of Leadership herself, Ms. Liz Weber. Liz will teach us how to understand our current leadership style and help us understand what leadership style would work best for us in our current positions.

December 9 - Educational Webinar (Location: Your office, your bed, your deck, the beach; wherever you have internet and a computer) Too much to do in December? No problem! You can still get some year-end education and mark this off your to-do list. All you need is a computer and an internet connection and you can attend. Stay tuned for more details.

Mark Your Calendar – CMP Cram Session (Location: Waterview Conference Center, Rossalyn, VA) Friday, December 10, 4:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. / Saturday, December 11, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

December 2 - PMPI North: Winter Wonderland White Party (Location: Hyatt Regency Baltimore) From high above the Inner Harbor, mix and mingle in a world of white while making new connections and rekindling business relationships. Join your industry friends and colleagues for a night of music, dance and more. To help create this wonderland, all guests are encouraged (though not required) to wear some form of white to the event (even if just a little). For those of you who may want to dance the night away, a limited number of rooms have been blocked for PMPI attendees at a special rate of $69/night! Help spread a little “joy to the world” and contribute a holiday gift item to the Community Outreach Committee's annual Holiday Drive. Children's gifts, parents' gifts and gift cards of all types will be collected at the event to suppport PMPI's Charity of the Year, the Children's Inn at NIH.

PMPI is offering its very first CMP Cram Session to prepare for the January 8 CMP exam. This intense and condensed session will feature practice exam administrations followed by Q&A with seasoned CMP facilitators. As a prerequisite, attendees will benefit most effectively from the cram session if they have already studied and come prepared with questions. So mark your calendar and march into the busy holiday season having checked this one off your list.

January 5 - Learning Experience (Location: Four Seasons Hotel, Washington, DC) Start the new year on the right foot. Mark your calendars for the first Learning Experience of 2011. Stay tuned for more details.

It’s Not Too Late – Sign-up for the Fall Study Course (Location: Courtyard by Marriott Chevy Chase) If you are planning to sit for the CMP Exam on January 8, then sign up for the remaining sessions of the study course. Not only will you be able to attend all remaining classes, but you will receive handouts from previous sessions. The course features a different topic covered in the CMP exam each week and taught by PMPI members who have also received their CMP designation. Past participants have enjoyed the intimate nature of the group and the in-depth coverage of topics, discussion and the ability to ask questions in a small setting. The course meets every Monday until December 13 from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Announcing the PMPI 2010-2011 P.O.W.E.R. Pack Power your team for a whole year! Invest in the PMPI P.O.W.E.R. Pack and get a year’s worth of learning and networking experience for only a fraction of the cost. With the PMPI P.O.W.E.R. Pack you have the opportunity to send a member of your team to all six learning experiences or split the six learning experiences between your team. The P.O.W.E.R Pack is fully transferable! Send a member of your team to four networking experiences or split the four networking experiences between your team. Don’t want to make the commitment to a full year of POWER? That’s OK, we’ve thought of that. Purchase a fall/winter session pass or a spring/summer pass. You’re still getting half the POWER at a fraction of the cost!

Thanks to PMPI’s Strategic Partners Thank you to the following venues that hosted recent PMPI events: Worldwide Chauffeured Transportation

Omni Shoreham Hotel for hosting the August 12 Learning Experience Waterview Conference Center for hosting the August 19 PMPI Board of Directors Meeting Hilton Embassy Row for hosting PMPI’s Summer Sizzle

Embassy Suites Washington DC Convention Center for hosting the September Learning Experience The Quincy Hotel for hosting the September PMPI Board of Directors Meeting




president's message Share your PMPI story with Michelle. She can be reached at 202-559-1535, or email her at

The Power of by Michelle Dennis Allgauer, CAE, CMM, CMP Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) 2010-2011 PMPI President


Last year, before I was

…I performed my own personal experiment and challenged myself to discover a common connection with every new person I met. I had so much fun connecting with people in this way and was amazed to always seem to find a common thread.

Visit Visit our our online online Meeting Meeting Planners’ Planners’ Guide. Guide.

president, I really made an effort to push myself out of my comfort zone by always trying to be the person who broke the ice and made that first connection with complete strangers in an effort to make them more comfortable and, more importantly, to try and find a common connection. A year ago, when I attended ASAE’s Annual Conference in Toronto, I performed my own personal experiment and challenged myself to discover a common connection with every new person I met. I had so much fun connecting with people in this way and was amazed to always seem to find a common thread. You might say, ‘You were with other association professionals, so of course there would be a common connection.’ Well, I performed my test again when my husband and I went skiing in Beaver Creek, Colorado. I was amazed to discover that a man sharing the chair lift with us was a local firefighter from my hometown back in Massachusetts! It turned out we knew quite a few of the same people. Small world! When I started my term as president, I realized the importance of sharing my story with others. During the Evening of Stars, after the new leadership was inducted to the board, a three- or


four-minute video was shown of me as the incoming president. It shared my PMPI story. After the ceremony was over, we had a lovely networking reception up on the rooftop of the Liaison Capitol Hill, An Affinia Hotel, and I immediately became aware again of how powerful the sharing of my story was at breaking the ice and really connecting with others. Through this sharing, others were able to make a connection with me that neither of us had even known existed. This newly discovered connection made it very easy to get a conversation started. For those who had shared part of my journey with me, we reconnected again and reminisced about those times. So I would like to challenge you to make that first connection with others by sharing your story; you’ll appreciate the magnitude of connecting with others. If you’re looking for ways to make that connection, then be sure to attend our outstanding learning and networking experiences. If you’d like to connect with me and share your story, please email me at When we meet, we connect and we change the world! Make the most of your membership, stay connected and follow us on .



supplier feature

Three Strategies for

Social Media Success by Jason Linett The Jason Linett Group LLC Publications Committee Member

With the innovations of wireless

internet and smart phones, it’s no wonder we’re in a world where the marketing game changes so quickly.

Social media gives us the ability to broadcast a message to the world with just one click. However, the simplicity of it often translates to a monitor filled with mundane status updates and egotistical rants. While the new technology has created a unique canvas on which to work, we can combine the following three strategies to put forth the best message, build and establish relationships with clients and empower our clients to become our best spokespeople.

Start With a Goal To most, social media is just a buzzword. We know it’s out there, but we may not know what to do with it. “The problem is most people are getting engaged in social media because they feel peer pressure, but the first thing you have to figure out is what you want it to do for you,” says Terrance Barkan, CAE, of SOCIALSTRAT, a social media strategy company. The best path to take will present itself if you have a clear goal in mind. It may only be self-serving to build a Facebook page for your business and hope the phone rings. Instead, use social media as a tool to enhance an upcoming opportunity or public event. For instance, consider using a Facebook page or blog to share content and encourage viral participation. Integrate the social media as part of the marketing strategy for the entire business, and not just as a generic informational page.


Share Valuable Content If you have any involvement in social media, you’re familiar with the individual who updates their status a dozen times a day. Patrick O’Malley, a Boston social media expert and recent PMPI Learning Experience speaker, describes this as “yelling it out for anybody in the world to hear.” He recommended asking, “Is somebody going to get some benefit from this?” before posting. Meeting professionals should consider generating unique intellectual property, which will add value for your prospects and clients. For an upcoming conference, Terrance Barkan suggests involving speakers or presenters in social media to “get people engaged in the topic.” Possible options include webinars, special reports or online polls with visible results. Valuable content leads to active participation rather than a passive glance. Providing quality content breaks down the stigma that comes with asking someone to become your “follower” or your “fan.” As a stage hypnotist, I receive many invites to become a “fan” of individuals new to the entertainment industry. I’m more likely to engage if the goal is content sharing and not vanity.

Encourage Viral Activity Social media is like juggling. Your content stays up in the air and visible as long as people continue to share it. Your network of connections should be encouraged (and inspired!) to pass the information on to their like-minded peers. For example, an online video testimonial from a meeting planner is valuable to other meeting planners who may have a use for your services. The other strategies come into play, as if you are offering valuable information, and your contacts will be happy to share your video, invite their colleagues to your next event or “retweet” a post. Patrick O’Malley shared that this may be a part of the future of social media. If content that experiences a high level of approval becomes the most accessible information, we can avoid the mindless rants that can pollute social media. ...unless you really need to know what Lady Gaga had for breakfast!


Visit Visit our our online online Meeting Meeting Planners’ Planners’ Guide. Guide.

planner feature

Meeting Architecture and the Un-conference by Elizabeth LaChall, CASE, PSAV Publications Committee Co-Chair

When examining the role of the meeting planner, it is interesting to compare tradition with new trends. Such is the case with the latest phenomenon known as the meeting architect. At first glance, it seems that the meeting planner and the meeting architect are almost one in the same. But a closer look reveals that the meeting architect brings added value by stepping “outside of the box” – introducing new, unconventional ways to execute a successful meeting.

This new idea is most readily associated with Maarten Vanneste. He emphasizes the importance of looking at new trends and bringing new ideas to the meeting environment to ensure that your attendees are involved in the experience and later retain the content. A meeting architect may introduce new set-up styles and create nonconventional presentation methods such as open space, fish bowl, pecha kucha and the un-conference. Meeting architects are shunning the traditional idea of a presenter speaking to a classroom of individuals. Instead, they are embracing the core motivational objectives of the attendees and introducing a more interactive group dynamic. A new way of involving attendees is by incorporating the open space process of content delivery created by Harrison Owen, which is conducive to the exchange of ideas. Open space is a multi-presentation process that involves the interaction of a group (from five to more than 1000) to explore ideas in depth in order to gain knowledge and generate solutions. Without an agenda, a group forms a circle around the center of a room. The facilitator asks those interested to propose a presentation based on a chosen topic or the purpose of the meeting. Once the session ideas are gathered and written down, the conference agenda is developed around this content generated by the attendees. An open space meeting is not based on one individual’s expertise on

the subject, but rather is an exchange of knowledge and ideas shared by the group. An event proves to be more significant to a group when the planner allows the attendees to choose the session topics on site. Gathering information from the group is known as crowd-sourcing. Identified by journalist Jeff Howe in a June 2006 Wired article, crowd-sourcing describes the process by which the power of many can be leveraged to accomplish feats that were once the province of a specialized few. In an open space meeting, those interested can select to join your session and become your immediate audience. Participants are given the freedom to make the most of their own learning and contribution. The law of the open space meeting assumes that only the participants themselves can judge whether they are benefitting from the content, and if not, they have a responsibility to themselves to move onto another session. This is known as the “Law of Two Feet.” Similarly, the fish bowl set-up style of meeting is a center circle of people having a conversation, with circles radiating outward. Those sitting in circles around the center circle are participants, watching and listening. The conversation in the center of a fish bowl session may jump to the outside circles of participants to gather ideas. Or an attendee from an outside circle can participate by entering the center circle and presenting a new idea. A moderator or facilitator helps keep the dialogue from going too far off topic. PMPI POTOMAC MEMO

I’ve not met many meeting planners who would begin a conference without an agenda, but this is exactly the idea behind the un-conference. The content created at an un-conference is just as meaningful to the attendees as the content presented at a typical conference with a well planned agenda and sessions presented by experts. Mitch Joel, president of the digital marketing firm Twist Image and author of Six Pixels of Separation, believes un-conferences are on the upswing because “they bring back more of a ‘60s communal aspect, with people getting together in the spirit of democracy, instead of conferences organized from the top down, where everything is mapped out and marketed.” At an un-conference, the topics are guaranteed to be relevant to the attendees because they determine the subjects on the spot. Joel estimates that several hundred un-conferences take place each year, chiefly in the technology and marketing industries. “But there’s not an industry I can think of where they wouldn’t work,” he says. Some attendees are topic specialists and want to guide sessions, and others attend to gather information. As the conversations continue, more ideas for sessions are conceived and empty time slots can be filled in throughout the day as new sessions are created. At an un-conference, attendees don’t have to decide what session to attend next; they can decide what session to create next.



Other non-traditional presentation styles include pecha kucha and lightning talks, which discourage long-winded presentations. Pecha Kucha, when translated into English, means chit-chat. Pecha kucha events are geared more toward creative fields, for example, architecture. At a pecha kucha gathering, a presenter may be given 20 seconds for each of their 20 slides, thus allowing for more content to be shared during a specific time period. Created in Tokyo, pecha kucha gatherings provide a forum for artists to share their work and create an event that people can attend to experience new works and hot topics. As one might guess, a lightning talk will assign a short speaking slot (30 to 90 minutes) per topic and arrange several talks one after the other during the session. Promoting the rapid exchange of ideas among a meeting group means the length of talks are commonly limited to five minutes.

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To keep the pace going, formal slide presentations are discouraged, or one presentation program is utilized by all of the speakers. Running a meeting without an agenda – an un-conference – may be unthinkable to most planners. Below are the un-conference equivalents to what we traditionally view as critical aspects of a successful event: • Program Schedule: Whenever it starts is the right time. Whenever it is over, it is over. • Target Audience: The people who come are the right people. • Educational Content: Whatever happens is the only thing that could have happened. • Learning & Retention: If you are not learning or contributing, it is your responsibility to find someplace where you are. Incorporating new ideas such as an open space or fish bowl meeting into even the most traditional conferences

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may work with certain constituents of your event. For more liberal groups, it might just be worth a try. In addition to engaging attendees with interactive learning, a meeting architect may also challenge us to consider unique meeting times and environments. For example, it has been scientifically proven that the presence of daylight in educational buildings plays a significant role in the process of learning, and that from 10 a.m. until noon our immediate memory is at its best. Below are four ideas from Velvet Chainsaw’s Midcourse Corrections Regarding Principles For Planning Brain-Friendly Annual Meetings. • Schedule time for attendees to discuss new learnings with each other. When attendees spend time sharing their new learnings, retention increases. • Encourage presentations that get people up, moving around. Require interactivity, not sitting in chairs all day. Movement boosts brainpower. • Structure and provide emotional arousal, context and meaning, which leads to more elaborate encoding and thus better recall. Content and context are stored separately. Recalling that information requires more elaborate encoding in the initial moments of learning. Normal conference attendees only recall 10 percent of what they learn at an annual meeting. That’s a low ROI. • Secure speakers who change their content and raise attention every nine minutes and 59 seconds to restart the attention clock. Research shows that presenters have 30 seconds to grab someone’s attention and only 10 minutes to keep it. Today’s meeting and conference attendees are no longer satisfied with old-school lectures that invite little more than passive listening. And it might be time for us to all look outside of the traditional methods of disseminating information with which we are comfortable.

seasoned professional feature

Cold Calling – It Happens Just the thought of cold by Anita Cerana, St. Louis CVC Publications Committee Member

I spoke with one planner friend who preferred not to be named, and she initially said she thinks it’s a complete waste of time. People call her looking for an RFP, but really, that’s not the way her organization works. In reality, her boss looks at a map and says, “Hmm, try these three places,” and off she goes. She said she ends up spending 10 minutes on the phone explaining her company, all the divisions and how exactly the RFP process works. So, from cold calling her, they ended up getting some really useful information. I ask her if there is any way they could have gotten that information other than calling? "No," she admitted, "there really isn’t." And therein lies the dilemma for a supplier. When I asked the same planner what the best way to approach her was, she said through networking events and tradeshows. This leads me to a statement from a planner who was fine with being quoted: “Please don’t cold call meeting professionals - ever. DO call me to build relationships after we meet at an educational or networking event, renew past business conversations and especially to notify me promptly of sales staff changes and property renovations. I only plan statewide conferences, so although I attend national meetings, please take me off your lists forever once I tell you that information. I use hotel websites and CVB websites all the time. Please make website links for meeting planners simple to find a Visit Visit our our online online Meeting Meeting Planners’ Planners’ Guide. Guide.

calling gives me the shivers, so I guess it’s appropriately named. I have to say – I hate it. I hate doing it and I hate it when people do it to me! And yet, cold calling happens.

contact person, and provide a PDF of the meeting space and capacity charts. Plan your hot dates and special RFP submission programs out 12 to 18 months, as some of us cannot plan events in less than six months.” -Tracy Petrillo, CAE, Director of Education and Conferences League of California Cities “Hate cold calls – I have caller ID and don’t even answer the phone. If someone is going to call, at least do a little research on the organization. Cities call me to try to get the annual and there’s absolutely no way we’d fit in their city, so they’ve now wasted their time and mine. What I really love is that we’re now eight weeks out from our


annual meeting of 30,000+ attendees and AV companies are calling hoping to bid on the show. Please – if I don’t have an AV company at this point, I should be fired. I realize that often suppliers are required to make a certain number of calls, and am not sure what other mechanism could help them get answers. Can suppliers report on other types of research; internet, networking, through whatever that database system is called that CVBs use, or files kept by national sales (if applicable)?” -Planner who would like to remain unnamed “Cold calling is always an interesting topic. Either you like it or hate it – no



in-between. I think the main reason why planners don’t particularly like it is because the calls always happen at an inopportune time. And some vendors can be very aggressive, which is a complete turn-off for me. I feel like, if I’m interested…I’ll get back to you. We like seeking and researching a particular vendor when the need arises. Most vendor contacts occur from recommendations or networking functions.

The interesting thing is, the last couple of contracts I signed came through cold calling. I had this one vendor who called consistently and I finally met with him, reviewed the product, called references and was sold. So I guess it can be effective, but it’s all about timing. My other point: I recently started cold calling some of our members who had not attended the conference in the last two years. My goal was to sell them on the

So many points of view to make your meeting a success. See for yourself how easy and simple we can make meeting in Norfolk. In fact, you’ll find the value you receive as attractive as the many amenities you and your attendees will discover when you book a meeting in Norfolk, the heart of the Virginia Waterfront. | 1-800-368-3097

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conference and services/products of my association. It turned out to be pretty successful. -Planner who would like to remain unnamed Now for a supplier’s perspective. Jennifer Erney, a global sales director with Fairmont | Raffles | Swissôtels, said cold calling is “a no-no.” She recommends going on the organization’s website to see if there is potential for your particular product. “Tailor a note showing that you took the time and effort to see what their meetings are all about and how your product can make their job easier, and the client will be more willing to respond.” Playing devil’s advocate, I responded, “Well, what if the information is not available on the website?” She still suggests email first, then a follow-up call so that they can see that you made the effort to learn what they are all about and how you can assist them. That last thought of hers contained some key phrases, I thought. What is in it for the client? Sure, the supplier gets some needed information, but what’s in it for my unnamed planner friend to spend her 10 minutes educating the cold caller on her organization? So, I think that is the key. We, as suppliers, need to make sure that we have something to offer the client besides our charming wit. We need to make sure that we are available when they need us and that our information is up-to-date and easy to find, as Tracy suggests. Personally, I find people want me to call them more than I perhaps do. Many people I know are weary of email and the endless typing. And many of us work from home and enjoy picking up the telephone for a conversation to break up the day. However, the point is clear: If you do pick up the phone, try to follow the steps above first. Otherwise, head out to your next MPI meeting and meet them there!

new & noteworthy

Summer Sizzled for PMPI









1. Chuck Ghoorah, Cvent, welcomes the summer crowd to a night of fun and learning about PMPI committees. 2. Richard Carson, Experient, keeps it cool while posing with the official PMPI gorilla. 3. Dave Fritz of Cort, Robin Gordon of the Radio King Orchestra, and Liz Dane of Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel, Lee County Visitors and Convention Bureau, enjoy each other’s company and the view from the top of the Hilton Washington Embassy Row.

MACE! 2011 The Secret is Out!

5. The night’s fun continued into the rooftop pool, complete with hungry alligators! 6. Halley Mauk and Amy Huff, committee co-chairs for Strategic Events and Rebecca Miller, co-chair PD, represent the strategic events committee with some great decorations on the table – and themselves! 7. Page Holt and Matthew Wales select the winners of the night’s drawing. 8. Sekeno Aldred, Goodwill Industries International, showed up in awesome safari-themed sunglasses!

4. The PR and Marketing Committee, represented by Tamela Blalock, Emily DeYoung and Elizabeth Newton, had a fun table complete with safari animals! PMPI POTOMAC MEMO

No more wondering, no more guessing. The education and business opportunities you’re looking for will reveal themselves at the 5th Annual MACE! on February 14 & 15 at the Gaylord National Hotel & Convention Center. This year MACE! will feature a host of top speakers, hot educational topics, our back-by-popular-demand FLIPPED! Marketplace (planners and suppliers meet-up through pre-scheduled appointments) and networking opportunities unparalleled by any event in the Mid-Atlantic region. And we may have a few other surprises up our sleeves. So mark your calendars for MACE! 2011, February 14 and 15 at the Gaylord and discover the industry’s best-kept secrets that will help you get to the next level. Specialized tracks have been crafted with everyone in mind: • Student & Jr. Planners • Senior & Executive Planners • Suppliers & Vendors • Wellness & Organization • Hot New Trends & Technologies Register NOW at!



new & noteworthy

Summer Educational Alliance (SEA) Experience Set at the stunning Secrets St. James Resort in lush Montego Bay, Jamaica, GaMPI’s Summer Educational Alliance (SEA) provided an exceptional experience. SEA 2010’s theme, “Play to Your Strengths,” was reinforced through the messages of

the two keynote speakers, Devon Harris and Brian Biro. Harris, well-known for his participation on Jamaica’s first bobsled team, effectively spoke on the topic of playing to your strengths. He recounted that while the Jamaican bobsled team

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may have never seen ice, much less sled down it, they were all excellent sprinters. By focusing on that particular strength, they created a team that could qualify and compete in the Olympics. Drawing parallels from their setbacks and struggles competing in this grueling winter Olympic sport for the first time in their country’s history, Harris brought home the message that regardless of your circumstances, if you have vision, motivation, discipline, faith, teamwork and persistence, you can accomplish any goal. Brian Biro’s session focused on expanding your thinking and avoiding the fears and limiting beliefs that keep us from attaining our maximum potential. Biro’s session had us moving, jumping and karate chopping, ending in a board-breaking experience by two unsuspecting members of the audience. As these two volunteers literally broke through their boards, they symbolically demonstrated the unstoppable spirit that we all have within. While our days were focused on inspiring and engaging speakers, the nights offered plenty of networking and entertainment with three funfilled themed events hosted by Sandals Royal Caribbean, Hilton’s Rose Hall Resort & Spa and the Secrets Resort. Another highlight of the program was GaMPI’s presentation of dozens of backpacks filled with school supplies to a local Jamaican school. Students from the school personally accepted the donation and expressed their gratitude through song, which garnered a rousing standing ovation. This was perhaps the most memorable and rewarding experience of all. Visit Visit our our online online Meeting Meeting Planners’ Planners’ Guide. Guide.

new & noteworthy



Name: Joan L. Eisenstodt Title: Meetings & Hospitality Consultant,Facilitator & Trainer Company: Eisenstodt Associates, LLC E-mail:

Name: Paul Totah, MPA, MTA Title: Sales Manager Company: One Washington Circle Hotel & The George Washington University Inn (Potomac Hospitality Services) E-mail: Phone: 617-230-1137

Number of meetings/events per year: As a consultant, the number of meetings I support each year varies.

How long have you been a member of PMPI? Size of largest meeting/event:

I have been a member since Fall 2009.

My work is consulting on content, design, contracts and departmental observations. The meetings in which I am involved range in size from 10 people to more than 2,500. But my role is not to plan the meetings themselves; that is something I used to do. I decided that my passions were for the areas in which I now consult.

How long have you been a member of PMPI? I just received my 30 year pin in February.

What made you join PMPI? When I moved to Washington, DC, in ‘78, I found MPI (then called Meeting Planners International) and PMPI through a colleague. It was a good fit. More importantly than why I joined, is why I got involved. At one of my first meetings, the wonderful late Bill Myles welcomed me and asked me if I’d like to join the membership committee. I said yes and it all went from there to lots more.

What is your favorite aspect of PMPI? It has always been the people and the ability to learn from each other; the opportunity to try things I could not try with my employer or my clients and the opportunity to hone leadership skills and mentor others.

What is a creative planning idea you have used lately? I am presently working with a client who is considering using Pecha Kucha as a delivery method for education that will enhance the visual experience of their audience. We think it might be an interesting way to deliver papers vs. the standard ways.

What made you join PMPI? MPI stands for Meeting Professionals International. I took the name as an open invitation to join. Whether you are a meeting planner or supplier, if you are involved in planning meetings there is much to gain by being a member of MPI and the local chapter, PMPI. In my case, I wanted more resources at my fingertips, including articles, a membership database, access to events. More importantly, I was very interested in learning more about the meetings industry from the meeting planner’s perspective.

What is your favorite aspect of PMPI? The networking! I’ve met so many planners and suppliers at PMPI events. It’s always great when you put a face to a name, especially since we rely so much on phone and email. Getting out there and meeting the people you’ve been in contact with and, of course, meeting new PMPI members, is always fun.

What is something new in the industry you’d like to highlight? It’s not new, but I imagine we sometimes forget that we are all in it together - the planner and supplier. Yes, we have different roles, but at the end of the day we are serving the same people. You call them your attendees, we call them our guests.




new & noteworthy

New Member

Spotlight by Charita Evans, Bolger Center, Dolce Hotels and Resorts Member Care Committee

by Katie Hais, American Hotel & Lodging Association Co-Chair, Community Outreach Committee

PMPI’s Community Outreach Committee would like to give a big

This issue’s Member Spotlight shines on Ronda Keys, conference and event coordinator with Nutricia North America. Ronda has been with Nutricia for two years and really enjoys her role with the company. Nutricia’s parent company, Danone, is based in Amsterdam, and one of Ronda’s favorite parts of her job is working with her international counterparts. Ronda is originally from Maryland and attended the University of Maryland Baltimore County, where she majored in journalism. She is somewhat of a veteran to the hospitality industry. Before joining Nutricia, she worked on the hotel side as both a meeting concierge and an event manager. Joining MPI was something that Ronda had considered for some time, and after being invited to a networking event by an industry colleague, she knew she wanted to become a member. “Everyone was very friendly and approachable. It helped to see familiar faces.” Ronda was also very impressed with the Ambassador Program, which partners a new/ potential member with a current member who helps with introductions and further networking opportunities. Her quest to visit all 50 states is almost complete, only five remain on her list: Hawaii, Idaho, Montana and North and South Dakota. Ronda recently obtained her CMP (Certified Meeting Professional) designation. Through her MPI membership, Ronda is looking forward to learning from the educational experiences and connecting with new people. Please join me in welcoming Ronda Keys to MPI and the Potomac Chapter. 16


Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!

thank you to all of our generous members who have supported our recent events: - During the September Learning Experience, PMPI members pledged to make our roads safer by joining Oprah’s “No Phone Zone.” Thank you to everyone who committed to this program. If you weren’t able to attend, visit to make your pledge. Thank you also to those who donated to our 50/50 raffle for our Charity of the Year, the Children’s Inn at NIH. - On September 27, members of the COC brought lunch to the staff of last year’s Charity of the Year, Horton’s Kids. Many thanks to PMPI president-elect Kumi Anzalone and Visit Raleigh for sponsoring the lunch. And


thank you to those members who donated their time and money to make this happen. - PMPI members were asked to help “stock the pantry” at the Children’s Inn. This drive was held during the Monster’s Bash and was a great success. We were thrilled to provide so many items to the inn as we head into the holiday season. - And don’t forget to sign up for COC’s Angel Tree to provide gifts for the residents of the Children’s Inn. Drop-off locations are conveniently located in DC, Maryland and Virginia. For more information visit the COC page on Would you like to get more involved with the COC? Please contact committee co-chairs Laura Finn Gardner at (202) 789-7063 or Katie Hais at (202) 289-3114.

new & noteworthy

Members on the move

address Connie Ash National Sales Manager Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau One Liberty Park Plaza 200 South Main St Grapevine, TX 76051-5374 817-488-1048 | 817-410-3038  Barbara Blauhut, CMP Director of Special Events WETA 3939 Campbell Ave. Arlington, VA 22206 703-998-2618 Lowell (Eddie) Canaday, CHME, CHSP Director of Convention Sales Salt Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau 90 South West Temple Salt Lake City, UT 84101 801-521-2822 | 202-234-1854  Dorothy Chaconas, CMP Meetings & Convention Manager American Society for Investigative Pathology 9650 Rockville Pike Bethesda, MD 20814 301-634-7266 | 301-634-7133  Matthew Cunningham, CMP Events Manager American Petroleum Institute 1220 L Street NW, Suite 900 Washington, DC 20005 202-682-8158 Julie Duchin Director of National Accounts Terranea L.A.’s Oceanfront Resort 100 Terranea Way Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275 703-865-7674 | 866-480-3441  Danielle Foisy, CASE Director Association Sales Development Canadian Tourism Commission 49501 Heath Place Court New Baltimore, MI 48407 586-598-7010 | 703-875-9452 



Lyndsi Armenio Executive Meetings Manager Destination DC 901 7th St NW, Suite 400 Washington, DC 20001 202-789-7042 | 202-789-7037  Andrea Bocanegra Special Events Manager USO 2111 Wilson Blvd, Suite 1200 Arlington, VA 22201 703-740-4972 | 703-908-6401  Brian Chung, CGMP Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau National Sales Manager 1629 K St. NW, Suite 402 Washington, DC 20006 202-507-7072

Erin Germany, CMP Meeting Professionals International Meeting Manager 207 South Payne Street Alexandria, VA 22314 972-702-3053 Donald Gorman Director KPMG LLP 500 E Middlefield Road Mountain View, CA 94043 202-834-9425 | 202-834-9425  Jennifer Haire, CMP National Sales Manager Indianapolis Convention & Bureau Association 211 North Union Street Suite 100 Alexandria, VA 22314 703-684-4877 | 703-684-4879  Zaiba Hasan Event Director/Partner Capitol Event Firm 1455 Cedar Ave McLean, VA 22101-3515 202-247-6120 Mildred Hernandez Director of Sales Puerto Rico Convention Bureau Edificio Ochoa, 500 Tanca Ste 402 San Juan, 00901-1942, Puerto Rico 305-471-0202 | 305-471-0209  Karen Kotowski, CMP CAE Chief Operating Officer Convention Industry Council 8201 Greensboro Dr., Ste. 300 McLean, VA 22102 703-610-0242 | 703-610-9005  Kimberly Lewis Vice President, Conference & Events US Green Building Council 2101 L Street NW, Suite 500 Washington, DC 20037 202-828-1141 | 202-828-7580  Elizabeth Martinez Meetings Director Tri-Pen Management Corporation 208 Main Street Suite 300 Gaithersburg, MD 20878 301-527-9877 | 301-527-9875 

Patrick McNulty Account Executive Puerto Rico Convention Bureau Edificio Ochoa, 500 Tanca Ste 402 San Juan, 00901-1942, Puerto Rico 305-471-0202 | 305-471-0209  Lisa Mihalik Independent Meeting Planner 1121 University Blvd West, #1014 Silver Spring, MD 20902 202-328-5177 | 202-939-3460  Candice Mortimer 438 Warner St NW, Apt A Washington, DC 20001 Laurie Nelson-Choice Director of Diversity & National Sales Visit Baltimore 145 S. Street NW Baltimore, MD 20001 202-588-8800 | 410-659-8386  Elaine Powell, CMP Program/Conference Manager Halfaker & Associates 7120 Strawn Court Alexandria, VA 22306 703-693-6115 | 703-693-3898  Sylvia Rosas Administrative Assistant, Washington Operations United Space Alliance 1150 Gemini St, 200B Houston, TX 77058 202-680-4354 | 703-416-0811  Dani Rovenger Meeting Planner Technology Forums 1211 Light St Baltimore, MD 21230 703-740-1954 Christine Segal, CMP Director of National Accounts Eastern Office Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau 4331 Majestic Lane Fairfax, VA 22033 571-299-6880 | 571-299-6881 

Megan Shannon, CMP Account Executive GEP Washington 1111 19th St NW, Suite 680 Arlington, VA 20036-3640 202-777-7800 | 202-777-1222  Scott Williamson, CMP,CHSP National Account Manager Conference Direct 3300 Ashwood Drive Cincinnati, OH 452313 703-237-4591 | 703-564-9839  scott.williamson@ Ying Zhu 1600 S Joyce Street, Apt 1519 Arlington, VA 22202 202-386-0849

Bob David President Bob David Live Inc. 4510 Cox Rd Suite 109 Glen Allen, VA 23060 804-747-4775 Elizabeth Dean Nuclear Energy Institute 10215 Rodgers Road Fairfax, VA 22030 Mark Galbreith Marriott International Director of Sales 14750 Conference Center Dr Chantilly, VA 20151 Nichole King-Campbell 5002 W 140th Street Hawtorne, CA 90250

Mark McMinn, CMP Director of Sales & Marketing Tempe Tourism Office 51 West Third Street, Suite 105 Tempe, AZ 85281 480-894-8158 | 480-968-8158  Loreasa Minor Radisson Plaza Lord Baltimore Sales Manager 20 West Baltimore Street Baltimore, MD 21201 410-539-8400 Sarah O’Connor Meetings Coordinator National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization 1731 King St Alexandria, VA 22314

Laura Payne Senior Events Manager Neustar 9127 Belvedere Drive Frederick, MD 21704 Sally Penner Events Planner ProFunds Group 14310 Bowsprit Lane, #31 Laurel, MD 20707 Beth Pernerewski American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program Support Coordinator 100 Ladyshire Lane, #A101 Rockville, MD 20850

Visit Visit our our online online Meeting Meeting Planners’ Planners’ Guide. Guide.

company Carla Bascope-Hebble Executive Sales Manager Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center 201 Waterfront Street National Harbor, MD 20745 301-965-2322 | 301-965-3596  cbascope-hebble@ Richard Carson National Account Manager Experient 4274 Sleepy Lake Drive Fairfax, VA 22033 703-731-9042 Lindsay Closson Sales Manager Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa & Marina 1441 Quivira Road San Diego, CA 92109 703-584-9383 Carla Gould National Sales Manager Omni Shoreham Hotel 2500 Calvert St NW Washington, DC 20008 404-818-4422 | 404-818-4322  Cynthia Grant, CMP Senior Conference Planner Decypher 5201 Leesburg Pike, Suite 1206 Falls Church, VA 22041 703-575-7595 | 703-575-8440 


John Grenon Associate Director of Sales Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa 1300 Tuyuna Trail Santa Ana Pueblo, NM 87004 505-771-6120 Dot Hewitt Regional Vice President, Sales Onpeak 350 N Clark St, Ste 200 Chicago, IL 60654 703-869-7341 | 312-577-0724  Robyn Hulvey, CMP Senior Meetings Manager Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Inc. 53 Midline Court Gaithersburg, MD 20878 301-294-5682 Elisabeth Hunel Conference Planner Point Carbon 1300 Capulet Ct. McLean, VA 22102 571-224-7635 | 571-224-7635  Leslie Hutchins Programs Manager WMCCAI 7600 Leesburg Pike, Suite 100 West Falls Church, VA 22043 703-750-3644 Barbara Hutchison, CMP Director Global Development OSA - The Optical Society 2010 Massachuetts Ave, NW Washington, DC 20036 202-416-1412 | 202-416-6130  Rebecca Irvine Fazzari, CMP Senior Meetings Manager Meetings Management Group 8400 Westpark Drive Second Floor McLean, VA 22102 703-610-0265 | 703-610-0203  Stacey Johnson, CASE National Convention Sales Manager Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority P.O. Box 6508 Waldorf, MD 20603 202-530-0222 | 202-530-0226 

April Judy Conference Manager The Madison, a Loews Hotel 1177 15th Street NW Washington, DC 20005 202-587-2684 Joanna Lanzirotti, CMP Instructor Prince George’s Community College 4916-3 Columbia Rd Columbia, MD 21044 410-772-5289 | 410-772-2701  Halley Mauk Associate Director, Meetings Department The Advisory Board Company 2445 M Street NW Washington, DC 20037 202-266-5425 | 202-266-5700  Angela Scott, CMP Project Manager National Assessment Governing Board 800 North Capitol Street NW Suite 825 Washington, DC 20002 202-357-7502 Patti Steele, CMP Steele Meetings & Events, LLC 7930 Donegal Lane Springfield, VA 22153 202-558-2422 | 202-833-1061  Yoko Heukels, CMP Senior Vice President Prestige Resorts & Destinatins, Ltd. 205 Whitehaven Ci rcle Fort Washinton, MD 20744 202-341-6306 | 202-318-0307 

Vanessa Petty Sales Manager Visit Norfolk 35 E Street NW Apt 206 Washington, DC 20001 202-758-3876 | 202-758-3876  Monica Price Meeting Planner ASCD 6014 Curtier Drive, Unit D Alexandria, VA 22310 703-575-5776 | 703-575-3959  Kathy Ragsdale Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) Senior Conference Specalist 12803 Jackson Drive Ft. Washingotn, MD 20744 703-696-1144 | 703-696-6230 

Jill Shirey 1962 Massachusetts ave Mclean, VA 22101 703-582-1754 Jason Tremper Senior Sales Manager Hilton Washington Dulles Airport 13869 Park Center Rd. Herndon, VA 20171 703-788-1617 | 703-478-9286  Dede Walsh, CTS Projection Presentation Technology National Sales Manager 8351 Bristol Court, Suite 111 Jessup, MD 20794 Robyn Yakaitis RBY Event Planning, LLC President / CEO 8025 Hillsborough Rd. Ellicott City, MD 21043 410-461-4668 | 702-922-2355 

name change Sheerin Vesin formerly Florio Director of Sales - East Coast SPOTME INC. 11 Dupont Circle Suite 200 Washington, DC 20036, 202-715-2255 | 312-268-6221 



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 F N P D M F 8

See what Montgomery County has to offer!

Montgomery County is located on the western border of our Nation’s Capital. The county has evolved into a bustling county with pockets of exciting cities, towns, and urban districts. The communities of Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Silver Spring, Rockville, Gaithersburg, and Germantown are all located within the boundaries of Montgomery County. From the county’s seat, the City of Rockville, visitors are equidistant from three airports: Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, Ronald Reagan Washington National, and Dulles International. The Metrorail (the region’s subway system) has 13 Red Line Stations in Montgomery County all leading into Washington, D.C. and surrounding regional destinations.

Meeting and Event Information Montgomery County, Maryland offers full service hotels just outside the nation’s capital. With more than 50 hotels and more than 9,400 guest rooms, Montgomery County offers a venue to suit every budget. We have accommodations ranging from moderately-priced to all-suite properties and full-service hotels. Montgomery County also houses non-traditional meeting venues like retreat lodges and conference centers, which are dotted throughout the county. Our largest non-hotel meeting and exhibition spaces can be found at The Music Center at Strathmore, The Discovery Sports Center in Germantown, The American Film Institute Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, Montgomery County Agricultural Center, Imagination Stage, Silver Spring Civic Center at Veterans Plaza and University of Maryland Shady Grove Conference Center. The Bethesda North Conference Center houses the largest ballroom in Montgomery County. Location:

Accommodations: Restaurants & Lounges: Meeting Facilities:

Adjacent to White Flint Metro Station and equidistant from three airports: Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, Ronald Reagan Washington National, and Dulles International. The Bethesda North Conference Center is conveniently attached to the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel that has 436 guest rooms and 11 suites. Restaurant that seats 194, bar/lounge area, casual dining and drinking area that seats 94, Veranda for outside dining off the bar/lounge area that seats 134. A total of 21 meeting rooms with 35,537 total square feet of meeting space. 23,303 square foot ballroom that is divisible into eight sections. The ballroom can accommodate up to 2,535 for receptions and 1,820 for banquets. The conference center also features a 130 seat amphitheatre.

For more information on holding your event in Montgomery County, Maryland, contact Taffy Rice or call the Conference and Visitors Bureau at 877-789-6904.

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Strategies for Cold Calling – A Publication of Meeting Professionals International Potomac Chapter NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2010 NO Vol. 32, No. 2