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Event Technology Bootcamp:

How can technology benefit you within the industry? By: Rob Wilson, President – Meeting Evolution

There were over 30 attendees at the PCMA Technology Bootcamp on May 7th at the Holiday Inn Hotel Kansas City SE - Waterpark presented by Midori Connolly, CEO of Pulse Staging and Jessica Levin, President of Seven Degrees Communications. The bootcamp covered a broad range of topics including different lead retrieval technologies. One in particular, the Poken was introduced. The Poken is a powerful set of products and software for creating and implementing integrated online and offline marketing campaigns at events and

tradeshows. The technology enables people to digitally exchange all their contact details with a touch, and to collect digital content in the real world from smart tags. ( There was also a feature on how to engage attendees with different web based applications. At the end, an exercise took place where each table talked about how to implement what was learned during the day to help the attendees become more successful at their next event.

BOOTCAMP TAKE - AWAYS: • Be open to sharing your budget with your event production partner. They may able be to use the same amount of money in ways you never expected to create a memorable event for your attendees.

• Take time to learn how technology can be leveraged to create a memorable experience. • There was a great idea used at the end where the attendees wrote down two or three things that they would like to implement at their next event on a postcard and then Midori and Jessica will send the post card out a week later as a gentle reminder.

• Social Media can be a very effective tool to create awareness and engage attendees before and after an event


to keep your members engaged all year long. Be sure to engage someone that has experience is using Social Media to market your event. You want to make sure the right message is being sent consistently.


CALLING ALL VOLUNTEERS!!! Are you interested in becoming more involved in your chapter? The Heartland Chapter is in search of our future leaders. We are looking to fill our 2013 Board of Directors and Chapter Committee positions.    Please contact Mary Ryan for more information.  

2012 Heartland Chapter Board of Directors PRESIDENT

President’s Message

By: Mary Ryan, Kansas City Convention & Visitors Association

Mary Ryan Convention Sales Manager Kansas City Convention & Visitors Association

Where has this year gone?? It’s hard to believe that we are at the half way point and summer has almost come to and end. Hopefully you’ve had the chance to take a vacation or at least take a few days off and enjoy the sunshine.


I always find this is the perfect time of year to reflect on what I have accomplished. It’s a chance to reevaluate where I need to “kick it up a notch” to meet my personal and professional goals for the remainder of the year.

Robin O’Connor Director of Sales and Services Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau

PRESIDENT-ELECT Vicki Comegys Vice President of Sales & Services Des Moines Convention & Visitors Bureau

TREASURER Ronda Vaughn, CMP Director of Meeting Services Optimist International

SECRETARY Marilyn Koehler Director of National Accounts Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau

DIRECTORS Joe Tucker Exposition Management, Inc (thru 12/31/12) Sherie L. Howell, CMP, CMM Conference Manager A-S-K Associates, Inc. (thru 12/31/12) Amy Harper, CMP Senior Meeting Planner National Association of Insurance Commissioners (thru 12/31/12) Kristen Kimbrel, CMP Senior Meeting Planner American Academy of Family Physicians (thru 12/31/13) Jennifer Lion, CMP Meeting & Event Manager Experient (thru 12/31/13) Rose Dueming Associate Director, Conventions American Optometric Association (thru 12/31/13)



Our chapter has accomplished a lot this year and we are right on track with the goals we have set for 2012. We hit the ground running with the annual meeting in San Diego and have held three educational programs and two community service events. My favorite events were,“ A Day on the Farm” with the children of Operation Breakthrough, and the Chapter Bowl –A–Thon in August. The success and program quality of our events the first half of the year would not have been possible without our generous sponsors and the talented chapter volunteers that work so hard for our chapter. As we wrap the year up we have a few programs we will be taking on the road to our membership in neighboring areas. In September we will host a program in Columbia Mo., followed by a meeting in St. Louis in October. We end the year with our November Service and Sync Community Service Project and the State of the Industry Program, November 8th in Kansas City at the Argosy Casino. Mark your calendars; I hope to see you there!! Warm Regards,

Mary Ryan

Welcome New Members! Philip W. Arbuckle CMP President MeetingTrack Inc.

Carolyn Denise Evans Executive Meetings Manager Peabody Little Rock

Maria Arnone Vice President, Media Development Ascend Integrated Media

Sandy Wachter Professional Development Coordinator American Association of School Personnel Administrators

Devin L Amos Student Kansas State University

Kendra J. Carlson Shows & Events Project Manager Wal-Mart

Megan Anthony Student University of Arkansas

Wendy R Powell Project Manager Wal-Mart

Tiffany DeAngelo Group Sales Manager Hilton Hartford Hotel

Jennifer Marie Newton Event Coordinator Woodward Conference Center & Convention & Visitors Bureau

Gina Rettig Senior Sales Manager Hilton Worldwide

Event Technology Bootcamp CONTINUED The Benefits Of Mobile Apps for Meetings By: Jessica L. Levin, MBA, CMP, CAE – President and Chief Connector – Seven Degrees Communications, LLC & Speaker for the Event Technology Bootcamp One of the biggest trends in meetings and events is mobile applications. While it is tempting to latch onto a trend, there should be a strategic reason for including a mobile event application in the program. The first question when looking at adding a mobile component to an event is to ask yourself: why? Just like everything else that we talk about, you need to know what you are you trying to accomplish with a mobile application or website? Are you trying to reduce the amount of paper at your event? Does your audience expect a technology-driven experience? Are you looking at adding a higher degree of interactivity? Do you have a lot of last-minute information that gets changed and paper agendas become obsolete the minute that they are printed? Perhaps you are looking for new and innovative ways that you can spotlight sponsors. Or maybe you want to add some communication between the audience and the presenter. Regardless of what your reason(s) are for adding mobile technology, make sure to ask yourself and your team what you are trying to accomplish to ensure the best possible outcome.

TO HELP YOU UNDERSTAND THE BENEFITS OF ADDING MOBILE INTO YOUR EVENT, HERE ARE SEVEN BENEFITS THAT MAY HELP YOU ANSWER THE “WHY” QUESTION. 1. Paper-light. We probably have a few years before we (as a society) become completely paperless, but mobile apps and websites can help to reduce the amount of paper printed. Often the dollars saved from printing can offset the cost of mobile technology. 2. Quick Access to Info. Well-designed mobile apps allow easy access to information. Whether it’s a “What’s On Now,” feature, customizable agendas or a map of the venue, mobile allows users to find information at the touch of a button. I always find it awkward to pull out my event manual and flip through a bulky book while walking down the hallway and chatting with someone. I am thankful to mobile apps for helping me be more graceful. 3. Sponsorship Opportunities. Sponsors are always looking for more exposure.  Companies may sponsor the entire app, a portion of it, or you as the organizer, may simply provide it as tool to help people access sponsor information easier. 4. Social Interaction. Mobile technology can do a great job of aggregating social networking tools into one place.  From photo sharing to one-stop-shop for Twitter and Facebook, mobile can help to increase participation in the social networks that you are using for event engagement. 5. Q&A and Polling.  Mobile can be a great way to engage audiences with live questions for a speaker. It can also be use to gauge satisfaction. Imagine being able to get instant feedback and make improvement right away instead of “we’ll do that next year.” 6. Customer Service: What do I need to do to get CEUs? Who do I speak to about bringing my spouse to the gala? By having a mobile app, you can provide instant answers to attendees without them having to walk ALL the way over to the help desk. If you’ve ever been to Vegas you KNOW what I mean.

2012 Heartland Chapter Committee Chairs AWARDS AND SCHOLARSHIP Co-Chair - Lauren Harlan International Association of Assessing Officers Co-Chair - Marilyn Koehler Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau

EMERGING LEADERS Chair – Robin O’Connor Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau Co-Chair - Kate Turner, CMP International Association of Fairs & Expositions

COMMUNICATIONS Chair – Jennifer Bergsieker Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis

COMMUNITY SERVICE Chair – Brian Arscott, CMP, CMM National Association of Insurance Commissioners Co-Chair – Stephanie Deel Marriott International San Antonio

MEMBERSHIP Chair – Vicki Comegys Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau

PROGRAMS Chair – Sheri Howell, CMP, CMM, CGMP A-S-K Associates, Inc.

SPONSORSHIP Chair – Teresa Hellman Experient, Inc.

PAST PRESIDENT’S TASK FORCE Co-Chair - Belinda Waldo Associated Luxury Hotels International Co-Chair - Dale Shuter, CMP Electrical Apparatus Service Association

7. Concierge: Maps, links to local dining, public transportation information, these are all the types of things that can be stored in a mobile application or website for events. This is just the beginning of what mobile technology can do for your events. Mobile apps are only limited by your imagination. If you are interested in a do-it-yourself application, check out You can receive a 10% discount by using the code: 7DEGREES10%OFF Jessica Levin is the president and chief connector of Seven Degrees Communications and can be reached at


ADA Expert Presentation at PCMA Meeting April 12th in Des Moines By: Vicki Comegys, Vice President Sales and Services – Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau Jim de Jong spoke in Des Moines at the PCMA Conference to an audience of 50 planners in April to update planners and facility managers on ADA changes that were enforced as of March 15, 2012. Jim is with the Great Plains ADA Center in Columbia, MO which is part of the ADA National Network. It is funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) to provide technical

assistance, information and training on the Americans with Disabilities Act and related disability laws. This organization is available to help you accommodate your guests.



• Make sure your registration information asks if attendees need any ACCESSIBLE considerations

• Identify yourself when speaking with a person that is blind or visually impaired

• Do not lean on a person’s wheelchair while talking with them

• Speak directly to the person, not to an interpreter/companion

• If you are at a high counter, go around and give documents to the guest on a clipboard if you don’t have a lower registration or information desk

• Don’t make assumptions – ask if they need help

• Shake hands as you would with anyone else

• If there is assigned seating make sure that table legs are avoided


• Availability of interpreters and solutions are provided

• Materials in alternative formats (not just paper - electronic data is very useful for many people)

• Seating/Room layout

• View of interpreters/lighting

• Line of sight

• Availability of certain types of food (make sure you transfer the information from the event registration to the event management team so it can be executed)

• Staff assistance (including cutting food)

• Description of food and location on the plate for visually impaired are greatly appreciated

• Buffet line assistance

• With the new ADA regulations staff assistance must be provided and ready to assist. However, this service should be requested at the time of registration.

The following is a summary of notes that we took away from the presentation:

THINK: CUSTOMER • Avoid terms like “the disabled” and instead say “people with disabilities” • Avoid the word “handicapped” and instead say “person with a disability” or “accessible” and “ADA”(refer to parking, rooms, etc.) • Avoid the terms “wheelchair bound” or “confined to a wheelchair” and instead say “person who uses a wheelchair” or “wheelchair user”

ADA NEW RULES • Service animal guidelines - the service animal must perform tasks, but can be a dog or a miniature horse (No one has to prove they need a service animal; however, the animal must perform and behave in an acceptable manner) • Reservation systems - should be upgraded to accommodate registering, ticket sells and hotel reservations online for accessible rooms and seating and have the ability to describe room features of accessible rooms online so they can be reserved

• Access to different room types must be available

Baby Announcement! Congratulations to one of our Board of Directors, Jennifer Lion, CMP – Meeting & Event Manager – Experient on the arrival of her new baby girl, Alexandra!


Heartland Chapter Spotlight! Congratulations to our very own Communications committee member, Brad Plumb, CMP from the Overland Park Convention and Visitors Bureau whose recent article from the Spring Issue of The Heartland Beat was featured in the April issue of Convene Magazine! Great representation from the Heartland Chapter! Way to go Brad!

PCMA has published Convene magazine since 1986. Convene is one of the meeting industry’s premier monthly magazines and provides in-depth information on all aspects of meeting management to more than 30,000 subscribers.

The ‘Nice Bike’ Philosophy Making Purposeful Connections By Maria Arnone, Vice President Media Development – Ascend Integrated Media I recently attended the annual PCMA Education Conference in San Antonio. The conference was filled, as usual, with networking, top-flight education and fabulous food. (PCMA knows how to host their meeting planner constituency!) It also offered some excellent general session speakers who knew how to inspire. One of these was Mark Scharenbroich, a National Speakers Hall of Fame member and Emmy Award winner. When Mark first started speaking, no one at my table was sure what to think of his blend of selfdeprecating Minnesotan humor and comic physicality. It could have gone entirely wrong, to be sure, in front of this discerning group of meeting professionals. He even admitted — onstage — that for him, this was a big-time engagement, and that he was more than a little nervous to be presenting. But soon after, he drew us in with his authentic stories of average people deepening their human connections. And really, isn’t that what we all want? Because when we connect with others, it makes us feel more connected and valued. Mark formulated his “nice bike” principal when, quite by accident in August 2003, he drove by the HarleyDavidson 100th anniversary in Milwaukee. From his totally unhip beige rental car, he observed the interactions between bikers. He noticed that two words really connected rider to rider that day: “Nice bike.” More than flattery, he believed that this simple phrase was emblematic of something deeper: an authentic and validating human connection. Throughout his

presentation, and in his book, Nice Bike, he gives example after example of people doing simple acts of kindness or service for one another that acknowledges the other person, honors them and connects with them. From teachers showing little kindnesses to students to CEOs knowing something about every team member in their company to veterans sharing an amazing positive attitude in the face of terrible injury, the Nice Bike principal inspired listeners to make purposeful connections in an isolating and technology-driven world. He reminded attendees to start with your oldest friendships and reclaim them through reconnection. How many of us get so bogged down with living our day-to-day life that we neglect what is oldest, truest and most important to us — our longtime friendships and family relationships? He told a wonderful story of reconnecting with his father, a crusty war veteran who never said “I love you” when Mark was growing up. Through asking questions to learn more about his father’s life, Mark was able to understand him better in his later years. And Mark was able to witness his father’s authentic connection with a group of Vietnam vets during a special trip to D.C. together. Mark got to see his father put into practice — naturally and beautifully — the “Nice Bike” philosophy in a meaningful way. All of us wish for authentic, meaningful connections with our family and friends, peers, customers and employees. Nice Bike is a way to consciously work to acknowledge, honor and connect with others around us. You can find out more about Mark Scharenbroich at


A Day on the Farm By: Brad Plumb, CMP, Overland Park Convention & Visitors Bureau

It’s not every day that you have the opportunity to interact with a young person and know that you have made a difference in their life. On June 6th, as the big yellow school bus rolled to a stop we knew from the sounds inside that something exciting was about to happen. For those of us that had participated in The Day On the Farm at the Overland Park Farmstead with the kids from Operation Breakthrough we knew that our lives were about to be touched once again by these small and innocent children. Operation Breakthrough is the largest non-profit day care in the region. They all come from families that live below (some far below) the poverty level. If they are a cross section of kid’s served, 25% of them are homeless. They are also the most wonderful, most well behaved, loving preschoolers that you would ever want to call your own. Living in the inner-city, these children don’t often get to see an eagle, or feed a goat, or ride a horse. It was our job to make sure they had fun and stayed safe. And, because our group this year were 4 and 5 year olds, they were always in motion, we were constantly counting heads. I knew that sooner or later one or more of them would grab my hand or ask to be picked up, or maybe just hugged. They always ask lots of questions about the animals and it’s great fun talking on a pre-school level about the sound a pig makes. Thanks to Brian Arscott and his crew from NAIC, this event runs like clockwork. We are always able to wind our way through the entire


facility with enough time for lunch at the end. This year the kids wanted to sing while on the hay ride. When their teacher asked what song, one of the boys started belting out Jingle Bells. Before you knew it everyone on the trailer, not just our kids, was singing Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer at the top of their lungs. There’s something joyful about singing Christmas songs with a bunch of children when it’s almost a hundred degrees. We finish our visit with lunch, but only after everyone washed their hands (with soap), and said their prayer as a group. The structure they live by in their “day life” is very evident and the adults were all impressed – some maybe wished their own kids or grandkids were as well behaved. Before we knew it, it was time to say farewell. Some had to be pried off legs, leaving the remains of peanut butter on pant legs. We all waved good bye to the bus, and, once again, I felt privileged for the opportunity to participate. I’ve been told that the kids sleep all the way back; hopefully dreaming of the fun they had at their day-on-the-farm. Afterward, we reconvened at Yia Yia’s restaurant where our hosts for this event, the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Galt House Hotel treated everyone to lunch and passed out mementos of the day. There’s no doubt that we all left that day feeling fulfilled as well as full.

Update from the South: Little Rock, Arkansas By: Marilyn Koehler, Director of National Accounts - Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau Little Rock hotel news; Be on the lookout for news of an ownership change and rebranding news for Little Rock’s headquarter hotel. The Peabody Little Rock has announced that, subject to approval and buyer’s due diligence, they are selling to Fairwood Capital.  Plans for the property include a multi-million dollar investment in major renovations and an affiliation with a leading international hotel brand. Located in the heart of Little Rock’s RiverMarket entertainment district, the hotel has 418 sleeping rooms, 40,000 sq. ft. of meeting space and is physically attached to 200,000 sq. ft. of space at Statehouse Convention Center.    Additionally, a new Residence Inn is currently under construction in the RiverMarket district with plans to open in the spring of 2013.  This will be the third hotel opened by the McKibbon

Hotel Group in the RiverMarket. The other hotels include a Courtyard by Marriott and Hampton Inn and Suites.   The Arkansas Arts Center will culminate a 50th Anniversary celebration next summer with their hosting of the final leg of the major exhibit “Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Gainsborough: The Treasures of Kenwood House, London” highlighting the incredible works collected by Edward Cecil Guinness (of the brewing family), the Earl of Iveagh.  This exhibit comes to Little Rock from June 7 – September, 8, 2013, before returning home to England.  This is TRULY an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see this incredible collection stateside (which also includes works by Vermeer), as this exhibit was only orchestrated due to major repairs being required to the roof of Kenwood House. 

Thanks to our sponsors from past events!

Great happenings from the Hilton President Kansas City! Kansas City, MO | July 19, 2012 the air and kills bacteria, viruses and other irritants. The result is a fresh, crisp room where even sensitive guests can breathe freely and confidently. “We are pleased to be recognized as one of the only hotels in Kansas City to offer this wonderful program. After a day of travel in a car or recycled air in an airplane, the PURE room offers a spectacular retreat.” says Philip Strnad General Manager of The Hilton President Kansas City.

The Hilton President Kansas City, committed to providing their most sensitive travelers with confidence and peace of mind, is setting a new standard by offering 10 new PURE Rooms. These rooms, located on the ninth and tenth floor, create an allergy friendly environment by removing 98-100% of bacteria and viruses and up to 99% of allergens. Guests, especially those who suffer from allergies and asthma, can now enjoy the freshest air in their rooms and get a more restful sleep during their stay. In each PURE Room, all the surfaces have been sanitized and specially treated. Mattresses and pillows are encased to protect against dust mite related allergen triggers. Finally, a medical grade air purifier filters

“Statistically, one-third of travelers report having respiratory allergies or traveling with family members who have allergic reactions,” said Brian Brault, CEO of PURE Solutions. “We understand what causes these guests to be uncomfortable and have designed a system to handle almost any situation.” He added, “PURE is committed to offering the best air quality for hotel guests, allergy sufferers or not.” The Hilton President Kansas City is the only AAA 4 Diamond hotel located in the Power & Light Entertainment District. The Hilton President has 213 guest rooms and offers an extensive array of amenities, combined with a high degree of refreshing hospitality, service and attention to detail. MEDIA CONTACTS: Sher Wolf 816.221.9490 Philip Strnad 816.221.9490


Around the Region By: Cheri D. Jones, CMP, Vista Productions, Inc. If you have events happening in your city, please email them to Cheri Jones, CMP at We would love to highlight exciting things happening in your town.




Bentonville - Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is featuring an exhibition of 45 masterworks by Hudson River School artists on loan from the New-York Historical Society. This exhibit is on view from May 5 through September 3, 2012. Fort Smith - Proud home of True Grit! This town is still full of Wild West history. Visit Judge Parker’s gallows, enjoy the scenic excursion train through the Ozark foothills, ride a vintage Ferris wheel, go antiquing in historic Downtown Fort Smith, see Native America – discover the New Spirit of the Old West! Rogers –, a national website that highlights America’s best places to live has recently ranked Rogers as one of the Top 10 cities for affordable vacations. Rogers was chosen for its budgetfriendly mix of museums, restaurants and outdoor activities.

KANSAS – THE SUNFLOWER STATE Manhattan – The downtown redevelopment district is about to begin a $24 million project with the addition of the Flint Hills Discovery Museum. Manhattan is the eighth largest city in the state and offers over 1,100 sleeping rooms. The Manhattan Conference Center has 32,200 square feet of space. Overland Park - The Overland Park Convention Center is offering a new Virtual Meetings service. Complete information can be found at Wichita - DoubleTree by Hilton Wichita Airport is the new flag flying over the former Hilton Wichita Airport Executive Conference Center. The 302-room hotel recently completed a total overhaul of exterior walls including new windows plus the entire hotel received new floor coverings. The newly constructed Sleep Inn & Suites in Haysville, Kan., just five miles south of Wichita and six miles north of the Kansas Star Casino, is ready for guests. The Ambassador Hotel will be Wichita’s newest property when it opens in December 2012. The 117-room Ambassador will be a high-style luxury boutique hotel offering spacious guest rooms, trendy lobby restaurant/bar and numerous complimentary amenities. In January 2013, the Kansas Star Casino will open an expanded gaming facility, an equestrian and event center with a seating for 4,800, plus 150 hotel rooms.

Upcoming Heartland Chapter Events 8

Thursday September 20 Balancing Work and Life in a “Connected” World 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Hilton Garden Inn Columbia, MO

Des Moines – The Iowa State Fair (August 9 – 19) has finished 10 fun filled days. The fairgrounds have 14 different venue sites for meetings.

Kansas City - was in the sports spotlight on July 10, as the City of Fountains hosted the MLB All-Star Game for the first time in 39 years. More than 27.7 million people tuned in to the broadcast, representing 220 countries and 15 languages. In addition, more than 150,000 people attended at least one official ASG event, generating $60 million for the local economy. For more information about Kansas City, go to St. Louis – Needing an “out of the box” venue, you might want to take a peek at the Washington University, Charles F. Knight Executive Education and Conference Center. They offer 66 guest room and a wide variety of meeting room options. Springfield – The White River Conference Center on the Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World campus recently opened an can seat 650 in rounds. The Springfield – Branson National Airport provides direct flights to 11 cities.

NEBRASKA – THE CORNHUSKER STATE Omaha – Celebrating 80 years, the Joslyn Art Museum, Nebraska’s largest art museum offers a unique venue for special events. There are several areas to choose from to host your event including a concert hall that seats 1,000. The surrounding gardens including reflecting pool make a nice setting for outdoor events as well. Council Bluffs – The Historic General Dodge House can accommodate up to 60 guests for a sit-down event. This Victorian home was built in 1869.

OKLAHOMA – THE SOONER STATE Oklahoma City – Oklahoma City recently hosted Games 1 and 2 of the 2012 NBA Finals, attracting 22 international media outlets, representing 200+ countries and territories and 47 different languages. Game 1 in Oklahoma City had 16,900,000 viewers; the largest audience for an NBA game on ABC since they began airing games in 2002. And while the Miami Heat may have won the title, the city of Oklahoma City was the big winner, impressing the media, NBA officials, and the numerous first-time visitors to our city.

Friday October 12 Learning How the Brain Works 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. DoubleTree Chesterfield St. Louis, MO  

Thursday November 8 12th Annual State of the Hospitality Industry 4:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Argosy Casino Hotel & Spa Kansas City, MO

PCMA Heartland Newsletter - Summer 2012  

PCMA Heartland Newsletter

PCMA Heartland Newsletter - Summer 2012  

PCMA Heartland Newsletter