MPI NENY E-News December 2017

Upcoming Events

January Annual
Membership Event

Fear is My Homeboy:
How to Get Brave and Start Taking Action

January 11, 2018

Hilton Garden Inn, Troy, NY

3:00 - 3:30 pm
Registration and Networking

3:30 - 5:00 pm
Keynote Speaker - Judi Holler, Holla! Productions

5:00 - 6:00 pm
Networking Reception

Register Now

 Judi Holler
 Hilton Garden Inn, Troy

Sponsorships Available

Save the Date for the
MPI Annual Survey

February 1 - 14, 2018

More information to come!

Save the Date


Thursday, April 12, 2018

More exciting details to be announced!

President's Message

Holiday Greetings from the Office of the President! What an amazing year we have had so far. After an exciting November Board Retreat at the Embassy Suites Syracuse at Destiny, (a new supplier member), this Board is pumped and ready for an even more exciting second half! Kudos to Ashley and her team for making our Retreat experience such a super one. I have to call out our Retreat Facilitator, Mark Bice, Past President of the New England Chapter, for filling in at the last minute. Our Super Star Facilitator, Michelle Johnson, was not able to join us due to a family health issue. Mark did a fabulous job stepping in 2 days prior to the event and it was great to hear things from a different perspective.

Thank you to our Education Team for creating a successful Fall Focus! Sponsors, exhibitors, speakers and attendees enjoyed a great day of education and networking. The Education Committee has some great events planned for the remainder of the year; they are looking for new committee members and volunteers to push these events over the top! Reach out to Carla Rosenbaum or Jennifer Kearney if you are interested in getting involved with this fun committee! The Education Team is also always looking for your ideas and suggestions to make our programs better. Member Satisfaction is a critical metric in our scorecard and we need your voice to keep that satisfaction score high.

The Membership Committee is scoring high numbers this year. They are working hard to convert non-members--now limited to attend not more than 2 events a year--into members who enjoy the full benefits of MPI membership and can attend all of our member events. If you are interested in helping us grow our membership, please contact Melissa Carter or Colleen Whitaker about joining their great team.

Laura Vecchio is handling our Sponsorship singlehandedly! RaeAnn Fursman helped her with the Fall Focus Exhibitors and together they achieved their budget numbers. Laura is currently looking for sponsors for: the January Membership event, the March and May Education events and our newest event--the GMID Gala--which will take place on April 12, 2018. Laura is looking for committee members to help solicit sponsorships for all of these events. Please contact her to volunteer, she will find the right event that fits in your schedule of “quieter times” in the office.


Joining a committee is a great way to get the most out of your MPI membership, meet people, and have fun. I hope you will consider one of these opportunities and take the plunge! For more information on all of your options, contact Kayla Kreis. You can also check out our committee listings here:

I’m looking forward to seeing you all at the Membership event with an encore presentation from Judi Holler, one of the top-rated speakers at the MPI’s 2017 WEC held in Las Vegas. Thanks for all your support so far and here’s to a great 2018!

Steven Preston, President

Happy Holidays to You and Yours!


The December issue of
The Meeting Planner features a look back at how the meeting planning industry has navigated the events of the past 12 months in “2017 Year in Review.” It was certainly an eventful year, that presented many challenges to meeting planners around the world. Luckily, meeting planners seem to thrive on these challenges and rise to the occasion. As 2017 draws to a close, we’d like to take a moment to wish all of our members a Peaceful and Joyous Holiday Season and a Very Happy New Year.

Read 2017 Year in Review here.

January Membership Event Featuring Judi Holler

Fear is My Homeboy: How to Get Brave and Start Taking Action

 Top Events at WEC

Join us for an inspiring afternoon as we welcome back Judi Holler to our Annual Membership Event! Judi is an expert on personal branding who helps Event Professionals learn how to expand their network, embrace fear and get a competitive edge. Judi has spent over 15 years working in Sales and Marketing for companies like Marriott, Omni, Starwood, and most recently the St. Louis CVB.

She was recently selected as one of Connect Magazine’s 40 under 40 in the Hospitality Industry and is the immediate Past President of MPI Chicago. Judi imagines a world where everyone believes that what they have is good enough and where you have the confidence to pick yourself. She will show you how!

Following Judi’s presentation there will be a reception featuring hors d’oeuvres and complimentary beer, wine, and soda. Committee members will be on hand to promote involvement in our chapter and answer any questions you may have about maximizing your membership.

Participants will learn how to fight fear and get brave, so they can avoid self-destruction and have less emotional reactivity in stressful situations. You will also discover how to get the most out of your MPI membership, and network with industry professionals.

Attendees will learn:

 Judi Holler

1. An understanding of fear’s greatest hits.

2. How to survive the times of change.

3. The 5 Step framework that will help you take action.

4. Tools to provide focus both personally and professionally.

 Hilton Garden Inn, Troy

Date & Time

January 11, 2018

Hilton Garden Inn, Troy, NY

​Event Agenda

3:00 - 3:30 pm Registration and Networking

3:30 - 5:00 pm Keynote Speaker - Judi Holler, Holla! Productions

5:00 - 6:00 pm - Networking Reception

Register Now

Sponsorships Available

Event Recap:

Cocktails & Connections Bowls Another “Perfect Strike” in October

 BET_LuckyStrikeSocial_Logo_5_White (3)

Attendees were bowled over by the Cocktails & Connections event at the Lucky Strike Social in October. MPI NENY members and non-members were treated to a preview of Modern Round, the East Coast’s first virtual shooting lounge, prior to its opening. The after-hours, free event was designed by the MPI NENY Special Events team so attendees could connect with each other, learn more about the opportunities our chapter has to offer, and experience what the Lucky Strike Social event space has to offer. Board members were on hand to share ideas about volunteer opportunities, membership, and how to begin the Certified Meeting Professional process.

Special thanks to Lucky Strike Social, the venue sponsor, located in Crossgates Mall in Albany, NY for providing complimentary appetizers and drink specials. Over 30 attendees caught up with friends, shared successes, made new connections and gained feedback from one another. Great job by Jessica Joralemon, CMP, our Director of Special Events for organizing such a fun event. Jessica also wanted to thank Nancy Jess, VP of Finance, and Kayla Kreis, Director of Leadership Development, for helping at registration. Both are from the Saratoga Convention and Tourism Bureau. Jessica also wanted to extend thanks to Kerri Ashline from The Century House for helping during registration. A shout-out to John Burger from Comfort Inn & Suites East Greenbush-Albany for donating the raffle prize.

Event Recap:

MPI NENY Annual Fall Focus

 Fall Focus Event Coordinators sm

Did you strike it rich at MPI NENY Fall Focus? This year’s signature event included a dynamic keynote speaker and educational breakout sessions on current industry trends and frequently requested topics. While enjoying the brand-new Rivers Casino in Schenectady, attendees gained new contacts, skills, and a renewed energy for their profession. First to the podium, our keynote speaker Yma Sherry, VP of North America for American Express Meetings and Events, spoke about their 2018 Global Meetings & Events Forecast​. This annual study offers predictions and trends for the upcoming year. It’s primarily based on responses from corporate planners, hotels, and airlines. Here’s a brief summary of their predictions for 2018 and how these trends will affect your career and your organization.

 • Group hotel rates - demand is outpacing supply, especially in North America.
 • Increased scrutiny over your contracts by finance and compliance continues.
 • Airfare prices going up, especially in North America, but Airline customer service satisfaction is still a concern for most
travelers/group planners.
 • "Doing more with less" - will continue as a trend; short, impactful meetings win!
 • Longer planning times will achieve better rates.
 • Looking to save more? Try looking on outskirts of city or use destinations with efficient travel and stable economic/political climates.
 • Creativity/Attendee Engagement/Wellness all continue as trends for planners.
 • Orlando, Las Vegas, and Chicago will continue as top 3 U.S. destinations; Nashville up and coming!

The Breakout Sessions were especially attractive this year; there was something to learn no matter your role in the industry. They ran the gamut from Staying Calm When Things Go Wrong to a Hotel Panel Discussion. Here are some brief takeaways from two of our sessions this year:

 Fall Focus Speaker sm

Understanding Event Attendees: The Key to Successful Planning

Yma Sherry of American Express Meetings and Events was back to tell us a little more about their marketing process at AmEx which she has shared with many other organizations who have implemented this segmentation tool. You can use attendee personas to customize your marketing and event experiences to the various segments of your audience.

 • Planning for different groups--Knowledge Seeker, Tech-Savvy Networker, Inspiration Seeker, Social Butterfly, Reluctant Attendee, and the Brand Fanatic--will help you decide what event components will appeal most to the audience and how to engage attendees more.
 • Remember that personas may overlap and you can adapt their profiles to fit for your organization.
 • Creating experiences your attendees personally value will achieve the highest ratings and maximize your events. Audience members contributed ideas such as exclusive gifts or experiences for the Brand Fanatic or using Social Media Gamification for the Tech-Savvy Networkers.

Engage your attendees: How Social Media and Gamification Increases Adoption

Dave Nelson, Sales Executive at Cvent presented this session on using social media and in-app gamification to help your attendees get the most of your event. The pressure on event planners to create attendee engagement is high. Attendees of all generations are using technology and social media to stay in touch – meetings are no different. Here are the highlights:

 • Planners use social media to attract followers, extend their sphere of influence, extend the life of the event, cross promote events, and increase engagement.
 • Mobile Apps reduce printing, increase adoption, provide networking and personalization, and are now accessible for all types of events.
 • Zeignarnik Effect – Incomplete tasks create mental tension. Gamification offers planners ways to have attendees complete tasks at events.
  •In Gamification we can break down the users into Gamer Types to understand their motivation including:
  •Killers – focus on winning, rank, and direct peer-to-peer competition, engage using leaderboards, ranking
  •Achievers – focus on attaining status and achieving preset goals quickly and completely, engage using achievements

 •Socialites – focus on socializing and a drive to develop a network of friends and contacts, engage by newsfeeds, friends lists, chats
  •Explorers – focus on exploring and a drive to discover the unknown, engage by obfuscated achievements (Obfuscation is the obscuring of the intended meaning of communication by making the message difficult to understand)

Event organizers need to market the game before and during the event through social media, event website, blogs, email blasts, and signage.

A chapter event would be incomplete without a delicious reception and networking with our Exhibitors and Sponsors.

CMP Corner


2016 & 2017 have been stellar years for successes in the CMP Accreditation programs for MPI NENYs members and associates. The MPI NENY Education Committee, led by Cindy Sullivan, has held CMP Study Camps, facilitated by Joanne Dennison, CMP, MSEd of
The Ordinary Success Project, in the summers of 2016 and 2017 and the results are worth bragging about:

  • 2016 Class: 12 Participants

  • 2017 Class: 21 Participants

  • To date: 14 CMP Accreditations have been earned

  • 12 Participants are prepared to take an upcoming exam

  • More than 50% of MPI NENY members have earned their CMP.

Congratulations to all of you who have participated in our CMP program and best of luck to those that are gearing up for one of the next exams. If you are thinking about earning your CMP, MPI NENY is ready to support you. Start here with information about the CMP process. Then contact Cindy Sullivan who will personally work with you to get you started in the right direction.

Need Help with Exam Cost? There is a scholarship available from the Timothy S.Y. Lam Foundation that will cover the $450 cost to take the exam. The information about applying for the scholarship is available on the CMP Application section of the CIC (EIC) Website; just scroll down to the bottom of the page. Here is a link to the page
 MPI NENY is the Place to Be to Earn Your CMP!

Kimberly S. Williams, CMP


Associate Professor

School of Hotel, Culinary & Tourism

Schenectady County Community College

As a graduate of SCCC Hotel & Restaurant Management, my goal while attending school was to work in a big hotel upon graduation, but my path would take me to the world of Special Events at the Houston Astrodomain property. Baseball, football, rodeo, conventions, conferences, private and consumer trade shows, concerts - there is nothing that we did not do at the eighth wonder of the world and the first covered domed stadium, except a Super Bowl as it was not big enough.

Family would bring me back to New York; in 1992 I "fell" into teaching. I went back to school at SUNY Oswego and got my BS in Vocational Technical Education while teaching part-time in the Hotel, Culinary & Tourism Department at SCCC and working full-time in the purchasing department at the college. I have been teaching full-time since 2002, teaching lecture and lab courses focusing on event management, meetings and conventions, and everything hospitality related.

Having my CMP and knowing that this certification is recognized globally as the badge of excellence in the meeting, convention and events industry will allow me to continue to share the information with my students and prepare them for this industry. Whether it is in a classroom setting or as the SCCC MPI club advisor, I feel I have more knowledge to guide them, answer questions and assist with career advisement. I believe this certification and the preparation for the exam, has brought my teaching to the next level and I have much to share with many of the courses I teach. I am grateful that SCCC is supportive of continuing education and personal development of staff.


Colleen Whitaker, CMP

Director of Sales

Courtyard by Marriott Saratoga Springs and Excelsior Springs Event Center

I joined MPI after only being in the Hospitality/Events industry for a few years and was immediately impressed by the organization and its members. Many of the wonderful people I met had earned their CMP and I instantly knew that it was my next goal for my career. I am also very fortunate to work for a company like BBL Hospitality who not only supports continued education but fully encourages it. I feel like having my CMP will help me relate to my clients better and will benefit us as we detail and plan conferences together.

Welcome New Members
Welcome Image
Alysha Bigelow, Rockgate Hospitality Group
Jenn D'Angelo, Homewood Suites
Jonathan Froehlick, Visit Ithaca
Vanessa Jacobs, Emerson Resort & Spa

Mame Noonan

Mame Noonan, CMP Named in the Top 100 Performers with ConferenceDirect

ConferenceDirect Global Account Executive Mame Noonan, CMP is listed among the Top 100 Performers in the company for the 3rd Quarter of 2017. Congratulations!

Cvent - Web-based Software Solutions