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The Group Travel Leader Going on Faith Select Traveler

Attendee relates his SMM Conference experience

John Koon, of JEK Consulting in San Francisco, attended the Small Market Meetings Conference held in Little Rock in 2011 and in Jacksonville, Fla.,  in 2012. He will attend the 2013 conference in Sioux Falls, S.D. Here, he talks about his past experiences, and why he is attending the conference this year.

Why have you attended past Small Market Meetings Conferences?
Having never been to Little Rock, I was interested in seeing the Clinton Library for a possible venue. Jacksonville is a great destination and I am considering it as a venue for a meeting that I am planning for 2014.

What were your most valuable experiences at the SMMC?
I met great people in both destinations. In Little Rock, I learned a great deal about Bentonville, where Walmart is headquartered. In Jacksonville, we had a great keynote speaker, Laura Schwartz, who opened my eyes to off-site venues when planning special events for clients.

What motivated you to sign up for the Sioux Falls conference?
The sales team from Sioux Falls did a great job presenting their city, and there is no better cheerleader than Joe Cappuzzello (SMMC CEO and president) in generating energy for a new site.

If another meeting planner asked you whether they should attend the conference, what would you tell them?
I would tell the planner that they are in for a wonderful surprise in both the destination and the people and staff you will be meeting and working with.

The Small Market Meetings Conference in Sioux Falls, S.D., is complimentary to qualified meeting planners. Planners receive up to $400 reimbursement for travel, a two-night stay in Sioux Falls, all meals, education sessions and networking events. For more information, visit