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Attorney tackles contracts at SMM Conference


LEXINGTON, Ky. — An attorney whose practice focuses on nonprofits and professional associations will tell meeting planners how to prevent contract problems at the Small Market Meetings Conference, Sept. 26-28 in Little Rock, Ark.

Kristalyn J. Loson, an associate with the Washington-based firm Venable LLP, will discuss “Preventative Planning: Avoiding Common Legal Pitfalls in Hotel, Convention Center, and Meeting Contracts.”

Preparing effective contracts is one of three pertinent topics to be tackled during the conference’s educational sessions.

Loson is in the firm’s Regulatory Practice group, where she focuses on nonprofit organizations and associations. Other educational sessions at the conference will cover green meetings and the use of social media to communicate with attendees and build attendance.

Loson assists charities, trade and professional associations, and other nonprofit organizations on an array of legal issues, including incorporation and tax-exemption applications, tax-exemption compliance and IRS audits, corporate governance, membership issues, contract negotiation, and charitable solicitation regulation.

She helps draft and negotiate agreements between nonprofits and others including hotels, suppliers and conference speakers.

Before Loson went to law school, she was a fundraiser for a large, multinational nonprofit organization.

Through her experience in the nonprofit sector, she has gained perspective on the needs of these organizations, legal and otherwise.

Chris Wood, another conference speaker, will describe how meeting planners can use a community/network approach to applying green practices to their meetings.

Wood is director of social responsibility for the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). During his talk, Wood will give of organizations that have had success in doing so, as well as those whose efforts have failed.

He leads ASAE’s Convene Green Alliance (CGA), a resource for associations that are interested in making their meetings sustainable.

The CEO of a Little Rock Internet firm will tackle another hot meetings industry topic, the use of social media.

Marla Johnson Norris’ seminar, “Marketing is in Your Hands: How Social Media, Mobile Technology and Geo-Location Services Can Build Your Audience,” will show attendees how social media can be used to make conferences more successful.