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The Group Travel Leader Going on Faith Select Traveler

New SMM Summit Offers Boutique Meeting Planning Experience

The Summit as envisioned by The Group Travel Family will begin with a registration period, always a good time for renewing old friendships and making new contacts. That will be followed in the evening by a pleasant outdoor reception for delegates. The following day will include a full session of business appointments, networking opportunities, educational speakers and mealtimes.

“We realize how important time is for everybody,” said Joe Cappuzzello, CEO of The Group Travel Family, the company that manages the Small Market Meetings Conference and is creating the Small Market Meetings Summit. “We want meeting planners to get everything done in a single day.”

The summit will feature a select group of 25 qualified meeting planners who will be paired with professionals from 25 destinations around the nation. Each of those destinations will have three representatives present.

“Ideally, they could be the CVB and a hotel and a conference center, or whatever combination of people the destination wants to send,” said Cappuzzello. “All three are selling the city together as a meeting destination.”

The group will sit down together in a pod setting, and instead of holding a six-minute meeting ordinarily found at the Small Market Meetings Conference, the meetings will be extended to 12 minutes, half of them conducted in the morning, the rest in the afternoon. “Everyone can do them and go home the same day,” Cappuzzello said.

Meeting planners who choose to attend the summit will not be eligible to attend the regular Small Market Meetings Conference during the same calendar year.

Education Component

The Small Market Meetings Conference is known for its lineup of excellent speakers who inspire or educate delegates. This new Small Market Meetings Summit being designed will also feature several professional speakers well-known to meetings industry attendees. Delegates will be able to enjoy personalities like Johnny Campbell, who addresses ROI issues, Jennifer Darling, who is a customer-relations authority, and Jim Spellos, whose technology discussions change each year as new meeting planning apps and web-driven resources come online.

After the Summit

Given the new summit’s compressed format, there will not be time for sightseeing tours during the day-and-a-half gathering. However, the local convention and visitors bureau has the option of organizing a postconference FAM tour of the area. Planners who choose to remain will get a great first-hand look at meeting facilities and venues for a future delegation of theirs to enjoy.

“The Summit will be the type of event that busy planners can make time for,” said Cappuzzello. “None of us has time to waste in today’s work environment and our new Summit will deliver value to meeting planners in a very compressed timeframe. Stay tuned for lots of additional information about the new Summit!”

A Note to All Readers

For the latest news on the status of the new Small Market Meetings Summit, call (800) 628-0993 or visit

The 2020 Small Market Meetings Conference will be held as scheduled on October 4 – 6 in historic French Lick Springs, Indiana.  For more information, or to register, use the phone number or website above.

Dan Dickson

Dan has been a communicator all his professional life, first as an award-winning radio and TV news reporter for two decades and then as a communications director for several non-profits for another decade. He has contributed to The Group Travel Leader Inc. publications since 2007.