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SMMC 2015: Speakers to Deliver Inspiration and Insights

Small Market Meetings Conference organizers pride themselves on presenting industry professionals who help meeting planners navigate tricky aspects of the business world. The conference’s keynote speaker is often someone who humorously inspires audience members to be their best.

The keynote address Sunday evening, September 27, will be delivered by DeDe Murcer Moffett. But don‘t settle in for the typical industry speech from behind a podium. Moffett is known for her infectious song-and-dance routines, parodies and storytelling in an enthusiastic motivational presentation called “Stand Up and S.N.A.P. Out of It.” S.N.A.P. stands for “See New Achievable Possibilities.”

“I call it entertaining leadership, because influential leadership comes from the heart and the heart is activated by emotions,” said Moffett. “If we entertain people and take them through a journey, the learning process really sticks, hits home and causes them to act.”

Come with your questions when industry attorney Sam Erkonen leads a seminar Monday morning, September 28, just before Marketplace I. Erkonen is a partner in the Chicago law firm of Howe and Hutton. During a session called “The Lawyer Is In,” Hutton will discuss the many legal entanglements meeting planners may face.

Erkonen won’t limit his talk to overly serious matters. “My typical PowerPoint involves humor and whacky war stories I run into,” he said.

Tuesday morning, September 29, New York University professor and lecturer James Spellos will educate delegates about the technology they must understand to arrange conferences in the modern world. Spellos has been both a meeting planner and a meeting supplier, so he knows territory from both sides.

“Customer service is critical,” he said. “You’ll deal with all size meetings and different styles and must understand that each person comes with different needs.”

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.