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A SMMC Schedule Full of Fun and Opportunities

Attendees of the fifth annual Small Market Meetings Conference should prepare for a whirlwind three days with colleagues, information galore, FAM tours of Mesa, Arizona, food and fun. The conference is produced in partnership with Small Market Meetings magazine.

“I strongly recommend people go to Mesa. Not only are you representing a cost savings for your organization, but it’s a different atmosphere,” said Mo Regnier, president of GATI Event Management, which specializes in meeting/event organization and logistics. Regnier has attended SMMC twice and will attend the Mesa conference.

“Because Mesa is a smaller city, people will go out of their way to show off their product,” Regnier said. “It’s refreshing to see people take extra care of you.”

On Sunday, the conference’s opening day, registration will take place all afternoon. The evening’s keynote address will be delivered by Frank Pacetta, a sales expert, author and executive for ComDoc, which sells copiers, printers and software services for document management.

Visit Mesa is the host of the opening reception and lively entertainment, both of which are always conference highlights.

“It’s huge, a great opportunity to showcase the destination and give planners an idea of what they’re going to experience in the coming days,” said Joe Cappuzzello, president and CEO of Group Travel Family, the conference organizer.

Monday morning’s breakfast with colleagues will be followed by a seminar by industry attorney Jonathan Howe, who will discuss meeting trends from a legal perspective. Howe’s address will be followed by Marketplace Kickoff, an upbeat 10-minute presentation by a destination city. Attendees will then proceed to Marketplace I, where they will meet with industry delegates during prescheduled appointments designed to help them make new contacts and possibly book business.

Lunchtime will bring more entertainment and another pitch from a destination city. Next is the Elevator Pitch, where a handful of destination representatives will perform creative 60-second pitches to pique the planners’ interest.

The rest of the afternoon will be devoted to FAM tours of Mesa intended to educate and inspire. A fun evening of dining and entertainment are planned by Visit Mesa.

Tuesday will bring Marketplace II, followed by a seminar on industry issues with Sue Tinnish, dean of the School of Hospitality Management at Kendall College in Chicago. The closing luncheon’s highlights are a presentation and entertainment from 2015 conference host city Little Rock, Arkansas, and the Diamond Drop, during which every attendee will receive a gift, and one lucky attendee will win a diamond gemstone.

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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.