I had the great fortune of spending the last few days in Houston, TX with a group of stellar industry professional who put on the PIE Conference – the 2014 SGMP Region V Partners In Education Conference. It’s a hard enough task at present to get attendees excited about government meetings when the industry still suffers, but to see five chapters come together in such a selfless professional manner and pull off a successful event like this, it was inspiring to say the least.
I was brought into Houston on a number of levels. For one, I’m the regional liaison to the National Board for this region, Region V, which represents the Houston Gulf Coast, the San Antonio Alamo, the North Texas, the Texas Lone Star Capital, and the Wild West Chapters of the Society of Government Meeting Professionals. That’s four Texas and one Oklahoma chapter. Secondly I was brought in a speaker to speak on the topic of Why Hotels Say No to Government Business. It’s a topic on which I most recently spoke at the NATCAP Expo last month and a top on which I’ll speak again at the SGMP Annual Education Conference in May. It’s a very valid short course for planners who are looking to better understand the nuances behind hotel sell decisions and an opportunity to have lively debate between planners and suppliers in Q&A after the presentation is complete.
Houston was the host chapter for this conference and their planning committee did a spectacular job of coordinating quality education, coherent programming, a lively silent auction, and fun and engaging networking events throughout the weekend. Kudos to their team. I am very much looking forward to returning next year as San Antonio hosts the PIE conference in 2015!