New ideas, new technology, new conversation and new experiences—all on a budget. You've heard it all, seen it all and been to other industry events, but at Connect Marketplace, association and specialty organization event planners get their $200 registration fee back at the end of the event, and a proven reverse trade show maximizes time and money for both buyers and sellers.

Orlando • August 21-23, 2014

Association and specialty organization planners participate in education at Marketplace to help them do their jobs better. Learn about the topics you care about with colleagues who face the same challenges you do. Education for the 2014 Connect Marketplace in Orlando will be posted as the conference conference nears.


Lee Daniels

Filmmaker Lee Daniels knows how to tell bold stories. As a 21-year-old aspiring screenwriter, he founded a health care agency and provided nurses to private homes and hospitals. He sold the business and began managing actors, then turned to producing movies in order to find and create material for his clients. He went on to create acclaimed films “Monster’s Ball,” “The Woodsman,” “Precious,” and “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” all of which not only achieved box office success but were either nominated or were winners of awards including the Oscar, the Cannes Film Festival’s CICAE Arthouse Prize, and Special Mention for Excellence in Filmmaking from the National Board of Review.

Education Sessions


Hot Technologies 2014: It's Mobile, Social and Hands-On

Thursday 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Jim Spellos

Meeting U. >

As technology keeps moving forward, how are you keeping up with the tools available to you to get your job done? This half-day workshop will give you the opportunity to learn what’s new and way cool in technology within the meetings industry, while offering some hands-on learning. Be sure to bring your devices with you, as you’ll be using them to interact during the session and create meeting technology tools for your group.

1. Identify the most critical tech tools which are impacting meeting planning and supporting the hospitality industry
2. Understand how to manage the flow of information using social curation tools
3. Learn how practice creating a conference app for your own event
4. Understand new technologies impacting site inspection and event communications


Creating an Interactive Meeting with Cross-Generational Appeal

Thursday 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Karen McCullough

Karen McCullough & Co. >

Today’s meeting professionals are inundated with information about leveraging social and mobile technologies in their meetings. However, no one is addressing the elephant in the room—not all attendees want to be tech-savvy. Yet, not using technology is a surefire way to lose the attention (and attendance) of multitasking Gen Y. This workshop equips attendees to create interactive event experiences that appeal across generations, reinforces learning and turns attendees into brand advocates.


1. Learn generational differences in technology use
2. Bust some myths about multigenerational learning styles
3. Identify nontechnology dependent interactive strategies that complement digital native social and mobile use
4. Present fresh ideas that will enchance the attendee experience with and without the use of technology
5. Develop a simple, customized action plan for engagement in your upcoming meetings


Dimensionalize the Attendee Experience

Friday 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Chris Gasbarro

C3 >

Today’s meeting and event marketplace is challenged with providing more unique, consistent and engaging programs to achieve organizational goals. It’s not just about putting all of your design and wow into one event during a conference, it’s integrating a message throughout every program opportunity that will enhance learning and objectives for a more impacting experience for your attendee. This program will demonstrate creative ways to develop cohesive meetings and events through environmental design of how to dimensionalize the attendee experience.

1. Design environments consistently through entire program structure
2. Identify learner outcomes and objectives of attendees and demographic analysis and matching appropriate solutions
3. Learn ways to maximize budgets for wow creation
4. Discover how to leverage visual and design properties for maximum impact
5. Think creatively about how to achieve program goals and objections


Meetings and the Law: Creating and Managing a Risk Management Plan, Part 1

Friday 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Bonnie Wallsh

Bonnie Wallsh Associates >

Barbara F. Dunn

Barnes & Thornburg >

Join industry attorney Barbara F. Dunn and veteran meeting professional Bonnie Wallsh as they lead an interactive and informative session on today’s most pressing liability and risk management issues. Together, in the first session, we will differentiate types of risk management, discuss risk management techniques, identify liability concerns and review a risk management plan.


1. Identify types of risk management
2. Develop risk management techniques


Strengthen Your Career Potential

Friday 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Brent O'Bannon

Strengths Finder Coaching >

Discover not only what you are the best at but how to apply your strengths to career success. In this interactive workshop, attendees will take the Strengths Finder 2.0 assessment prior to the workshop and will practice strengths teambuilding activities they can take back to their managers and teams. Hear a powerful metaphor of teamwork from a dog sledding adventure that will have you howling and your teams mushing.


1. Discover a fresh approach to strengths and leadership styles
2. Develop organic strengths partnership
3. Create a leadership brand with your strengths
4. Learn how to influence internal and external customers with your strengths
5. Dare to go back to the basics of trust, compassion, stability and hope


Strategic Contract Negotiations—Plan and Think Before You Ink

Friday 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Cheryl M. Payne

Meeting Sites Resource >

Hotel contract risk reduction and cost containment have become an important metric in the Strategic Meetings Management (SMM) landscape. In this interactive workshop, we will address industry issues and trends relating to planner/hotelier negotiations, including specific methods to validate and report contract risk mitigation. Additionally, we will review key hotel contract performance clauses and methods to calculate damages. Attendees will also learn the pros and cons of utilizing a hotel contract addendum versus a custom hotel contract process (ready for signature) and methods to create a cost savings/risk reduction/cost containment report.


1. Understand industry issues and trends that impact hotel and contract negotiations
2. Examine key hotel contract performance clauses and specific methods to assure risk reduction/cost containment
3. Know the essential components of a cost savings/risk reduction/cost containment report
4. Review five steps to value-based contract negotiations
5. Enhance communications and partnerships with hoteliers