Event planning checklists, online RFP creation, avoiding audiovisual surprises
On our show today we have 3 great segments.
1) Event Planning Checklist for Workshops and Seminars
With Pat Ahasey
2) BEFORE You Send Your RFP—5 Local Conditions to Consider
With Christine “Shimo” Shimaskaki
3) 5 Ways To Avoid Surprise AV fees
With Jon Trask
Event Planning Checklist for Workshops and Seminars
Pat Ahaesy, CMP. CSEP
Great tips and tricks for planners to prepare.
Pat’s company, P&V Enterprises is headquartered in New York City.
Where you can find Pat (Better question is where isn’t Pat?)
BEFORE You Send Your RFP—5 Local Conditions to Consider
Christine Shimo Shimasaki
Managing Director of empowerMINT.com and event impact calculator Destination Marketing Association International
There is a lot of industry talk about the volume of RFPs but what I think we should focus on is the quality of the RFP itself. Even veteran planners need to think about how their RFP will be receive, it’s after all a reflection of your meeting and how you expect to be handled. So let’s be fully informed about the five conditions, which affect the room demand of the destinations and hotels you’re considering. Key conversations with your CVB experts up front which educate you about how to best construct your RFP for favorable responses.
If you’d like to know more about what information to include in your RFP and how to tailor it for the destinations, join our free 30 minute webinar on April 24th at 1pm EST with Jeanette Alvarez, CMP, PMP, Director Account Operations of Experient and Nathan Tollet, Director of Sales, Greater Houston CVB. Download the link
Download a free excel RFP workbook from the Convention Industry Council APEX Standards Committee, which contains templates for single hotel meetings, citywide, event technology, DMC & transportation services, and general service contractor. Download this link
5 ways to avoid surprise AV fees
Jon Trask from AVforPlanners.com
1) Negotiate Up Front
2) The Ins and Outlets
3) Go Into Labor
4) Avoid Service Charge Surprises
5) The Other stuff
From Jon Trask from AVforPlanners.com
Jon has been in the meetings an events industry for 3000 years and holds the CMP and CMM designations. He is a great guy and email him at Jon(at)avforplanners.com or at d72.c4e.myftpupload.com
Links for More Information:
http://trstimson.com/strategy/house-exclusivity-value-proposition/ In-House Exclusivity and Value Proposition
Mike: Well hello and welcome to this episode of the Meetings Podcast, my name is Mike McAllen from Grass Shack Events and Media and this is the Podcast for meetings and event organizers who want to produce engaging programs for their attendees plus empower organizers with new tips and resources to take their careers to the next level. You can find some links, some transcripts on the meetings podcast page if you want to read about this stuff instead of listening to me but I want to welcome the new people who are listening, hallo and thank you and I want to thank the regular listeners for your time and letting me to be sitting here talking about events stuff and meeting stuff and letting you know our segment producers talk to you. I hope you enjoy it and if you do head over to iTunes and give us a review. Today we have got a really good show, we have got Pat Ahaesy, CMP. CSEP she is going to be talking about event planning checklist for workshops and seminars and she is really great and then our 2nd segment is from Christine Shimasakibut she goes by Shimo she is a fantastic lady she is from The Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) and she is going to do kind of a cool little segment and also kind of leads up to webinar that they are doing coming up next week that you should check out. It is called before you obtain your RFP 5 local conditions to consider and she is kind of talking about the 5 conditions that affect the room demand of destinations and hotels you are considering with the online RFP process it is very interesting, a lot to learn and then the 3rd segment is with our own Jon Trask at AV for Planners and he is sharing 5 ways to avoid surprise AVs, so let’s just get right into Pat and here what she has to say about her checklist for workshops and seminars, so take it away Pat.
Pat: This is my event planning checklist for workshops and seminars. Many people organize a seminar or workshop to educate their clients and potential clients. Needless to say this is an excellent way to introduce yourself to potential clients and to reinforce your relationship with current clients. Most seminars are half day but some are full day or possible two days. This is my suggested checklist with explanation in order of importance;
#1 Before you do anything determine your objective for the seminar or workshop, why are you doing this? What do you want to achieve? What is the demographic of the audience that you wish to reach? What would be your topic? What would be the best location for the seminar or workshop? What would compel people to attend?
#2 What is your budget? And we will get back to this.
#3 Outline the event, the date, times, location, room setup, space required, location, contact, food and beverage, invitation list, promotional materials, social media, creation of the invitation.
#4 who is the organizer, you, your company, a client?
#5 thinking about what is needed other than you and your topic, what suppliers will you need? Here is a hint, presentation, preparation, sound, projection, internet, catering, give aways.
#6 Budget, yes a second time. Now that you know what you may need it is time to adjust your budget.
#7 Now that you have checked off numbers one to six it is time to search for that venue. Some options depending upon your audience and topic are local hotels, local conference centre, private room in a restaurant, private club, a museum, an art gallery, or possibly a large conference room. Each of these projects has a certain image and feeling so choose wisely. Although a gallery may seem wonderful, is it the right fit for your seminar? Does a conference room fit the needs of your workshop? Think about it.
#8 Create your event profile to send to the venues that you would like to consider, the following should be included in the profiles, the dates or date of your event, be flexible because there is a possibility of a better price. Your room set up theatre, school room, U shaped etcetera. The number of attendees, the time of the event plus the time to load in and set up and tear down and load up, the load in, setup, tear down varies depending on your seminar and the venue.
#9 Develop the agenda or confirm with your speaker the agenda may change along the way so make an allowance for that, if you are the speaker or presenter or your client is that person, check frequently for updates and inform your venue and suppliers so they can give you the best possible.
#10 Visit the venue, you need to be sure that it is what you thought that it is you don’t want to be surprised at the day of your event.
#11 Confirm your agreement and contract with the venue the agreement is known as the banquet event order or BEO if you are planning a banquet that is the term, the BEO typically contains the number of attendees with the minimum guarantee up to maximum. The BEO contains everything through number seven and your date is now firm.
#12 Now it is time to create event invitations for email and snail mail, this may sound obvious but there have been invitations sent out without the correct information, so be sure to proofread, you need the event topic name, your date, your time, place with complete address, directions and a map would be good, the name of the person or company host, RSVP information and the agenda.
#13 Purchase give aways and raffles people love it.
#14 Print the agenda and any other hand outs or workbooks.
#15 Purchase folders and inserts.
#16 Create signage and have this printed.
#17 Like just to be finalized, speaker reminder, check on speaker needs and any changes. Audio visual, check on what you need and what has been contracted with an audio visual or supplier whether their supplier is independent or in house.
#18 Get your event attendee count, report and update one week out to the venue and catering then report to the three days out to the venue and catering.
#19 What is your responsibility as host whether you are the speaker or someone else is the speaker? Perhaps someone else is the host be clear on who is responsible and what those duties include. Recheck numbers eleven to thirteen multiple times.
#20 Recheck the BEO multiple times especially before the date that you need to make your final guarantee.
#21 Send out a reminder to those who haven’t replied, send out a reminder to those who have accepted the invitations to simply remind them to be there.
#22 The day prior name badges should be printed, badges should have your event lists logo, attendee first name, attendee last name, attendee title or company or type of business such as account.
#23 If you are not the speaker, be sure to check the day prior for any possible last minute changes they do happen.
#24 Set up at least thirty minutes to one hour early so you can be calm when attendees arrive some could arrive as much as 30 minutes early and of course some maybe late.
#25 This last item should be considered throughout have a battle plan just in case things can happen beyond your control of course organized planning can avoid most glitches but things such as a transportation strike can delay things, a power outage, a bad projector, good to have a backup on site not in a warehouse plus having a technician who knows what to do gives you peace of mind. Consider alternative food and beverage if needed.
This list isn’t meant to frighten but to help make your seminar or workshop a success.
Christine Shimo Shimasaki Hi event planners, greetings my name is Shimo and I am the managing director of empowerment.com with destination marketing association international and DMAI is the trade association for destination marketing or organizations and they are also known in the industry as convention and visitor bills. DMAI created empowerment.com a free online CPP directory which is designed just for meeting planners really to help planners who are looking to research and to compare destinations and then ultimately connect directly with a local expert. Now my topic today is I wanted to talk about is related to that over the past several years there has been a lot of buzz in the meetings industry about the volume of RFPs, hotels and venues must increase to meaning the triple digit reported that have overwhelmed probably many hotels sales departments and fundamentally what we should recognize is that in order for hotels to respond to the planners RFP (Request For Proposal) they need to have the right information and requirements in the first place. If they don’t and have to spend a lot of extra amount of time asking you more questions and are researching the information themselves which of course adds time and combine this to that overall volume where you can see how this can produce less than desirable results even for the planners. So although I will provide you some resources for what should be included in an RFP in some of the links that are associated with this podcast, I want to talk specifically about the practice of first understanding the business conditions of the destinations and hotels you are considering before you send your RFP. I propose to you that by being armed with this information your requirements might be presented differently in your RFP and gone are the results that you are looking for not only in the availability and rates maybe that you are looking for but also demonstrates your knowledge and understanding of the market place and positions you with greater credibility amongst the suppliers with whom you will ultimately eventually negotiate with. So let me first set the stage that it would be a very time consuming for planners to gather this knowledge on every destinations being considered without the counsel about local expert, the CVP sales professional and they are one of the most resourceful and underutilized resources in the meetings industry. But their comprehensive view of the destinations, their local expertise and extensive in market relationships makes them the best first point of contact to help planners, hopefully if you are listening on this call and on this podcast find the right hotel venues for any size meeting both large and small and they are free to planners because I guess you can say their services are already paid for largely by the hotel tax assessments and other government resources and they are going to be the best resource for understanding the local business conditions of the destinations you are considering. So there are 5 conditions that I will mention today, condition number one is seasonality so this might be obvious to you but it is important to ask your CVP expert for the monthly occupancy rates so that you have an understanding where the highest roomed event period are which will restrict fax ability by the hotels you are negotiating with in terms of availability and concessions and you can’t assume that the holidays are always lower occupancy periods for example if you are looking for a lot of concessions cities like New York or Honolulu over the holidays you will find your RFP might end up in the bottom of that RFP stack hotels they are dealing with.
So condition number two though has to do with special events if your RFP requesting date over a special event that is local to that destination I used to work for the San Diego CVP and I would routinely counsel my customers about events such as the rock and roll marathon which was held most of the time in June but sometimes the dates fell in May and this event now not only draw 60,000 people but it also could affect access to properties along the coast at specific times so understanding this outright is essential so you don’t waste time going back and forth on alternative dates once you have already issued your RFP and discovered about this event.
Condition number three talks about the special events but also city wide conventions and depending upon your event requirements holding your meeting over a city wide convention that has already been booked for six or seven years out and maybe special events like the rock and roll could be very helpful for example if your meeting utilizes a lot of hotel meeting space and there is a name for that we say in the industry but if you require a lot of meetings space compared to your guest room block be overlapping a city wide convention where the hotel is already participating with the partial block on that city wide maybe a good match. On the other hand depending upon the demand of that city wide convention and whether the demand is being driven through contracted either of those contracted room blocks this will create maybe a lot of compression in the destination and therefore accept available inventory, that available inventory would be then sold at a higher rate so always good to understand the climate that you are dealing with in terms of the demand.
Now there is local conditions number four and five which are related and I will talk about them together and that is the business transient and leisure business demand. So destinations will differ in their market mix for example destinations like Philadelphia have a high week day business transient demand therefore if your meeting RFP indicates you will arrive on a Tuesday and depart on a Thursday and don’t indicate flexibility to this pattern then your RFP would perhaps be looked at first glance and the hotel you may need to move on to other business that might fit a more traditional Sunday, Wednesday, Friday or Saturday arrival departure patterns. But conversely for destinations that draw on a high weekend leash or demand like Palm Springs which is where I used to work and the Marriott Hotel we depended a great deal on group business for our weekdays demand and we were a little more flexible when it comes to those midweek arrivals so the moral of the story here is lets understand what the business demand is in the destination for the meetings hotels that you are looking for and most of them take advantage of the CVP expertise and arm yourself with the right information before you begin your sourcing process. This is Shimo Managing Director of Empowerment.com with destination marketing association international.
Mike McAllen: Alright, welcome back I am here with Jon Trask from AV for Planners if you are a listener you know Jon because Jon has been on for how many shows now Jon?
Jon: Well 379 or something like that I think.
Mike: Exactly and we were going to talk a little bit about that it is the anniversary of the podcast coming up well I guess when people are listening to this it will already have happened but right now it is coming up.
Jon: Right and it is kind of amazing to me that it has been 6 years of that just doesn’t seem possible.
Mike: Yeah once we prepared to talk here you were saying how you remember when we first talked I didn’t remember that and you said we met at?
Jon: It was at the Hollywood Renaissance Hotel I was doing a show for Grass Shack and you and I were standing in the back of the ball room just chatting about joyous things and we both mentioned having thought about starting a podcast about the meetings industry and meeting about audio visual and really I think from that conversation is where this sort of grew into what became the meetings podcast.
Mike: And then also on that show because that was a pharmaceutical show and now that you are talking about it I remember I had Tom Hilmer who did the show with us before he was the meeting planner on that Bio Jennai Decker it was their pharmaceutical show so we were all working on that same show and I had talked to him about it you know to do it too to give the perspective he is creative from this third party meeting planner company.
Jon: And Tom was really he was probably on the show at least the first couple of years a regular.
Mike: And I saw him at imex when we were there and he said he was talking about how people still come up to compensate you and we were we just I was still doing the search and he comes up in there on goggle it was like one of his top things so he says people are always telling me they heard me on the podcast I don’t think he says that as much because they moved down but when you look him up he is right on top there so it works for SEO I guess.
Jon: Well and I mean we have I mean one of the things we were chatting about before we started actually talking here officially for the podcast system was just like all the people that we have met and the connections we have made and the opportunities that have come out of this it has been really a lot of fun and it did work I mean it worked in the sense that we have met people we may not have otherwise met.
Mike: Well that goes to show you too that companies no matter who they are can become the media now you can go out and make your own show, you can make your own media so you don’t need to go to people to make your media for you, you should introduce your content like this and I think it is really a good lesson because I remember those first phone calls after we did a few of them talking to MPI, PCMA going hey we have this podcast, we have a pretty big following who are listening to us, we are in there either, we are one of the most intimate things you can do you actually go into the people’s ear that are listening to us because most people are commute in or they are on the thread mill or they are running or they are gardening that is when people listen to podcasts so it was funny to have tried so hard and then I remember that first, I can’t remember the guy’s name I think he was from PCMA and he said now what is a podcast? Do you have anybody I can talk to that can verify this? And so I was given different names, people I had met through social media Jeff all those event camp people basically and then we started in on those and it has been a fun ride and then now like the imex thing that was a huge one.
Jon: Well and that came I still remember because I interviewed Karina at the first imex America and we sat down and talked but at the same time I did a show with Elizabeth Glau who still contributes very, very regularly and David Anderson from hears us out in California and the three of us were talking about our experiences with the show and Elizabeth and I both had some comments about things that we thought could be improved and I remember getting a note back from Karina saying she had had her whole team listen to those ideas and listen to that podcast and it was like that was a really cool thing and we have been to that working with imex and developing a great relationship with them I mean we love the folks at imex and that whole opportunity, that whole thing of working and becoming friends with them was based upon this podcast.
Mike: and they actually made changes from the podcast for the event I mean they listened and they made those changes and that was needful to go back on and talk about that and then of course becoming now their sponsor and they actually made our podcast profitable which is interesting and then actually right now so we just talked about something we are doing for them Frankfurt and they have invited us to go out to Frankfurt though we are unfortunately not going but we are still doing some podcasting for them for that show which should be kind of fun to do too.
Jon: Yeah and I know a couple of things that just jumped to my mind when I was thinking about all this before we started I remember kind of what I think is our first scoop and that was we talked about the AIG crisis, the problem at Dana point before anybody in our entire industry was talking about it. I remember we found that story, we discussed it, we talked about what it is that could have been handled and all of that and being ahead of the pack on that I am still proud of that and I mean that was probably five years ago that we did that and then the tweet ups again talking about this building connections and meeting people through this, having like what was that 120 or 150 people show up to the tweet up and event guru?
Mike: Yeah pretty crazy!
Jon: Yeah so thank you to everybody who has been listening and I wanted to get that out there too it is just we appreciate it, it has been fun, we enjoy doing it, we hope that everybody has been enjoying listening to it and it is crazy that it has been 6 years already.
Mike: I know totally crazy and it has opened so many doors of all these people we have interviewed and yeah you are right, thank you to the listeners it has been pretty fun ride and it continues on.
Jon: Yes, and that said we are going to talk about something.
Mike: So today’s topic is from Jon Trask from AV for Planners, Jon thank you for being on the show.
Jon: I am very glad to be here today.
Mike: And you have been talking about 5 tips to avoid unexpected AV charges.
Jon: Yeah what I am trying to do here is there is a topic of discussion that is has been going on for a number of years probably about as long as we have done the podcast and that is the sort of in house versus the outside AV vendors and there is a lot of confusion, there is a lot of mistrust and there is a lot of non-transparencies some of it is pretty opaque and people get surprised by things that come up and we have talked before about like how to do a site survey and some of the things to look for but I wanted to talk here a little bit about looking at your contract and understanding and that is really tip number one, understand your contract and make sure that the things that need to be in there are in there and documented, and then what I am speaking of here are things like what is the cost for rigging? What is the cost for power? Find that out before you sign because one of the challenges that people have had problems with at certain properties is that there can be a varying scale on some of those charges and often at times it is used as leverage to try and capture business when that has happened. That doesn’t happen at every property but there are a lot of properties that are very straight forward and that is one of the things to keep in mind about all these tips is there are good properties and there are properties that maybe aren’t so good. There are good in house companies, there are in house companies that maybe aren’t so good the same way that there are outside companies that maybe aren’t as talented. So you have to just keep the conversation going and study all these things so look in your contract documents as much of it as you can, understand as much of it as you can, so that you aren’t surprised later on when you say ooh I want to bring in my regular vendor who travels the country with me and you are told ooh you aren’t allowed to do that by the terms of the contract you have signed.
So making sure that you understand that is step one, I touched just now on rigging and power and I am going to say that is really tip number two because not every event needs rigging but almost every event of any size is going to need some sort of power. And when I am talking about power I am not talking about the standard outlooks in the room which are pretty much included in everybody’s estimation but if I am going to bring in amount of audio visual equipment if I am bringing in an AV vendor I am going to need some additional power in the room to power all that particular if I am using gliding or maybe if I am using watch projection. And so understanding what the charges are, documenting them upfront, documenting as what is very important to avoiding those surprises and back in because I have seen some very, very high power bills and I have seen other places where it is just all say it is included in the room whatever you need. So knowing that upfront is going to give you some cost certainty the same thing with rigging and both of this is what is called kind of safety and security items so the venue keeps a little tighter control over rigging and power because on one rigging you are capturing things to their building they want to know that it is being done safely and they want to have it be known that it is being done correctly so they feel by bringing in a particular vendor that they trust to do that that is good and it is constant and it is something where the people working they know it. What I would say for a planner though is make sure that the people they are bringing in are able to take that liability, ask what their insurance are, ask for what their credentials are there are ways to be rated as a rigger, there are classes you can go to and certifications you can have so make sure that the people doing the work are qualified to do the work and not just somebody who happens to be on property who has taken a class. So you want to have those certainties that the work is being done safely and correctly and honestly these are the two areas that I have my most concerns about whenever I am doing any sort of production because rigging and power are two things that can injure someone much more than if your projector goes out it goes out but if something falls people get hurt so you really need to keep safety at the fore front of this conversation and make sure that whoever is doing this work is qualified.
Labour is going to be the third area to keep an eye on and this can be really contentious between the various parties. There are a lot of properties that will require if you aren’t using their in house team that you pay for someone to be in the room monitoring the people who are doing the work to ensure that they don’t damage the property or that they don’t break any other rules or that they have someone immediately accessible if they need information about something within the venue works. Kind of a plus and minus here mainly because there are some people who look at that as a little bit of a burden having to pay for someone who isn’t working and effectively the people who are provided under those rules of agreements often at times aren’t allowed to work as a working member of the crew so know what those charges are, know what those requirements are if you are bringing in someone from the outside.
Then the next thing to be aware of is what jurisdictions and what house rules are there about labour contracts and shadow labour. Shadow labour is where the property has to provide people in an equal number or say a union venue in an equal number to the people who are working so you are basically paying for two sets of labour in those cases. So for property has shadow rules on certain areas of your production it can increase your labour cost extensively so keep an eye on those areas and know what unions, what house rules are and what things come into play on your labour before you contract.
Number four are service charges, service charges can be a real unexpected surprise in this conversation because I have seen people who will get a quote and the quote was very competitive but then on the backend there is 20% or 30% in service charges and in tax and things added on top of that and so it ends up being a real surprise because obviously if you are getting a 30% discount but you are paying a 30% service charge you aren’t really having any savings built in there. So make sure you know what those charges are and what things are subject to those charges some places add maybe labour, some places add maybe labour and equipment. You can also keep an eye on what we call sort of the idea of bringing in outside equipment and having it be like a carriage fee I don’t see that showing up as often anymore but there were some properties trying that at one point and that fee was done basically on an estimation by the venue or the in house company of what your production should have cost and then they would charge you a penalty fee basically to offset the lost revenue. So it wasn’t a popular thing it got waived quite frequently as you can imagine but it is something to be aware of that there are properties who have considered those sorts of charges. So keeping that at the forefront also and then the last thing is just sort of keep an eye on the other stuff and one thing you can do is ask to see the venue’s production outlines that they give to outside company that is going to have a lot of the stuff spelt out of what the property’s expectations are and some of the rules that I have seen at various properties you have to use a certain color of tape for tapping down cables, you have to use visqueen or plywood or some floor coverings any time you are working in the ball room bringing equipment in. I have seen clothing standards, I have seen people being prohibited from storing empty cases back stage which is by the way something that is commonly done if we are doing re-projection we have an area of the ball room it is blocked off by drape quite frequently that is used for the empty case storage but I have seen properties who say they prohibit that and won’t allow that to happen back stage. So being aware of these production guidelines and these rules will also help you when you are contracting know where some of these costs are going in and these are all items that you want to communicate back out to any potential vendors if you are aware of them right upfront it is a lot easier to say by the way you are going to have to bring in brown gap table, you are going to have to bring in red gap table whatever the proper house rule is for that or knowing that they have to put down visqueen. Another thing even is like fire signs maybe required in certain cities and that maybe a fire code issue if you are putting up a drape line so being aware of all of these other pieces that can add to your cost before you contract will keep you from having this huge surprises on the other hand and running into extra costs that you didn’t budget for.
So those are the five tips for avoiding surprises on your property bill.
Mike: That is great Jon well there is a lot of this stuff too and it can really help you just negotiate when you go in you really take a look at your stuff and having some simple things to look at like these are fantastic to keep those hidden costs and these hidden costs can end up being a lot.
Jon: Yes, we have seen it happen both of us and so being aware of these things in advance, having a good conversation in advance will keep everybody on the same page it is going to make far happier show on the other end.
Mike: It really is, it is amazing I was just having a conversation with a producer yesterday and he was telling me about this I was in Chicago and having some issues with the union that this venue that they did was totally they didn’t anticipate because of the sort of thing, they just signed off what is going to cost but they didn’t really look into it, so good to know thank you so much.
Jon: Glad to be here once again.
Mike: And where can people find you these days Jon?
Jon: I have been doing most of my time over at AV for Planners and we are still looking for a few good men and women to come help us do a little bit of testing over there we have a relatively new system you can do a free RFP on the site anytime, you can then store it we create a portal for you and then we can help you pick and vet your AV companies including the in house companies and go through their quotes and help you decide who the best choice to support your meeting is.
Mike: Very cool well thank you very much to all our segment producers I appreciate their time their efforts on these little segments that we are putting on I would like to thank first of all Pat, Pat did a great job, Pat is a CMP, she is CSEP, she helps companies have seamless and stress free events, she has over 25 years of planning and implementing corporate and non-profit conferences and special events as well as incentive programs. Her background is collaboration in PNV she began as an educator then to the world of corporate and incentive travel, Pat has planned CME meetings, conferences, trade shows, special events as well as tours for art and incentive groups and she knows her stuff she has been a certified meeting professional from the convention industry council the CIC for more than 10 years and has held the certified special events professionals designation from the international special events society for 10 years. She is fantastic, Pat thank you, thank you her website is www.pnventerprises.com you can find her all over the place, twitter she is pnv123, face book, Linked In, Goggle+, Pinterest, she is everywhere. And then of course on her blog at pnventerprises.com/event-production.blog you can get all these things on our show notes if you want to go back to the meetings podcast site. Also I want to thank Christine Shimosaki, Shimo is fantastic everybody loves Shimo, a little bit about Shimo she a CDME, a CMP she joined the destination marketing association international (DMAI) in 2009 she is the Managing Director of Empowerment.com and the Event Impact Calculator. Shimo brings over 16 years of Destination Marketing Experience to her role, prior to joining Shimo served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer for the San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau. She was named one of the 25 most influential people in the meetings industry by successful meetings in 2012, she has her Master’s Degree in Business Administration from San Diego State University, she has done so many things currently she serves on the convention industry council, CIC Apex Standards Review Committee and she is chair of the ERFP’s efficiencies workgroup so she is also having a webinar which you should all check out and dive right in when she talked out on her segment, it is coming up on April 24th it is a free 30 minute webinar at 1.00 o’clock eastern time with Jannette Alverez who is the Director of Account Operations for experiment and also Nathan Tolet Director of sales greater Huston CVP and the link to it is blog.empowerment.com/register/improveyourrfpapril2014. Again you can get that off of the meetings podcast site I am sure you can get it from the empowerment.com site if you were just plug in empowerment.com right now and you can probably find on there also I am sure you can and also you can download a free RFP workbook from the CIC industry council apex standard committee which contains templates for single hotel meetings, city wide event technology, DMV transportation services and general service contractors. There is also a link to that which is too long to read because it isn’t good audio and links but again you can go on to the conventionindustry.org, libraries, apex, RFP, workbook, you go on there I am sure you can find it pretty easily and again that will be it is in your show notes right now on your phone if you were to look under, keep scrolling down you will find it there that is going to be hard to click on but it is going to work but you can always go to the site. And of course I want to thank our last segment Jon thank you so much, Jon is from AV for Planners and he shared his 5 ways to avoid surprise AVPs Jon has been in the meetings and events industry for around 3,000 years he holds a CMP and CMM designations, he is a fantastic guy and you can always email him at [email protected] or at grass shack road. Thank you imex America head over there look forward to see all of the meetings podcast listeners at imex America this year they are a great sponsor for us, great show also I wanted to thank AV for Planners because they are our new sponsor, they are Jon and I’s new company and we are plugging away that I think it is great, great thing for everybody who has to get some AV for their meetings or events we are doing a little specials right now for meetings podcast listeners for a free summary evaluation of your next meeting or conference it is a $1,500 value it is pretty cool for Wells Fargo we saved them $30,000 their last meeting with their national account that we did it for them and that is a great story we will tell you about that if you want email Jon he can tell you about that or email me at meetingspodcast(at)gmail.com you can find me, Mike McAllen from Grass Shack Events and Media you can find me at d72.c4e.myftpupload.com, you can call me on the telephone 9256993190 let me hear from you I am on Skype all the time as Mike McAllen I am out in California you can find me on the directory easily, I hope you enjoyed listening to the show, some great people, some great information I think please consider subscribing to this podcast by hitting subscribe and iTunes and give us a review if you liked it, last thing is if you are down the road of if you are on traffic right now take a picture of yourself and post it on instagram and keep the hash tag meetings podcast pretty interesting to see who is listening to the show, really love to see that. Please have a fantastic weekend and anniversary six years of the podcast, pretty good so have a great week and I will see you next time.