Planning a Conference…

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We are Planning a Conference…for 2015!!!!

 

AENC Annual Trade Show

A few weeks ago I was asked by Matthew Kane (Rotary Governor 2014-15 for District 7710) to help plan the RD 7710 Conference for 2015.  This will be my first experience with planning a conference, but I am up for the challenge!  The conference typically takes place in April and can be hosted anywhere along the South-East Coast (usually in NC, SC, Eastern TN or VA).  The planning committee has to take into consideration the driving/travel distance and the cost of lodging.  I was really excited that Matthew asked me to help participate in the planning for the 2015 conference.

 

Cool AENC Ice Carving

Our first duty was to attend the AENC Annual Trade Show (Association Executives of North Carolina).  This expo was held in downtown Raleigh at the Convention Center and featured over 200 Chamber of Commerce’s, Visitor Bureaus, hotels, condos, travel destination and anyone else associated with large conference planning.  This trade show was excellent for anyone/group who is in the midst of planning a conference!

Planning a conference

The AENC was open only to individuals who are employed by or volunteer with nonprofit associations/societies and meeting planners who work for corporate, educational, non-profit, health or government organizations.  We registered with Rotary International as volunteers planning a conference for 2015.

 

Attending this event brought back some good memories of my years as an undergraduate at East Carolina University in the Hospitality & Tourism department.  I attended the AENC event with Matthew and fellow Rotarians, Arthur Rogers and Lori Barbier.  We had a great time walking around and talking about possible conference locations.  Below is a fun picture of Matthew and Arthur at the Hickory, NC booth.

Erin and Becca

The 2012 conference was held in New Bern, NC and was a favorite location for many.  The 2013 conference will be held in Raleigh and 2014 will be held in Ashville, NC.  We talked with lots of conference centers, hotels and restaurants during the afternoon and shared with them our thoughts about planning a conference and took some of their ideas into consideration.  Our event typically draws about 250 Rotarians and requires about 100 hotel/lodging options.  It’s a 2-3 day conference and really creates a lot of new friendships among Rotary clubs in our district, as well as a good opportunity to learn about other clubs and get some ideas to take back to your club.  The afternoon went fast, we met some really great people, learned about some neat destinations and came up with some good possible locations.  I was so thrilled to see one of my ECU friends, Erin Dale!

Tonya and Becca

Erin and I were ECU Ambassadors together and were also in the same hospitality & tourism department together.  Erin’s group was doing a neat project; they were having guests build a “Furry Friend” by Teddy Bear in a Box, and were going to donate them to the Orange County Women & Child Center.  I went through the Greensboro Convention & Visitors Bureau area and stopped to talk with Tonya Miller, Sales Manager, for Embassy Suites Hotel.  Thanks Tonya for being willing to SMILE with me for a blog picture!

Matthew & Arthur with La Quinta of Hickory, NC

We have a lot of work ahead of us towards planning a conference for 2015, but it is going to be fun and I’m excited!  Rotary is such a great opportunity to be involved in your community and our WORLD!  Thank you to My Girlfriend’s Closet, for helping me pick out this sparkly pink sweater!  It was a perfect top for the holidays and I’ve enjoyed wearing it to many events!  I really love the black pumps that were accented with a pink puffball on the toe!  Such a cute unexpected addition!

 

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