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December 21, 2005


Phelps Hope


I plan all the educational sessions and key networking events first. Then I wait until much closer in (say 2 weeks out) to respond to any invitations, as they seem to pour in every day about a month out. I choose the ones that will be of value to me professionally in the future, say a CVB of a destination I am planning a program for, or a vendor that I am needing to build a stronger relationship with to help with cost efficiencies and quality control.

So many parties, so little time!


Phelps R. Hope, CMP
VP Meetings & Expositions
Kellen Meetings,
a division of Kellen Company

Michelle W. Jones, CMP


Most of the invitations are for the one open evening at PCMA. Depending on how many invitations I get, and when they begin to arrive, it can be very difficult to decide which to attend. There are typically two kinds of events: receptions and dinners. I have been to both. For Philly, I have not accepted any formal dinner invitations. Instead I have opted for receptions, because it's possible to attend more than one. It's like making a plan to work a trade show. I decide which cities I need to see or want to learn about, and then make my plan based on locations and times. There's only one free night, so it's a challenge to fit it all in. As a planner, I know what it's like to have 'no-shows' so I try not to overextend myself.

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