Movers & Shakers

Karen Bohlen is now Assistant Executive Director at Maryland Municipal League

Kara Bowman is now at Visit Anaheim

Dr. Berkita S. Bradford, PhD is now at Virginia State University

Brianna Bruce is now Conference Manager at Access Intelligence LLC

Nicholas Colangelo is now Senior Data Shaper at Bear Analytics, Inc.

Lauren Dwyer is now Director, Programs & Events at National Cable & Telecommunications Association

Amra Elmore is now Regional Sales Director with Visit Baltimore

Linda Erickson is now Vice President of Sales at Walter E Washington Convention Center

Penelope Freire, CMP is now Meetings & Exhibits Manager at American College of Medical Genetics Genomics (ACMG)

Kate Hawley is now Business Development Manager at American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS)

Robin Hoye is now Operations Manager at Access Intelligence LLC

Jennifer Johnson is now National Sales Manager at The Expo Group

Charlotte Keppers is now President of Lead Inbound

Amira Kruyne is now Meetings & Exhibit Manager at Society of American Military Engineers

Mariella Ley, CEM is now GM/Associate Show Director with IDG World Expo

Kelly Maguire, CMP is now Director of Meetings & Conferences at International Sign Association

Shannon Fitzpatric McDaniel is now National Account Director at The Expo Group

Johanna Merryman is now Director, Convention Activities at DDW Administration

Karen P. Miller, CEM is now Director of Exhibits & Sponsorships at National School Boards Association

Jennifer Moore is now Education Coordinator at Solar Energy Trade Shows LLC (SETS)

Nia Murphy is now Industry & Exhibits Operations Manager at DDW Administration

Megan Parmenter, CMP is now Chief Marketing Officer at National Conference Services

Jim Perrin is now  is now Director of Sales, North Atlantic Region at Global Experience Specialists (GES)

Elise Rankins is now Senior Event Manager at Hampton Road Convention Center (SMG)

Jessica Tennant is now Manager, Meetings & Exhibits with American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Jennifer Tomb, CAE, CEM, CMP is now Assistant Director, Meetings & Exhibits at American Society for Microbiology

Tina Wehmeir, CMP, CAE is now CEO with Tally Management Group, Inc.

John Woodstock is now Director of Business Development at InfoComm International

A Personalized Approach to Alumni Retention

By Kimberly (KC) Coerr and Shauna Peters

The easiest audience to convert to registrants should be past attendees. They have first-hand familiarity and (hopefully) positive feelings about the event to inform their decision to return. And yet, many shows experience low alumni retention rates. So how do you retain past attendees? Get personal.

Customizing communication with past attendees gives you a head start to ensure they return year after year.

Here are four simple, proven ideas to get you started:

  • Give an incentive. Send prior attendees a personalized email recognizing their “alumni” status and offering a discounted rate (or other value add) as an enticement to register for next year’s event as early as possible. Give specific reasons why they can’t afford to miss the next event, such as continuing the networking or business started at the prior event, updates on industry-specific policy or legislation or other time-sensitive topics.
  • Simplify registration. Work with your registration vendor to provide personalized URLs that pre-populate alumni demographic information. The call to action –register today – can be tailored with a “one-click” button that streamlines registration. Minimizing the process shows the attendee that you appreciate their past attendance and are eager to see them again next year.
  • Personalize event messaging. Since this prospect has already attended, you can skip selling him/her on the concept of the event. Rather, focus messaging on the new products, speakers, education sessions and features that keep the program fresh in their minds and highlight specific value in returning to the event.
  • Create ambassadors. Position past attendees as experienced leaders within the industry / organization and call upon them to mentor new members and first time attendees. By combining these groups and creating a mentorship program before, during and post-event, you create additional buy-in from both audiences by maximizing their involvement. It also helps ease concerns and anxiety of the new member attending for the first time by providing a built-in network and warm welcome, through these event ambassadors, before they set foot at the meeting.

These strategic, targeted approaches to audience retention go a long way toward creating a human connection, engendering loyalty from past attendees and ultimately helping your organization achieve its audience goals.



Andy’s Farewell

At the end of my term as Chair of the greatest chapter of IAEE, part of my responsibility includes writing an article for ShowBuzz to close out the year, reflecting on accomplishments, and sharing lessons learned.  In a move that has become familiar to my fellow board members, I waited until well beyond the last moment to fulfill this duty.  While it seems like procrastination, ok…it is. I waited for inspiration which comes from a familiar place: 34,000 feet, and specifically in seat 21D. I hope it was worth the wait.

For sure, I am just not ready to have it end.  It has been a pleasure and honor to chair this board and offer my service to the largest and greatest chapter of IAEE.  No doubt as a board we did not always see eye to eye, but that is what made us great.  We pushed and pulled each other and in doing so propelled the Washington DC Chapter of IAEE into what I firmly believe is a positive direction for the future.  Here is a brief list of achievements:

  • We have moved from a costly printed newsletter to an online newsletter.  This is saving the chapter thousands each year and help put us back on the path of financial stability.
  • We have become more engaged and closely aligned with IAEE’s National Headquarters working very closely with Lisa Buchanan, Director of Membership and Chapter Engagement.  Lisa has made herself to any and all requests from the board and even travel to DC to participate in our first ever full-day board retreat.  She has been a tremendous help with programs, bylaws and compliance, and advice gleamed from other successful chapters….and will continue to help future boards advance chapter goals.
  • Did I mention we had our first ever full-day board retreat?
  • The chapter now has an administrator to ensure proper succession planning from year to year.
  • We have begun the task of rebuilding our volunteer committee structure to create value for the chapter and value for the members who commit to serve.
  • We also added the position of Director of Young Professionals (YP) to the chapter board of directors.
  • And last, but certainly not least – we brought the trophy home from the 3rd annual IAEE DC vs. NYC Invitational golf tournament, also known as the War on the Shore!

Add to this list above that we put on more educational and special events than any other chapter, and it is easy to understand why I take pride in saying we are not just the largest chapter…we are the best chapter.

As promised above, I will leave you with the lessons I have learned:

  1. It is important to recognize that volunteers offer their services because they are passionate about the work. Embrace that passion and let it ignite ideas.
  2. It is too easy to do what has always been done…fight the temptation to take the easy path.
  3. Appreciate the people you most disagree with…they will challenge you and make you better.
  4. And finally….and I am still learning this one obviously…don’t procrastinate.

Thank you to my fellow board members and chapter members.  I have enjoyed every moment of my year as chair and look forward to the future.

Register for the Expo!Expo! Express!!



Join your local DC Chapter members on the Expo! Expo! Express, a complimentary roundtrip, regional bus service for our exhibition and event organizers, sponsored by Event Transportation Systems.


And you have options:

You can choose from a One Day Service on Wednesday, 2 December or the Full Meeting Service – Tuesday, 1 December and returning on Thursday, 3 December. Organizers must register for the bus service in advance in order to participate in this offer.


One Day Service – Round trip service on Wednesday, 2 December
~For organizers registered with the “Expo Only” badge. This will include:

  • 9:45 a.m.  – 10:45 a.m. – Keynote General Session
  • 11:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.- Day 2 show hours and lunch on the show floor
  • 3:45 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. – Last education session

Pick Up on Wednesday, 2 December:

  • 7:00 a.m. – Old Town Alexandria Metro Station
  • 7:30 a.m. – Arlington, VA Ballston Station
  • 8:00 a.m. – Bethesda Metro Station, Maryland

Return Service on Wednesday, 2 December:

  • 5:00 p.m. – From Baltimore Convention Center to the 3 originating stations

Full Meeting Service – One way service on Tuesday, 1 December and return service on Thursday, 3 December:
~ For organizers registered with the “Full Meeting” badge and staying overnight in Baltimore~

Pick up on Tuesday, 1 December: 

  • 9:30 a.m. – Old Town Alexandria Metro Station
  • 10:00 a.m. – Arlington, VA Ballston Station
  • 10:30 a.m. – Bethesda Station, Maryland

Return Service on Thursday, 3 December:

  • 6:00 p.m. – From Baltimore Convention Center to the 3 originating stations

Organizers must register for the bus service in advance in order to participate in this offer.


Click here to register now!

Fitting a Fitness/Wellness Zone into the Exhibit Floor

Dr.KimBy Dr. Kim

Integrating a wellness area into conferences and trade shows is a current and novel concept for the meetings and exhibition industry.  Wellness studios or wellness zones offer a place for attendees to learn about personal, conference, workplace and travel wellness, pick up wellness information, and experience fitness breaks.  A wellness studio also offers a mental and physical respite from the noise and crowds of the trade show environment.  The zone is restorative – it offers a place for attendees to re-energize and rejuvenate.

Health and wellness zones have been featured recently as part of open area learning labs with a wide variety of offerings from a tabletop display of wellness resources and TV monitor showing fitness break videos on a continuous loop, to a stage with a seating area featuring wellness talks and live “on-the-go” fitness breaks, to massage and beauty stations, headshot lounges, and fashion shows.

The open space concept and ambient noise pose a challenge to hear the speaker and attendee questions.  Here are things to consider for setting up a comprehensive wellness zone:

  • Location: to draw traffic, integrate into the open exhibit hall or registration area, or create a separate “zone.”  Suggested ways to deal with a noisy environment are provided
  • Seating: regardless if you are using chairs, cube stools or couches, ensure that the seats are not packed too tightly together, enabling participants to exercise at their seats.
  • Tables: roundtables for group learning activities
  • Sound: sound from big speakers on stands travels far, potentially disturbing surrounding groups; alternatively, using several smaller floor speakers keep the sound more confined to the wellness zon This combats the noise and creates an intimate atmosphere. If the presenter moves around lot, position the speakers away from where the presenter walks.
  • Headsets: wireless headphone technology creates intimate events with the speaker being heard through noise-cancelling  Headsets are ideal for serene mind-body breaks such as yoga, meditation and mindfulness.
  • Microphone: microphone for the speaker and for attendees to ask questions
  • Paneling: dividers provide a noise barrier
  • Flooring: carpet with double padding or other textures (grass, sand, turf) for décor, foot comfort, and noise reduction.
  • Décor: bamboo, drapery, flameless candles, aromatherapy, waterfalls and lighting create ambience and zen-like environment
  • Leader-driven and/or self-conducted activity: include a combination of interactive live mind-body fitness/wellness talks and videos shown on a continuous loop for participants to follow along on their own time
  • Healthy snacks: superfood snack and beverage bar
  • Beauty bar: indulge attendees with a make-up, hair, nail bar
  • Men’s area that includes esthetic and practical services for men (men’s spa that includes manicures, shave stations, sports stretching stations)
  • Quiet zone: mindfulness, meditation, massage (head, body and foot)
  • Wellness tip board where attendees post personal and conference wellness tips to share with others
  • Wellness challenges involving wearable devices (g., pedometers and physical activity trackers such as fitbit) and wellness activities that integrate with the conference app and resultant awards and recognitions.

There are pros and cons to every wellness theatre set-up.  Event producers and decorators who are solution oriented will work within a budget to create the right look and feel for your event’s wellness place and space.

Kim Bercovitz, Ph.D., president and chief exercise officer of Exercise Bytes Inc.

Finding harmony in your office work space

ronnie_schaer5v4 By Ronnie Schaer and Dede Walsh

Harmony in the workspace might appear in the form of the physical environment where you spend the day, at your desk, or your relationship with colleagues you work with.  It also can be a combination of both.  While in an ideal world this might happen, it is usually not the reality.  Can you think of ways to find harmony in your office workspace?  We would like to share our thoughts with you.

walsh_dede_1105130_ppWhat is “harmony” exactly? One meaning of the word is “an orderly or pleasing combination of elements in a whole”.  Whether you work in an office building or in your basement, it is essential for your office work space to contain a certain harmony.  For some, it’s knowing the paperwork is organized and quickly accessible. However, if you actually saw their office space, “harmony” might not be the first word to come to your mind.

This meaning can also encompass other people we work with. It is only human nature to desire “an orderly and pleasing combination” among our work peers. Most people spend their entire careers seeking out “orderly and pleasing combination of the elements” for their work environments. And, it is truly exhilarating, but not the norm, when the perfect work space and work companions are located.

If your office space is less than harmonious, here are some tips that might help to achieve this “orderly and pleasing combination of elements of the whole”.

Shift your thinking

In some cases, this might mean finding a new job that involves what you are passionate about or making a move to a new position within your organization. Although, this might seem a bit extreme, it doesn’t have to be. Sometimes just getting a “new” or “refreshed” attitude will help too. Why wait until January 1st to make one big change when making 10 little ones will work in a pinch?

Get your office organized

When was the last time you looked at the items on your desk? The desktops in an office speak volumes about a person–whether they admit it or not. Some are too orderly and others are too messy. In any case, your work space may reveal how you operate. Luckily, Martha Stewart has many desk accessories with coordinated patterns to hide all of your flaws and get you back on track.

Communicating in style

Part of finding balance or “harmony” with our colleagues is respecting the way they communicate.  Often, young professionals in the workspace are criticized for not communicating face to face the way seasoned professionals prefer to.  Disharmony can arise when messages are misinterpreted electronically or via social media.  The best way to find balance with co-workers is to respect the manner of communicating preferred by each person and adapt your style to fit the situation.

Finding the perfect office mates

If this article contained only one tip for harmony in the office work space, it would be to tell you there are NO perfect office mates.  We are not perfect human beings and we are diverse in style.  People are not flawless at their jobs. We make mistakes—so why do we stress out about the things we cannot change or control?

The Golden Rule

The Ethic of Reciprocity — often called the Golden Rule — simply states that we should treat other people as we would wish to be treated ourselves. If we respected our office mate’s unique work styles, there would definitely be harmony in the office.  Can you make this your reality?

It is our wish for you to achieve “an orderly or pleasing combination of elements in a whole” we call “harmony in your office work space.” And, it’s possible this process could take a while to achieve but if done properly, your entire office will be right on the path to success. Let the harmony begin!