The SGMP Link
Oct. 23, 2014

SGMP looks to the future in Gilmer-Founders Day announcement
On the fourth Thursday of October, we celebrate Gilmer-Founders Day and our organization's 33rd anniversary. SGMP's history is not that of one single person, but it does start with a single vision. Back in 1981, our founders realized that none of the existing industry organizations addressed the unique needs of government meetings. Sam Gilmer's vision was simple: to create a society dedicated to government meeting planners and to provide them with the training and industry relationships to do a better job.

For more than three decades, SGMP's focus has always been to expand your expertise. Today, SGMP is providing even more membership value by aggressively supporting our new mission statement. We are building bridges across our industry and we are effectively communicating the value of government meetings to key industry and external audiences. These important new aspects are essential to your National Board's commitment to expanding your expertise while supporting and growing our membership.

And now, SGMP is thrilled to announce the impending launch of a redesigned and enhanced website and member database, which will be significant new components of the Board's ongoing dedication to providing our members with better service and timely information with which to grow our organization. SGMP will be contacting you very soon with detailed information on how to log in to access your enhanced member functionality and how you can register now for (or apply for a scholarship to) our 2015 NEC & Expo. Keep an eye out for that email message.

The SGMP mission is more relevant today than it has ever been throughout our proud history. Working together, we are making a difference across our industry and we are moving forward by creating an even brighter future for our members.More

Supreme Court to decide police access to hotel registries
The Washington Post
The Supreme Court announced that it will consider whether police in Los Angeles and other localities may demand to see a hotel's registry without obtaining a search warrant. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit last year struck down a city law giving police this power, saying it violated the Fourth Amendment's protection against unreasonable searches.More

Some defense travelers will have their per diem rates cut
Government Executive
The Defense Department is reducing per diem allowances for employees on extended travel to save money, but several lawmakers and at least one union aren’t happy about it. The department has proposed that beginning Nov. 1, employees on government travel to one location for more than 30 days receive a flat per diem rate. For each full day during long-term TDY of 31 to 180 days, the rate would be 75 percent of the locality rate (lodging plus meals and incidentals); for travel lasting more than 180 days, it would fall to 55 percent of the locality rate for each full day.More

5 trends shaping meetings right now and in the future
IMEX America recently wrapped up its fourth incarnation at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas, drawing meeting professionals from all over the globe. Sustainability, apps and technology, industry advocacy and social media were all topics that continued to generate much discussion both during education sessions and outside of formal show content. There was also plenty of buzz around the future of the industry — changes that are happening right now and likely in the near term, and into the next decades.More

Register now for Nov. 6 SGMP webinar — 'Unlocking the Secrets to Why Hotels are Rejecting Your Business'
SGMP's Brett Sterenson of Hotel Lobbyists is one of our most popular NEC speakers. Now all members can register now to hear him for a special rate of just $25 at 2 p.m. EST on Nov. 6. Do you think you have the perfect piece of business ... with your dates, rates and space are all lining up? Yet, when you submit the RFP to several venues, two out of three say "sorry — not interested." Do you ever wonder why? This webinar will teach you to understand how hotels evaluate business opportunities, to master tips on how to better position your business, and to learn the role of revenue managers and how to negotiate with them.More

Tips from meeting planning expert Sherrise Stephens on how to get your event started
Arkansas Business
Most meeting planners will tell you that what they do is no walk in the park, but they'll also tell you how rewarding it is. There are a lot of big hurdles and tiny steps along the way, but with the right help, you can come out of it smelling like a successful and knowledgeable rose. Sherrise Stephens is a veteran of the industry with over 20 years of experience. Stephens currently works out of the Arkansas-based HelmsBriscoe, the highest volume purchaser in the meetings and event business. Stephens talked about first-timer obstacles in planning a meeting and how to navigate them.More

Green venue report shows solid efforts by centers, little interest from planners
Meetings & Conventions
The inaugural Green Venue Report found that convention centers and event organizers aren't talking about sustainability. The study, from green meetings consultants Greenview and Twirl Management, featured 108 questions and was completed by 16 North American convention centers. Eleven of the facilities reported that fewer than 20 percent of event organizers discuss green practices during the planning process.More

How convention centers are becoming more flexible
Venue operators are looking for input from meeting planners when designing spaces, and a recurring theme is the importance of flexible space. Technology is an essential part of a flexible meeting space. New venue design is also bringing flexibility to unexpected spaces.More

A congressman takes on frequent-flier programs for favoring airlines over fliers
The Washington Post
Frequent-flier programs are rigged to favor airlines, deceive passengers and cost consumers billions of dollars. At least that's the contention of one Florida frequent traveler named Alan Grayson. But it just so happens that Grayson is a member of Congress. And as such, he can ask the U.S. Department of Transportation's Office of Inspector General to investigate airline loyalty programs.More

A chat with Amtrak's CEO on the state of US passenger rail
Government Executive
Year after year, Amtrak sets ridership records along with the pace of intercity travel in the all-important Northeast Corridor from Washington to Boston via New York, where it reaps big profits. And year after year, Amtrak gets hammered for needing huge amounts of federal taxpayer money to maintain costly (yet mandatory) long-distance operations — even as highways require far greater subsidies.More