Meeting Planner Summit

August 16-17, 2018
Colonial Williamsburg Lodge - Williamsburg

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This is the association industry’s only event specifically for professional meeting planners. Learn from experts and each other about how to be the best meeting planner you can during two days at the uniquely beautiful Colonial Williamsburg Lodge, an Autograph Collection Hotel.

The agenda includes over 6 hours of CAE approved education on meeting planner topics.

  • Connect with and learn from fellow meeting planners.
  • Know your value as a meeting planner and what you bring to your organization.
  • Leverage your personal and professional development through volunteerism.
  • Peer into the projected outlook of the hospitality industry.
  • Learn best practices and new trends in meeting planning.

There will also be facilitated roundtable discussions. Bring your specific issues and learn from the experiences of your fellow planners. If you plan a meeting as part of your job, this is an event you do not want to miss.


Thursday, August 16

10:00-10:30 a.m. - Welcome & Introductions

10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. - Successful Meetings Don't Just Happen by Accident, They Happen by Design
Ann Buhl
Successful meetings don't just happen; they occur as a result of careful planning and good leadership. We will start with a high-level overview of the meetings and event industry to share the type of skills, competencies, and expertise planners use to help organizations host successful meetings and events. Then we will discuss how a strategic meetings management process with a focus on the participant experience can help take your meetings to the next level, as well as the type of development opportunities and industry certifications available to continue to grow your skills and provide additional value to your organization.

12:00-1:00 p.m. - Networking Lunch

1:00-1:30 p.m. - Break & Office Check-In

1:30-3:00 p.m. - Roundtable Discussions Powered by Open Space
Tiffany Brown
Bring your specific questions and learn from the experiences of fellow meeting planners who have faced similar challenges. Our discussion topics will be generated quickly by the whole group at the start of the session. Participants should come prepared with the issues that are important to them. Attendees will then choose discussions they want to engage in over the course of the session. Let's have some meaningful conversations about the challenges in meeting planning that are important to you!

3:00-3:15 p.m. - Break & Office Check-In

3:15-5:00 p.m. - An #EventProfs Guide to Leveraging Volunteerism for Professional Growth
Jeff Schmid & Brandon Johnson
Volunteerism can be an incredibly rewarding experience for a number of reasons. But because volunteering can also be incredibly time consuming, many meeting and event planners choose not to take advantage of volunteer opportunities. The truth is that many people don't consider the real intrinsic and practical value that comes from volunteerism. In this interactive session we will delve into how attendees can leverage different kinds of volunteer opportunities for both personal development and professional growth. Whether you want to enhance your meeting planner prowess, hone your leadership skills, or learn a new skill set outside of planning, volunteerism can open many doors if you know the right strategies to employ. 

6:00-6:45 p.m. - Networking Reception

7:00-9:00 p.m. - Dinner

Friday, August 17

7:30-8:30 a.m. - Breakfast

8:30-9:45 a.m. - Property Tours

9:45-10:00 a.m. - Break & Office Check-In

10:00-11:15 a.m. - Trends in Meeting Planning: 10 Tips to Help You Excel
Vince Magnini
The meeting planning business continuously evolves. Therefore, based upon current trends, this workshop offers meeting planners a series of tips regarding how to best capitalize on recent trends, as well as trends on the horizon of the industry. The goal of this workshop is for each participant to walk away with a series of actionable tactics that can be used to help them more effectively plan events and meetings.

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This retreat is limited to executives, meeting planners, and sponsors. Registration fees include Thursday's lunch, breaks, reception and dinner, and Friday's breakfast and breaks.

Rates Early-Bird
(By July 27)
(After July 27)
VSAE Member $95 $125
Non-members $145 $175
Spouse $95 $125
Substitutions accepted anytime with proper qualifications.
Email your requests to [email protected].







Refund Policy

Cancel by Friday, July 27, 75% refunded.
Cancel by Friday, August 3, 50% refunded.
Cancel after Friday, August 3, no refund.

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Content Leaders

Tiffany Brown
Extension Project Assistant | Virginia Tech 

Tiffany Brown is Extension Project Assistant in the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation at Virginia Tech. She handles logistics and planning for statewide and regional conferences and meetings, manages grants and provides general administrative support. She resides in Christiansburg with her two daughters, Amalie and River. Tiffany returns for the second year at Meeting Planner Summit to lead the roundtable discussions, powered by Open Space.

Ann Buhl
Senior Manager, Meetings, Events & Planning | Federal Reserve of Richmond

Ann Buhl, CMP, CMM, has over 30 years’ experience in the Hospitality and Event Industry and has a passion for leadership development, strategic meetings management and facilitating organizational change management. Ann is a past president of MPI Virginia, has actively served on numerous committees and in various roles since 2009.  She has been a featured speaker at various MPI chapter meetings, annual conferences and CMP Conclave to discuss how to reach your professional, client and program goals, strategic meetings management and had to improve planner and supplier relationships. 


Brandon Johnson
Director of Business Development | CI Azumano Business Travel

Brandon Johnson is responsible for new client development on the East Coast for CI Azumano, a leading travel management, meetings and events company. Prior to joining CI Azumano, Brandon spent 6 years on the hotel side of the industry representing properties under the Hilton, Starwood, and Marriott umbrellas. Throughout his career, Brandon has leveraged volunteer opportunities for personal and professional growth and has been very involved with Meeting Professionals International. In addition to 4 years of service with MPI Virginia’s Board of Directors, Brandon has served on MPI’s Global Task Force for Diversity & Inclusion as well as MPI’s Global Task Force for Digital Innovation. 

Vince Magnini
Associate Professor & Graduate Faculty | Virginia Tech, Pamplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management

Dr. Vincent Magnini was recently ranked as one of the top 12 most prolific hospitality researchers worldwide and holds editorial board appointments on all of the top-ranked research journals in the field. A U.S. Fulbright Scholar, he has published six books and more than 200 articles and reports. Dr. Magnini has also been featured on National Public Radio’s (NPR) All Things Considered, With Good Reason, Pulse on the Planet and cited in the New York Times and Washington Post. Dr. Magnini's consulting activities include strategic marketing plans, feasibility studies, economic impact analyses, and executive education seminars. 

Jeff Schmid 
Assistant Director, Meetings & Travel Department | United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) 

With over 20 years of management experience in both his career and multiple volunteer organizations, Jeff Schmid has developed a passion for leadership and for creating positive, upbeat environments that allow teams to excel, learn and grow. Jeff has held leadership positions in many community and industry organizations. Most notably, he has spent the last 9 years volunteering for the Virginia Chapter of Meeting Professionals International earning the 2013-14 Chapter Planner of the Year and serving the chapter as a board member for the past five years including two years as Chapter President. The Virginia Chapter was recently recognized as a “Top Performance Chapter” by MPI Global.  


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Colonial Williamsburg Lodge, an Autograph Collection Hotel, 310 S England Street, Williamsburg, VA 23185 | (855) 294-5683

Room Reservations: Call the hotel directly (800) 261-9530 (mention Booking/Group ID 544204) or make your reservations online. Room Rate: $129 (plus taxes). Cutoff date is Wednesday, July 18, 2018.

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