For the first time ever, the Convention Industry Council’s CMP ("Certified Meeting Professional") Conclave took place outside of the US and Canada, in Cancun, Mexico at the Hilton Cancun Golf & Spa Resort. Over the course of three days, 200 CMPs gathered to discuss the latest trends in the meetings tourism industry.
In an exclusive Mexico Meetings Network interview, MMN got the inside scoop from Christina Buck, CMP Program Director at the Convention Industry Council (CIC) and Certified Meeting Professional herself.
Mexico Meetings Network (MMN): What is the CMP Conclave? What is its history?
Christina Buck (CB): Conclave is the industry’s only exclusive meeting of CMPs. The CIC CMP Conclave is a unique event for certified meeting planners who wish to contribute to their profession. The Conclave provides opportunities for CMPs to build relationships and partner with other meeting professionals. CMPs also enhance their professional expertise by participating in exam development and attending educational.
Conclave began in 1995 to further develop the CMP examination process and to improve the quality of the examination questions. With CMPs contributing to this process, the Conclave has evolved to focus on CMP education as well as exam development.
MMN: What was the event program?
CB: We had 4 educational tracks for attendees: Exam Development, Sustainability, Logistics and Strategy. All sessions related to these topics. Click here to view the schedule.
MMN: Who attended the event? How many people?
CB: All current CMPs are welcome to attend. We have a very strong sponsor base and participation. 216 was our registration total in Cancun.
MMN: Who organized CMP Conclave 2011?
CB: We had two program co-chairs that organized the program. Joanne Joham, CMP, CMM – Regional Director North America, ICCA and Eduardo Chaillo, CMP, CMM – Executive Director Meeting Industry, Mexico Tourism Board. There was also a Cancun host committee that ensured that the CMPs were welcomed to Mexico, and the CIC staff who assisted with the program and coordinated the logistics.
MMN: Why was Mexico and Cancun chosen as the host?
CB: Mexico has been a wonderful partner in the meetings industry and is a large supporter of the CMP Program. As we are expanding our program globally it is a perfect fit to have our first Conclave outside of US and Canada in a diverse city such as Cancun. The Cancun International Airport is easily accessible from most worldwide gateways and served by multiple major airlines. Cancun has state-of-the-art facilities for meetings and conventions and offers deluxe hotels, excellent land transportation, fine restaurants, sightseeing tours to ecological parks and many other recreational and cultural activities to participate in prior to or after the 2011 CMP Conclave.
MMN: Who has previously hosted the event?
CB: Last year we were in Baltimore. In the past we have been to Vancouver, B.C., Puerto Rico, San Antonio, TX, and Orlando, FL.
MMN: Why was the Hilton Cancun chosen as the host venue?
CB: The Hilton´s convention center space was a perfect fit for our group size.
MMN: How was your experience organizing an event in Mexico?
CB: Our experience was fantastic! The level of customer service was outstanding, from our DMC sponsor, AMSTAR, and all of the various vendors we worked with in the planning of our event, to the Cancun CVB and their partners. Our attendees expectations were exceeded.
MMN: Was the event a success?
CB: Yes, our Conclave was a huge. We have heard wonderful praise for the hotel, Cancun and for the program.