Diversity Marketplace 2017 Education Sessions

Tuesday, March 28

8-9:30 a.m.

Diversity Meetings in 2017

Moderated by Michele Wierzgac, MSEd, CMM



Eduardo Arabu, National Hispanic Corporate Council

LaVette Henderson, National Dental Association

Fabian DeRozario, National Association of Asian American Professionals


Share your thoughts and converse with colleagues during this interactive panel focused on the state of the economy and its effect on diverse meetings. How are meetings currently being impacted by selections and sites? Should we expect growth in attendance? Is our post-con information showing a pattern we can use to anticipate the future? Moderated by industry powerhouse Michele Wierzgac, this session will leave you with opportunities to partner with colleagues and work together to bring our diverse organizations together with 2017 programs.

11 a.m.-12 p.m.

Master Class: Elephants Don't Bite, Donkeys Don't Kick

Presented by Roger Rickard


In our current state, and with the change of administration in our country, it is important to capture the individual voice of every person while unifying to communicate. During this session, be inspired by a unity message that examines the important role each and every citizen has in advocating for the policy issues important to them. Together, attendees will become aware of successful strategies to create influence and garner support for projects beneficial to you, your organization and things that are important to you. You will leave with the tools needed to communicate with a stronger voice and advocate for what you believe in.

2-3 p.m.

Harnessing Social Media to Tap Into Diversity Thought Leaders

Presented by Simone Morris


Social media communities are influential platforms used by diversity and inclusion thought leaders. Twitter and LinkedIn are key tools meeting planners can leverage to source events. This workshop will focus on the process of mining social media sites for value-added resources.

Pitching Ideas to the C-Suite: Getting to Yes

Presented by Michele Wierzgac, MSEd, CMM


Analyzing your stakeholders and boss is critical to the success of any project or assignment. Engaging the right people in the right way can make a big difference to your project's success—and your career. As your career develops, the projects you manage and actions you take will affect more and more people, and the more likely your actions will impress those who have power and influence. These stakeholders could be strong supporters of your work, or they could block it. Take a journey to understand stakeholder management and how to apply it to your current position and events.

Understanding DMO Relevancy

Moderated by Roger Rickard



Gus Martinez, Visit Milwaukee

Mary Brown, Richmond Region Tourism


Because destination marketing organizations come in all shapes and sizes, it is sometimes hard to create relevance to their key stakeholders. Many DMOs are so busy in their day-to-day jobs that they have little time to reflect on the challenges or, as the optimist would say, the opportunities to establish themselves as the recognized leader of all visitor-centric issues. In this lively conversation, hear from an expert in DMO relevancy and two DMO representatives on how multicultural and diverse organizations can work with DMOs to effectively improve working relationships for successful meetings.

Wednesday, March 29

9-10:30 a.m.

Round Robin Roundtable Discussion

Moderated by Michele Wierzgac, MSEd, CMM


After networking over breakfast, it is time to continue the conversation on how to improve our meetings with group share. Moderated by Michele Wierzgac, attendees will be split up by vertical markets to discuss a variety of topics including contracting, financials and sponsorships, membership and retention, and overall event design and attendee experience. Groups will share their experiences and thoughts, allowing all of us to learn and share with one another.

2-3 p.m.

Project Management for Diversity and Inclusion Leaders

Presented by Simone Morris


People manage projects every day. Without proper training, it can take longer and cost more, and the end result may not be what was intended. Through tried-and-true methodologies, there are strategies to implement projects successfully. In this session, we will review standard project management processes, simplified best practice templates to improve requirements for gathering, budget management and effective project communications. With these simple tweaks, the diversity and inclusion leader can have fewer headaches and be confident about project delivery.

How to Make or Break Your Meeting: Event Tech Communications 101

Presented by Shannon DeSouza


We hear the hype around event tech all the time: how it's going to revolutionize our meetings, capture attendee engagement and increase our event ROI. But what if our attendees don't even know it exists? In this session, let's walk through the step-by-step event tech communication and implementation plan to ensure you are meeting your objectives and achieving your promised goals.

Mock Trial: Defending Your Honor

Presented by Bob Pederson and Naomi Angel


Broken contracts can and do go to trial. Learn how to maximize your contract negotiation skills in this highly interactive, simulated contract negotiation exercise. Be part of a team that dissects, deletes, adds and rewrites a hotel contract before giving it to the hotel salesperson for signature. After the contract is executed, one side will decide to cancel the event and a mock trial will ensue. The audience will be sworn in as the jury. You will hear opening statements, observe as attorneys question witnesses, listen to closing arguments, and ultimately rule in favor of the plaintiff or defendant. Following the trial, a hospitality attorney Naomi Angel, partner from Howe & Hutton, and Bob Pederson, owner of Power Meetings & Events Group LLC, will “debrief” the audience.