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RCMA Takes Chicago

BY rcmaweb|Conferences|RCMA News|Add a comment

In just a few short weeks, RCMA (and hopefully you) will be heading to the great city of Chicago for Emerge 2017. We interviewed Michele Pondexter, director of diversity sales for Choose Chicago—who have been immensely helpful in hosting us this year—on what guests can look forward to, all of the work that went on behind the scenes and much, much more.


Why are you looking forward to hosting RCMA for our Emerge event in February?

We are looking forward to hosting RCMA Emerge because it is an awesome opportunity for us to showcase our wonderful world-class city and connect with planners in a unique and personal way.  It will allow meeting professionals to envision their meetings here. Chicago hosted RCMA in 1993, and a lot has changed since then. Our landscape has changed—our meetings community has grown and we’re very excited about that. We are expecting to generate many leads, and we are encouraging planners to bring their RFPs.


What goes into planning such an event?

Great efforts go into planning an event like RCMA Emerge.  There are many moving parts. Our team members involved in the planning are, of course, our executive team and departments, including sales, special events, client services, marketing and strategic partnerships. Basically, it’s all hands on deck.

We also work closely with our hotel and convention bureau partners throughout Chicagoland and the state of Illinois.


How do you assist organizations in planning an event?

When planners connect with Choose Chicago, we become their resource guide. We connect the dots for their meetings. We assist with sourcing the perfect hotel or venue and give guidance on dining, entertainment, transportation and much more. We are their one-stop shop, saving planners valuable time.


What support will you provide during the event?

We will be extending a community service outreach opportunity to everyone.  It will be held at the Salvation Army’s Freedom Center.  We are also conducting city tours. We also will be ready to answer questions that planners may have regarding hosting meetings in Chicago.


Why is Chicago a good destination for RCMA’s Emerge event?

Throughout Chicagoland, we have some of the very best convention centers, hotel properties and venues in the country, and in the world for that matter.  We host meetings of every type, every size and every budget. We are home to many historic faith-based institutions and organizations. Planners have a built-in attendance base here. And, Chicago is very easily accessible. We have two major international airports, and we are within a half day’s drive of 20 percent of the US population.


What can attendees look forward to?

Attendees can look forward to an amazing time in Chicago. We are planning a stunning welcome reception, a powerful opening general session and a rousing closing reception. There will be impactful speakers for the business sessions and a very engaging expo. Throughout the entire conference, planners will learn about available resources in Chicagoland and why we are perfect for their meetings.


Any other relevant comments?

Over the past two centuries, Chicago has inspired more writers, innovators and creative minds than pretty much anyplace else on Earth. There’s no shortage of great things to say about this city, and anyone who passes through will likely have something compelling to say about it. Two of my favorite quotes about Chicago are: “It is hopeless for the occasional visitor to try to keep up with Chicago—she outgrows his prophecies faster than he can make them.  She is always a novelty; for she is never the Chicago you saw when you passed through the last time.”- Mark Twain.  And the other, is by actress Sarah Bernhardt, and she says, “I adore Chicago.  It is the pulse of America.” I agree.

We look forward to extending a warm Chicago welcome to all RCMA Emerge attendees in February! Thank you.