The 2015 SGMP National Education Conference from a New Member’s Perspective

By Jose Ortiz

The SGMP conference definitely left me with a completely new perspective on event planning. Planning events only covers about 25% of my job duties. Most of my events are done locally and the vendors are usually people we have dealt with in the past and have a good relationship with. I was not sure that this conference would be beneficial to someone like myself. I can now honestly say that I am very shocked to see how much of the material presented at this conference does relate to me. Alcohol guidelines, positive attitudes, the travel industry, even contract negotiations with vendors and much more, were all things that absolutely relate to my current job. The amount of professional development that I brought back from this conference has proven to be very valuable to my everyday duties. I would definitely recommend that someone in a similar position join SGMP and attend a national conference.

This conference was well planned and it definitely showcased how a big event should be done. The networking breaks allowed all members to discuss the previous session and to get to know one another. The keynoters were all very insightful and included some great speakers. The showcase was a great tool for people who use vendors throughout the country and really allowed everyone a chance to meet and showcase what their properties have to offer. I was never turned away due to the fact that I only plan events in Florida and was even invited to tour properties in other cities and states. Everything went flawlessly from an attendee’s perspective.

Members at this conference were fantastic and friendly. I really felt like I was part of something bigger. From day one everyone makes you feel like you are part of the SGMP family and everyone was very eager to share their experiences with SGMP. Most members have been around for years and you can see that is not just about networking but much about friendship and community. During the final dinner I could really see how much everyone cares about one another and how mentors and mentees have grown bonds that will last a lifetime. I was really impressed by SGMP’s sense of community and I hope to one day receive a warm message like the ones I experienced during this closing dinner.

The scholarship made it possible for me to attend and I am very grateful that a new member like myself was able to apply and actually receive a partial scholarship. I plan to get more involved with SGMP, invite new members and continue to grow my knowledge and networks through this great society. I personally plan to get more involved with the committees and be able to grow within the Central Florida Chapter.