The Event Service Professionals Association (ESPA) (formerly Association for Convention Operations Management) celebrated the launch of its new name, logo and mission statement at its annual conference Jan. 6-8 in San Diego, Calif. David Dvorak, CMP, vice president, catering and convention services at Starwood Hotels & Resorts, was announced as ESPA’s 2012 president.
“This year’s conference was the first one under our new name and brand, so we wanted to make a major impact for all attendees,” Dvorak said. “The program was elevated, encompassing new educational additions, interactive contests and dynamic speakers, and illustrating to service professionals and the industry that this was an event they didn’t want to miss.”
ESPA offered a new way to get to know its conference destination and fellow attendees through its Seek & Tweet contest on Twitter. Attendees participated by selecting any five off a list of 10 photos to snap and share with others using the hashtag #ESPA2012, a scavenger hunt style activity to incorporate social media. As a result of this contest and other Twitter participation, tweets using #ESPA2012 reached over 20,000 people and yielded over 87,000 impressions.
During the awards luncheon and business meeting, several industry awards were presented. Given in conjunction with Successful Meetings magazine, the CSM of the Year Awards honored
- Lori Denning, CMP, The Conference Center at NorthPointe
- Samaria Williams, Greater Houston CVB and
- Mary Ann Torres, Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority.
Other awards included
- Casandra Matej, San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Executive Excellence Award
- David Renzi, CMP, American Helicopter Society International, the Meeting Professional of the Year Award
- Zach Davis, Louisville CVB, the Member of the Year Award and
- Rhonda Eaton, CMP, Reno Sparks Convention Center, the President’s Award and
- Amber Mitchell of Metropolitan State College of Denver, the fourth annual Donald S. Freeman Jr. ESPA Conference Scholarship.