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ESP5 Summit Scheduled in Bellevue in September


Emerging Sales Professionals (ESP) will host its fifth professional development seminar for staff selling publicly owned or operated convention and meeting venues. The event, called ESP5, will co-locate with the 2016 PCMA / MPIWSC Meetings Industry Summit  which presented by the Professional Convention Management Association Pacific Northwest Chapter (PCMA) and Meeting Professionals International WA State Chapter (MPIWSC). Both events will be held on September 15 at Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue, Washington.

The ESP5 program will offer professional development for emerging sales professionals and feature speakers such as Jim Spellos, President of Meeting U., who will address the topic of cutting-edge meeting technology. In 2015, Spellos was named one of the Meeting Industry’s trendsetters by Meetings Focus magazine.  He is a faculty member at New York University, teaching in the School of Professional and Continuing Studies since 1990. He has been honored with both their Award for Teaching Excellence and their Outstanding Service Award. Spellos delivers some 150 seminars annually on how to use technology more efficiently. 

During the past three years, ESP has successfully developed training programs on topics such as Contract/Hospitality Law, Valuing Business/Selling Solutions and the Art of Negotiation. Future programs will include professional development on the topics of ethics, meeting technology, best practices and presentation skills.

Concurrently, the Meetings Industry Summit will feature national-level industry speakers such as Judi Holler, one of Connect magazine’s 40 Under 40 recipients, and Michael Dominguez, Chief Sales Officer for MGM Resorts International, co-chair the Meetings Mean Business campaign and one of Successful Meetings’ Top 25 Most Influential People in 2015.

The presenting sponsor for ESP5 is GES. Other event sponsors include Smart City Networks, Edlen Electrical, Travel Portland, Triumph Expo & Events and Visit Seattle.

About ESP:

Emerging Sales Professionals (ESP) is a professional development offering of International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) Region IV and is endorsed by Convention Sales Professionals and is a CMP Preferred Provider. ESP was created for sales staff of all skill levels and years of experience with a focus on training the next generation of sales leaders. The current ESP Steering Committee comprised of eighteen individuals from ten convention and meeting venues from Vancouver, BC, Lynnwood, Seattle, Tacoma, Bellevue, Tri-Cities, Wenatchee, Spokane and Portland, OR.


Emerging Sales Professionals Outline/Leader’s Guide – Hot Technologies 



10:00am – 11:00am

Opening - James Spellos

The Hot Technologies morning session provides attendees the opportunity to learn about, discuss and share how technology is changing the hospitality industry, and what they do as sales professionals within the industry.  A baseline overview will be provided about the various critical areas of technological disruption that both meeting planners and sales professionals can use, with tools demonstrated to show specific applications.  The attendees are encouraged to share what they have observed are best practices in these areas, and actively participate in the conversation about which technologies will be most important for them, and how those technologies will affect their careers as hospitality sales professionals.

Tech Quiz

5 Pillars of Tech Disruption

POLL – Which tech will make greatest impact in your business over next two years?


Blended Reality



Virtual Reality

Augmented Reality

Table Talks – Present/Future applications in hospitality industry

Full Group Discussion – Blended apps in industry


Meeting Room Technologies

Demo – Crowd Mics

Others (TBD)

 NOTE – Conversation in this section frequently requires adequate bandwidth...leads into...


Bandwidth & the Hospitality Industry

Review of facility’s bandwidth

Lecture – Critical terminology and definitions

Table Talks – Fair Pricing

Full Group Discussion – Fair pricing in industry

Site Inspection Questions You Must Be Able to Answer

Group Question – Role of facility in offering internet security

 NOTE – Discussion in this section leads to security conversation

11:15am – 12:15am

Digital Security

VIDEO – Why it’s not just an IT issue

Lecture – Essentials of personal & professional security

5 Tools You Must Know

Spyware, Malware & Ransomware

Table Talks – What is your facility doing to digitally protect your customers

Full Group Discussion – Digitally protecting your customers

QUIZ – Your digital security scorecard


Artificial Intelligence

POLL – Is your facility using AI in it’s marketing/servicing of customers

Full Group Discussion – AI examples in use in hospitality industry       


Productivity Apps

Table Talks – Favorite app for business (table votes on each table’s best app discussed)

Full Group Discussion – Lightning Round – Each table shares best app

Lecture – 5-10 more you need to know about



POLL – Best takeaway

Additional Q&A

1:30pm – 2:30pm

Sales Professionals TOWN HALL

The Town Hall is a casual forum for participants to gain feedback on their own unique programs, initiatives, challenges and topical industry problems in a medium to talk through possible solutions with fellow experts in our field.  Town Halls provide learning potential from other knowledgeable, experienced industry professionals, and constructed to address the questions and issues of the participants of immediate importance.  Connections and contacts amongst attendees and facilitators, built during a Town Hall, provide specialist resources for future tests and trials we may face long after the Town Hall has concluded.

The success of a Town Hall hinges upon active participation, and so we ask that attendees should come prepared and willing to actively participate by providing relevant issues, questions and challenges they are facing.

 FacilitatorTim Carr, Director of Operations, Meydenbauer Center


Speaker Bio - James Spellos

James Spellos is the President of Meeting U., whose mission is to help people become more productive and comfortable with technology.  

Jim delivers over 150 seminars annually on how to use technology more efficiently.  In 2015, Jim was named one of the Meeting Industry’s trendsetters by Meetings Focus magazine.  He is a faculty member at New York University, teaching in the School of Professional and Continuing Studies since 1990. He has been honored with both their Award for Teaching Excellence and their Outstanding Service Award.

In 2014, Jim joined the Board of Directors for Rock and Wrap It Up, an anti-poverty/hunger think tank, which supports over 43,000 agencies in North America.  Jim co-created for them the Whole Earth Calculator app, which helps organizations to identify the quantity of food donated and carbon footprint reduced from food recovered at meetings and events.  He also speaks about food recovery and sustainability in the industry.

Outside of the meetings industry, Jim is an accomplished musician and songwriter, playing guitar, keyboards and singing for the New York City rock band Contraband. They released their first CD, “Welcome to the Neighborhood” in late 2008, and is back in the studio recording new songs for a new release.

James Spellos