September 15-16, 2016 - The Hilton - Baltimore, MD


The Wednesday Welcome Reception will take place at the Baltimore Convention Center.  Thursday's events will take place at both the Hilton Baltimore Inner Harbor and Baltimore Convention Center.  Friday's events will take place at Hilton Baltimore Inner Harbor. 

Who should attend? GMIC members and passionate industry professionals who seek to support the promotion of sustainability as a core event and business value and a means of transformation for the live event and meetings industry. The goal is to expand the overall conversation and provoke discussion leading to solving some of the main issues that planners and suppliers face daily, as well as how our events can impact and promote sustainable initiatives in business and our personal lives.

Key Conference Concepts:

  • Sustainability is the filter for all decisions. We seek to showcase the conference as a model of sustainable actions and measures.
  • Immersive educational sessions ensure maximized attendee participation and co-collaboration on content and discussions.
  • Community projects, unique dining experiences, and local attraction tours are incorporated so that you’ll experience and learn from some of Atlanta’s top sustainable leaders.
  • Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) extends beyond meetings and events. We all have the power to make a change for a better world.
  • Exhibitors and sponsors are invited to participate as attendees and contribute to the collaboration on content as part of their package; and Exhibit Spaces are integrated into the room design to provide maximum exposure and opportunities for dialogue.

Program Schedule


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Welcome Reception - Baltimore Convention Center


Thursday, September 15, 2016

 8:30 am – 9:00 am

Breakfast & Welcome Address

With GMIC now a part of the Convention Industry Council, we have a tremendous opportunity to drive sustainability forward in the meetings industry. Join us for a welcome from CIC and GMIC Leadership.  

Karen Kotowski, CAE, CMP, CEO of the Convention Industry Council
Roger Simons, CMP, Regional Sustainability Director (APAC), MCI Group, Chair, GMIC Leadership Committee

 9:00 am – 9:45 am 

Opening Keynote
Sustainable Events: How to Design for Environmental Excellence

Sustainability happens by intentional design. Leslie Lukacs, the founder and board member of the Green Initiatives for Venues and Events (GIVE) Council and sustainable materials management specialist at SCS Engineers will deliver the opening keynote. With more than 18 years of experience, Leslie has been instrumental in pioneering the greening of venues and events throughout the country and is a leading advocate for the industry and will share her approach to sustainability by design. Participants will learn how to harness the power of cutting-edge design practices, sustainable materials management, planning for a circular economy and stakeholder engagement to improve the environmental performance of their meetings, venues, services and products.

Leslie Lukacs, Sustainable Materials Management Specialist, SCS Engineering

 9:45 am – 10:15am

Break & Living Library - Best Practices Document Share

Meet participants who are sharing their best practice documents such as sustainability policies, menus, contract terms or post-event reports. Interested in a copy? Leave your business card to receive your electronic copy.

 10:15 am – 11:00 am

Breaking Down Participation Barriers

Focusing on the people side of sustainability, this session will examine best practices diversity and inclusivity in events.

Mariela McIlwraith, CMP, CMM, MBA, Director, Sustainability, Green Meeting Industry Council
Matthew Shapiro, Consultant, 6 Wheels Consulting
Marian Vessels, Director, Mid-Atlantic ADA Center

 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Case Study Presentations

During this session we’ll hear 8 mini-case studies from our community of how they’ve made their events more sustainable, and the opportunities to further advance. 

Confirmed presentations:

Food rescue at your events: It's easier than you think!
Joanna Berens, Independent Planner
Steven Pollock, CMP, Manager, Global Accounts, Helms Briscoe
Learn about the food rescue programme that was developed for this year’s National Association for Catering and Events (NACE), including recommendations for tracking, communication and other guidance to help you implement your own programme.

A Destination's Role in Creating an Inclusive Attendee Experience
Tamara Kennedy Hill, VP Diversity and Community Relations, Travel Portland
Drawing on her experience as Vice President of Diversity and Community Relations for Travel Portland, Tamara Kennedy-Hill will discuss how a destination can create an inclusive attendee experience through  public policy decisions relating to equal rights, marketing in a culturally responsive manner to best reflect all demographics, supporting and engaging with communities of color and engaging the future workforce.

Community Service Projects: Challenges, Opportunities and Stories
Laura Weisman, Director of Business Development, Cascadia Motivation
Cascadia Motivation has produced CSR projects in destinations around the world, including South Africa, Mexico, St. Lucia and Spain. The Cascadia Motivation team will share inspiration case studies and will also discuss some of the challenges and opportunities they’ve encountered while producing these events.

 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Lunch

 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Sea-to-Table Philosophy
Executive Chef Matthew Beaudin, Monterey Bay Aquarium 

As the home of Seafood Watch, it is a must that the Monterey Bay Aquarium (MBA) follow responsible seafood practices. Executive Chef Matthew Beaudin joins us to discuss how MBA works with local farms and fishing boats to offer their guests a sea-to-table experience. In this session, we'll hear how conservation, sustainability and preserving our ocean guides menu decisions, and about resources that event professionals can use to make their own sustainable seafood decisions.

 2:00 pm – 2:30 pm

Coalition Building for Sustainable Infrastructure

Using the example of the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau’s Farm to Function initiative, we’ll explore opportunities to form industry coalitions to address major sustainability related challenges.
Roger Simons, CMP, Regional Sustainability Director (APAC), MCI Group, Chair, GMIC Leadership Committee
Nichapa Yoswee, Director of MICE Capabilities, Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau
Choo Leng Goh, General Manager of Plaza Athénée Bangkok

 2:30 pm – 3:00 pm Afternoon break
 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Sustainability in Convention Centers: From Global Trends to Local Practices

How well is our industry achieving sustainability in Convention Centers? This session will examine global trends in sustainability and will include specific case studies. We'll begin with an overview of the recently released report from Greenview, 2016 Green Venue Report: The State of Convention and Exhibition Center Sustainability. Following the presentation of the report, we'll hear first hand experiences on implementing sustainable practices. We'll learn how Visit Baltimore become the first APEX/ASTM certified destination in the US Northeast as well as about Salt Lake City Sustainability efforts which include solar panel installation and an employee led effort to make their venue more sustainable. 
Jeff Chase, VP Sustainability, Freeman
Lindy Farrar, Research Analyst, Greenview
Mac Campbell, Director of Client Services, Baltimore Convention Center
Chance Thompson, Guest Relations Manager, Salt Palace Convention Center

 4:00 pm 5:00 pm Back of House Sustainability Tour of the Baltimore Convention Center
 6:00 pm  9:00 pm

Birds of a Feather Dine Around

Select from a list of local restaurants and sustainability related topics  

* The IMEX-MPI-MCI Future Leaders Forum will be taking place from 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm on Thursday, September 15th at the Baltimore Convention Center.


Friday, September 16, 2016

 8:30 am – 9:30 am

Breakfast and Champions - 2016 IMEX-GMIC Awards Discussion

Celebrating our award winners:  This session will be a deep dive opportunity to learn about this year’s IMEX-GMIC award winners, and the practices that contributed to their sustainable business success stories. We’ll also announce the new format for the 2017 awards.

Dale Hudson, Knowledge and Events Director, IMEX Group
Sara Patterson, CMP, Program Manager, Events at U.S. Green Building Council - ‎U.S. Green Building Council
Ramiro Muñoz, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts-México (video presentation)

 9:30 am – 10:00 am

Research Presentation

Learn about the results of the GMIC commissioned research conducted by UNLV on how corporate brands underscore sustainability practices through live events.

Jenny Yu-Mattson, Executive Director, Global Sustainability, Las Vegas Sands Corp
Dina Zemke, University of Las Vegas

10:00 am – 10:30 am Break
10:30 am – 11:00 am

Sustainability Team Report

Hear the report from our onsite volunteer sustainability team on what worked this year, and where we can improve for next year.   

Courtney Lohmann, CMP, Director of Culture, Koncept Events

 11:00 am – 3:00 pm

Community Service Project
Project Homeless Connect

Project Homeless Connect is UWCM’s annual resource fair for individuals and families facing homelessness.  Every year, we serve approximately 2,000 adults and children with an array of 150+ on-the-spot services, such as employment assistance, housing referrals, and prescription glasses.  This year, we’ll also serve more than 800 people with dental care, including cleanings, fillings, and extractions.  There is also a great Project Homeless Connect Event Video that you might be interested in checking out. 

Every participant is offered a hygiene kit as they leave the event, and we are in need of donated toiletry supplies (soap, shampoo, conditioner, and lotion). 

Clean The World Packing Guide

11:15 am– 12:15 pm

Keynote: Why Sustainable Meetings Matter: Climate Change As Seen Through the Lens of Photographer
Annie Griffiths, photographer

As meeting professionals striving towards making our events more socially and environmentally responsible, it can be difficult to visualize the value and importance of our initiatives.  One of National Geographic's most celebrated female photographers, Annie Griffiths, shares images and stories from around the world that show us clearly why sustainability is critical for the planet and society. After a career covering all the weird and wonderful facets of humanity in more than 100 countries, she has turned her creative energies toward supporting programs that empower women and children in the developing world as they deal with the effects of climate change.


The SMC is co-located with the CIC CMP Conclave.  The Conclave begins on Friday, September 16 with Pre-Conference Workshops that begin in the afternoon at the Hilton Baltimore Inner Harbor.

To find more information on the CMP Conclave schedule or to register go to:

*You must be a current CMP to attend the CMP Conclave.