Educational Sessions

All education is approved for CMP credits. 

Thursday, December 1st

Business Resolutions to Make for 2017
Presenter: Jonathan T. Howe, will offer concrete pledges that both planners and suppliers should make, particularly with respect to negotiations and contracts.


At year’s end, many of us set resolutions for personal betterment. Shouldn't we do the same for our business practices? From a legal perspective of what can — and often does — go wrong, meetings industry attorney Jonathan Howe will offer concrete pledges that both planners and suppliers should make, particularly with respect to negotiations and contracts. Simple “mistakes,” such as failing to read and understand and entire proposal or contract before signing, are typically at the root of the most prevalent problems. By following his concrete advice, participants will learn ways to:
Learner objectives:

  • Ease common snags during the negotiating practice
  • Develop more comprehensive agreementss
  • Improve upon planner/supplier communication
  • Develop trust-based business relationships
  • Reap the rewards of better meetings



Jonathan Howe is the President/Senior Partner of Howe & Hutton, Ltd., a law firm with offices in Chicago, Illinois and Washington, D.C. He has written hundreds of articles, papers and books, and has spoken to organizations all over the world on all manner of legal issues. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in diplomatic history and international political science with honors from Northwestern University and his Juris Doctorate with highest distinction from Duke University where he was first in his graduating class.


He serves as general counsel for Meeting Professionals International and the International Special Events Society, among others. He also is general counsel for the prestigious Association Committee of 100 sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

He is a fellow and member of the International Forum of Travel and Tourism Advocates. Founder and past president of the Academy of Hospitality Industry Attorneys. He was the inaugural recipient of the Academy’s “Hospitality Industry Attorney of the Year” Award. He is the special advisor to the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Meetings and Travel and a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. He also served as the first chair of the Convention Industry Council APEX panel on industry contracts.


He is the recipient of the prestigious Meeting Professionals International Industry Award for his service to and advancement of the meetings industry. On its 15th anniversary of publishing, he was named by MEETING NEWS as one of 15 leaders who have made the difference in the meetings industry, an honor he has been awarded by MEETING NEWS multiple times.


He is one of the few lawyers in the United States to have argued before the United States Supreme Court.

Friday, December 2nd


Content provided by:


Piano Parables: Uncommon Lessons for Business and Life
Presenter: Jade Simmons

A classical concert pianist, author, and lecturer, Jade Simmons will present an unforgettable combination of inspiration, information and entertainment in a sensational keynote experience. Jade will inspire meeting professionals to strengthen their professional brand by unleashing momentum, rejuvenating creativity, and market like a maverick all while inspiring mind-blowing innovation. Find success in your event by always looking to do things differently, unexpectedly, and powerfully.


Learner objectives:

  • Strategies for unlocking creative identity and uncovering originality for your events success
  • How to start all endeavors from a place of purpose and necessity to the world around us.
  • The importance of establishing clear vision while simultaneously allowing it to expand and adapt for maximum impact.



Called “classical music's number-one maverick” and a "musical force of nature," Jade Simmons is one of the most exciting and versatile artists on the scene today. As founder of the School of Emergence, Jade coaches and trains big dreamers, corporate burnouts and creatives with entrepreneurial ambition to turn their creativity into clear income and their passion into profitable enterprise.

In her inimitable career as a concert pianist, Jade has remained committed to expanding the boundaries of classical music and its presentation, and as a result has revolutionized the concert platform. Today, she offers an incredibly diverse mix of repertoire from the classics to the cutting edge.


Truly multi-talented, Simmons is the author of the Amazon best-seller Audacious Prayers for World Changers, founder of Superwoman Records, and writer for the Huffington Post on the intersection of the arts with pop culture, politics and society.


A native of Charleston, S.C., Simmons completed her undergraduate work in piano performance at Northwestern University. While there, she went on to become Miss Chicago, Miss Illinois and ultimately first runner-up at the 2000 Miss America Pageant. In that capacity she served as an advocate for youth suicide prevention and ultimately testified in front of Congress alongside Tipper Gore, Surgeon General Satcher and author Danielle Steele on behalf of mental-health funding. 


She received her master's degree at Rice University in Houston, and teaches a graduate-level course on Artist Career Development at the University of Houston.

Buyers Contact:

Cindy Binder, Director of Buyer Development

Suppliers Contact:

Danielle Cirami-Gillis, Vice President, Events & Tradeshows

Event Logistics Contact:

Bernadette Mari, Manager, Events