Well, first of all I must apologize for not providing timely updates to the CMCN Blog! The organization is going through a very transitional time right now, we’ve discussed the future of CMCN and if it is relevant today. What does it have to offer? What would be the benefit(s) of CMCN?

Well, this past January I had the opportunity to meet with a new board member and discuss the possibilities of the organization. I came away with some very valuable and workable changes that the board and myself will be implementing over the next several months. We’ve said this before, but never really felt we had a good product that was “reinvented” until now.

I’m excited to see the way the organization will be moving! In the weeks to come we’ll have a brand new web site (our first task), and some exciting new offerings to speakers, workshop leaders, exhibitors, and conferences!

Check back on our Blog or web site for details! And, if you’ve been a member of CMCN in the past you’ll be receving an email in the weeks to come with our eNewsletter, outling our changes!


Dale Shafer
Executive Director


I ran across this article in a meetings publication this week, and wanted to share it with everyone who visits our blog. Many of the convention/conference planners out there, some who have been members of CMCN, hire entertainment. Below are six useful steps when contracting or hiring entertainment. Credit is given to Mark Sonder of Mark Sonder Productions.

6 Steps to Hiring Headline Entertainment
from Mark Sonder, CEO Mark Sonder Productions
Successful Meetings, 3/08


1.  Research the needs of the audience and identify the appropriate resources to fill these needs.
2.  Select an artist.  This works best if you (or your client) either select five headliners you would like to have perform at your meeting or event, or prepare an approximate budget and category of music/entertainment/speaker in order to narrow the list of options.
3.  Be prepared and empowered to make a reasonably quick decision.  It is common to lose headliners when clients are not able to act quickly enough to secure the act.  Have your agent or corporate entertainment company make a written offer to the artist.  Remember, an agent can offer you only the artists that are on the agency’s roster.  If the artists you are looking for are represented by more than one agency, you will need to contact more than one agent or just one corporate entertainment company. 

4.  If the offer is accepted, sign a contract for services of the artist.  Once your written offer is accepted, it is very difficult to turn back.  And be prepared to make a 50% deposit when and if a headline entertainer accepts your offer.

5.  Secure production for the show or have your corporate entertainment company provide these services.

6.  Monitor the production process and evaluate the outcome.





Hello everyone, it’s time to update CMCN and let you know what we’re up to. First of all, those who had a paid membership in 2007 should of received their CD-ROM of our newest publication Developing and Organizing a Christian Conference or Convention”. This is an operational manual designed specifically for Christian conferences or conventions. Meeting planners, exhibitors, speakers and those interested in establishing a conference or convention will glean important information from this publication. This has been a “work in progress” for several years, and it’s exciting to now have this “published”. For those desiring to purchase this product, please contact CMCN at www.cmcn.orgto find out details. As the new Executive Director, I can say this publication will help anyone improve upon or set up a conference, meeting, seminar,trade-show, etc…
CMCN will also be available for one-on-one consultation with a conference committee or board on a variety of topics. Please contact CMCN for more information.
This May the board will be meeting in California for it’s annual executive session and update on our “reinvention”. If you are interested in joining our board of directors please contact the CMCN office.
Praise the Lord! We have three — yes three “Catch Our Vision” partners!!! It’s very exciting, almost like Christmas, when I go to the post office and get the mail for CMCN! I wish to express my thanks (and that of the Board) to Greater Washington (DC) Christian Education ConventionFee Hedrick Family Entertainment (based in Pigeon Forge, TN), and Standard Publishing for their vision and generous support of CMCN. As you may know, in the past our financial support came through individual memberships at the corporate, convention and individual levels. CMCN has changed to a product-driven and partnership supported non-profit organization. Please visit our web site for more information on how you too can become a “Catch Our Vision” partner!
I would love to hear from convention directors, meeting planners, exhibitors or those who desire to attend a Christian convention! We’re here to help and assist you!
Speaking of fellow Christian meeting planners, a wonderful opportunity is coming up in May in Gatlinburg, TN. The annual showcase conference for Christian Meetings and Conventions Association will convene at the Park Vista Hotel and Gatlinburg Convention Center. Exciting events and activities, an excellent trade-show, plus the best fellowship ever awaits meeting planners, suppliers and those interested in Christian conventions! You can visit the CMCA web site at www.christianmeetings.org for details or to register for the conference.
Dale Shafer, Executive Director
Church Ministry Conventions Network
“Growing Christian Conventions”

Greetings friends, at the fall board meeting, it was decided to move CMCN into a new, “reinvented” direction. Since the inception of CMCN in 1994, it has been membership based and revenues from annual renewals, new members, and sale of the Convention Calendar. With a decline in Christian education/Sunday School or educational training conferences around the country, the board elected to move to a “product and service” organization.

Now comes the work! To “reinvent” CMCN, there will be a lot of work involved (web site, publications, communications sent, etc…) before a totally new CMCN will emerge. Perhaps the one exciting aspect of our first step in reinvention will  be the distribution of our “Developing and Operating a Christian Conference or Convention”. This will be shipped, complimentary, to existing members, and will be made available for sale via www.cmcn.org web site.

As the new Executive Director, I’m excited to be on the ground floor of the new organization. Yet, at the same time, I’m overwhelmed by the amount of work that will be involved in making this work! God will be coming along side us in moving CMCN into our newly emerged organization.

The board discussed a name change – once things move along with basic changes, CMCN will emerge under the name “Chrisitian Conventions Network”. This new name will better portray our mission and purpose. Until then, you will find us on the web, via e-mail, in publications as “CMCN”. We’re thinking of retaining our corporate name of Church Ministry Conventions Network, as this is our official, registered name with several government entities. You may see us as “Christian Conventions Network – a ministry of CMCN” in the near future!

Go to www.cmcn.org and read our latest newsletter!

Blessings to each of you in 2008!

Dale R. Shafer, Executive Director
Church  Ministry Conventions Network

I am glad to be able to bring to convention and conference planners, exhibitors, and those interested in church ministry and Christian conventions, a central place where we can share ideas, ask questions, and share the mission of Church Ministry Conventions Network, or to be known as “CMCN”. It’s exciting to use today’s technology to communicate to one another! I hope to hear from you all soon!

Today’s post is going to include some information about planning a conference. From our experience as a collective board, we find that our biggest challenge is getting responses back from speakers, presenters, exhibitors and others invited to participate. With today’s computer technology, you virtually do not need to spend your budget on printing and postage. This consumes a huge portion of most conventions’ budgets!

If you convention has a web site and a web-savy “webmaster”, consider posting your forms, letters and contracts in a “portable document format”, better known as “PDF”. Or, better yet, see if your web site is capable of handling on-line registration. This would allow your speakers, workshop leaders, exhibitors and others invited to participate, to fill out a “form” on your web site and send it directly back to an email account. This could be arranged with your webmaster.

One area that many conventions are faced with is on-line payments. If your convention does not accept Visa or MasterCard for payment, you would need to make arrangements with you financial institution. Or, consider using the new tool called “Pay Pal”. I personally know individuals who use this for their business and it works very well. There is no charge for set-up, just go to the PayPal web site for more information.

As our weblog evolves, and I learn more about working with one (!), I hope we can cover many more subjects on a regular basis.