Host Sponsor

Texas Means Business.

Connect Texas is an education conference and appointment-only trade show.  Hosted by Connect, the event brings together the most active planners, suppliers and experts in Texas meetings and events for general sessions, round tables, preset appointments and quality networking.














Enhance your skills, interact with industry leaders and drive more business—

whether you’re a planner or supplier focused on Texas meetings and events.



2019 Agenda

Subject to Change

Wednesday, Oct. 2
2-4 p.m.RegistrationVineyard Prefunction
3:30-4:30 p.m.Opening Session: Amp Up the Energy! 10 Ways to Increase EngagementMesilla 1-2
5-6 p.m.Marketplace AppointmentsTate 6-10
7-9 p.m.Opening ReceptionGlass Cactus
Thursday, Oct. 3
9-10 a.m.General Session: Attract Raving Fans Without Spending a FortuneMesilla 1-2
10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.Marketplace AppointmentsTate 6-10
Noon-1:30 p.m.Lunch and General Session: Avoid the Common Traps and Hazards of Event PlanningMesilla 1-2
2-3 p.m.Education SessionsHigh Plains 2-3
3:15-4:15 p.m.Education SessionsHigh Plains 2-3
4:30-5:30 p.m.Happy Hour Marketplace AppointmentsTate 6-10
6 p.m.Open Night 
Friday, Oct. 4
9-10 a.m.General Session: Austin HatchMesilla 1-2
10:30-11:30 a.m.Marketplace AppointmentsTate 6-10




2019 Speakers

Kate Delaney

Four former Presidents and Lebron James are just a few of the 12,000 people Kate Delaney has interviewed in her twenty years in radio and television. Kate has broadcast from places all over the United States and the world, and is one of the first women to ever host a solo sports radio talk show in two Top 10 markets–WFAN in New York City and KRLD in Dallas, Texas.

She empowers organizations and individuals to achieve bold high level and dramatic results with the strategies and secrets she discovered through broadcasting for Super Bowls, MLB All Star Games, U.S. Opens and the New Hampshire Primary in 2012, along with the Republican and Democratic conventions She earned an Emmy for a series on the AIDS crisis and led The Golden Broadcasters radio network as its chief operating officer. Kate has transformed leading-edge organizations nationwide, including Las Vegas Thunder, Golden State Warriors, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Radio Shack, McDonald’s and Southern Methodist University. Her message resonates with any organization that wants to get heard, stand out and attain rapid breakthroughs in eloquence, influence and impact.

Austin Hatch

Austin Hatch, a two-time plane crash survivor and inspirational speaker focused on helping others overcome loss and adversity. In 2003, Hatch survived a family crash that claimed the lives of his mother Julie, sister, Lindsay and brother, Ian. Eight years later, he was involved in another family airplane crash in which his father and “second mother” were killed. Austin suffered severe injuries and was in a coma for two months. He relearned to walk, eat and live his life. Hatch recovered and achieved his dream of playing basketball for the University of Michigan under Coach Jim Beilein. Eight years after the second accident, Hatch is a graduate of The University of Michigan and is married to his wife, Abigail.

2019 Education

Subject to Change. Specific times coming soon.

Wednesday, Oct. 2
3:30-4:30 p.m. | Opening Session

Presented by Mimi Brown

Nowadays a goldfish has a longer attention span than a human. Most attendees are distracted by the latest gadget. The key is to captivate your audience, increase interaction and make content more experiential. Explore how to freshen up your meetings, breathe life into the agenda, while leaving a lasting impression that will foster positive word of mouth and inspire your audiences to return each year.

Thursday, Oct. 3
9-10 a.m. | General Session

Presented by Kate Delaney

Change is a constant in the hospitality and tourism industry. No need to look for a crystal ball—Emmy Award-winning journalist Kate Delaney has you covered. Her playbook is chock full of PR plays, marketing moves and clever tactics to attract raving fans without spending a fortune.

1. PR and marketing strategies and tactics you can roll out as soon as you leave Kate’s session.
2. Gameplanning for the trends of today and tomorrow to give you the edge.
3. Creating leverage in an industry dealing with consolidation, constant market shifts and future economic downturns.

12:30-1:30 p.m. | General Session

Presented by Steven Hacker

This session will focus on key Risk Management Principles and Contract Provisions all designed to enhance your event and reduce many of the risks associated with event planning. Custom tailored for busy event planners, this session will arm you with insights and knowledge that are guaranteed to provide you with negotiation strategies and tactics that will position you to possess strong negotiation skills that can only ensure the success of your event.

2-3 p.m. | Education Sessions

Presented by Will Curran and Brandt Krueger

Ladies and gentlemen! In this corner, representing convenience and knowledge of the venue, it’s the in-house AV company! And… in this corner, representing expanded inventory and lower prices, please welcome… the third-party AV company! Join us for this 3 round smackdown to discuss the pros and cons of each model, and help learn what’s the right fit for you. Featuring: representatives from each model, an impartial moderator, and plenty of Q&A time for your burning AV questions, both in-room and anonymously via mobile app.

Panel Discussion

Let's get frank. How are you dealing with room blocks when attendees are staying at Airbnb, attendance ebb and flow, and why (oh why!) are we still paying for WiFi? We'll discuss that along with keeping F&B costs in line, co-locating with other associations and new ideas for marketing your meeting with some of the top names in Texas associations.

Featuring Panelists:
• Mike Brittain, CAE
    Executive Director, The National Petroleum Energy Credit Association, Inc.
• Lynne K. Tiras, CMP
   President, International Meeting Managers, Inc.
• Beth Brooks, CAE
   Executive Director, Texas College of Emergency Physicians

3:15-4:15 p.m. | Education Sessions

Presented by Terri Woodin

Hotel contracts are complicated, but are a must to define responsibilities and make mutual obligations perfectly clear. In the Strategic Meetings Management (SMM) landscape, hotel contract risk mitigation has become an important metric. In this interactive workshop, attendees will discuss a multitude of topics on methods to negotiate contracts that assure added meeting value, cost savings and risk mitigation, including dispute resolution.

Presented by Mimi Brown

Have you ever wondered why it seems so tough to talk with some people yet so easy to chat with others? During this interactive, fact paced, and insightful session understand the impact your communication style has on the impression others form of you and how to work with people whose communication style is different than your own, so you can gain connection, confidence and reduce conflict.

Host Sponsors