OCTOBER 17 AND 18, 2021 #TEC20

In celebration and recognition of our industry’s continued recovery, MPI Texas Hill Country Chapter will once again present a live and in-person TEC21 this October, bringing together our community through “meetingful,” personable and impactful education and engagement at the new and exciting Austin Marriott Downtown.
We are In-Person, In-Austin and In-Credible in 2021!


A highly anticipated live celebration of our industry’s recovery, driven by meaningful conversations and networking opportunities that only face-to-face interactions can deliver


An exciting new venue that mirrors the innovation and reflects the insights of top thought leaders, influencers and decision-makers in the meetings and events industry


A long-awaited return of a signature conference that will open career doors, advance management skills and raise visibility of organizations adjusting to a ‘new normal’


Chef Ericka Bongort

Sustainability in Food and Beverage

Beth Carr and Emily Talley, CMP

Morning Wellness brought to you by ABS Fitness

Lahoma Dade

Women in Leadership: Why it’s good for Everyone

Tucker Johnson

Preparing Contracts Post Covid: Contract Clause Hot Topics

Emily Kratt, CIS

CVB and DMC Roles and How Best to Work with Them

Mack Marsh

Accessibility in Events

Steve Rudner

Preparing Contract Post Covid: Contract Clause Hot Topics


Sunday, October 17, 2021

9:00 am - 10:00 AM
Room 502
Board Meeting
Noon - 6:30 PM
5th Floor Lounge
Registration Open
Sponsored by Attendee Management
1:30 PM - 1:45 PM
5th Floor Waterloo Salons 3-4
Opening Remarks
Texas Hill Country Chapter President
1:45 PM - 2:45 PM
5th Floor Waterloo Salons 3-4
Opening Keynote - Accessibility in Events

Event planners and suppliers are in the business of meeting their clients’ needs. As our population ages and the number of individuals with disabilities increases, those needs are rapidly changing. Did you know that only 30% of disabilities are visible? Most of the time you will not know if your clients have a disability and, consequently, you may not realize what limitations your programs and services have.

This session will give you some common sense solutions to make sure you are addressing the needs of all your attendees and participants. Make accessibility a business advantage that matters.

Sandra Breitengross Bitter - Executive Director, Texas State Independent Living Council
Mack Marsh, CEO of Access Empowerment and Project Director for Parking Mobility
Martin Kareithi, Director, Systemwide Accessibility, Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
5th Floor Waterloo Salons 1-2
Market Place Opens
Hydration Stations sponsored by Visit Irving
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Concurrent Sessions
Session 1 - 4th Floor MR 401
General Emergency Planning

Did you know that 50 percent of meeting and event professionals don't have a risk management plan in place? Let’s look into incident management strategies as needed for the prevention, preparedness, response and recovery from all-hazard emergency incidents.

Learners will be introduced to techniques to prevent and respond to extraordinary crimes, violence, terrorist attacks, natural disasters and ordinary incidents such as fights, or drunkenness to ensure the safety and security of all attendees, limit damage and restore services in the event of emergencies.

Paul Reynolds, CHSO - Occupational Health and Safety Coordinator, Austin Convention Center
Session 2 - 4th Floor MR 402
Women in Leadership: Why it’s good for Everyone

This session will examine some of the unique challenges and opportunities for women in the events industry, offering event professionals real-world examples and lessons from women in leadership. Topics will include the value of peer-to-peer networking, mentorship, developing and utilizing exemplary communication skills across genders, and proven strategies for career advancement at every level of the organization. Attendees will become more confident communicators, active listeners, intentional networkers, and more empowered to excel in their careers and bravely embrace new opportunities for leadership. The content provided in this session is relevant to both women and men.

Lahoma Dade - CEO, Events Unleashed
Session 3 - 4th Floor MR 404
Rebuilding Partnerships and Sponsorships

How do we reconnect with our longtime sponsors and form new partnerships after missing events for such a long time? Let your network know your brand is still viable and engaging. Let’s reconnect and uncover new ways to work with each other and stretch our dollars. Hear from hotel and venue professionals on their new expectations and learn how to work within this new landscape. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. We are all here to learn in this interactive conversation.

Faith Ward - Director of Sales, Palmer Events Center
Donna Harbers - Vice President of Meeting and Education, Texas Apartment Association
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
4th Floor Lounge
First Timer/VIP Reception
Invitation Only
7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Event Deck – Zanzibar
Opening Night Reception/Dinner
Entertainment Provided by Visit Austin

All sessions are subject to change.

Monday, October 18, 2021

7:30 AM - 8:30 PM
Event Deck or 405
Morning Wellness with ABs Fitness

Jumpstart your day with a full-body, coach-led workout! No equipment needed and all fitness levels are welcome to join this morning sweat sesh. We’ll kick it off with a dynamic warm-up to wake your body up and get it ready for some fitness, then we’ll hit the main workout where all exercises will be demonstrated along with scalable options so all fitness levels may participate! Finally, we’ll cool down with some stretching & breath work. A full-body, mind, and soul workout to set the tone for an awesome day of learning & networking!

8:30 AM - 11:00 AM
5th Floor Lounge
Registration Open
Sponsored by Attendee Management
9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
5th Floor Waterloo Salons 1-2
Market Place
9:30 AM - 10:30 AM
Concurrent Sessions
Session 4 - 4th Floor MR 401
Sustainability in Food and Beverage

Event design is not relegated just to programming and meeting space. It touches many parts of an event including various aspects of food and beverage. We need to focus on sustainability and how our events can negatively impact the environment. Sustainability can address many of these wasteful practices. Catering professionals can give us the knowledge to conscientiously plan large and small events. From compostable serveware, to the reduction of food waste, catering professionals are creatively addressing the evolution of event food service.

Ericka Bongort - Chef, Prep to Your Door
Ross Wagley - Assistant Manager, ACC, Levy Restaurants
Session 5 - 4th Floor MR 402
Preparing Contract Post Covid: Contract Clause Hot Topics

There is no better way to know how COVID-19 has affected contracts, negotiations, and the market than hearing it straight from the horse’s mouth. This panel consists of a hotel sales professional, and an attorney, hashing out what’s new, what’s negotiable, and how COVID-19 has changed the on-site look of meetings. Contract language related to COVID-19 will be discussed, force majeure as well as a specific language. The measures being used to limit or shift liability will be discussed, including testing, proof of vaccination, social distancing, mask requirements, waivers, and insurance. Other negotiation issues such as performance clauses will also be addressed.

Tucker Johnson - Instructional Assistant Professor with the University of Houston Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management
Steve Rudner - Founder and Managing Partner with Rudner Law Offices
Session 6 - 4th Floor MR 404
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: It’s not just Black and White

DEI is a huge topic that can encompass a wide range of issues. Companies can’t afford to only discuss cultural differences between employees. We need to learn how to make our events and workplaces a safe inclusive space where all people can feel free to express their creative ideas so we can all benefit from the diversity of experience we all share. Our speakers will provide insight on how to ensure everyone has a voice at their workplace.

Sandra Breitengross Bitter - Executive Director, Texas State Independent Living Council
LaChelle Evans - National Sales Manager, Visit Frisco
10:30 AM - 11:00 AM
5th Floor Waterloo Salons 1-2
Market Place
Break with Bloody Mary Stations sponsored by Visit Ft Worth
11:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Brunch Served
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
5th Floor Waterloo Salons 3-4
Closing General Session - CVB and DMC Roles and How Best to Work with Them

What’s the difference between a CVB and DMC? Does your CVB secure contracts or just negotiate rates? Can you only get vendor information from a DMC? Does your CVB have the knowledge it takes to show you where to go to have the best parties and the restaurants with the best food? Find this out and more from CVB and DMC representatives that want to make your event shine. Ask the questions you were always afraid to and use these services in a way that serves you best.

Emily Kratt, CIS - Managing Director, INNOAVTX Events
Linda Atkins - Vice President of Services, Visit Austin
Joel Vazquez, TDM - Assistant Director, Laredo Convention & Visitors Bureau
12:30 PM
5th Floor Waterloo Salons 3-4
Closing Remarks
Texas Hill Country Chapter President

All sessions are subject to change.

Because We Care

The MPI Texas Hill Country Chapter wants to host a conference that is safe and able to be enjoyed in comfort and without concern. For that reason, every person who attends, both attendees and exhibitors, must show they are vaccinated or have a negative Covid test taken within three days of the event in order to pick up your badge. We are also encouraging everyone to wear a mask and keep social distancing in mind. This will enable us to offer an event that will not endanger anyone’s health or well-being, yet still allow us to gather and attend sessions, see our friends, network, and visit with our supplier partners in the TEC21 Market Place.

Our goal is to set a good example in the industry and provide a conference where all can be at ease in participating. We look forward to seeing everyone Sunday, October 17, 2021.


Texas Education Conference – Registration Fees

  • Early Registration
    (On or before October 1, 2021)
  • Planner Member – $175
  • Planner Non-Member – $275
  • Supplier Member – $250
  • Supplier Non-Member – $350
  • Late/Onsite Registration
    (After October 1, 2021)
  • Planner Member – $275
  • Planner Non-Member – $375
  • Supplier Member – $375
  • Supplier Non-Member – $475
  • Student
  • $50 throughout
  • Planner Non-Member – $275
  • Supplier Member – $250
  • Supplier Non-Member – $350

There will be additional donation opportunities for MPI members in need, Wounded Warriors and The Refuge.
CEU’s: Approved for 4 hours of education credits.

*Registrations may be cancelled with a 25% administrative fee until September 30, 2021. No refunds may be requested after that date, but substitutions are allowed. Please contact admin@mpithcc.org for assistance.

Online registration closes at midnight, Saturday, October 16th.


Venue Sponsor

Book your hotel room before October 1 using the links below to receive the special MPI TEC21 rate.

Supplier (PW: MPISUP21) or Planner (PW: MPIPLA21)


Interested in being a sponsor for TEC21?

Contact Michele Gonzalez, Vice President of Education at 512-626-1275 or email