Ohio Valley Goodwill Hosts 16th Annual Homeless Awareness Dinner

Thank you, Ohio Valley Goodwill, for hosting yet another fun, warm, and joyous holiday dinner for families in need. The 16th annual “Homeless Awareness Dinner” was held at the Sharonville Convention Center on Thursday, December 14th and brought together over 300 individuals and families in the Cincinnati area struggling with homelessness. The staff at Sharonville Convention Center and Spectra Food Services were happy to volunteer their time to help organize this special evening.

The event offered a holiday meal, a visit from Santa for the kids, a DJ and dance floor. Queen City Transportation and Goodwill’s Special Projects team also coordinated transportation to help families and their loved ones travel from nine homeless shelters in the area to the event. “A special part of this wonderful evening is always the numerous volunteers who help to serve the dinner and make participants feel welcomed…and join in the festivities,” Ohio Valley Goodwill wrote in its newsletter. “This year, Ohio Valley Goodwill is especially thankful that Santa Pat was able to be part of the event as well as very appreciative of the support provided by True Light Church.” The full story about the event can be viewed at cincinnatigoodwill.org.

Ohio Valley Goodwill is very grateful to the Sharonville Convention Center and Spectra Food Services and Hospitality along with the many wonderful volunteers who helped make this important holiday and community outreach event possible each year,” said Sharon Hannon, the Marketing Manager of the Ohio Valley Goodwill Industries. The Sharonville Convention Center team and our partners will always be happy to help our local community, regardless of what needs to be done or who needs to be helped. If your organization is interested in hosting a charitable event, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us to start a conversation.   

If you are interested in getting involved with helping your local community in 2018, we encourage you to check out Goodwill’s programs and services geared towards helping our homeless community at www.cincinnatigoodwill.org/services.

Thanks for attending VMUG!

The Cincinnati VMUG UserCon on November 2nd was a great success! Cincinnati executives were able to mix, mingle, and learn from top IT industry experts and hundreds of fellow professionals in our region.

In case you missed it, VMUG UserCon is a traveling conference that teaches information technology professionals about cloud infrastructure and business mobility and delivers in-depth information to help solve complex business challenges. The conference is dedicated to helping area professionals excel and thrive in the ever-changing and highly competitive IT industry. Key speakers were focused on helping IT professionals recognize key issues and how to solve them with innovative, real-world solutions. Information was also delivered on how professionals can evolve and excel in their career paths.

Educational sessions started after an initial welcome breakfast from the VMUG conference hosts. These sessions featured the latest industry trends and topics, gave an exclusive look to VMware, and offered product demonstrations. The event welcomed industry experts Cameron Haight, Rawlinson Rivera, and an expert panel that closed up the seminar with an in-depth Q&A session.

We were especially pleased to welcome VMUG UserCon as a resource for our region’s professionals to keep up with industry changes, trends, and learn new ways to excel their career and succeed in day-to-day projects. The Sharonville Convention Center is eager to host educational seminars for area executives as a resource to better their education and sharpen professional skills.

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Improvement is a Work in Progress | A Word from the Director | October 2017

“We’re done with improving.” Do you know anyone who has ever voiced that statement? At the Sharonville Convention Center, that’s certainly not our mindset.

For our team, improvement is an ongoing development that needs to be addressed on a regular basis. That’s why we’re invested in quarterly staff training sessions. Our goal is to keep our services operating at an optimal level because we believe this not only adds value to our Convention Center guests but to each one of our employee’s professional development.

At the beginning of this year, with the Hyatt Place opening imminent, we wanted to give our team the tools they needed to be prepared for increased attendance volume and events. We contacted Fred Pryor Seminars and invested all of our staff to have 4 training sessions during the course of 2017.

These staff trainings focus on customer service, emotional intelligence, conflict resolution, and top traits of highly successful teams. Each training program begins with a team assessment, which gives the team a current understanding of where it stands and identifies some areas for improvement. Our team was eager to work as a group to complete the training with a goal of creating a clear understanding of our organization’s purpose and each employee’s role in the mission and vision of the Sharonville Convention Center.

The key outcome of our staff training is a major confidence booster and recognizable improved guest satisfaction. Confidence was a key element that gave our staff more knowledge of their tasks and their roles in our organization. We believe training is a long-term commitment and a way to improve the benefit, not only to our guests but to our staff members as well.

If your organization is looking for ways to improve staff morale and teamwork, Fred Pryor Seminars is a great option for quality team building sessions and workshops to improve for the better. Check out his website at pryor.com.

I hope to see you soon in Sharonville.

Best Regards,

Jim Downton



4 Remarkable Tech Tools to Spice Up Your Presentations


The way we present doesn’t always have to be so familiar. With constantly evolving technology, we have an overabundance of options to choose from when presenting our information. So why are so many of us still sticking to PowerPoint slides?

“To be fair, there’s no doubting the effectiveness of slides as a presentation tool––the format’s longevity is a testament to this. But there are a plethora of unique, dynamic methods out there that can make your presentation even more impactful.” – Meetings Imagined

Check out 4 awesome tech tools from Meetings Imagined to enhance your presentations, wow your attendees, and grab their attention this fall.

Google Jamboard

Google created Jamboard to rid brain-stormers the hassle of having to snap a picture of a whiteboard after each meeting and brainstorming session. Jamboard is essentially a digital whiteboard that allows you to come to your presentation with your ideas already mapped out, and as your meeting progresses, you and your colleagues can make notes directly on the board (as you would with a regular whiteboard.) Every note jotted onto the Jamboard is saved in real time, so you don’t have to worry about backing up your ideas with a photo on your cell phone. This is a great option for collaborative teams and meetings that encourage participation.

Myo Armband

“Myo reads gestures and motion to let you seamlessly control presentation software, touch-free.” The makers of Myo created this simple, responsive tool to let you control your presentation by directing your audience’s focus to what you want them to see—zoom in on various points, skip to the next slide, go back, and more with just a few different gestures. The tool is compatible with major presentation software like PowerPoint, Prezi, Google Slides, and Keynote.


Keep your audience’s attention in a new and exciting way: animated videos. PowToon is an easy to use software tool that allows everyone (not just coders and designers) to create animated, professional videos in place of basic presentation slides. It’s a fantastic option for presenters who want to have fun making their presentation and have fun capturing their audience’s attention.


“With SlideDog you can combine almost any media into one seamless multimedia presentation.” The makers of SlideDog wanted to create a tool that would allow presenters to use multiple mediums to create a stunning, dynamic presentation. With this platform, you can combine your PDF files, Prezis, multimedia like videos or audio files, and PowerPoint slides into one big, seamless presentation. This is a great option if you have a lot of data but don’t want the hassle of switching between multiple platforms to share it.

Curious to read more about how these tools could improve your meetings? Read the full article on meetingsimagined.com.

What Can You Learn At SecureWorld 2017?


In short, business executives can expect to learn the latest and greatest in cybersecurity and data protection.

On October 24th, SecureWorld will be bringing skilled and knowledgeable keynote speakers and members of its Advisory Council to Cincinnati to deliver the highest level of security and education material surrounding the cybersecurity space. “The recent Equifax breach is everyone’s worst nightmare,” said Erik Skoog, SecureWorld Event Director. “Unfortunately, the bad guys are pretty good at what they do. So as soon as an enterprise catches up to [solving a security] challenge, there’s another one that needs attention.” SecureWorld will focus on teaching executives a more proactive approach to cybersecurity.

The SecureWorld conference is entering its third year and showing significant growth. The company has been in business for 16 years and specializes in hosting cybersecurity events, presenting more than 15 events across North America annually. The unique aspect of the conference is that it features content driven from an executive group of chief information security officers. All this information comes from recognizable brands in the region, as well, and the conference has had excellent support from the enterprise in terms of the regional community coming together to show support.

The annual SecureWorld Cincinnati conference will be attended by many of the biggest brand names in our region, including US Bank, Cincinnati Bell, Paycor, Western & Southern, Fifth Third Bank and the University of Cincinnati, to name a few. There will be a significant exhibitor floor featuring the latest security technologies and vendor solutions, two distinguished keynote speakers, breakout sessions, intensive courses on information security, and educational credits that can be used towards certifications and training.

The opening keynote will feature Dr. Larry Poneman, Chairman, and Founder of Poneman Institute, a pioneer in privacy auditing and the Responsible Information Management, or RIM framework. He will be providing valuable information geared towards all professionals in information technology industry, from C-level executives to overall teams. The second speaker, William J. Malik, VP of Infrastructure Strategies at Trend Micro. He will be focusing on the constantly evolving threat landscape, global ransomware, cyber espionage, and inform attendees about increasing knowledge in the enterprise network of data and users. “This is an important event for businesses to consider bringing their team members to,” said Skoog. “Much of the community sees it as an integral part of information security.”

For executives in the IT field, SecureWorld Cincinnati offers a wealth of timely information and opportunities to network with cybersecurity professionals. This one-day conference will host top-level speakers, provide continuing education and training, and feature an Exhibitor Floor with over 25 solution vendors. If you are interested in learning more about the latest in information security, data protection, and compliance at an affordable price, be sure to attend the event on October 24th.

Register now: secureworldexpo.com/events/Cincinnati-oh-2017.


2K Payday | A Word from the Director | September 2017


The Sharonville Convention Center team is so pleased with the grand opening and addition of the Hyatt Place Hotel. Having beautiful accommodations within such close proximity has allowed our facility to offer even better service and amenities to our guests—something we’re always striving to do.

We’d like to invite you to celebrate our new 125-room Hyatt Place with an exciting $2k value promotion. If you choose to host your next meeting or event at the Sharonville Convention Center before the end of 2017, you’ll receive over $2,000 in savings.

Receive complimentary:

+ Morning or afternoon break packages with the purchase of a full breakfast or lunch. ($1,000 value based on the minimum of 100 persons.)

+ Break-out meeting rooms with the purchase of a general session room ($600 value based on the minimum of 100 persons. 1 complimentary room per each 100 persons).

+ Audio visual screen and projector ($400 value).

+ Discounted hotel room rates at the Hyatt Place Sharonville Convention Center hotel.

+ Hyatt Place hotel room during your event (a $169 value per night).

Contact us to book your event (513) 771-7744 or by visiting sharonvilleconventioncenter.com.

I look forward to seeing you in Sharonville.


Best Regards,

Jim Downton

Cincinnati is Gaining Recognition as a Top Meeting Destination

Here are 5 reasons why, from MPI Ohio Meeting Chapter.

  1. Urban renewal and adventures

“When the meetings end in Cincinnati, the fun just begins.” After investing nearly $2 billion in the downtown, Over-The-Rhine, and Riverfront development, the Queen City has had a dramatic facelift. The city has also recently installed a new street car system, allowing easier transportation between downtown districts. North of the city in Sharonville’s Northern Lights District, over 15 hotels along with a variety of both dine in and quick service restaurants have opened, and the Sharonville Convention Center offers a modern facility for various uses and has plenty of parking for guests. Meeting attendees can check out some of the new parks, foodie-centered and trendy restaurants, rooftop bars, catch a baseball or football game, or just explore the vibrancy the city has to offer after the meeting is over.

  1. New hotel developments

“In 2014 and 2015 [alone], Downtown Cincinnati experienced an explosion of new hotel properties, with the three new properties (Homewood Suites, Hampton Inn & Suites, and the Renaissance Hotel by Marriott) bringing 572 new rooms to the downtown market.” In Sharonville, the latest hotel addition, the Hyatt Place Sharonville, is directly connected to the Sharonville Convention Center, meaning plenty of updated and comfortable accommodation options for your out-of-town attendees.

  1. Award-winning dining

“The headlines about Cincinnati’s food scene are piling up thanks to an influx of both big city and local chefs getting entrepreneurial in some of downtown’s hottest up and coming neighborhoods.” A quick Yelp check or even a Google search of “Best Cincinnati Restaurants” or “Best OTR Restaurants” will yield endless options of exciting new places to try.

  1. Historic architecture and public art

“Groups can now enjoy the arts and cultural heritage of Cincinnati on a quick walk between their hotel and convention center, thanks to the ArtWorks mural program, which has more than 100 murals painted on the sides of buildings around the region.” Besides the stunning murals peppered around the city, there are several free museums such as the Cincinnati Art Museum in Mount Adams, or the Contemporary Arts Center downtown. Over-The-Rhine is also home to some of the oldest, most unique architecture in the nation.

  1. Welcoming city

“In the Cincinnati region, meetings are more than welcomed, they’re celebrated.” The kind citizens of Cincinnati are more than happy to point you in the right direction or recommend the best restaurant to try. From the pro-business downtown to the open friendliness, attendees will feel comfortable and eager to explore the city. Cincinnati is also a Certified Tourism Ambassador Program, certifying more than 1,150 residents to welcome visitors and offer great experiences during their stay.

There are plenty more reasons to plan your big meetings in the Queen City. Check them out at MPIOH.org.

The Northern Lights District: A District in Motion

Word From The Director | SEPTEMBER 2017

Sharonville’s population is 13,000. During the day, it swells to 40,000 due to our vibrant businesses and attractions. Chris Xeil Lyons, Sharonville’s Economic Development Director, expressed her satisfaction with our region’s growth by saying, “As the Northern Lights District responsibly and increasingly grows, Sharonville has seen a surge in its ability to offer new jobs, better hospitality, accessibility, stability, and growth.”

In the past few years, Sharonville has come to grow significantly with available land, businesses, attractions and office space seized by major corporations such as Ford, Gorilla Glue, and General Electric, as well as business leaders and entrepreneurs who want the amenities of a big city, without the hassle of being downtown. Currently, the Northern Lights District offers plots for available land, building space, and office space to purchase in a region that is just 15 miles north of downtown Cincinnati and regional attractions from our own Convention Center, the Viking Village Sports and Performance Complex, the Ramada Plaza Conference and Event Center, Splash Cincinnati, award-winning restaurants, and much more.

With significant growth comes greater attention. To better serve inquiries and request for information about the momentum in the Northern Lights District, it is currently developing a completely re-branded website, which fully embodies the spirit and evolution of the region. We are thrilled with the look and feel of the district’s digital presence.

It’s a great time to be in Sharonville as we make strides towards monumental growth and building a sustainable environment for all to enjoy. Join us!

To learn more about available space in the Northern Lights District, contact Chris Xeil Lyons at clyons@northernlightsdistrict.com or 513-563-1144.

I hope to see you soon in Sharonville.

Best Regards,

Jim Downton
Executive Director

Register Now for the 2017 Cincinnati Accounting Show

Attention, Cincinnati-area accounting and finance professionals: The road to success is always under construction. Increase your chances of success by investing in continuous education at the 2017 Cincinnati Accounting Show, hosted by The Ohio Society of CPAs. This two-day seminar on September 26th and 27th will cover a wide range of topics in tax and accounting to broaden your path to success as a financial industry professional.

From 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., keynote speakers and successful professionals in the industry will explore core updates in:

  • A&A, tax, and accounting
  • Understanding technology application and risk management
  • Accounting and finance leadership
  • Financial planning and analysis
  • Technical finance and accounting skills
  • Strategic and professional management

Attendees will also have a chance to network with area professionals and peers to grow in business development.

The Cincinnati Accounting Show is eager to prepare you for challenges ahead and further your education by exploring the latest tools in innovative technology and collaboration, diving into breaking regulatory changes like accounting for leases, and sharing solutions that can help you grow professionally as well as personally. Attendees will also have the chance to win cash prizes and a new iPad Pro.

The Ohio Society of CPAs member price to attend is $449 and $604 for non-members.

“This is your opportunity to gather with peers to exchange ideas and invest in your professional development.” Register now!



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