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Jan 2018
Feb 2018


CenturyLink Center Omaha 455 N. 10th Street Omaha , Nebraska 68102
Tel: (402) 341-1500
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Emerge (RCMA World Conference And Exposition) - Religious Conference Management Association


Event Overview:

Join the top meeting planners and suppliers of faith-based meetings at RCMA's annual event!

The 2018 Emerge Conference, simply stated, is an event for event planners! It’s a one-stop opportunity for you to begin your year with purpose, intent and encouragement. You’ll find 5-star education laid out in multiple tracks to help you navigate your educational experience. We’ve confirmed three incredible keynote speakers that will inspire, inform and immerse you in their personal experiences. The Emerge Expo is filled with nearly 250 providers from around the country - all engaged with helping you improve your events.

Emerge is about professionalism. You’ll be taking the next step in continuing to develop yourself as a planner, your organization will reap the benefits and your mission will be improved. As host of the world’s largest faith-based events association conference, RCMA provides a unique experience for planners and suppliers at all levels of engagement.

The 3-day event (January 30 - February 1), hosted by Visit Omaha, and held in the CenturyLink Center, provides a 2-day tradeshow, four engaging keynote sessions, 30 educational sessions and over a dozen micro-education sessions, as well as opportunities of service in the Omaha community.

Never been to Omaha? You’ll have a chance to tour various sites, serve the local community, savor incredible flavors from the local food scene and experience great mid-west hospitality.

Register early and join the RCMA community!  Be a part of Emerge 2018!

Exhibitor Information:

The 2018 Emerge conference is a great opportunity to refine your professional skills, interact with potential clients and their profiles, reconnect with friends and colleagues, explore Omaha and help shape the future of the faith-based events world!  

RCMA stands true to its mission to nurture a community that inspires exceptional meetings. You’ll find a community willing to invest in you, as a new or seasoned provider, working together to educate, inspire and share in the successes of intentional, life-changing events.

We’ve planned 30 plus informative, interactive educational sessions and micro educational sessions and 3 powerful keynote experiences, plus 6 hours of connectivity with our planner base during our Emerge Expo, featuring event-hosting opportunities from 50 - 50,000 attendees.  “Where Faith Meets” is not just a tagline - it’s a reality at Emerge!

About RCMA:

The Religious Conference Management Association is a professional, nonprofit, multifaith organization consisting of individuals who are responsible for planning and/or managing meetings, tutorials, conferences, conventions, and assemblies for their religious organizations.

Founded in 1972, RCMA has built a solid reputation for enhancing the professionalism of its members as well as its suppliers. For over 35 years, RCMA has dedicated itself to improving the experience of religious meeting attendees throughout the world.

RCMA helps create an atmosphere where both planners and suppliers join together to learn from each other's experiences, thereby expanding their professional expertise. We strive at making personal interaction both practical and convenient.


Jan 30   

7:30 AM - 6:00 PM   



8:30 AM - 12:00 PM   

Hilton Omaha Hands on Hospitality (Breakfast included) 

Come travel behind the scenes of Hilton Omaha for a one of a kind experience! Learn how different departments of the hotel work together to execute events from start to finish. Enjoy a hot breakfast to get your day started!

Breakfast is included at the Hilton!


8:30 AM - 11:00 AM   

Professional Development Series - Audio Visual Bootcamp 

From rookies to experienced planners, comparing AV bids can make your eyes hurt. It’s time for a little AV 101 to help cut through the jargon and know what you’re getting- before you sign on the dotted line. Bring your toughest AV questions to this technological town hall!


8:30 AM - 11:30 AM   

Community Service Project: Open Door Mission 

A Gospel Rescue Mission founded in 1954 committed to breaking the cycle of homelessness and poverty. Each day, Open Door Mission’s campus offers 816 safe, shelter beds to homeless men, women and children, serves over 2,000 hot, nutritious meals and provides preventive measures to more than 275 people living in poverty. The group will be divided into two areas:
1) Lydia House/Garland Thompson Men’s Center- Tour of Open Door Mission. Group will then assist with meal prep and assemble sack lunches. Sack Lunches are hand delivered by ODM staff to the homeless who are still on the streets.
2) Timberlake Outreach Center - Tour of Open Door Mission. Group will then help sort and display clothing, furnishings and personal items at the ODM Timberlake Outreach Center. The center offers these items at no charge for those living in the shelter"s housing units. Residents also work at the Timberlake center and will guide our volunteers.


8:30 AM - 11:30 AM   

Community Service Project: Ronald McDonald House Charities 

Onsite at Centurylink - Make Sibling Activity Bags for the brothers and sisters of hospital patients. This helps to keep them busy during long trips to the hospital. (items can include card games, coloring books, snack and/or juice box, small puzzles, activity books, travel size games, etc)


8:30 AM - 11:30 AM   

Community Service Project: Salvation Army 

This project is sorting jewelry donated to the Thrift Stores. The Adult Rehabilitation center is funded through these stores. Often jewelry is donated in bulk and it is kind of like looking for diamonds in the rough. Snacks will be provided and volunteers will see a short video explaining the program and the importance of their volunteering.


9:00 AM - 5:00 PM   

Headshot Lounge


12:30 PM - 3:30 PM   

Boys Town - Experience the History of Hope 

When Father Edward J. Flanagan purchased the Overlook Farm in 1921, it became the new, permanent site of Boys Town. Over the decades that followed, schools, churches and homes were built, and tens of thousands of young lives were transformed. When you visit the Village of Boys Town, a National Historic Landmark District, you’ll get an unforgettable glimpse into the history of an organization that has given new hope to so many at-risk children over the past 100 years.


12:30 PM - 3:30 PM   

Omaha City Tour 

Enjoy a guided tour of Omaha’s past, present and future. Tour includes: Omaha’s historic Old Market Entertainment District with its cobblestone streets and unique boutiques; Lewis & Clark Landing, the historic spot where the exploring duo landed; billionaire Warren Buffet’s home (the flashing light in front warns of falling money); the Blackstone District, birthplace of the Reuben sandwich; St. Cecilia Cathedral, one of the largest cathedrals in the United States, TD Ameritrade Park Omaha, home of the annual NCAA Men’s College World Series; and the Omaha Community Playhouse, the largest community theater in the country and where actor Henry Fonda started his acting career.


12:30 PM - 3:30 PM   

Omaha’s Old Market Culinary Tour 

Get to know Omaha one bite at a time during a walking tour of the Old Market Entertainment District, the birthplace of Omaha’s culinary scene. Learn about the city’s rich history and culture while sampling a selection of Omaha favorites. These signature tasting tours include stops at 5-7 locally-owned culinary establishments where you’ll be able to meet the chefs and owners behind the delicious creations.  (This tour is not suitable for guests with dietary restrictions.)


4:00 PM - 5:00 PM   

Planner Overview 

This session is intended for all planners! We’ll cover the don’t-miss opportunities coming your way, last minute changes, important introductions and tips for making the most of your time at Emerge! (Required for hosted planners.)


4:00 PM - 5:00 PM   

Supplier Overview 
This session is designed for all suppliers attending the Emerge Conference. We'll cover tips for a successful tradeshow experience, important introductions, navigation ideas and any last-minute schedule and appointment changes.


6:30 PM - 8:30 PM   

Opening Reception 

Join the RCMA community at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo. Home to more than 17,000 animals, you’ll experience largest geodesic dome in the world, containing largest indoor desert, and they also boast the largest indoor rainforest. You’ll be free to roam around the desert, jungle and aquarium, while enjoying come great Omaha cuisine. Buses depart at 6:15 pm from the Hilton Omaha (Cass Street/North Side) and the Omaha Marriott (Capitol Avenue/South Side – near Starbucks).

Jan 31   

7:45 AM - 8:15 AM   

Morning Devotion


8:00 AM - 8:45 AM   

Buffet Breakfast


9:00 AM - 10:00 AM   

Opening General Session 

Innovative violinist, composer, and speaker Kai Kight will share his story and leave you with ideas that you can take to compose your own breathtaking creations.


10:15 AM - 12:30 PM   

Emerge Expo 

The Wednesday afternoon Expo is designed to give you an additional opportunity to interact with our suppliers, have additional pre-scheduled appointments and participate in quick, micro educational sessions in our Emerge Theaters and enjoy the dessert course of your lunch!


12:45 PM - 1:30 PM   



1:40 PM - 2:30 PM   

General Session 

Hear the remarkable story of Rwandan genocide survivor and New York Times Best Selling author Immaculee Ilibagiza.


2:45 PM - 4:15 PM   

Emerge Expo 

The Wednesday afternoon Expo is designed to give you an additional opportunity to interact with our suppliers, have additional pre-scheduled appointments and participate in quick, micro educational sessions in our Emerge Theaters and enjoy the dessert course of your lunch!


4:30 PM - 5:30 PM   

Educational Breakout Sessions


5:30 PM - 11:59 PM   

Free Night - Dinner with Friends


8:00 PM - 10:00 PM   

Have S'More Fun with Team Texas (Planner Only Event)

Feb 1   

7:45 AM - 8:15 AM   

Morning Devotion


8:00 AM - 8:45 AM   

Buffet Breakfast


9:00 AM - 9:50 AM   

RCMA Business Session


10:00 AM - 11:00 AM   

Educational Breakout Sessions


11:00 AM - 11:15 AM   

Refreshment Break


11:15 AM - 12:15 PM   

Educational Breakout Sessions


12:30 PM - 1:20 PM   



1:30 PM - 2:30 PM   

General Session


2:45 PM - 4:45 PM   

Emerge Expo 

The Wednesday afternoon Expo is designed to give you an additional opportunity to interact with our suppliers, have additional pre-scheduled appointments and participate in quick, micro educational sessions in our Emerge Theaters and enjoy the dessert course of your lunch!


6:30 PM - 8:00 PM   

Closing Event

Keynote Speakers

Horst H. Schulze

Chairman and CEO of Capella Hotel Group

Horst Schulze, Chairman and CEO of Capella Hotel Group (parent company of Capella Hotels and Resorts), is a legend and leader in the service world. His vision has helped reshape concepts of customer service throughout the hospitality and service industries.

Prior to Ritz-Carlton, Mr. Schulze spent nine years with Hyatt Hotels Corporation, where he was a hotel General Manager, Regional VP and Corporate VP. Before his association with Hyatt, he worked for Hilton Hotels.

Kai Kight

Classical Violinist, Composer

As a classical violinist turned innovative composer, Kai Kight uses music as a metaphor to inspire individuals and organizations across the world to compose paths of imagination and fulfillment. Inspired by his own mother who, when diagnosed with cancer, revealed regrets of not bringing her ideas to the world, Kai is on a mission to spark a global mindset shift in which ingenuity is the norm, not the exception. In his emotionally powerful presentations, Kai performs mesmerizing original music and vulnerably shares stories from his own transformation as an artist. Kai translates these insights into takeaways that audiences can easily infuse into their own lives and work environments.

A product of Stanford University’s design and engineering program, the d. School, Kai remains fascinated by the leaders, artists, and companies who dare to be different. As both a Mayfield Fellow and Kleiner Perkins Design Fellow, Kai has proven himself as a leader of the next generation of innovative and entrepreneurial talent. As a musician, Kai has performed his original music for thousands in venues across the world, from the White House to the Great Wall of China. As a speaker, he has created impactful experiences for audiences at conferences, companies, and universities internationally. Some of his clients include The Walt Disney Company, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and the Super-bowl winning Seattle Seahawks. His mesmerizing and original violin performance beautifully becomes a sonic metaphor for the core of his message: to inspire people to compose unique ideas in a world that celebrates conformity. 

Marketing/Social Media Quotes:

  • “Are you creating the sounds of tomorrow or just accepting the sounds of yesterday?”
  • “Are you accepting things as the way things are, or are you inspired to create new realities, write new melodies?”
  • “Create the ideal version of yourself that has not been manifested yet.”
  • “It’s time to bring your own unique vision to the world.”
  • “Our greatest value is not in us as individuals, but our collective mindset.”
  • “The world is in dire need of fresh ideas that are delivered with passion.”

Immaculée Ilibagiza

Immaculée Ilibagiza was born and raised in a small village in Rwanda, Africa. She enjoyed a peaceful childhood with her loving parents and three brothers. Education was very important in her household, so it was no surprise that she did well in school and went on to the National University of Rwanda to study electrical and mechanical engineering. It was while she was home from school on Easter break in 1994 that Immaculée's life was transformed forever. 

On April 6 of that year, the Rwandan President’s plane was shot down over the capital city of Kigali. This assassination of the Hutu president sparked months of massacres of Tutsi tribe members throughout the country. Not even small, rural communities like Immaculée’s were spared from the house-by-house slaughtering of men, women and children.

To protect his only daughter from rape and murder, Immaculée’s father told her to run to a local pastor’s house for protection. The pastor quickly sheltered Immaculée and seven other women in a hidden 3 x 4 foot bathroom. For the next 91 days, Immaculée and the other women huddled silently in this small room, while the genocide raged outside the home and throughout the country.

While in hiding, anger and resentment were destroying Immaculée’s mind, body and spirit. It was then that Immaculée turned to prayer. Prior to going to the pastor’s home, Immaculée’s father, a devout Catholic, gave her a set of rosary beads. She began to pray the rosary as a way of drowning out the anger inside her, and the evil outside the house. It was that turning point towards God and away from hate that saved Immaculée.

In addition to finding faith, peace, and hope during those three months of hiding, Immaculée also taught herself English. Immaculée was always a good student and already fluent in Kinyarwanda and French. Using only a Bible and a dictionary, she spent countless hours in that cramped bathroom learning her third language.

After 91 days, Immaculée was finally liberated from her hiding place only to face a horrific reality. Immaculée emerged from that small bathroom weighing just 65 pounds, and finding her entire family brutally murdered, with the exception of one brother who was studying abroad. She also found nearly one million of her extended family, friends, neighbors and fellow Rwandans massacred.

After the genocide, Immaculée came face-to-face with the man who killed her mother and one of her brothers. After enduring months of physical, mental and spiritual suffering, Immaculée was still able to offer the unthinkable, telling the man, "I forgive you."

In 1998, Immaculée emigrated from Rwanda to the United States where she continued her work for peace through the United Nations. During that time, she shared her story with co-workers and friends who were so impacted by her testimony they insisted she write it down. Three days after finishing her manuscript, she met best-selling author Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, who, within minutes of meeting her, offered to publish her book. Dyer is quoted as saying, "There is something much more than charisma at work here - Immaculée not only writes and speaks about unconditional love and forgiveness, but she radiates it wherever she goes."

Immaculée's first book, Left to Tell; Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust (Hay House) was released in March of 2006. Left to Tell quickly became a New York Times Best Seller.

To date, it has been translated into seventeen languages and has sold over two million copies. Immaculée's story has also been made into a documentary entitled The Diary of Immaculée. She has appeared on 60 Minutes, The CBS Early Show, CNN, EWTN, CBS Evening News, The Aljazeera Network as well as in The New York Times, USA Today, Newsday, and many other domestic and international publications. She was recently featured in Michael Collopy's Architects of Peace project, which has honored legendary people like Mother Teresa, Jimmy Carter, Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama.

Immaculée has received honorary doctoral degrees from the University of Notre Dame, Saint John's University, Seton Hall University, Siena College, Walsh University and the Catholic University of America. She has been recognized and honored with numerous humanitarian awards including The Mahatma Gandhi International Award for Reconciliation and Peace, the American Legacy's Women of Strength & Courage Award and the 2015 National Speaker’s Association’s Master of Influence Award.

Left toTell has received a Christopher Award "affirming the highest values of human spirit," and part of the curriculum for dozens of high schools and universities, including Villanova University, which selected it for their "One Book Program," making Left to Tell mandatory reading for its 6,000 students.

Immaculée has written six additional books in recent years - Led by Faith: Rising from the Ashes of the Rwandan Genocide, Our Lady of Kibeho, If Only We Had Listened, Visit from Heaven, and The Boy Who Met Jesus, and The Rosary.

Today, Immaculée is regarded as one of world's leading speakers on faith, hope and forgiveness. She has shared this universal message with world leaders, school children, multinational corporations, churches, and at events and conferences around the world, including a recent presentation to over 200,000 people in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

A major motion picture about her story is under production with an international release in theaters in 2019.



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