The Founding of SGMP
The Society of Government meeting professionals was established in October 1981 in Washington, DC. Organizers of government meetings saw a need for a forum in which to discuss mutual objectives and techniques for conducting business meetings of the government. They sought to create an opportunity to meet on common ground with the providers of meeting services and facilities to review the latest trends in planning and implementing these events. The motivating force behind the new organization was Sam Gilmer. His insight into the need for such a group proved prophetic. Today, SGMP has grown to nearly 3,000 members and 30 chapters.
Samuel O. Gilmer
Shaping the Industry
Sam Gilmer, a dedicated federal government meeting planner, played an instrumental role in the founding of the Society of Government Meeting Planners, which is now the Society of Government Meeting Professionals (SGMP). Sam recognized the need for an organization that promoted the importance of and unique needs of a government meeting planner. As their work was greatly impacted by the rules and regulations of the federal government, government meeting planners needed their own society to educate its members to run effective and efficient meetings for all levels of government as well hospitality suppliers on how to help them manage the cost of government meetings.
Single Most Important Contribution
Sam's insight into the need for a government professionals group proved prophetic. He wanted professional development and training that pertained to the unique field of government planners. He was dedicated to create an association suited to the unique needs of government meeting planners and to provide them with knowledge, education, techniques, mutual objectives and industry relationships to enhance the quality of the government meetings industry. Thanks to his tireless effort, SGMP has given professional development opportunities and services to all levels of government meeting professionals.
Sam Gilmer was a dedicated and successful government meeting planner for many years. As an active member of many professional organizations, Sam quickly realized that while these organizations were useful to the industry, they rarely addressed the many diverse issued that government meeting planners faced.
Sam was a visionary and at that time, he was one of the very few government employees who had the title of government meeting planner. He knew the value of professionalism to his fellow government workers involved in meeting management and had a dream of developing his own organization to help government meeting planners gain a stronger professional status and develop a more cost effective approach to conducting meetings.
Distinguished Achievements of Lasting Value
Unfortunetly, Gilmer passed away before he could see the true success of his concept, founding the SGMP. However, in honor of his tremendous contribution, the organization’s highest honors, the Sam Gilmer Memorial Award, one for planners and one for suppliers, are named for Gilmer. The Sam Gilmer Award is the highest distinction offered by SGMP, in recognition of members whose service to SGMP over a period of time, especially at the national level, has significantly contributed to the Society's growth and development. The Sam Gilmer Partnership Award, selected by the Executive Director & CEO is presented in recognition of a corporation which has tirelessly supported SGMP through sponsorship monies and in-kind contributions.
The Gilmer Institute of Learning Trustees caries his name and is charged with enhancing the purpose and goals of SGMP by providing support to our members and chapters through educational opportunities, certificatins, training, resources, scholarships adn funding.
Watch Sam Gilmers induction into the Event Industry Council Hall of Leaders
Information on Sam Gilmer provided by the Events Industry Council Virtual Hall of Leaders