February 2019

Las Vegas is fast becoming its own showcase for daring new realities when it comes to hosting meetings and events. Our February 2019 cover story takes a deep dive into what's new and incoming in the world of face-to-face events. Digital Edition >>


SPIN Breaks New Ground With Mindful Teambuilding at Annual Event

Along with roughly 22 other participants at the annual Senior Planners Industry Network (SPIN) event, held at The Don CeSar in St. Petersburg, I opted not to take a morning educational session indoors. Instead, I stepped outside my comfort zone for a new wellness program: “Go Outside to Go Inside: Higher Performance Through the Magic of Insight.”

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6 Gulf Coast Resorts and Venues With Stellar Golf Offerings

Golf is a popular pastime along the Gulf of Mexico’s shore. Southern states with Gulf-front footage are filled with fine fairways and golf-related facilities for all skill levels and all seasons. In this region, it’s easy to incorporate the game of golf into the program—or even make it the main event.

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6 Event Tech Innovations That Will Change the Industry

Michael Cerbelli has been turning meeting planners’ heads since he first took the stage 18 years ago with his annual list of the latest trends sure to inspire, engage and mesmerize attendees during events. This year, technology played a larger role than ever in the trends revealed during Michael Cerbelli’s: The Hot List: 2019 presentation at the San Diego Convention Center. Cerbelli picked six event tech innovations to share.

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6 Meetings-Friendly Mountain Resorts That Get Groups Active

Whether it’s the tranquil seclusion or the fresh air, or a bit of both, mountain settings are often the base for health and wellness retreats. In the meetings world, high-altitude resorts are the perfect backdrop for rejuvenation and relaxation, with groups often integrating outdoor activities, spa treatments, healthy meals and mindful breaks.

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3 Medical Meeting Compliance Programs for Planners

Planning any type of meeting or event is always a stress-inducing affair, but with the rampant regulations in the murky world of pharmaceutical and medical meetings, planners best know the lay of the land before they accept the mission. Three of the major healthcare meetings certification programs include: 3Sixty's Healthcare Champion Program, MPI's Healthcare Meetings Compliance Certificate and the EIC's CMP-Healthcare Subspecialty.

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Asia-Pacific Events Showcase Cultural Teambuilding Activities

There is no better way to unite international meeting groups traveling to the far reaches of the Asia-Pacific region than to participate in one of the vast teambuilding options on offer. Whether attendees are emulating a traditional dragon boat race in Singapore, sailing on an America’s Cup yacht in New Zealand or climbing Australia’s Sydney Harbour Bridge, there are a variety of ways to absorb the local flavor of each country.

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A Thriving Dining Scene Complements Culture in Greensboro, N.C.

A center of arts and culture in North Carolina’s booming Triad Region, Greensboro boasts world-class historic and cultural venues such as the International Civil Rights Museum and a thriving theater scene. But while museums and theater may temporarily seize the attention of attendees with their refined offerings, a pint of cold craft brew and some fantastic restaurants are also at the ready.

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Army-Navy Game Showcases Philadelphia’s Strengths

Hosting the annual Army-Navy football game for the 88th time, partners led by the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) dedicated sports division (PHL Sports) executed the event with customary operational precision. Valley Forge’s leadership, closely identifying with its legacy, prioritizes winning group outcomes. For meetings and events, it’s win-win defined.

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6 Sizzling Dining Hot Spots in Downtown Houston

With one of America’s most diverse populations, Houston is also home to one of the most vibrant culinary palettes in the world. Thousands of restaurants dish out cuisine that takes its cue from American regions and places around the world. From celebrity chef-driven restaurants to barbeque havens to iconic eateries to ethnic favorites, H-Town has it all.

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San Diego’s Food Scene Inspires Meeting Attendees

With a new wave of restaurants and properties featuring food-forward venues, San Diego is getting serious about its dining scene, which has changed drastically in recent years. Locals and tourists still love the hometown favorites like fish tacos and California burritos, but a sudden wave of high-end restaurants and elevated food has everyone trying new things.

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Las Vegas Dives Head First Into the Future of Meetings

Next-generation artificial intelligence and augmented reality solutions. Flying cars, hyper-pixelated 8K televisions and a controversial robotic massager. The reveals at CES 2019, the 180,000-plus attendee blockbuster tech show that powers up Vegas’ convention calendar each January, are pushing frontiers like never before. The same goes for Las Vegas itself, which is fast becoming its own showcase for daring new realities.

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Albany and Saratoga Springs: Cool Nightlife Experiences

New York’s capital city of Albany and nearby Saratoga Springs feature superb facilities for group business, including the Albany Capital Center and the renovated Gideon Putnam hotel. Both regions also overflow with after-hours entertainment that will keep attendees entertained into the evening. Following are some standout nightlife experiences for groups.

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Miami and Fort Lauderdale Invest in Culture

Since the 1980s, Miami has experienced a magical transformation from cultural wasteland to global destination for contemporary art. Greater Fort Lauderdale also enchants with the arts and entertainment, investing more than $200 million in new metro-area cultural facilities since the 1990s. With both destinations also investing in convention center expansions and headquarter hotels, this cultural vibrancy further enhances group appeal.

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Chicago Suburbs: Arts Event Venues and Group Workshops

The suburban communities surrounding Chicago, which boasts one of the most vibrant arts scenes in the country, are also cultural hotbeds. Groups seeking inspiration can partake in myriad experiences that incorporate the performing and visual arts. Following are some ideas for arts-filled outings throughout the Chicago suburbs.

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Connecticut Teambuilding Activities to Add to Your Next Meeting Agenda

Connecticut is best known for amazing historic sites from the Revolutionary War to the Civil War, but the state also has a wide array of outdoor and teambuilding adventures.

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6 Breathtaking Arts Event Venues in Kansas

Across Kansas, art galleries, museums, theaters and public art displays are putting the state on the map as a cultural hot spot.


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Super Bowl LIII Brings Big Meetings Upgrades to Atlanta

Nothing says a destination has hit the big time like hosting the biggest game in the world, the Super Bowl, and the spotlight will be focused on Atlanta when the 53rd edition of the greatest show on the globe plays at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday, February 3, 2019.  While the hometown Atlanta Falcons are out of the running, Super Bowl LIII and all of its companion events will result in “The ATL” sparkling for the world to see, both for visitors and in high-definition on all manner of screens throughout the world.

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Eastern Iowa Sports Venues and Meeting Experiences

Both spectator sports and recreational activities that encourage attendees to get off the bench are in play throughout Eastern Iowa.

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More Headlines

Executive Chef Ben George Serves Meals to Rock Stars … and the Rest of Us

Last March 2018, Ben George was feeling the madness. As executive chef for Savor… at INTRUST Bank Arena in Wichita, Kansas, he was preparing food for the first and second rounds of the 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, hosted by Wichita State University. George led the efforts to provide meals to more than 45,000 guests during the event, including more than 4,000 boxed lunches.

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A Risk Management Checklist to Help Avoid Disaster

Risk management should be at the top of every planning list for meetings. Potential hazards include manmade threats such as terrorism, shootings, protests and cybercrime. “Natural” occurrences like earthquakes, hurricanes and wildfires are also included. The following are my top 10 tips to help with risk management preparations.

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The Outreach Program Offers CSR Activities That Feed the Soul

Doing good on a grand scale is all in a day’s work for Richard McNary, who heads up the meetings industry effort for The Outreach Program, a nonprofit organization that enlists meetings delegates, among others, for CSR teambuilding activities that create meals for the needy on an industrial scale.

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Broadway League President Charlotte St. Martin Explains Why Women Are Ideal Hospitality Leaders

While women have an outsized representation in the hospitality industry—especially in the role of meeting planners—the number of females in upper management and c-suite roles continues to lag behind those of men. Charlotte St. Martin, president of The Broadway League, is a hotel, CVB and meetings industry veteran who took a hammer to the glass ceiling years ago.

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Independent Life: How Independent Event Planners Can Survive Commission Cuts

February 2019 will see another major chain joining the cohort of hotels reducing the commissions paid to independent event planners, when Hyatt Hotels Corporation cuts its rate down from 10 percent to 7 percent. Can the trend be reversed? I don’t have a crystal ball, but I don’t believe so.

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