In the Spotlight

Event Planners Recommend Comfortable Work Shoes

We all know the pains of long days on one’s feet—it is unavoidable in this this industry. Whether it’s a full day at the convention center, running around the day before a big event...

4 Simple Wayfinding Techniques to Help Guide Attendees

We’ve all had the experience of entering a building or meeting venue and suddenly being lost. Whether one is looking for an office, a bathroom or the public transport system, how they are able ...

IMEX Update: Marriott CMO Talks Hotel Strikes, Commission Cuts and Moving Forward

With some 6,700 hotels and resorts across the globe since its acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, and a new one opening every 14 hours, Marriott International’s market dominance is a f...

Doob Transforms Attendees Into 3D-Printed Action Figures

Hello, Meetings Today readers and welcome to Michael Cerbelli’s: The Hot List™, where I will showcase some of my favorite finds I’ve discovered while attending industry events. The ...

Q&A: Paul A. Greenberg on Hospitality Industry Ethics

For the first of two (or more) Friday With Joan articles on ethics, I chose to highlight this interview with Paul A. Greenberg, a journalist, professor of communications and former member of...

Badge Ribbons Lighten up Global Security Exchange

I’m attending my first Global Security Exchange (GSX) by ASIS International, and once I got on site to the conference and expo space at the Las Vegas Convention Center, I went to badge pickup. S...

Cool Event Tech: Closed Captioning at WordCamp Los Angeles

I’m always excited when I see different ways that content is being shared with audiences. Closed captioning is one of those items that showed up on my radar when I was speaking at WordCamp Los A...

Safety Checklist for Transportation Services and Off-Site Activities

I present the following safety checklist for meeting planners and others in our industry to reference when recommending or accepting recommendations for various transportation services. While much of...

The Scott Offers Attendees an ‘Accidental Vacation’ Experience

An oasis in the desert completed the first phase of its $15 million redesign. The Scott—a mission-inspired hotel in Old Town Scottsdale, Arizona—reopened in 2017 after significant reconcep...

Convention Opts Out of San Francisco Over Safety Concerns

A major Chicago-based medical association is moving its $40 million convention out of San Francisco due to safety concerns for attendees. The city’s—and in particular the Moscone Conventio...

Resorts & Incentives: Experts Share What’s Trending

Now more than ever, people want to be immersed in destinations and have a sense of well-being when they visit. When it comes to incentives at resorts the same holds true. Authentic experiences, local...

A Brilliant (Yet Simple) Sponsorship Opportunity: Hand-Sanitizing Stations at Events

Thanks to Kimberly-Clark I think I may have set a record in sanitizing my hands at the 2018 BOMA International conference. As I walked around the BOMA tradeshow floor in San Antonio to check out some ...

Portrait of a Cirque Star: Pro Diver Shares High-Flying Story

For years my Instagram feed was filled with vertigo-inducing posts from my friend Tara Hyer-Tira taking flight off the precipice of a staggeringly towering cliff during a high-dive competition. Locati...

How Less Can Be More With Your Meeting Schedule

In today’s busy world, meeting planners have a unique opportunity to develop programs and experiences that will not only encourage connections and growth, but also provide attendees with so...

Commission Cuts Paramount Fear of Planners at MT LIVE!

Gather a room full of planners and a great many will single out the recent commission cuts by Marriott, Hilton and IHG as the issue that keeps them up at night. The final full day of Meetings Today L...

Group Flight: Catch a Harbour Air Seaplane Out of Victoria

Meetings Today's Christoph Trappe was speaking at Social Media Camp in Victoria, B.C., and had a couple hours to spare, so what better way to take in the phenomenal British Columbia scenery t...

How the Consulting Business Applies to Meeting Planning

Reminder: Don’t let people make everything more complicated than it needs to be, whether at work or in general. One of the highlights from an April 2018 fam trip to Puerto Rico, to join group o...

It's Time for a Break (in Meeting Itineraries)

I’ve attended more than my fair share of conferences over the years—as an attendee and keynote speaker—and I appreciate event planners very much. I couldn’t do their job and kn...

The Flip Side of GMID: Going Beyond Dollars

Global Meetings Industry Day, held April 12, 2018, is truly a global event where meeting professionals from all segments of the industry gather to spread the message about the value of meetings. And ...

How to Start an Influencer Marketing Program for Your Conference

Influencer marketing is a bit of a buzzword right now. With good reason. It can help planners expand their events’ promotional effort and overall reach over social media and other channels....

How Much Does Your Conference Charge for 'Lost' Badges?

I’m currently attending the Adobe Summit as a guest of Adobe’s and just checked in. The check-in was super quick on a laptop (I don’t want to know how many people have touched that!)...

When I Was Called to the Cockpit About Carrying a Gun…

The warning started even before I boarded my United Airlines flight to New Orleans—a capacity flight with too many bags, some would have to be checked. It wasn’t looking good. I was one o...

5 Planner Takeaways From the 2018 Governors Ball

Taking a welcome break from the catering storm that is the Governors Ball, Amy Unell, vice president of operations for Wolfgang Puck Catering, took a few moments to share how her experience managing o...

Behind the Scenes at the Oscars’ 2018 Governors Ball

Security was tight as the 90th Oscars award ceremony was revving up on Sunday, March 4, 2018. Handlers from the Academy were assigned to escort and keep an eye on the content staff of Meetings Today ...

New Year, New Meetings Today Newsletter Designs

If you accessed this article via the Jan. 2, 2018, newsletter you may have noticed things look a little bit different. Not only does our regular “news” newsletter have an updated Newswire ...

Last-minute holiday F&B ideas for breakout sessions

A meeting around the holidays calls for a breakout session with a little something special. Put away your cheese plates and store-bought sugar cookies—we’ve gathered ideas from meeting pl...

Expedia Rolls Out MICE Booking Engine

Expedia, an online travel company, announced its automated MICE online booking engine has started rolling out to select strategic hotel partners in the U.S. The company said the white-label technology...

Shattering Conventions: The Great Dickens Christmas Fair

The trousers were more than a little snug, and this was more than a little troubling. Both legs were in, and I was even able to fasten the top button, but a wardrobe malfunction seemed inevitable. One...

Economist Releases 2017 Safe Cities Index

With the State Department recently issuing a Europe Holiday Travel Alert for U.S. citizens, it may be confusing as to where it’s actually safe to visit and meet and where you should avoid. ...

Shattering Conventions: May the Dreamforce Be With You

SAN FRANCISCO Branded backpacks are a thing at the massive Dreamforce convention that draws 175,000 people to Moscone Center in San Francisco to celebrate the Salesforce cloud-computing platform...

Caesars Palace Wraps $100M Tower Revamp

LAS VEGAS Caesars Palace Las Vegas completed the renovation of its Palace Tower, the resort's largest tower, featuring 1,181 guest rooms and suites and a price tag topping $100 million. Cons...

Philly CVB Head to Co-Chair MMBC

WASHINGTON, D.C./PHILADELPHIA The Meetings Mean Business Coalition (MMBC) announced it has appointed Julie Coker Graham, president and CEO of the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB...

Loews Reveals St. Louis Ballpark Hotel Plans

ST. LOUIS Loews Hotels & Co. announced plans to build its first ever St. Louis hotel, which will be part of Ballpark Village's $260 million expansion project. Ballpark Village, developed by t...

Scottsdale Plaza Resort Wraps Renovation

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. The Scottsdale Plaza Resort concluded its three-year property improvement plan. The resort features 40,000 square feet of functional meeting space, which was included in the renovat...

Masters of Disaster: Planners Share Hurricane Stories

Late August and September 2017 will go down in infamy as months full of disasters that wreaked havoc on North America, from wildfires ravaging the western U.S. and massive earthquakes that rocked Mexi...

Lawyerly Advice on Hurricane Harvey

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. Meetings industry attorney Tyra Hilliard is advising meeting planners who may have events affected by Hurricane Harvey to reach out to the facilities they’ve contracted w...

Saving the World One Hygiene Kit at a Time

Participants of Caesars Entertainment’s Luxury Tour Experience were given the opportunity to organize hygiene kits at the Clean the World recycling center in Las Vegas on Tues., Aug. 1, 2017. B...

Deb Gee's Tips to Start Your Day on a High Note

Deb Gee of Lululemon lives and breathes wellness through a healthy, mindful approach to work-life balance. Her biggest inspiration is participating in life, whether that means getting out in nature, e...

Spotlight: Kimberly Snyder, nutritionist, author, speaker

It’s often said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and if you’re enjoying it with celebrity nutritionist and New York Times best-selling author Kimberly Snyder, it will ...

Expert Insight: Sharon Bonner Talks Event Themes and Design

Sharon Bonner, president and CEO of Vancouver, B.C.-based Bright Ideas Events, has been producing events for three decades, so when it comes to design and themes, she’s seen fads come and go and...

Cvent Flexes Its Muscles at Annual Event

LAS VEGAS Innovation was a running theme in presentations at Cvent CONNECT 2017, Cvent’s annual technology showcase and client event broken up into separate tracks for hospitality and even...

Caesars Pulls Out All the Stops in Lake Tahoe

STATELINE, Nev. Lake Tahoe in the springtime is not a bad place to be. With snow still on the peaks of the surrounding mountains, meeting professionals gathered at Harrah’s & Harveys Lake T...

ASAE’s XDP Wraps Debut Show

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. Risk appears to have shaken hands with reward at ASAE’s annual XDP, aka Xperience Design Project, held May 23-24 at Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center. Two ye...

Shattering Conventions: Don’t Fear the Sasquatch

The screams came out of a loudspeaker that looked old enough to be Korean War surplus. Some of the recorded noises were made by gorillas at a zoo, but other blood-curdling shrieks were from creatures ...

Marriott Tests Pop-Up Innovation Lab

Digital kiosks that serve fresh and healthy snacks, create-your-own yogurt stations, portable wine carts and communal areas for guest rooms are just a few of the offerings Marriott International is te...

Shattering Conventions: How Much Is Too Munch?

The Specialty Food Association’s Winter confab tests the very limits of how many free samples a man can eat in a day. It’s another display filled with smoked meats. Another tray of salami...

Kempinski Gives Details on Cuba Luxury Hotel

HAVANA, Cuba Kempinski Hotels announced it will open its first hotel in Cuba in the second quarter of 2017. The Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana features 246 rooms and suites and is l...

Meetings World Records!

Guinness World Records (GWR) launched GWR Live! in the U.S., offering customized live record-breaking opportunities at meetings and events. The experience provides a chance for attendees to practice, ...

Meetings World Records!

Guinness World Records (GWR) launched GWR Live! in the U.S., offering customized live record-breaking opportunities at meetings and events. The experience provides a chance for attendees to practice, ...

As Trump Takes Charge, Hospitality Leaders Predict Impact

Donald Trump became the 45th president of the United States of America on Jan. 20. Amid the continuing rancor and speculative analysis ignited by his election, the moment of true reckoning—how M...

On the Scene: Scottsdale, AZ, Mixes Culture and Style

Scottsdale, Ariz., is a city that conjures up images of luxe desert resorts, Major League Baseball spring training excursions and, of course, the area’s PGA-caliber courses and the major golf to...

Brain Power: Corinthia Hotel London Recruits Neuroscientist

There’s a new doctor in the house. Well, in Corinthia Hotel London that is. The hotel teamed up with neuroscientist Dr. Tara Swart for a year-long Neuroscientist in Residence program for staff, ...

Bad Movie: Motion Picture Copyright Misconceptions

For several years, I have been reaching out to industry associations and meeting professionals to increase awareness of motion picture copyright compliance. Surprisingly, some meeting professionals ar...

Shattering Conventions: Drinking Klingon Bloodwine at Con-Volution

I’ve knocked around the Silicon Valley sci-fi and cosplay convention scene for a while now, and I keep hearing about this Klingon bar. Klingons were somewhere serving up drinks to those in the k...

Grand Wayne Convention Center Adds Role

FORT WAYNE, Ind. Grand Wayne Convention Center, located in downtown Fort Wayne, Ind., appointed Marissa Best as its new guest experience manager, a position designed to engage guests and to help crea...

IMEX America 2016 Kicks Off in Vegas

LAS VEGAS IMEX America 2016 is underway at the Sands Expo & Conference Center in Las Vegas, after an opening keynote session on the “psychology of meetings,” from Meetology Lab founde...

Calgary Convention Centre Names CEO

CALGARY, Alberta, Canada The Board of Directors of the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre (CTCC) announced the appointment of Clark Grue as the organization’s new president and CEO. He ...

Shattering Conventions: Gods, Monsters and Gyros

Darth Vader is in line at the Greek Festival at the Sacramento Convention Center. He stands well over six feet tall in his armor. He orders some lamb over rice pilaf with a serving of pastitsio, a del...

AmEx Business Travel Names New President

American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) has named Philippe Chérèque as president of the company, effective immediately. In this newly created position, Philippe will continue to oversee the Comm...

MT Live! West Kicks Off in Colo. Springs

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. Meetings Today Live! West kicked off at world-renowned resort, The Broadmoor—the longest-running AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Five Diamond resort in the world—on Su...

Inclusion Dominates ASAE Annual Meeting

SALT LAKE CITY ASAE’S 2016 Annual Meeting & Exposition is set to wrap at the Calvin L. Rampton Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City drawing approximately 4,000 attendees and maki...

Stone Brewing Hotel to Hit SoCal in 2018

ESCONDIDO, Calif. Stone Brewing, the 10th largest craft brewery in the U.S., and San Diego-based hospitality collective, Untitled Hospitality, recently announced a partnership to develop Stone H...

SPIN Names New Executive Director

SPIN: Senior Planners Industry Network named Rod Abraham, a veteran industry leader and consultant, as its new executive director. Abraham replaces Mike Vennerstrom, CMP, who served as interim executi...

Hotel Site Names Group-Friendly Beach Cities

HotelPlanner.com released its list of the “Top 10 Most Group-Friendly Beach Cities” across the U.S. The ranking is determined by a compilation of sales data from beach cities with the mos...

Anaheim CC Awarded LEED Gold Status

ANAHEIM, Calif. The Anaheim Convention Center has been awarded LEED Gold certification, a designation reserved for the world’s most sustainable buildings. The facility is the largest U.S. conve...

Lanyon Launches Smart Events Cloud 2016

DALLAS Lanyon, a meetings and travel software company, released a new version of its Smart Events Cloud platform that features a number of significant enhancements, a simplified user interface and im...

Tech Byte: Making VR Accessible

Taking in the sights of a destination, site-inspection of a convention center, or checking out off-site venues is difficult to do from afar. Not to mention time consuming and costly. Or at least it us...

Millennial Meetings in Northern California

SAN FRANCISCO Hotel Zephyr, which recently opened in San Francisco, has created a new Millennial Meetings offer that embraces the work hard, play hard midset of many of Northern California’s ma...

Kudos: Visit Anaheim

Visit Anaheim held a staff-wide day of service volunteer at the OC Food Bank in Garden Grove Calif. Thirty-six staffers packed nearly 1,500 boxes of food to be delivered to parks and community centers...

20 industry trailblazers who set a new standard

Every year, Meetings Today polls its readers, reaches out to sources and contacts past Meetings Trendsetters to compile a list of the planners, educators and suppliers whose efforts and idea...

Shattering Conventions: I Was a Middle-Aged Brony

Rarity, a mystical, white unicorn pony with a flowing purple mane stares back at me from my oversized plasma flat screen. My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is one of the “shows you [I] watch&r...

German DMO Hires Regional Manager

The German Convention Bureau (GCB) announced that Linda Nuss has joined their New York City office as the new regional manager of North America effective June 1, 2016. Nuss, who is bilingual in German...

MPI Reveals New Membership Levels at WEC

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. MPI’s World Education Congress (WEC) is underway at Harrah’s Atlantic City Waterfront Conference Center, with the association announcing new membership levels that it ...

Shattering Conventions: Waiting for Trump in California

Donald Trump came to the California Republican Party’s Spring Convention, and he brought police and protesters with him. One disgruntled activist with a bullhorn got into the Hyatt Regency SFO ...

New Setting Energizes M&I Forum Americas

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. Scottsdale provided a perfect change of scenery for Meeting & Incentive Forum (M&I Forum), The Americas 2016, which held its first event outside of Florida May 22-26 at the ...

Louisville CVB CEO Joins DMAI Board

LOUISVILLE, Ky. Karen Williams, president & CEO of the Louisville CVB, has been nominated to the 2016/17 Destination Marketing Association International’s (DMAI) Board of Directors wit...

M&I Forum Wraps Fine-Tuned Scottsdale Event

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. Meeting & Incentive Forum (M&I Forum), The Americas 2016, held at the Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch, wrapped May 26. The four-day hosted buyer event featured one-on-...

National Park Service Celebrates Centennial

The National Park Service turns 100 on Aug. 25, which will prompt people from across the world to rediscover our true national treasures. Xanterra Parks & Resorts, the largest operator of resorts ...

Rosewood Hotels Celebrate Global Wellness Day

Global Wellness Day, an annual, international initiative dedicated to living well is June 11, 2016. Rosewood Hotels & Resorts will celebrate this with a range of special programming based aro...

Des Moines Convention Hotel Breaks Ground

DES MOINES, Iowa Catch Des Moines and Iowa Events Center joined city, county and development partners to celebrate the ground breaking on a new, 330-room Convention Center Hilton Hotel in Downtown De...

CIC Releases RFP Strategy Guide

ALEXANDRIA, Va. The Convention Industry Council’s (CIC) APEX Standards Committee released the RFP Strategy Guide on Event Internet and Communications, with the inclusion of a fill-in Excel reso...

IACC Reveals 2016 Copper Skillet Winners

Six chefs from IACC Americas, Australia Asia Pacific and European member venues competed for the Global Copper Skillet at Convene Midtown East on Tues., April 19, 2016. The event served as the final ...

IACC Embraces the Acronym in Rebrand

IACC announced the rebranding of the association from the International Association of Conference Centres (IACC) to the abbreviated IACC in all marketing instances. However, there’s m...

Making It Easy to Do Good

With more groups wanting to incorporate CSR experiences into conferences and events, adding community service projects to the agenda are beneficial all around by engaging attendees, aiding the organiz...

Flipping the Classroom

The Event Leadership Institute (ELI) launched a new hybrid course model combining the elements of their online and in-person courses into a single, blended experience. After participants learn concept...

New MPI Program Sparks Planner Outcry

DALLAS Meetings Professional International (MPI) announced a new certificate program last week for the “non-traditional” planner, and the immediate response from the established event pla...

Shattering Conventions: Woz the Great and Powerful!

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is everywhere at his first-ever Silicon Valley Comic Con, held March 18-20 at the San Jose Convention Center. He peers down at me as I enter the venue, his smiling face ...

Butler County Hosts Homeland Security Seminar

Butler County TCB hosted a Homeland Security and Human Resources in Hospitality Conference on Friday, March 4. Representatives from all seven Western Pennsylvania counties’ tourism bureaus were ...

MPI Revamps World Education Congress

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. Meeting Professionals International (MPI) is rewriting its own rules for its World Education Congress (WEC), scheduled this year for June 11 – 14, in Atlantic City, New Jers...

Benchmark Names Tom Faust VP, Sales

Benchmark Hospitality International appointed Thomas Faust as its vice president of sales. In this role, Faust will oversee the company’s global sales initiatives, as well as Benchmark&rsqu...

Hilton and IBM Pilot Robot Concierge

Robots may soon take over … the hotel concierge desk. Hilton Worldwide and IBM announced a collaboration to pilot "Connie"—the first Watson-enabled robot concierge in the hospi...

Kaitlin Soto Wins Benchmark Award of Excellence

Benchmark Hospitality International honored Kaitlin Soto, restaurant and beverage cart server for Eaglewood Resort & Spa in Chicago, with its 2016 Chairman’s Award of Excellence. ...

Shattering Conventions: Out on a LARP

LARPing can transform a hotel conference room into a mysterious island populated by mythical monsters if you just give in to the mass hysteria. In my earlier column on Clockwork Alchemy, the Steampun...

SPINCon 2016 Reveals Sunny Setting

The Senior Planners Industry Network (SPIN) announced its 2016 SPINCon event will be held in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., from November 13-15, 2016. This will be the first SPINCon event since the associatio...

HSMAI Celebrates 59th Annual Adrian Awards

Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) celebrated the 59th annual Adrian Awards at the New York Marriott Marquis on February 16. At the event, HSMAI honored 2015'...

Charlotte CVB Goes Bronco Orange After Football Bet

Mike Butts, executive director of Visit Charlotte, bared the reality of the Carolina Panthers painful Super Bowl loss and made good on his friendly wager with VISIT DENVER president and CEO, Richard S...

Know the Water Footprint of Your Food

When it comes to green meetings we know about recycling, even composting, omitting plastic bottles and going paperless, but we don’t always think about the water footprint of our food. This is h...

Shattering Conventions: Unleash the Furry

Being at the Furry con all seems so normal when you just put on the fur suit. The furries start to fill the massive ballroom at the San Jose Convention Center. There are wolves, foxes, birds of prey,...

Shattering Conventions: Steampunked!

It’s tough to admit, but I’m not as cool as the steampunks. They’ve got the pith helmets, the goggles, the swagger and the swagger sticks to prove it. And there I am lumbering around...

In Memoriam: Stan Aaronson, CSEP, 1956-2016

It is with great sadness that all of us at the Meetings Today family report that our founding Content Advisory Board member and facilitator, Stan Aaronson, passed away Jan. 1, 2016, after a nearly yea...

Q&A with Erica Tomei, Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills Resort's pastry chef

The Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills Resort & Conference Center has a new pastry chef in-house, Erica Tomei. A Chicago native, she started working in the industry 14 years ago at a small catering sh...

Four Day Weekend's 'Happy Accidents' to Combine Improv, Career Advice

From the founders of Four Day Weekend, the improve-style comedy troupe based in the southwest, comes a new project: “Happy Accidents,” an autobiographical account of how using the principl...

Meetings Today Live! Rocks Cancun

Q: What do you get when you mix a plethora of planners with top destination reps at one of the world’s premier beach locales? A: Four days of fun at the inaugural Meetings Today Live!, in Cancu...

Shattering Conventions: PJ Party at the Yarn-Con

[Welcome to our first “Shattering Conventions” column, in which journalist Bob Calhoun crashes a new tradeshow, convention or conference every month looking for a way to fit in—even ...

How to Ensure a Successful Holiday Event

A holiday event is a very important moment for any company and, often, are occasions to celebrate your organization, your colleagues, and the achievements of your team over the past year. These events...

Lori Brennan Takes First Place in 2015 MGM Resorts Recipe Showdown

Lori Brennan, leadership development coordinator for Amazon, turned her family’s Seattle Salmon Bowl into an award-winning dish when she took first place in the second annual MGM Resorts Re...

Refining the meeting planner elevator speech

How many times have your been asked, “What do you do?”  You answer with your job title and a long list of your job responsibilities peppered with “like” and “you kn...

Tech Bites: There’s an App for That

Hilton Worldwide partnered with Uber to offer all guests Ride Reminders as well as a Local Scene feature, a perk for HHonors members. Ride Reminders can be set through the Hilton reservation emails i...

House of Hints offers teambuilding with a twist

You’re locked in a room and the only way to escape is to solve the mystery and find the key. And you must do so in under 60 minutes. House of Hints, located in San Diego, is home to a seri...

Offbeat lures offer groups a weird and wacky vibe

When it comes to event settings that are really out of the ordinary, few ballrooms can compete with a haunted mansion, a subterranean cavern with a waterfall or a prairie palace topped with minarets a...

Spend a Friday Each Month With Joan Eisenstodt!

Friday, Sept. 4, 2015, marked the start of a new monthly newsletter, Friday With Joan, starring meetings industry veteran and CIC Hall of Leaders inductee, Joan Eisenstodt. The debut newsletter (clic...

New York State summons its spooky side for groups

From mansion and hotel ruins throughout the Hudson River Valley, Catskills and Adirondacks to myriad former foundries, schools, hospitals, airfields and other abandonments state-wide, New York abounds...

How to Avert a Networking Trainwreck

Mention networking these days on your live event agenda and you may be met with eye rolls—or total rejection—from delegates. Younger attendees may regard their social media connections as...

Louisville Hosts State of Industry Panel

LOUISVILLE, Ky. A line-up of national industry panelists met within The Brown Hotel Crystal Ballroom in Louisville, Ky., on Tuesday morning to discuss the state of the meetings and tourism industry. ...

MPI Honors RISE Awards Recipients at WEC 2015

MPI announced the recipients of this year’s RISE (Recognizing Industry Success and Excellence) Awards at MPI WEC in San Francisco on August 3rd. Tara Liaschenko, CMM was presented the RISE Awar...

MPI Reveals Summer 2015 Meetings Outlook

Meetings Professionals International (MPI) released its Meetings Outlook, 2015 Summer Edition. The quarterly special report was published in sync with MPI’s 2015 WEC in San Francisco. According...

Diablo Valley Kicks Off Mini Cooper Promo

CONCORD, Calif. Meeting and event planners looking for venues in the Bay Area that offer the best hotel value and proximity to San Francisco and Napa now have even more reason to book groups at the D...

AmEx Examines Planner Perceptions of Africa

NEW YORK, N.Y. American Express Meetings & Events released new research exploring the factors impacting the selection of Africa as a rising meetings and events destination. The study, title...

Profile: Bob Witeck, Witeck Communications

The June 5-4 Supreme Court decision guaranteeing the right of same-sex marriage was a major victory for many who have campaigned for the LGBT equality cause for decades. One advocate fought the battl...

22 industry innovators who push our profession forward

Who are the planners, suppliers and educators who are helping move the meetings industry into the future? We tapped the 2014 Meetings Trendsetters, polled our readers and reached out to some key conta...

Meet Puerto Rico Debuts Meeting Matchmaker App

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico. Ever wish you could "swipe left" those undesirable meeting amenities? Now you can, thanks to a new social media campaign from Meet Puerto Rico (MPR). Meeting Matchma...

Brooklyn Bridge Marriott Ups its Local Style

BROOKLYN, N.Y. Brooklyn has transformed itself into a global business center, and now, the city's largest hotel—the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge—has a series of renovation...

UFO Hotel In the Works for Baker, Calif.

BAKER, Calif. Luis Ramallo wants to build an alien hotel. And he's turning to Kickstarter for help. No, he's not asking for millions of dollars (though the project is expected to cost $31 mi...

IMEX Frankfurt Wraps on a High Note

FRANKFURT, Germany. IMEX Frankfurt, held May 19-21 at the Congress Center Messe Frankfurt, is ready to wrap on a high note, in terms of exhibitor and buyer attendance as well as being a harbinger for...

Cuba Sees Spike in U.S. Planner Interest

FRANKFURT, Germany. Gearing up for the possible lifting of U.S. travel restrictions at the end of May, meeting planners representing U.S.-based organizations are beating a path to the Cuba Convention...

Mackinac Island Resort Introduces 'Out of Office Package'

MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich. Mission Point Resort, a 239-room lakefront property on Mackinac Island, Mich., launched a new "Out of the Office Package" geared towards groups which takes care of al...

Palm Springs Resort Offers $1 Million Buyout

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. Riviera Palm Springs, located at the base of the San Jacinto Mountains, is inviting guests to “take over the property” with a comprehensive new $1 million buyout opti...

North American Meetings Industry Day Dawns

Happy North American Meetings Industry Day. Welcome to a celebration that has been a while in the making. If you want to trace its origins, just “follow the money,” as the saying goes. An...

Ten Tips for Better Training Meetings

LEESBURG, Va. The National Conference Center (NCC) in Leesburg, Va., is one of the nation's largest training and meeting facilities. As regular hosts to learning-based events, The NCC suggests th...

Sudden Passing for Conference Industry Pro

MT. VERNON, N.Y. Veteran conference center professional James Michael Mahon, of Mt. Vernon, N.Y., passed away April 5, 2015, at the age of 63 after a sudden illness. Mahon was most recently presiden...

Voting Open for DMAI's 'March Meeting Planning Madness'

Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) launched a bracket of its own in celebration of March Madness, aptly titled the 'March Meeting Planning Madness Tournament'. The tourname...

Singapore Celebrates 50th Anniversary With Contest

SINGAPORE Singapore's celebration of its 50th anniversary is in full swing, with a number of events and promotional efforts already in progress and scheduled throughout 2015, several of which are...

Taking Measles Precautions at Meetings and Events

WASHINGTON, D.C. Meetings Focus checked in with Drew Maurano, director of event medicine for the George Washington University Medical Faculty Associates Department of Emergency Medicine, regarding th...

CIC Releases Room Block Poaching and Piracy Toolkit

ALEXANDRIA, Va. The Convention Industry Council (CIC) has launched a new suite of resources for planners to help combat the increase in room block piracy and poaching, which occurs when businesses ac...

Social Stumbles

When you travel boldly in the social media universe, mistakes are bound to happen. “The biggest mistake is doing nothing,” says Noah Smith, executive consultant for AlexGPR.com, a public ...

AAA Reveals Five-Diamond Honorees for 2015

ORLANDO The American Automobile Association (AAA) has unveiled the most recent updates to its roster of Five-Diamond properties, an exclusive list that showcases what are considered to be some of the...

National Geographic Launches 'Unique Lodges' Collection

The National Geographic Society has announced a brand new hotel collection of boutique properties that emphasize sustainability and world-class experiences around the globe, several of which also have...

Diversity Marketing Diversifies

The right rhetoric and people in brochure photos used to suffice for a good diversity marketing effort by destinations and other industry suppliers, but no more. Today, marketing initiatives that defi...

2015 Meetings Focus Trends Survey

Will a rising tide lift all boats? That seems to be the biggest question when examining meetings and hospitality industry predictions and the results from this year’s Meetings Focus Trends Surve...

Philly CVB Partners with Nat Geo Traveler

PHILADELPHIA The Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau has announced the creation of a 10-page editorial project in collaboration with National Geographic Traveler magazine for its December/J...

New App Debuts for Mexico Incentive Planners

Meeting Incentive Experts (MIE) has launched a new mobile app, MIExperts, which can be downloaded from the iTunes Store for Apple devices. The free app shares key information about some of Mexic...

Starwood Hotels Unveils Phone-Powered 'Keyless' Room Entry

Starwood Hotels & Resorts has commenced the rollout of its SPG Keyless program, allowing guest to unlock their rooms using an iPhone or Android-powered mobile device, at select Aloft, Element and ...

Western Mass. Sports Commission Launches 'Fan in a Can' Promotional Effort

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. CVBs are increasingly becoming more creative in their efforts to stir up interest among meeting planners, especially when you get into the mid-tier markets, where there is a lot of...

A Behind the Scenes Look at IMEX America

Celebrating its fourth year, IMEX America officially kicked off last week at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas. The conference was high-energy and insightful, providing valued perspective on the current sta...

Major Moves for Meetings Management Boutique

AVENTURA, Fla. gMeetings, a meetings management boutique, has been relaunched by its founder and managing director, Eli Gorin, CMP, CMM, and has formed a strategic partnership with Indigo Events, a l...

On the Scene - Florida Governor’s Conference 2014

BOCA RATON RESORT & CLUB, Fla. The challenge was proposed at the 2013 Florida Governor’s Conference: 100 million visitors in one year. And that figure was in the spotlight again at the 47th...

Cannes and Antibes Juan-les-Pins grab the meeting and incentive spotlight

There is perhaps no destination with as much “star power” as the glitzy French Riviera towns of Cannes and Antibes Juan-les-Pins, boasting modern-age movie stars gliding down red carpets...

Travel Industry Employment Growth Stalls in August

Economists likely did a double take after looking at job numbers for the month of August as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released its monthly report showing that employers added just 142,000 jo...

Atlantic City Pushes Forward Despite Recent Setbacks

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. Mayor Don Guardian and other area officials met to discuss future plans for Atlantic City, including a focused effort to attract more meeting and convention business, during an Au...

MPI Hails Mietkiewicz as Planner of the Year

MINNEAPOLIS Meeting Professionals International (MPI) announced the selection of Robyn Mietkiewicz as Meeting Planner of the Year at its August 2-5 World Education Congress (WEC) in Minneap...

Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki revives famous mural

The Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki completed a $4.25 million restoration project of the hotel’s celebrated rainbow mural. First created in 1968, the mural covers both sides of the property&rs...

Taking on the Bear Grylls Survival Academy

“It May Hurt a Little...” The motto of the Bear Grylls Survival Academy, created by the British extreme survivalist, adventurer and television personality, is not exactly comforting. But...

Battling the Housing Pirates

That hotel contract you signed a couple of years ago may give you confidence about sleeping room rates, availability and your event budget, but behind your back, someone may be about to pounce on both...

Meetings Focus Live! Las Vegas kicks off another year of hosted-buyer events

April marked the 2014 launch of our Meetings Focus Live! series of hosted-buyer educational programs, with entertainment mecca Las Vegas dealing out the glitz and glamour to the meeting planner attend...

Outward Bound raises funds with adrenaline-filled rappel

San Francisco’s City Skyline Challenge 2014, sent Meetings Focus editor Kelsey Farabee “over the edge” of the Hyatt Regency San Francisco in March, rappelling more than 230 feet as part of the Outward...

Negotiating contract risk with Robyn Mietkiewicz

Hotel contracts can be complicated, but are a must to protect your organization and make mutual obligations perfectly clear. Additionally, contract risk reduction and cost containment have become an i...

Cassie Brown of TCG Events shares her top 5 ways to drive event sponsorship

Cassie Brown, CEO of TCG Events, which specializes in planning and executing corporate events that drive business for their clients through the company’s proprietary EventSmarter approach, offe...

2014 Tech Trends with Pathable's Jordan Schwartz

Meetings Focus caught up with Jordan Schwartz, founder of the Pathable meeting management app, to get his take on this year’s tech trends; from the decline of Facebook to the emergence of targ...

DoubleDutch rebuilds mobile app

In January, DoubleDutch, A San Francisco-based mobile event company, completely rebuilt its app, complete with a new interface and offline mode. “We’re really seeing a shakeout in the mo...

AAA Honors New and Old with Five Diamond Status

ORLANDO AAA recently announced the 183 select establishments that earned the AAA/CAA Five Diamond Rating in the past 12 months, qualifying them for the 2014 Five Diamond Award lists. This exclusive gr...

SmartSource Events offers Wi-Fi solutions for event planners

It’s wild to think about how integral the Internet and Wi-Fi have become to meetings and conferences—and life in general—in such a short span of time. Milko Figueroa, director of Wi-...

Delicious and colorful group spaces at Local 360 and the Chihuly museum

Diners can taste the bounty of Cascadia at Local 360, which sources 90 percent of its raw ingredients from producers within 360 miles of Seattle. The remaining 10 percent are items like coffee, lemon ...

Does switching rooms mid-meeting help generate creativity?

In a recent blog, Jonathan Bradshaw, CEO of The Meetology Group—a U.K.-based events consulting firm that uses research to develop new, effective conference concepts—suggested that switchin...

Take a youthful group to Spain's Sol Wave House, Twitter hotel

Contrary to “digital detox” experiences that are becoming a trendy travel offering, Melia Hotels International debuted the Sol Wave House hotel in Majorca, Spain, billing it as “the ...

Glen Cove Mansion recognized for being LGBT-friendly

The historic Glen Cove Mansion joins official list of LGBT-friendly properties The Glen Cove Mansion Hotel and Conference Center in Long Island, N.Y., recently gained “TAG Approved” status...

Groups experience colorful murals and street art by Chor Boogie

Spray-paint artist Chor Boogie has been painting professionally for more than 12 years and now travels the world for exhibitions and collaborations. He recently showcased his art (don’t call it ...

Westin Kansas City Crown Center debuts flexible Tangent meeting space

The Westin Kansas City at the Crown Center debuted the brand’s new Tangent meeting concept as part of a $22 million renovation. Tangent areas are designed to be flexible workspaces that can acco...

New York Barclay launches sustainability blog

The InterContinental New York Barclay and the Center for Sustainable Design Strategies at the Pratt Institute launched a Barclay the Bee comic series on the property’s sustainability blog New Yo...

Engage Your Virtual Audience with these tips

There are more distractions to take a virtual audience member’s attention away from your session than an in-person audience member. Therefore, it is up to you as a speaker to engage the vir...

Je & Jo Delivers Individual Artisan Ice Cream Cups to Manhattan Events

Founded by graduates of Pennsylvania State University’s illustrious Ice Cream Short Course, Je & Jo is one of New York City’s newest hot spots for a cool treat. The duo pairs organic...

Pathable app helps attendees and event organizers communicate

“We’ve all attended conferences where we were excited to speak with luminaries in our field and meet potential collaborators, only to end up lost in a sea of name tags talking to the perso...

Expert tips for creatively cutting back on meeting expenses

With a still-sluggish economy casting its shadow over the meetings landscape, staying within a limited budget can be the first priority for any planner, but it’s easy to fall into the trap of sa...

Westin adds "run concierge"

The social media world is abuzz about the new position created by Westin Hotels. The brand, which has always been enthusiastic about health initiatives, is looking to hire a “Fitness Concierge.&...

Meeting planner tips: risk assessment

Meeting and event risk assessment starts with the inspection and selection of destinations and facilities. For further reference, the free, on-demand version of my “Averting Disaster: How Planne...

A Portland Education at The Kennedy School

McMenamins, purveyor of unique dining and lodging throughout Washington and Oregon, unveiled the new 22-room English Wing at the Kennedy School Hotel. Built in a former elementary school, rooms have ...

Technology is changing today's teambuilding programs

The rise of smart phones and tablets is changing some key premises of team building as planners have known it for decades. These devices, especially iPhones and iPads with their camera, display, GPS a...

Resort and Hotel Spas Are Infusing Their Treatments With Edible Offerings

Fruits, vegetables, chocolate and wine are no longer merely F&B item choices for meeting groups. They are now appearing on the treatment menus of an increasing number of resort and hotel spas, as ...

‘Essentials’ of Respect for Planning Meetings

No one can accuse Heather Mason, president and owner of A Caspian Production, of not expressing lofty goals when it pertains to the value of meeting planners. “My entire mission is to show that...

Meeting Planner Tips on Being an Advocate

We need to use our collective voices to communicate the important values that live, in-person meetings have on the growth and development of our society. Advocacy is the pursuit of influencing outcome...

2013 Tech Trends for Meeting Planners

This year’s game-changing innovations aren’t 110-inch TVs and table-sized tablets, but are instead found behind the scenes. Mobile computing. Event and venue websites must be optimi...

LiquidSpace App Creates An "Infinite Workplace"

As every planner knows, organizing an event typically begins months in advance and includes several rounds of communication with suppliers and attendees, catering contracts, AV partnerships and a host...

New York Conference & Seminar Center Upgrades Internet

The New York City Seminar and Conference Center in Manhattan’s Flatiron district upgraded to a fiberoptic connection and expanded its bandwidth this year, to better accommodate the growing techn...

Joshua Grimes on How Planners Can Access Group Amenities

Want to ensure the service and amenities you want are delivered at your next event? These steps will help: Discuss your needs and desires with the hotel during negotiations, and insert your agre...

Tips of the Trade: Event Offers

Your corporate entertainment company should provide you with not only a list of headliners, but also their photo, biography and possibly their routing information, availability and cost. Your favorite...

Getting maximum engagement with gamification is child's play

Gamification is one of the hot trends in the meetings industry, but what exactly is it? Simply put, gamification is the use of game mechanics in a non-game context in order to engage users. Coined in...

How to Plan the Ultimate Scavenger Hunt

Marc and Darlynne Menkin of San Diego’s Where You Want To Be Tours are experts on what it takes to organize and run a successful scavenger hunt. The husband and wife team founded the company 10...

Money-saving tips for planners

Every planner wants to save a little money. But sometimes being penny smart can be pound foolish. Following are seven things to look out for when stretching your meeting dollars. Allow continge...

Expense Report Express

Want to know the one thing worse than doing your taxes? Doing your expense reports! Use your cell phone’s camera and an agreement with your accountant to end expense reports! Immediately ...

Philanthropic Team Building

Done well, philanthropic (community service) experiences and team building can leverage each other like nothing else. Done not so well and you risk diminishing the power of both with service burnout o...

10 Threats to Meeting Security

It’s prudent to use caution when discussing sensitive topics or secret information, especially in the semipublic setting of a meeting. Art Lesser, president of Merit Security, recommends planner...

Bytes - Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa

Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa in Galena, Ill., launched a new meetings-focused website last month, featuring a blog and interactive planner resources. In 2012 Eagle Ridge hosted more than 250,000 over...

Kudos - Manhattan's Javits Center

Manhattan’s Javits Center is installing a green roof as part of its renovation and environmental enhancement following the 2010 opening of the new Javits Center North. Germany-based Xero Flor ...

Kudos - Virginia Beach CVB

The Virginia Beach CVB established a new corporate social responsibilty (CSR) program, offering groups a variety of ways to get involved in the community. Planners may choose partner organizations foc...

Bytes - Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills

It doesn’t get more star-studded than the Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills during awards season, and planners looking to experience Hollywood glitz—and hoping for a celebrity siti...

Kudos - Power of Pedaling

Element Hotels has installed bike-powered chargers in gyms across all 10 of its brand properties. Guests simply plug in their cell phone or other electronic device and pedal away. Electrifying!...

Tips of the Trade - Arlene Sheff

Saving money on food and beverage functions takes a bit of creativity and strategy...or just follow what experienced planners have already figured out. Guests eat less during receptions if thei...

Tips of the Trade - Mark Sonder

Quality entertainment can raise the bar at meetings, differentiate your organization from its competitors and enchant attendees. The people that represent headliner entertainers are professional in wh...

Bytes - Topi

“At a big networking event, you might know the type of people you want to meet but not specifically who. You scan name tags and hope you get lucky, but it might not happen,” says David Aub...

The Recipe for the Recipe

“Ten to 20 years ago, banquet menus were printed and static,” says Stephen Rosenstock, senior vice president of food and beverage and brand standards at Omni Hotels & Resorts, “t...

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