Latest issue: June 2016

In this issue

In this issue, we take you on a journey to explore the many ways Disney's magical attractions inspire group unity. From spectacular new light shows to highly-anticipated Star Wars and Avatar-themed lands, get an inside look at the cutting edge technology and innovative thinking that bring Disney attractions to life.

Our June issue also features a comprehensive guide to convention centers of all shapes and sizes: small, medium and large. No matter the scale of your event, this detailed report will help you find the perfect fit.

Also, don't miss our insights on Ohio, which is set to host some of the biggest events this year. See what Cleveland is doing to prepare for the 2016 Republican National Convention.

Smart Meetings is an event planning publication covering meetings, industry news, including expert opinions and interviews, topical articles, coverage of destinations and venues in the U.S and worldwide, and features stories on incentive, corporate, government and association meetings.

The Circle of Life: Disney's Exciting New Attractions Inspire Group Unity

Star Wars Land rendering Disney is Illuminating the Circle of Life The huge tree suddenly came to life, displaying bold, colorful images of animal spirits and nature scenes on its leaves and branches. People stood in amazement as they watched the magical show. They were witnessing the new, nighttime Tree of Life show during a…

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Zero In, then Zone Out: Island Venues and Attractions Inspire Focus and Fun

Paradisus Punta Cana Resort, Dominican Republic Palm trees swaying; waves crashing over crystal blue ocean shorelines onto white-sand beaches; warm, lazy days followed by cool, breezy evenings. How does anyone get any work done in paradise? You’d be hard pressed to find a better incentive to wrap up your meeting than heading outdoors and experiencing…

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Why Meet in a Hip Hotel?

From left to right: Hyatt Centric The Loop Chicago; Innside New York NoMad, New York City; Hudson New York, New York City; Mondrian London at Sea Containers 9 reasons these chic venues are smart meeting spaces The dramatic changes happening across the hotel landscape are providing planners with many meeting options, including nontraditional hotels. Whether it’s…

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Convention Centers: Finding a Perfect Fit

Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center, California Whether you require an intimate or immense space, there is a convention or conference center to fit your needs Remember the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears? Once upon a time, a young girl wandered into Mama, Papa and Baby Bear’s home. She noticed three bowls of porridge.…

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Q&A with Marc Murphy of Riviera Nayarit CVB

Marc Murphy is Managing Director, Riviera Nayarit Convention & Visitors Bureau, Mexico When did you decide to make a career in the hospitality industry? After spending over a year studying anthropology in college, I chose to change careers by studying hospitality management. What are your main responsibilities as managing director of Riviera Nayarit Convention & Visitors…

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A Better Burger

Burgers may be the quintessential American food—collectively we consume 50 billion of them annually. Purists prefer a basic burger, maybe with some bacon or cheese on top. But experimental restaurants around the country are pushing the envelope, adding everything from mac and cheese to fried green tomatoes and beef tongue. Shunning buns, they are serving…

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Downtown Gems: Flourishing Meeting Cities Boast Fresh Properties

Sheraton Grand Los Angeles -Following a $75 million renovation, Sheraton Grand Los Angeles debuted in April as a rebranded property that is keeping pace with all that is fascinating and trending downtown. Upgrades include the complete renovation of all 496 guest rooms and suites, and a refresh of the lobby and meeting spaces. Formerly the…

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Express Purpose in Your Life & Work

It can lead to greater success in realizing goals We’ve all had the experience of making a firm resolution to reach a goal, only to lose the initial enthusiasm and fall off track. I know from personal experience how easy it is to get distracted or pulled in another direction. I once heard a story…

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Power Players in Meetings: June 2016

A Legendary Master of Events Tony Conway knows a good venue when he sees one. The beginning of his career in event planning was spent inside hotel ballrooms, and Conway quickly knew that he wanted to branch out. Nearly two decades ago, he started his full-service special events company, Legendary Events, based in Atlanta. “I…

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IACC Stands for Quality

Rebranding calls attention to association’s broader membership Just as KFC no longer stands for Kentucky Fried Chicken and AT&T no longer stands for American Telephone & Telegraph, IACC no longer stands for International Association of Conference Centers. As part of a major rebranding and repositioning, IACC has a new tagline: “Exceptional Meetings. Powerful Connections.” In…

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Beyond Bourbon Street & Beads in New Orleans

Resilient, fun-loving New Orleans gets serious about business  There are many reasons why New Orleans is one of America’s favorite cities. Historic, colorful and loaded with personality, it is a mecca for music and food. Festivals abound in the Crescent City, and fun-loving locals will break out the beads and booze to celebrate just about…

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The Ethics of Receiving Loyalty Points

Some companies won’t accept them when they book meetings There are few issues in the meetings and hospitality industry touchier than whether companies and associations should accept brand-loyalty points for meetings and events they book with particular hotel chains. After all, there is potential for unethical behavior. For instance, planners sometimes steer meetings to certain…

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Smart Style June 2016: Gift Ideas for Planners

Your resource for trendy treasures and gift ideas Treat attendees and VIPs to unique, thoughtful gifts they will definitely want to take home. Smart Meetings has selected an assortment of items that can make work and travel more enjoyable, and contribute to good health and well-being. Bonus: Everyone will remember your event! Up, Up &…

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Destination Hotels and Commune Hotels & Resorts: A Happy Marriage

Cliff House, Cape Neddick, Maine Destination-Commune merger unites domestic, international companies At first glance, the merging of Destination Hotels and Commune Hotels & Resorts looks like a mismatch akin to the marriage of a domestic, resort-loving person and a worldly, urban type. But seemingly opposite qualities can be complementary, as seen both in marriages and…

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How to Put an End to Plane-Induced Back Pain

Stiff joints and muscles are common complaints for anyone deplaning a flight longer than a couple of hours. But with some mindful preparation, you can significantly reduce or even altogether avoid common flight discomfort. Check out these tips from Conde Nast Traveler and Talal W. Khan, M.D., director of pain management at the University of…

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Sharing Our Triumphs at the 2016 Maggie Awards

It was nice to be finalists in nine categories—by far the most in Smart Meetings’ history—at the Western Publishers Association’s 2016 Maggie Awards, but it’s even nicer to win. We captured honors for Best eNewsletter and a few minutes later, won for Best Trade publication (our October 2015 issue). I made sure to take a selfie…

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