Latest issue: July, 2015

In this issue

Gallivanting from city to city, reporting on travel destinations around the globe is one of the benefits of being a host on the Travel Channel Network. Come on the road with television personality Samantha Brown as she dishes on her favorite destinations and tells us how she keeps up with an active schedule in this month’s feature.

Also in this issue, we look at new hotel brands catering to the hip crowd and the young at heart, as well as a feature about key meeting properties that are shaping neighborhoods throughout North America. We bring you a brand update on Melia Hotels International, plus an unforgettable glimpse into meetings in India.

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.

On the Road with Samantha Brown

Globetrotting Travel Channel host dishes on her favorite destinations. Television personality Samantha Brown racks up some serious frequent flier miles. “I probably have close to a million of them on Delta, and hundreds of thousands of them with United,” she says. It’s part of the benefits of being a host on the Travel Channel network.…

Read More

Loosening the Financial and Insurance Industry Belt

Financial and insurance industry planners now have more freedom when arranging events Questions abound when meeting planners in the financial and insurance industries begin choosing where to hold events. Big market or small market? Use an end-to-end management solution or not? Keep it low key or add a touch of extravagance? That last question might…

Read More

New and Renovated: Venues Help Neighborhoods Change

New and renovated properties invigorate their destinations Marriott Marquis San Francisco There goes the neighborhood. Whenever convention centers and hotels are renovated or new properties emerge, the neighborhoods in which they reside are often injected with a measure of vibrancy and economic prosperity. Whether projects are keeping up with growth in their cities or leading…

Read More

Hip Hotels: Catering to the Hip Crowd

New hotel brands provide adventurous experiences for the young at heart For many of us, trying to stay hip—or at least relevant—isn’t easy. (Skinny jeans that now flare at the hem?) Actually, the same goes for our industry, especially hotels that host meetings, feed guests and sometimes provide a yoga mat. We’ve moved beyond the…

Read More

Bottom Line: The All-Important Before and After

Tips for effective pre-con and post-con meetings For any offsite conference, there are certain sessions that must be effective to guarantee overall success. But those sessions aren’t necessarily your seminars, panel discussions or even the keynote presentation. Rather, they’re the pre-con and post-con meetings that you conduct with the property’s staff. The pre-con sets the…

Read More

Smart Style July 2015

Your resource for trendy treasures and gift ideas Treat attendees and VIPs to unique, thoughtful gifts they will definitely want to take home. 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! By the Sea These handmade,…

Read More

Smart Moves: July 2015

Alison McDermott The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado, named Alison McDermott as director of marketing. McDermott has a background in marketing and public relations. Previously, she was director of marketing and public relations at Eden Roc Miami Beach hotel.     Kirk Jones Benchmark Hospitality International hired Kirk Jones as senior vice president of finance.…

Read More

Travel Etiquette: Check Your Feet at the Ticket Counter

If you know me at all, you won’t be surprised to learn that I decided to read an article in the New York Times entitled “Whose Feet Are Those?” Unfortunately, it wasn’t a story about a mysterious rash of stray feet showing up in unexpected locations. Instead, it was about travel etiquette. It even quoted…

Read More

Atlantis Paradise Island: A Different All-Inclusive

Atlantis Paradise Island ups the ante in the Bahamas While the meetings world waits for luxury complex Baha Mar to open—in September, as of this writing—the other mega resort in the Bahamas is not just sitting pretty. Atlantis Paradise Island, long considered a superb incentive destination and a prime vacation spot, has made a play…

Read More

Smart Space: The Great Movie Ride

Photo Courtesy of Disney Make your next meeting in Orlando an Academy Award-winning experience by arranging a memorable progressive dinner at “The Great Movie Ride,” an iconic attraction in Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios. Begin the evening with cocktails on a 1920s gangster set, then stage dinner in the Wild West and make the dessert…

Read More

Melia Brand Update: In the Midst of a Digital Revolution

Naos restaurant, Paradisus Palma Real Golf & Spa Resort, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic Melia Hotels International (MHI) is in the midst of a "digital revolution" in which everything from internal processes to sales and marketing is being reinvented. “Our ‘Be More Digital’ project is set to revolutionize the company into the future,” says Tony Cortizas,…

Read More

Virtual Reality Experiences are Trending

In the past few years, virtual reality (VR) has gone from a niche topic to a staple of mainstream media. Whether businesses are ready or not, virtual reality is set to be one of the hottest trends in 2015. Because this technology is so new, there are numerous questions surrounding it—the most pertinent of which…

Read More

Smart Talk: Q&A with Butch Spyridon

Butch Spyridon is the president and CEO of Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp. Why is Nashville currently such a hot destination among meeting groups? There has been a concentrated effort to brand Nashville as Music City and improve our facilities over the last 12 to 13 years. The branding has paid huge dividends: The Music…

Read More

6 Tips to Expedite Airport Procedures

Even the most patient individual can get frustrated at the airport. Here are some tips to expedite airport procedures, including checking in and getting through security: 1. Check in online, up to 24 hours before your flight. Print out your boarding pass or transfer it to your phone, along with screenshots of your complete itinerary and…

Read More

12 Unusual Guest Complaints

Just about all of us have registered complaints with hotel staff over the years, and we like to think that we’ve been reasonable. Many of us have also overheard other guests voicing some pretty strange grievances. The following are from the - 20 Most Unusual Guest Complaints - made at properties throughout the world, compiled…

Read More

Minibars are Going High-Tech

One of the most practical new products on display at HD Expo in Las Vegas in May was a line of automated minibars that monitor guest consumption. More than just in-room refrigeration, these minibars are going high-tech and can be fully equipped turnkey profit centers. Using wireless, fully automated technology, the HiPromatic minibar counts what…

Read More

F&B: Cool Cocktails

In warm weather, thoughts turn to refreshing drinks. Mixology has been elevated to an art, as creative bartenders are transforming mundane beverages into eye-popping, thirst-quenching treats. At your events this summer, chill out with festive cool cocktails that go beyond the basics. Bottoms up! A Meal or a Drink? Checkmate Caesar (pictured) is the most over-the-top…

Read More