Latest issue: August 2016

In this issue

In this month's issue, we get inspired by a true Renaissance woman: Sheila C. Johnson, an intrepid entrepreneur, philanthropist and founder of Salamander Hotels & Resorts. Ranked No. 21 on Forbes’ 2016 list of America’s Richest Self-Made Women, Johnson has long been a leader in business and an inspiration to women and people of color everywhere.

Also, don't miss our features on the hidden benefits of all-inclusives. Find out how all-inclusives can give attendees an experience that’s memorable and makes them feel valued—while staying within your budget.

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.

First Responders: Ensuring Medical Meetings are Informative and Compliant

Cleveland Convention Center Medical and pharmaceutical meetings often require a little more TLC than other events. There are government-mandated reports that document payments between manufacturers and doctors. There are security and privacy concerns that must be taken into consideration. There are often visa and equipment transportation issues that need to be resolved. Meeting and event…

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Don’t Put All-Inclusive Properties in a Box

Hard Rock Hotel Cancun, Mexico Understand all sides of the options to create memorable meetings with great value As anyone in the group travel business knows, all-inclusive properties that offer a per-person price for guest rooms, food and beverage, activities and other amenities are a mainstay in the incentive market. Qualifying attendees generally love such…

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Entrepreneur Extraordinaire: Sheila C. Johnson of Salamander

Salamander Resort & Spa, Middleburg, Virginia (Photo by Drew Xeron) CEO Sheila C. Johnson’s latest endeavor is expanding luxury hotel collection • Born: Jan. 25,1949, in McKeesport, Pennsylvania • Education: University of Illinois, bachelor’s degree in music performance and education • Family Life: Married to the Honorable William T. Newman Jr.; two grown children, Paige…

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Moonshine Madness: Give Attendees a True Taste of Americana

Moonshine, an American whiskey so named because it was illegally distilled by the light of the moon, has been resurrected. Manufacturers across the country are specializing in the high-proof alcohol, transforming the backwoods beverage into a star at the bar. Moonshine can be substituted for rye or bourbon in cocktails, which are often mixed in…

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5 Ways to Beat Jet Lag

Tips to help you arrive refreshed at your destination Have you ever traveled to a different time zone and found yourself wide awake at 2 a.m. or hungry for breakfast in the middle of the night? If so, you’re one of the 93 percent of travelers who experience jet lag, according to statistics from the…

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The Classics: Historic Properties Add Elegance to Downtown Locations

Boston Park Plaza Boston Park Plaza has hosted such political and cultural icons as Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Katharine Hepburn and Judy Garland. Formerly The Statler Hotel, which opened in 1927, the property completed a $100 million renovation in June to usher in a new era of hospitality. The renovation added 6,000 sq. ft.…

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Caesars Palace Celebrates 50 Years

Julius Caesar Statue at Caesars Palace Las Vegas (Photos by Erik Kabik) Landmark property remains a leader on The Strip When Caesars Palace Las Vegas opened Aug. 5, 1966, its opulence and enormity stirred up the worldwide hotel scene. It was a 680-room Roman-themed fantasyland with imported marble statuary and fountains, a 25,000-square-foot convention complex,…

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Power Players: Rhonda Khabir Lives on the Edge

Rhonda Khabir has snowboarded from Zermatt, Switzerland, to Cervinia, Italy, in just four hours. Soon after the Egyptian revolution, she toured the country and raced horses near the Great Pyramids of Giza. She has even flown to Paris for a weekend just to sip champagne beneath the Eiffel Tower. For Khabir, life isn’t worth living…

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3 Questions for 2 Industry Leaders

Bob Lander Destination Marketing Association International Outgoing Chair Former president and CEO of Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau What’s been the biggest change among destination marketing organizations during the past 20 years? What hasn’t changed? That’s probably the shorter list. I have seen so many things change. Everything we do has become more professional. The…

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Smart Style: 6 Brilliant Gifts for Event Attendees

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! Cotton Clutch This…

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Women Take the Lead at First-Ever Smart Woman Summit

When you put smart women in a room together, incredible things happen Inspired. That’s how event planners and business professionals in attendance at our first-ever Smart Woman Summit described feeling coming away from the event. I have always wanted to host an event geared specifically toward women in the meetings industry. As a female CEO…

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Valley Forge Inspires Untraditional Meetings and Events

Sheraton Valley Forge Hotel, King of Prussia In history books, Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, is known as the site of miserably cold winters that soldiers endured during the American Revolution. In Valley Forge National Historical Park, a monument was erected in honor of the strife they overcame at the encampment in 1777–78. President George Washington’s famous…

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Today’s Hotel Revenue Manager

Getting both parties to agree in meeting business negotiations It’s official: The hotel-occupancy boom is over. In the first quarter of 2016, total occupancy dropped among U.S. hotels for the first time since the second quarter of 2009, according to industry analyst STR. What’s more, hotel-financing firm CBRE Hotels estimates that U.S. occupancy will continue…

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The Impact of Brexit on Meetings

Travel experts predict uncertainty in the wake of historic UK referendum On June 23, voters in the United Kingdom made the historic decision to leave the European Union. Although the official separation process will take up to two years, the impact of the move was immediate and the fallout dramatic. Prime Minister David Cameron, who…

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Groups are Digging Extreme Sandbox

Human-sized Jenga and chess games are so yesterday. Extreme Sandbox takes team building to an entirely different level. Introducing participants to heavy construction equipment, including an excavator, bulldozer and wheel loaders, Extreme Sandbox is like Tonka Trucks for CEOs. “It’s truly awesome to see the joy and exhilaration our guests experience when they master these…

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