Latest issue: March 2017

In this issue

In this issue, Smart Meetings honors some of the most inspiring women in the meetings industry. From hundreds of nominations, we carefully deliberated and came up with a 50 of the top Smart Women in Meetings.

Also, don't miss our fabulous feature on unique, creative and fun team-building activities. From acrobatics to food-inspired fun, we've got a team-building adventure for every demographic.

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.

Top 50 Smart Women in Meetings 2017

It’s never an easy task to make our annual selections for Smart Women Leaders, given that we receive hundreds of nominations and nearly all of them deserve serious consideration. But once again, after considerable deliberation, we’ve made our choices—this time 50 of them, doubling the number we had last year! These women not only play…

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Tailor-Made Team Building

Inventive experiences for every group, from problem-solvers to thrill-seekers A wealth of well-documented returns proves that team building is worth the time and resources. Experiences that bring employees together outside of a corporate or meeting environment foster connections, camaraderie, trust and employee engagement, while encouraging a spirit of creativity and collaboration that carries over into…

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Wine Country Meetings: Grape-Driven Pilgrimages

Napa County, California Meetings inspired by wine trail travels The United States has come a long way since grapes were first cultivated on the East Coast by our Founding Fathers. Today it is the fourth-largest wine-producing nation in the world, with thousands of vineyards spanning all 50 states. Though Prohibition temporarily halted production, many wineries…

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Employee Turnover Keeps Rising

It’s making it hard for planners to establish relationships in the hospitality industry Long gone are the days of the company man. Employees, especially younger, less-seasoned professionals, aren’t idling away the years waiting to “pay their dues” and climb the corporate ladder. Instead, they are looking for positions that lend a better work-life balance. The…

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Bringing in the Big Guns: Promotions and Appointments in Hospitality

To say the year 2016 was big for the city of Dallas would be a gross understatement. The city saw 25.7 million visitors and had record room-night bookings. International travel to Dallas has increased by 33 percent, the second-highest rise of any city in the country. Tourists brought in $7.6 billion to the city and…

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Farm, Meet Table: 5 Locally Sourced F&B Selections

As the change of season ushers out winter’s rich braises and sturdy root vegetables, a delicate crop of spring ingredients arrives to awaken diners’ palates. Prepare for seasonal specialties such as ramps, fresh peas, morels, fava beans, rhubarb and fiddlehead ferns to invade restaurant menus. To sample the bounty at peak freshness, seek out a…

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Spas Venture Outside the Box

New trends include art sessions, farm-fresh beauty and floating meditation If you’re a spa lover, you’re likely also a trend watcher. To uncover and indulge in the latest trends, you could venture to the world’s most luxurious spas and retreats This would not be an unpleasant pursuit. But if you’re like most people—a little short…

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Go Live or Go Home

How brands can take advantage of live-stream platforms The explosive popularity of live streaming can be attributed to several of its appeals—spontaneity, authenticity, instantaneity and exclusivity. With a huge amount of content floating around the Web, the world wants to be there as events transpire, seeing every bit of behind-the-scenes action. Social media relies heavily…

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Q&A with Peggy Benua of Miami Beach VCA

Peggy Benua, board chair of Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority (MBVCA) Peggy Benua is the board chair of Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority, and general manager of South Beach Marriott in Miami Beach. She served as resident manager of Eden Roc Renaissance Resort and Spa in Miami Beach. What about Miami Beach appeals…

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6 Uncommon Gift Ideas for 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! Playlist Protector Shield…

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Fawn Germer: Catalyst for Positive Change

Fawn Germer is helping to boost women leaders worldwide Born: Flint, Michigan Profession: International leadership speaker and best-selling author of eight books Current Residence: Dunedin, Florida Education: Bachelor’s degree in mass communications from University of South Florida; master’s degree in journalism from University of Florida When Fawn Germer went searching for a book on how…

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Carrie Abernathy: Inspiring Words From an Industry Leader

Carrie Abernathy talks about her influential roles with Association for Women in Events and Practice Greenhealth Hometown: Christiansburg, Virginia Positions: President and founder of Association for Women in Events (AWE) and director of education, training and events for Practice Greenhealth Education: Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg; studied meetings, incentives and conferences…

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Attuned to the Master’s Spirit: An Inside Look at Disney's 21 Royal

Special Disneyland residence offers extraordinary luxury experience The grand mastermind wasn’t physically present, but his spirit was felt throughout the evening during an extraordinary experience for media at the 21 Royal at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California, earlier this year. Walt Disney and his wife, Lillian, envisioned offering such a place in which they would…

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New and Renovated Hotels: The Sky is the Limit

Four big openings inspired by stunning views Fairmont Washington, D.C. With a $27 million renovation to its 413 rooms, Fairmont Washington, D.C., has re-established itself as the largest and most luxurious group hotel in the nation’s capital. Phase one included refurbishment of the guest rooms, courtesy of New York City-based Wimberly Interiors, which mixed modern…

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Traditional Brands Inject New Features

Hilton Initiates New Branding Hilton announced new benefits for all 60 million members of Hilton Honors, its loyalty program, as well as a new logo and branding style on Feb. 1. These initiatives were revealed at a successful time for the company. Recently, Hilton has benefited from a string of prosperous timeshare businesses and real…

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Engaging Spaces are Trending

Table linens by Creative Coverings Planners are looking for eclectic, lively spots for groups Consistent with other recent trends in the meetings industry, groups are seeking more inspiring and engaging spaces that facilitate learning and networking. “There’s an overall aversion to boring meetings that don’t inspire attendees,” says Kevin Dana, director of product development for…

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Knowing How to Connect is Essential

It helps to build relationships that drive revenue and results Colette Carlson, CSP, and Bob Eubanks will be speaking at Smart Meeting Northwest at Grand Hyatt Seattle on March 22. Carlson’s topic is “Many Communicate, Few Connect.” Eubanks goes “Backstage with the Beatles.” The most successful individuals in the meetings, hospitality and travel industry share…

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Meetings Industry Veteran Pens New Book

Even by multihyphenate standards, Michael J. Lyons is an overachiever. As the 40-plus-year meetings industry veteran and Smart Meetings TV host has pursued his passions, his career has expanded into acting, motivational speaking, singing, hosting, and meetings and events consulting. With the Feb. 24 release of his new book, Set Yourself Free: Daydream It…Believe It…Achieve…

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