October 30, 2014
What can meeting planners learn from the San Francisco Giants, who won their third World Series championship in five years on Wednesday night?
For starters, it’s always great to have an ace. MVP pitcher Madison Bumgarner’s performance was nothing short of historic, which is a reminder that every meeting professional needs to have a go-to person to take the podium in clutch moments.
October 29, 2014
A new interconnected tech development by Topi could change the meaning of real-time at events.
The start-up that brought an easy community-building app to meetings is now moving into the Internet of Things. What does that mean? It means beacons, placed at various locations throughout your meeting space, can send relevant, real-time messages to attendees, enhancing their interactive event experience.
David Aubespin, CEO of Topi explained the benefits of the Topi Beaconnected: Turnkey Interactive Experience: “We see tremendous potential for the integration of beacons and events. It’s important to us that we make it as easy as possible for the meetings and events industry to adopt beacons. By packaging the technology and creating a seamless buying experience, we hope to see many events get creative with how they use beacons to enhance the attendee experience.”
October 24, 2014
The World Series clash between the Kansas City Royals and San Francisco has elevated the two cities and their many attractions into the national spotlight. One of these attractions, the fabulous Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, frequently has been mentioned during television broadcasts, along with the driving force behind it—the late, great Buck O’Neil.
I still vividly recall the day that O’Neil died—a day that had been long dreaded by baseball fans, civil rights advocates and lovers of life everywhere. The cliches overflowed as people throughout the nation praised this remarkable man, who at times single-handedly carried the torch for the old Negro Leagues. “He was larger than life,” some people said, while others raved, “Buck was bigger than the game” and “He was a living legend.” But O’Neil transcended even such lofty cliches.
October 22, 2014
With Kansas City, Missouri, in the international spotlight thanks to the Royals advancing to their first World Series in nearly three decades, we’d like to take a moment to highlight the city’s meeting and event venues, just in case you’re wondering.
For starters, the Royals, who are facing the San Francisco Giants, play at 37,903-seat Kauffman Stadium, which underwent a major renovation prior to the 2009 season. There’s private event space for up to 2,000.
During the World Series, there are public parties at KC Live! in the Power & Light District, allowing fans to watch the games together on a giant LED screen. KC Live!, which features a stage for concerts, occupies a city block, with two levels of restaurants, taverns and nightspots.
October 20, 2014
IMEX America 2014 was billed as “three days of deal-making,” and it sure felt like attendees were in the mood to strike some serious deals. Planners were on the hunt for amazing venues; suppliers were only too happy to talk up theirs.
Roy Bloom, IMEX chairman, said at the closing press conference that the number of one-to-one business appointments and booth presentations had risen to 53,000 from 50,000 in 2013.
The Las Vegas show, in fact, turned out to be the biggest to date, with 2,900 exhibitors and 2,900 hosted buyers, and 10,000 total participants. Throngs of attendees filled the Sands Expo and Convention Center, not only on the expo floor but also in the breakout rooms and halls. Nearby restaurants were packed, and in the later hours business seemed brisk at area hotels’ clubs, bars and casinos (that may not have been due solely to IMEX, of course).
No doubt shops and services in the myriad malls benefited as well. Cathy Tull, senior vice president for marketing for the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority, underscored the show’s economic impact on the city. “There was a total of $13 million in non-gaming revenue from IMEX14 to the city of Las Vegas,” Tull said at closing press conference.
But despite IMEX crowds at certain times of day–for example, when the expo floor opened at 10 a.m.–mid-afternoon found many booths relatively empty, with representatives from various hotels, CVBs, DMCs, airlines, tour operators and event services sitting idly at their tables. Planners must have taken late lunches, or perhaps stuck with major brands (Marriott, Caesars Entertainment, Disneyland, among others) where the booths were always busy.
Planners’ familiarity and comfort with big brands (many of these coincidentally based in the United States), and the likelihood that their meetings would take place in the U.S. most certainly played a part in booth popularity, but some in attendance felt that things are shifting.
“It’s not as American as it used to be,” said Monica Maturano, executive director of Buenos Aires Convention & Visitors Bureau, speaking of IMEX14 compared to previous years. “Planners are more open to international meetings.”
Bloom acknowledged that IMEX is still growing. “Next year’s show can expect a certain increase in the hosted buyer program, and an increase in top buyers from around globe,” he said.
October 20, 2014
A group of IMEX participants were plenty excited to be invited to a dinner prepared by one of the heavyweights of the world culinary scene at Caesars Palace Las Vegas last week, but we had no idea that we would be greeted by another famous heavyweight of a different sort.
After winding our way through the casino, we arrived at Mesa Grill Las Vegas restaurant, across from the property’s Race & Sports Book. Standing in front of the restaurant is a stunning, 7 1/2-foot, 4,500-pound Carrara marble statue of Joe Louis, regarded by many as the top heavyweight boxer in history. Louis, nicknamed the “Brown Bomber,” dominated heavyweight boxing from 1937 to 1948.
He retired in 1951, and subsequently invested in several businesses, including the Joe Louis Restaurant, the Joe Louis Insurance Company, the Brown Bombers softball team, the Joe Louis Milk Company, Joe Louis pomade (hair grease) and Joe Louis Punch (a drink). All of the businesses eventually failed, and in 1970 he accepted an offer to become a greeter at Caesars, which involved signing autographs, playing golf with special guests and betting with house money when action on the casino floor was slow, among other things. Louis served in the role until he died of a massive heart attack in 1981.
October 16, 2014
By Joel D. Levitt
Typical executives spend more than 20 percent of their time in meetings with five or more people. At the same time, surveys indicate that a majority of them are dissatisfied with the value and outcome of their meetings. There is a simple technique that can effortlessly eliminate some of the collisions, faux pas, cancellations, delays and other problems.
When asked, “What has disrupted your meetings in the past year?” executives report the following:
October 15, 2014
Yesterday was not a sunny day in San Francisco. Dark, billowing clouds threatened to dump rain down over the stadium throughout the entire afternoon. But masses of orange rally towels glowed brightly as Game 3 of the NLCS commenced at AT&T Park.
With four runs in the first inning, the Giants came out with a bang, giving the midday crowds something to stand up for. The noise was incredible.
And then the home team produced zero runs (and only one hit) over the course of the next eight innings.
October 14, 2014
by Susan RoAne
The $64,000 Question: How can meeting planners create conferences, meetings and events where everyone interacts, connects and converses? This is not a new question. It’s been around since meetings first occurred.
My dad was active in his Chicago chapter of the Paper and Paper Products Association in the 1940s. I went to my first convention, which was in Miami, when I was 12. Like my dad, people go to meetings, conventions and conferences because they want to attend and know they should attend, but that doesn’t make it easy. Dad was quiet and Mom was the connector so he always wanted her with him at these events. Why? Our overall discomfort at walking into rooms (or giant convention centers) full of people—many of whom are strangers—is a predominant feeling for the majority of attendees, speakers and vendors across the board.
September 29, 2014
A story in our October issue (in your mailbox any day now!) deals with once-in-a-lifetime incentive experiences, such as swimming with sharks, going on an African safari, and rubbing shoulders with A-list celebs at a major film festival. It’s a great read, and should give you some good ideas.
And while I have nothing against sharks (beyond the terror I have from all those movies I’ve seen and news reports I’ve read where people get chomped on), you won’t find me paddling around with a great white anytime soon, even from the safety of a cage. I’d much rather swim with dolphins.
Despite the debate over whether swimming with dolphins is a good or bad thing, it’s become quite a popular activity–especially in resort cities in Mexico, Hawaii, the Caribbean and other spots. Those who have done it say going cheek-to-fin with these smart and gregarious mammals is exhilarating. Knowing that, a group swim with dolphins may be just the trick to make a splash with your meeting.