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February 08, 2014

What Happens When a Crisis “Attends” Your Event?

atlanta snow What Happens When a Crisis “Attends” Your Event?

Traffic during the Atlanta snow storm on Jan. 28, 2014. Photo by William Brawley, via Flickr.

The following is a guest post by Casey Cote, chief executive officer of event-management company Omnience, originally posted to the company’s official blog, The ROI Blog.

Last week, I went to Orlando to meet clients for a pre-event site visit. I knew that with airport and car rental hassles in two cities, flying would only save me an hour over driving, so I opted to drive. Then I decided to leave at 11 a.m. instead of early afternoon.

During my drive from Atlanta to Orlando on Tuesday, I learned how fortuitous those two decisions were. A snow storm hit Atlanta more directly, earlier and with more intensity than predicted. Schools and businesses closed early, and hundreds of thousands of cars, trucks and school busses simultaneously chocked roads in every direction. Hundreds of flights were cancelled.

Later, as the magnitude of the weather disaster emerged, I wondered: What if a major storm or other external crisis disrupted one of my big events? What would I do?

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January 17, 2014

8 Reasons to Let us Do Your Site Selection

sss2 8 Reasons to Let us Do Your Site Selection

Here at Smart Meetings, everything we do is geared toward a single goal: making it easier for planners to do their jobs and put on better events. For years, we’ve been providing information and ideas in the pages of the magazine and facilitating connections at our signature events. Now we’re literally pitching in and taking on some of the planning workload with our Smart Site Selector service.

Smart Site Selector allows us to book meetings for planners, submit RFPs on their behalf, speed up their site search and generally save them time and money. Whether you are a seasoned meeting professional, an executive assistant whose has just been charged with organizing a company gathering or even a third-party planner, Smart Site Selector is available to help you find the perfect venue for your next event. Here are eight reasons why you should be using it right now:

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January 15, 2014

Meeting with the Next Generation of Planners

jmu pcma Meeting with the Next Generation of Planners

Guess who among this quartet is a current James Madison University student or recent graduate
and who is Smart Meetings Managing Editor Holly Woolard

 

Many times when I’m covering events for Smart Meetings, I’m so busy going from interview to interview, attending general sessions and heading out to galas at night that I miss out on the type of engagement that epitomizes meetings. I definitely had that chance meeting moment, though, during the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) Convening Leaders event at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston this week.

Sitting on a comfy sofa checking my email after a great one-on-one with George Aguel from Visit Orlando, I overheard a young woman talking about her upcoming college graduation from JMU. It just so happens that I graduated from James Madison University many years ago. I waited until the young woman finished her conversation, glanced at her badge and confirmed that she was from JMU as part of PCMA’s college group.

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December 31, 2013

2014 Wish List for the Meetings Industry

2014 calendar 2014 Wish List for the Meetings Industry

As 2013 comes to a close and 2014 beckons, Smart Meetings wishes a happy new year to meeting professionals and suppliers around the world. We’re so excited about the new year that we even have a Top 10 Wish List for the meetings industry:

1. For your sake and the sake of meeting attendees traveling to your events, we’re really hoping that the airlines do not let people make phone calls on planes. (See Smart Meetings’ January issue for more on Airplane Etiquette.)

2. We want free Wi-Fi…everywhere: convention centers, hotel rooms, hotel lobbies and boardrooms. (This includes planes, too, although we’re unwavering about our disdain for people making phone calls.)

3. May every speaker you choose excite and motivate attendees, not send them to their hand-held devices to catch up on emails.

4. Can’t we all just get along when it comes to shorter lead times for bookings? This trend is not going away.

5. Note to the government: Stop thinking that you’re saving so much money by cutting back on meetings and realize that events are valuable resources to foster ideas and solutions.

6. #CleverHashtags

7. More open bars at events. If you made it to No. 7 on our list you deserve a drink. Cheers to you.

8. More sustainable meetings and fewer attendees who feel gypped because you’ve done away with plastic water bottles. This goes double for people who still need paper handouts.

9. Increased meeting and event budgets would be nice. Just saying.

10. Hoping for a healthy meeting environment, from an increase in the number of meetings and attendees to snacks and meals being served at events.

From your friends at Smart Meetings, we wish you a happy and healthy New Year.

─Holly Woolard

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November 14, 2013

Win an invitation to our exclusive #VIPlanner club!

socialmedia Win an invitation to our exclusive #VIPlanner club!

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May 26, 2013

The Importance of Face to Face Meetings [Infographic]

If we’re spending more of our time living in a virtual world, why are we investing so heavily in technology intended to improve our “real lives”? Over 1.8 million meetings with 205 million attendees were held in 2011, accounting for $263 billion in direct spending.

the importance of face to face meetings 50eda6aa5c717 249x1024 The Importance of Face to Face Meetings [Infographic]

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March 30, 2013

Attitude Tips from a Planner

smile Attitude Tips from a Planner

 

In this month’s issue, we wrote about ways to transform a grumpy attitude into a joyful one—a sometimes difficult task in the stressful world of meeting planning. Here, we highlight more tips from someone who knows best: a meeting professional.

Rennette Grace is a freelance onsite meeting manager based in Minnesota. Here, she shares ways to stay sane, healthy and focused when orchestrating events on the road.

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September 04, 2012

Helium Shortage Affects Meetings

640px Balloon arch Helium Shortage Affects Meetings

Not to burst your balloon, but a helium shortage could have a negative impact on planning meetings.

Planners often rely on helium balloons to set the scene at functions and events. Unfortunately, helium consumption is quickly outpacing what’s available; it’s expected the nation’s largest reservoir of helium, near Amarillo, Texas, will run out of the nonrenewable product in the next few years.

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February 03, 2012

Planning the Perfect Super Bowl Party

485px Afootball 300x296 Planning the Perfect Super Bowl Party

It’s the Super Bowl this weekend, and we all know what that means: Super Bowl parties! (And fun commercials!)

As event planners, I’d imagine there are certain expectations placed on you when organizing social gatherings—like being an accountant and having everyone expect you to know the answers to their tax questions. With that kind of pressure, near-perfect execution is a must. To help, here are some tips for throwing the perfect Super Bowl bash. As a bonus, you can apply some of the advice to your other events, too.

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September 21, 2011

SmartMeetings.com-Your Partner in Planning

Homepage.21 SmartMeetings.com Your Partner in Planning

Have you noticed something different about SmartMeetings.com? Nope—it’s not a new haircut, and we haven’t renewed our gym membership either. It’s actually an entirely new look. But the change isn’t just aesthetic—we have taken everything that you loved about the old us and made it better. We’re faster, more concise and more efficient in serving as your right hand in planning. So on this occasion, we wanted to give you the low-down, and guide you on a tour of what is new and improved at SmartMeetings.com!

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