Dan Johnson

Dan Johnson

Managing Editor at Smart Meetings
Dan Johnson has worked for Smart Meetings since 2012. He has been a professional writer and editor since 1969, working on newspapers, magazines and books in the United States and Japan. Dan has won many national, regional and local awards for his work. He received a B.A. in psychology from University of California, Berkeley, and an M.A. in Asian and comparative philosophy and religion from California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. His interests include exploring the world’s many fascinating cultures, as well as music and sports.

Spanish Dining in the Virgin IslandsFood & Beverage

Amalia Cafe, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands It’s easy to become immersed in the atmosphere at Amalia Cafe, a Spanish restaurant situated in the heart of Charlotte Amalia on St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Upon arrival at the cafe, located in a romantic Spanish inn on the cobblestone Palm Passage, guests are instantly…

A Mind-Boggling SecretDestinations

San Antonio River Walk, courtesy of wikimedia.org When I ask some of my well-traveled friends if they’ve ever been to San Antonio, normally they say no, often asking why anyone would want to go there. It seems incredulous to me that a city with 1.4 million people, the seventh-most in the United States, also is…

CSR in the Meetings Industry is Trending WorldwideMeeting Planning

Planners attending a FAM event with Las Vegas Meetings by Caesars Entertainment prepare for a few hours of volunteer work at St. Jude’s Ranch for Children, a home for abused and neglected children in Boulder City, Nev. Nearly 60 percent of meeting-industry professionals feel that their customers expect them to actively practice Corporate Social Responsibility…

It All Began with a Pig RoastDestinations

Mariachi band at Fiesta del Tlaquepaque in Sedona, Ariz. What began simply as a pig roast for a few community members has transformed into one of the most popular and vibrant festivals in a city—Sedona, Ariz.—that has plenty of them. Fiesta del Tlaquepaque, which will be celebrating its 40th anniversary on Sept. 14, honors Mexican…

The World’s Best Secret IslandsDestinations

Meeting planners are intimately familiar with the allure of Bora Bora, Hawaii, Fiji and other popular island destinations throughout the world, but it’s unlikely that they’ve heard of many of the intriguing islands on a list compiled by Lonely Planet (lonelyplanet.com). Dubbed “the world’s best secret islands,” the list includes fascinating spots scattered around the…

Uber-Luxury Hotel ExperiencesTrends

The Resort at Pelican Hill, Newport Beach, Calif. The visit is ultra-luxury from the get-go, when an escort greets the guest at the airport baggage-claim area and hands off keys to a Jaguar with a preprogrammed navigation system that facilitates arrival at the casually elegant oceanside hotel.  This is part of a package offered by…

Marriott Targets Meeting GroupsHotels & Resorts

Marina Kitchen at San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina When J. Willard Marriott and Alice Sheets Marriott opened a small curbside root beer and food stand in Washington, D.C., in 1927, they clearly didn’t have any idea what they were getting themselves into. Soon, they added another food stand, and this, in turn, led to…

A Gem in the DesertTravel

Heading directly north from downtown Scottsdale, Ariz., luxury resorts, restaurants, businesses and homes suddenly disappear and are replaced by cacti, sagebrush and arid desert land. After about a half-hour, a structure comes into view that makes everyone wonder if the heat is causing them to have illusions.

An Evening to RememberHotels & Resorts

Mummy Mountain as seen from the Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa The experience began as expected, with all 30 or so participants in the Sunsational FAM event taking their seats for dinner at Elements, the restaurant at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa, near Scottsdale, Ariz. The setting was spectacular—providing stunning views…

Hilton Honors Films That Showcase SustainabilityMeeting Planning

A scene from the documentary Revolutionary Optimists, about a program that teaches environmental concepts to children in Kolkata, India Last year, Hilton Worldwide, in partnership with the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program, launched an awards program for films that best showcase the issues, interconnections, challenges and opportunities posed by sustainable practices in a global context….