Category Archives: Meeting Planning

Hotel Chefs to Groups: Bring it On

In the storied days of yore, F&B service at meetings was a mass-production offering that yielded the classic dreaded choice: beef or chicken (and later fish or vegetarian). The results were often as flat as the inquiring voice. To the planners’ rescue come bold new ideas that give pop to any event—often at prices that…

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2013 Roadmap

Staying on the cutting edge is an implicit part of a meeting planner’s job description. Wowing attendees and getting them to return year after year requires knowing what’s hot, next and new. At the same time, satisfying stakeholders and CEOs demands that you understand the most efficient, cost-effective ways to do business in the current…

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Event Recap: Working Hard at the Hard Rock

While the rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia adorning the walls of the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego provided a music-themed backdrop for The Smart Mart on Nov. 8, it wasn’t the Pete Townshend guitar or Deep Purple drum kit that made Smart Meetings’ one-day gathering a truly rockin’ event. The attendees kept the beat by moving…

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Education: Staying in Tip-Top Mental Shape

It goes without saying that you’ve heard the axiom “learn something new every day.” In this industry, you do that more often than not—what with updates in technology, adjustments in the economy and a constant shift from what’s hot to what’s not, there seems to be something new to conquer every day. Thank you, Dr….

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Team Building: Eat, Drink & Team Build

It’s both easy and fun to bond over a quality shared meal and drinks, especially when there’s an element of interactivity. While F&B has long been used to foster networking, a handful of programs are taking the concept to new heights, integrating salsa-making, grape-stomping, pizza-tossing, cocoa-refining and more. We assess a few standout options to…

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Case Study: A Sin City Meeting to Remember

The event: The Caesars Entertainment Educational Experience, which brought together 300 meeting planners, members of the media and Caesars staff from across the nation Nov. 8–10, 2012, to experience the company’s eight-hotel Las Vegas portfolio, learn during educational sessions and form valuable business connections. The venues: Attendees were spread out among the company’s hotels on…

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New & Renovated: 3 Fresh Big-Brand Hotels

Sheraton New Orleans Following a $50 million revitalization project, Sheraton New Orleans now features a fully transformed lobby, guest rooms, Sheraton Club Lounge, meeting facilities and public spaces. The project was completed just in time to celebrate the hotel’s 30th anniversary, and as a result, special offers for meeting planners will be available through the…

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Consummate Crowd Pleasers

The lowly slider rises to culinary heights thanks to universal popularity, versatility and affordability. Sliders can be made to please vegans and carnivores, and chefs tap into their creative genius concocting inventive combinations of ingredients. Sliders can be a starter or the main course, giving planners choices, yet there are considerations when you’re feeding a…

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Q&A: Charles Ahlers

In addition to Anaheim, Calif., Ahlers’ 40-plus year career in the industry has taken him to CVBs in Oakland, Calif.; Phoenix; Portland, Ore.; and San Francisco. Ahlers served as chairman of the board for Destination Marketing Association International during 2000–2001 and was named Supplier Partner Honoree at the PCMA Education Foundation Dinner in April 2008….

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Top Holiday-Themed Meeting Venues

Santa’s Lodge in Santa Claus, Ind., courtesy of Spencer County Visitors Bureau In December 2011, when I visited and wrote about The Inn at Christmas Place in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., some on staff were not enthused about its over-the-top qualities. Yes, the hotel is a little cheesy—there’s a 12-foot Christmas tree, a mailbox for letters…

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