Category Archives: Meeting Planning

Crossing Borders

There’s something undeniably exotic and magical about heading to another country for a meeting or convention. Easy access, favorable exchange rates, scenic locations and easy-to-work-with locals all add to the draw for U.S.-based meeting planners heading to Mexico and Canada. Last year alone, U.S. business travelers spent more than $1.5 billion in Canada. Of them,…

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Family Friendly

Starbucks district manager Karen Mahoney brewed up a pretty cool idea when she organized a store managers camping trip with their families at El Capitan Canyon in Santa Barbara, Calif. While some balked at the thought of getting their caramel macchiatos cold, they shared so many laughs that the campout has become an annual tradition….

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Outdoor Events

…or the aroma of coffee perking over a campfire, or a gourmet lunch in the middle of the desert. They’re each part of the West’s distinctive, almost boundless outdoor opportunities providing experiences that will enhance your meetings and give them a memorable take-away. True, when you’re planning outdoor events and activities, there may be tradeoffs…

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Gaming

After reeling in the last bets of the night during a recent trip to Las Vegas, I began to pay attention to some of the organizational dynamics playing out across the casino. Lo and behold, amid all the weird digi-jangle of slot machines, all the cries for “cocktails,” and all the shouting and whooping about…

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Your Best Year

When planning a meeting in an unfamiliar locale, it’s good to remember the timeless wisdom of Sun Tzu from The Art of War “…the general who wins a battle makes many calculations in his temple ere the battle is fought. The general who loses a battle makes but few calculations beforehand. Thus do many calculations…

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The WOW! Factor

The phone call the morning after goes something like this: "Marci, that was a terrific event you put together for us. Great job! Can’t wait to see what you do next year." Congratulations. The way we see it, there’s both good news and bad news here: you’ve raised the bar on the excitement, the energy,…

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Hawaii (The Nano Continent)

In winter, snow caps Mauna Kea and you could, if you had the notion, ski or snowboard in the morning and swim in the Pacific in the afternoon. Its two dominant landmarks—Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa—rise more than 13,000 feet above sea level; if measured from their true base on the ocean floor, each would…

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Altitudes With Attitudes

Fewer crowds, easier access to hotel room blocks and, in some cases, the possibility of lower rates. And that’s just for starters. When winter shrugs off its snowy mantle—and even die-hard spring skiers have packed up their gear—another spectacular season arrives in the West’s mountains. Summer glides in, bringing a blanket of grass, wildflowers, warmer…

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Convention Centers’ Green Building Boom

First, the bad news: If your meeting this year will occupy one of the major western convention centers, chances are you’ll need to work around the noise of hammers and saws. The extent of construction—renovations, remodels, expansions—in convention centers and exhibit halls across the Western U. S. and Canada is impressive: upwards of 20 centers…

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Plan B: Ready For Anything

Often it’s the smaller things that might affect your meeting. Joan Eisenstodt, chief strategist for Washington, D.C.-based Eisenstodt & Associates and a former MPI board member, recalls a time she was giving a presentation about preparedness when the fire alarm went off. “Everyone thought I’d planned it, but I didn’t,” she says. In San Jose,…

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