The issue you are holding in your hands is always a popular one because the cover story shows off the people behind the places where we bring our groups. The dedicated concierges at convention and visitors bureaus—or CVBs as we affectionately call them—are valuable resources in our quest to connect attendees with the community where we meet. They know the secret places, the best restaurants, the fun team-building opportunities that can take an event from mediocre to magnificent. I encourage you to check out their creative selfies starting on page 49 and share pics of your own favorite places with us at #SmartSelfie on Twitter.
I would also like to take this time to send good wishes to our friends hit by the tragic hurricanes and the earthquake in Mexico. We were cheered that most of our friends in Texas, the Caribbean and Florida were spared, but the clean-up continues. That is why it was heartwarming to see the industry come to the aid of evacuees, opening up convention centers, hotel rooms and even sending cruise ships to pick up victims. Our industry partners opened their hearts and their wallets and we cheer that spirit of resilience that runs so deep with our readers. We pledge to continue covering your efforts and helping in the recovery any way we can.
We saw the depth of that can-do spirit at our Smart Meeting West National event last month in the sunny embrace of the magnificent Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point, Calif. More than 160 planners and suppliers met with a focus on mindfulness. To a person, everyone said by the end of the three days they felt refreshed—and more important—meaningfully connected to their fellow attendees in a way that goes beyond business. True partnerships were formed overlooking the Pacific. Every one of you are so special to me and spending time with you reminds me why is started publication—the magazine, web site, webinars and 360 sourcing. It is all about connecting with some of the smartest, most open-hearted people in the industry.
But sometimes it is all about winning. Everyone tells me they love our monthly Smart Style sections where we share some of the best attendee gift ideas—and ideas for gifts for ourselves as well. Your chance to win one of these items is on page 78. Check out our Fall trends and then tag us on social media. You could be the next Smart Style winner.