In this issue

In Smart Meetings' April issue, don't miss the Harris Rosen approach to hospitality in our profile of the Rosen Hotels & Resorts founder, COO, and president. We explore the effects of Rosen Hotels & Resorts on Orlando and its transformation into one of the successful convention cities, along with his philanthropic efforts as well.

This issue also tours the gorgeous Colorado, high-spirited Louisiana, and the urban sophistication of Houston and Galveston within a tropical paradise, among others. We also dive into meetings at sea on cruises, protecting attendees and making them more secure, as well as the trends currently rocking financial and insurance meetings.

Smart Meetings is an event planning publication covering meetings, industry news, including expert opinions and interviews, topical articles, coverage of destinations and venues in the U.S and worldwide, and features stories on incentive, corporate, government and association meetings.

All Secure: Best Practices for Protecting Attendees

Within minutes of a gunman entering Washington Navy Yard on a Monday morning in September 2013, Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 3 miles away, was already on high alert. That is because the 2.3 million-square-foot facility in the nation’s capital is part of the Mayor’s Special Events Task Force Group, which includes local law enforcement and Federal Emergency Management Agency, and has a direct line alerting staff of incidents that occur before they hit the social media boards. Doors were locked, the planner managing an event on site was notified, and the situation was monitored until an hour later, when it was confirmed that the shooter, who had taken the lives of 12 people that day, was dead and had acted alone. Most of the attendees were not aware of the emergency until they heard about it on the news.

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5 Questions to Ask Your Event App Provider

Some of the most devastating attacks are not carried out with guns or cars crashing into buildings, but instead at the digital level. We are all more vulnerable to cyberattacks stealing our data than ever before, and the meetings industry has a heightened responsibility to keep information about its attendees safe.

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A Checklist for a Safe, Secure Experience

Planners live and die by checklists, and if an emergency happens—whether it is a natural disaster, protest or terrorist incident—an emergency checklist could be the most important one you make. Veteran event planners Greg Jenkins, partner at Bravo Productions; Brady K. Miller, owner of Unbricked Communications; and Alan L. Kleinfeld, a consultant and public safety officer, shared their checkboxes with Smart Meetings.

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10 Trends to Consider When Planning a Meeting at Sea

There really is no time like the present to do something new, something you’ve thought about for a while, such as a meeting or incentive at sea. Just as the land-based hospitality industry is enjoying strong growth, the cruise industry is also vigorous.

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4 Trends Rocking Financial and Insurance Incentives

 Aside from the pharmaceutical sector, perhaps, no other industry is as highly regulated as financial services and insurance. While the regulatory changes are often aimed at protecting consumers, they can have a ripple effect in operations within these firms—including their meetings and incentives.

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845 Billion Reasons for the Meetings Industry to Celebrate

What industry creates more jobs in the United States than auto manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, or oil and gas? As an event professional, you intuitively know that it is the event industry. But now you have the numbers to share with inquisitive family members—and random people on the street if the urge comes over you—regarding the tremendous economic impact you have every day.

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The Art of Raising an Extended Family

It started with a hug in an elevator with Marilyn Monroe. Harris Rosen, head of the Rosen Hotels & Resorts hospitality giant, was 10 years old: "I said to myself, 'If you can meet someone like Marilyn Monroe in an elevator where you work, maybe I need to start thinking about working in the hotel business.'"

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Q&A with Juan Vela, VP of Velas Resorts

We spoke to Juan Vela, vice president of Velas Resorts, to talk about how the hospitality fits into today's fast-paced world, how to make events unique, and why events are so important to the hospitality industry.

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Find Your April Smart Style

These seven gifts will having you springing for the warmer weather and sunshine! Check out these gift ideas for those hard to shop for or the person who has everything already.

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Site Inspection: Meeting with a Brew

 Prohibition in America started “down east,” the New England geographical term for the rugged Maine coast from Penobscot Bay to the Canadian border. The Maine Temperance Society turned the whole rough-and-ready state dry in 1851. The law was repealed five years later, but one of its largest cities, Portland, still seems to be making up for lost time.

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Global Meetings Exchange Stirs Attendees' Creative Juices

Some participants spontaneously drew on windows, while others built Lego structures or engaged in other fun team-building activities. It resembled a festival—which was the intention—but it actually was the opening day of AccorHotels’ Global Meetings Exchange (GME) 2018 at Fairmont, The Queen Elizabeth in Montreal last month.

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Smart Tips for Americans Traveling Abroad

Global Meetings Industry Day is April 12, so what better time to review best practices when traveling abroad for business or pleasure? Here are smart tips for international travel.

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She Really Means Business

When IMEX Group CEO Carina Bauer saw the results of a survey IMEX conducted with the German magazine tw tagungswirtschaft last year about women in the event industry, she knew she had to do something.

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Secrets to Incentives That Keep Giving

 An incentive trip that will be remembered long after the bags have been unpacked often includes creative gifting. For insights on how to give impactful gifts, Smart Meetings asked a veteran in the industry, Tom Romine, president of Cultivate.

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Employ the Latest in Earpieces and Headsets

Security teams keep attendees safe by corresponding with colleagues via headsets. And onstage, in-ear monitors are used by singers to help keep them pitch perfect. Headset technology has come a long way, and promises to add even more to the event experience of the near future.

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Cocktails with a Sweet and Sour Surprise

Apples, grapes, rice, malt, sugarcane, even coconut—vinegar can be made from just about any food that contains natural sugars. People have been making and using vinegars in ferments, cooking and salad dressings for more than 10,000 years. Here's our roundup of sweet and sour cocktails.

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Top Trend: Preventing Food Waste at Events

As Americans, we waste enough food annually to feed the planet’s malnourished several times over, according to The Rockefeller Foundation. The average American household spends an estimated $1,500 to $2,000 a year on food never eaten. How can event planners prevent food waste while still wowing attendees?

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How to Engage the Next Generation

United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin’s leadership decided it needed to engage younger residents in community service. It made this a strategic priority and began to promote volunteer opportunities in the community, and to connect with others who were similarly donating their time and skills. How did the organization do it?

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Menu Planning? Proceed with Caution

For decades, industry surveys have shown that the quality of food and beverage at events is one of the top elements that drive attendee satisfaction. Most planners glean this simply from the reactions they observe and the comments they hear from attendees during each event’s meals and refreshment breaks.

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