In this issue

In Smart Meetings' January issue, don't miss our feature about Jimmy Buffett's big Margaritaville dream and taking your group to paradise. Don't forget to look ahead to the 2018 annual forecast and what to expect.

This issue also explores beautiful Australia, greater Dallas and Fort Worth, Connecticut and so much more. Check out our new Inspiration Toolbox and IQ Update!

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.

2018 Event Professional Survival Guide

More and bigger. That is the forecast for meetings in 2018, according to a recent Smart Meetings survey of more than 2,000 event professionals. More than 80 percent of respondents said they will be producing the same or more events than last year, and that those events will be larger—including rock concert-quality elements.

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Lost Lessons of Margaritaville

You may think you know Jimmy Buffett and his “Margaritaville.” But we’re guessing that, unless you’ve been paying really close attention, you don’t. Think big…and then think even bigger. The man is light industry. Between his album sales, tours and businesses, Jimmy was estimated by Forbes to have earned $50.5 million last year. (By the way, we are referring to him by his first name, because the “patron saint of the untroubled,” as The New York Times has dubbed him, prefers it that way.) The previous year, his net wealth was said to be $500 million.

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Secrets from a Hotel Designer: Q&A with Barbara Best-Santos

Caesars Entertainment is redesigning 10,000 guest rooms in Las Vegas and thousands more in Atlantic City and across the rest of the country. At The Flamingo Las Vegas alone, $90 million is going to make 1,270 rooms glitter and shine like champagne with vibrant hues of gold and bright pops of flamingo pink. We asked Barbara Best-Santos, associate principal at Forrest Perkins, which managed the design of these rooms, how they determined what would greet visitors when they arrive for their next conference.

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Keeping the Numbers in Perspective

Numbers, numbers and more numbers. They are critically important in analyzing the effectiveness of social media and other online communication, but are merely one tool among many, and often are used by professionals without keeping the bigger picture in mind.

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Employees with Intellectual Disabilities Thrive in Hospitality Industry

Sin City is known for singers, dancers, magicians, card deal ers, celebrity chefs and Elvis impersonators, but the real stars of The Strip keep a lower profile. The next time you pump iron at Bellagio Las Vegas for a meeting, you might be greeted by the friendly face of Paul Brooks (pictured right), a gym attendant at the hotel’s fitness center. He is part of the Best Buddies Jobs program.

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The Meeting Planners’ Guide to Entering New Territory

 Meeting planners are master jugglers. Each event is a balancing act that requires exceptional amounts of research, organization and communication. This can be difficult in your own backyard, where it is easy to swing by and look at the space. Now imagine taking the show to an utterly unfamiliar city.

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Take the Healthy Meeting Pledge

It’s the start of a brand-new year, so what better time to take the Healthy Meeting Pledge? It’s a real pledge, created by National Alliance for Nutrition and Activity, and dozens of organizations have taken it. Have you?

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4 Hotels with Rooms and a Brew

According to the Brewers Association, U.S. craft beer makers in 2016 topped 5,000 for the first time, at 5,234, and saw $23.5 billion slid across the bar. So, perhaps it was inevitable that hotels—ever eager to differentiate themselves and provide unforgettable experiences—have edged from merely serving local beers to brewing them.

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Crisis Averted: CSMs Act Quickly

We recently asked a longtime event manager at a large meetings-focused property to share stories about events she serviced that presented on-the-spot complications, requiring her to draw upon their full range of expertise to make things work and avoid crisis.

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Bright Perspective: Welcome to 2018

We have completely reimagined Smart Meetings magazine as an idea book designed to deliver on our mission of Inspiring Brilliant Experiences. You will find a refreshed look engineered to simplify gleaning expert tips about where to bring your groups and what to do to make the most of your meeting time.

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