In this issue

In Smart Meetings' July issue, don't miss the survival guide for a brand new meetings world. We share the secrets on how to thrive in a post-10-percent commission, virtual-meetings-obsessed, experience-demanding reality. We also talk to top speaker experts about finding keynotes that will resonate with attendees.

In this issue, we also dive into the world of hotel renovations' creativity, explore creative South Carolina and get our feet wet in ageless Maryland. We not only discuss amazing destinations that might not be on your radar yet—we also tackle the Real ID tech, choosing presenters for your event and making attendees' preferences work. Don't miss out on this super-informative issue.

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.

Sparkling New Spaces: New and Renovated Report

Each year, thousands of hotels, resorts and conference centers in the United States open or are renovated—and the numbers have been increasing due to the financial boom that continues in the hospitality industry. Many of the openings and renovations signify landmark developments in the industry, and some involve the country’s premier properties. They also are critically important to meetings and events, because they offer new, exciting options for planners and their groups.

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Remix Your Speakers: How to Resonate with Today’s Attendees

The keynote has changed forever—and that is good news for attendees and planners. The seeds of change that put the the one-hour PowerPoint delivered from on high on the endangered list were sown in 1984 by a newcomer named Ted. But the forces that accelerated the decline had more to do with changing expectations.

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Like a Boss: Four People Who Started Something

Sometimes event professionals have to create their own path to a better future. Smart Meetings asked a quartet of brave souls who found the right combination of vision, willpower and frustration required to set out on their own to chime in about the definition of leadership in today’s events world.

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Brave New Meetings World: A Survival Guide

In January, Marriott International Vice President of Global Sales Tammy Routh hit “send” on an email that rocked the meeting planner world. Her message announced that the largest global hotel brand would cut commissions to independent planners by 30 percent. It was the start of a series of such announcements—Hilton Worldwide followed in in March and Intercontinental Hotels Group in May.

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Europe Rapidly Gaining Popularity for Incentive Travel

Incentive planners are a resilient bunch. They are constantly looking for destinations that will appeal to their attendees. It takes more than high winds and a health scare to keep them away from their favorite resorts.

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Chill Out With Your July Smart Style

Chill out in your summer vibes with these gift ideas from your friends at Smart Meetings. You can even win one of the items!

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Q&A with Carrie Freeman Parsons About Humanizing the Evolution of Events

Carrie Freeman Parsons, granddaughter of Freeman founder Buck Freeman, was recently awarded PCMA Foundation’s lifetime achievement award. Smart Meetings asked her to name the top trends driving event brand experience today.

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A Parade of Cultural Lessons

For a behind-the-scenes look at how to host a massive, culturally sensitive event, Smart Meetings talked to Kelly Van Dyke, director of convention services for Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She was part of a team that coordinated 2017 Bruhan Maharashtra Mandal (BMM) of North America conference for 4,000 people—a literal citywide for the community of 196,000.

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Tried Forest Bathing Yet?

 The average American spends 93 percent of his or her time indoors (or inside a vehicle). How’s that working out for you? Slumped on the couch, do you feel blissfully relaxed while staring at your device or plasma-screen TV? Tweets are meant to disrupt, and even the cooking channels hype us up with tension-racked competitions. There has to be a better way to unwind, and, of course, there is. It’s nothing new, yet in our over-stimulated, over-stressed world, it’s easily neglected.

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Learning to See Diversity

The Ascent CEO Promise announced by PCMA CEO Sherrif Karamat in May challenged events industry leaders to build more inclusive workplaces. Importantly, it focused on what can be done to make meetings of the future more diverse, rather than on pointing fingers at the past.

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The Reality of Real ID: What You Need to Know

The line to board a flight starts at your local Department of Motor Vehicles (or wherever you get a driver’s license in your state). Take a number and bring your patience, because it could take a while. Many Americans are encountering longer-than-ever queues to get a new Real ID driver’s license.

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Smart Dispatch: Puerto Rico is Ready for Anything

When Hurricane Maria crashed into Puerto Rico 10 months ago at 175 miles per hour, Ben Tutt was there. As general manager of Condado Vanderbilt Hotel, a luxury resort in San Juan dating to 1919, he and the rest of the hospitality industry supported first responders as they struggled to restore services.

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5 High-Tech Ways to Brand Your Events

There is a psychological component to meeting planning. To imprint brand awareness, recognition and memory onto attendees’ minds, planners must tap into their psyches. Here are five techy ways to subliminally stamp your event, company, organization or association’s logo on the brains of guests.

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Deeply Rooted: Cuisines Simmered in Local Traditions

In 2016, Tucson, Arizona, joined international destinations such as Parma (the Italian city that gave the world parmesan cheese) as a UNESCO City of Gastronomy; it was the first place in the United States to be so designated. We explore the hyper-local cuisines that attendees crave.

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Developing Content, Choosing Presenters

The role of meeting planner in many organizations has grown in scope in recent years. The one area where many planners still aren’t fully utilized, however, is meeting content.

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