In this issue

The first ever Global Meetings Industry Day, held on April 14, 2016,  was a monumental occasion for meeting planners everywhere. It offered an opportunity to highlight this $114.2 billion industry and show the world the value of meetings. Smart Meetings was on location in Las Vegas to cover the day's celebrations and explore the exciting future of events, conferences and conventions.

Our May issue also features a special report on how technology is transforming meetings. From live event streaming to on-site event apps, we share how the latest tech can help enhance your meetings, as well as a look at what's next for event technology from DoubleDutch CEO Lawrence Coburn.

Also, don't miss our compelling report on the unique culture and atmosphere of San Antonio and Austin, two of the hottest meetings destinations in the United States.

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.

Global Meetings Industry Day Celebrations Held Across Five Continents

Call it a reversal of fortune. When the inaugural Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID) was celebrated worldwide on April 14, there were $114.2 billion worth of reasons to feel excitement about the future of events, conferences and conventions. The climate is drastically different now than the 2009 circumstances that triggered a strategic push to let…

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Tech Behind the Scenes: How Technology Enhances Events

How tomorrow’s events are being planned today In the not-too-distant future, attendees of large conferences will be outfitted with contact lenses that deliver information about people, booths and events directly to their eyeballs. That’s the prediction of meetings app developer Lawrence Coburn, CEO of DoubleDutch. If you think it sounds like an outlandish science-fiction plot,…

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Press Play: 6 Ways Video is Integral to Meetings and Events

Millennials have been raised on videos. The largest age group of U.S. workers, most millennials weren’t even born yet when MTV ushered in a new era of video in 1981, changing the way the world experienced music. Just as MTV infused the music industry with excitement, video has changed the way we consume news, find…

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Meetings are in the Cards at Casinos

Aria Resort & Casino, Las Vegas They’re a win-win deal for planners and attendees Meetings mean big business. This is the core premise that underlies our industry, which accounted for $114.2 billion in spending in 2014, according to U. S. Travel Association’s Meetings Mean Business Coalition. And given last year’s booming economy, an even larger…

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6 Doctor-Approved Strategies to Avoid Burnout

Make Self-Care a Priority How often do you put your needs first? No matter how many times I encourage my clients to put their needs and wants at the top of the list, they say it’s a struggle. They’re professionals and caretakers—doctors, surgeons, busy parents and spouses—and they’re used to thinking about everyone else. They…

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Crowne Plaza Enhances the Meeting Experience

Boardroom at Crowne Plaza JFK Airport New York City New initiatives are geared toward planners Crowne Plaza, one of InterContinental Hotel Groups’ (IHG) main brands for meetings, has been rapidly expanding its business services around the globe. “The Crowne Plaza brand is all about making business travel work for the modern-day business traveler,” says Gina LaBarre,…

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Renovations Embody Properties' History and Essence

The Boulders Resort & Spa Carefree, Arizona The multimillion-dollar renovation completed earlier this year at The Boulders preserved the property’s Native American persona by drawing inspiration from the surrounding desert. A member of Hilton Hotel’s Curio Collection, The Boulders features a new Discovery Lounge and 5,500-square-foot ballroom that offer breathtaking views of the high Sonoran…

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Power Players in the Meetings Industry: May 2016

Going the Extra Mile in Style Taking the extra step for clients can amount to many things. For Jeff Dougherty, the extra step was off the side of a 15-story building. Dougherty, who is the California association sales manager at Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau, is known for serving his clients in the most unconventional ways.…

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Pre-Event Engagement Builds Interest and Momentum

Here’s an interesting paradox: For in-person meetings and events to remain valued by participants and vital to their professional success, planners must build a better experience for when attendees are not at those meetings and events. “Organizers must think of their events as continuously living entities, not as things that take place over a fixed…

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Smart Style May 2016: Gift Ideas for Planners

Your resource for trendy treasures and gift ideas Treat attendees and VIPs to unique, thoughtful gifts they will definitely want to take home. Smart Meetings has selected an assortment of items that can make work and travel more enjoyable, and contribute to good health and well-being. Bonus: Everyone will remember your event! Memories in a…

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Downtown L.A. is Becoming One of America's Great Meeting Cities

Balcony at Level Furnished Living Downtown Los Angeles has the makings of a construction zone. Towering skyscrapers in the financial district intersperse with cranes that are actively erecting the next tallest building. The U.S. Bank Tower, the tallest on the West Coast, is soon to be superseded by Wilshire Grand Tower, a 900-room InterContinental hotel…

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Q&A with Joe Terzi

Joe Terzi is President and CEO of San Diego Tourism Authority Last year, San Diego was featured in National Geographic Channel’s documentary series, “World Smart Cities.” What makes San Diego a smart city? San Diego has always been a great destination for leisure and business. The National Geographic documentary focused on the fact that we…

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5 Dishes That Celebrate American Cuisine

Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia, is celebrating America with a clever “50 States, 50 Specials” promotion. Each week its bar and restaurant is highlighting dishes and drinks from a different state. Chef de cuisine David Carlson promises that the yearlong journey “will be a celebration of our great nation.” Phil Saims, director of…

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Lessons in Business from an Extreme Adventurer

How Navigating 2,000 Miles of Icy Water Relates to Business Matt McFadyen used to live life on the edge. In his youth, the rugged Australian was drawn to extreme adventure challenges such as conquering the North Pole and navigating yachts through dangerous ocean water. Although his single mother was a world traveler who supported his…

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A Sketchy Idea for Your Next Event

A New York City-based company is putting a digital twist on what historically has been a crowd-pleaser at gatherings—live caricatures. Instead of drawing portraits on paper using charcoal, the artists at NY Drawing Booth do them on iPad Pros with Apple Pencils. NY Drawing Booth is the brainchild of artist Elke Reva Sudin, who has…

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