The New Thinking in Luxury Hospitality

Owners, developers and operators were bullish on the luxury hotel segment at last week’s (June 5-7) annual NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference in New York. Smith Travel Research reported that occupancy in U.S. luxury hotels

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Costa Rica: Moving Beyond Eco-Tourism

Long known as a destination that placed a high priority on preserving and enhancing its rich natural beauty, Costa Rica is in the process of raising its visibility as a host of luxury meetings and conferences. The latest evidence occurred last month

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Going Somewhere? 7 Tips for Joining the Global Entry Program

Though I’ve always liked the idea of the Department of Homeland Security’s Trusted Traveler Global Entry program, signing up seemed like such a hassle that I just never got around to it. Instead, to get through airport lines a bit faster, I relied

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Build Your Personal Brand

The first thing most people notice about Anne is her hat. In an era when head wear for women pretty much begins and ends with the royals, Anne stands out because of her chapeau. As I got to know and respect Anne for her humor, warmth, creativity and

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Destination: Oakland

If you’re headed to San Francisco but “Haight” the hassle of navigating one of the country’s top tourist destinations, you’ll find relief – and yes, even a whiff of the city’s treasured hippie past – just across the Bay Bridge in Oakland,

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3 Things This Event Planner Wishes Venues Would Change

Event planners and venues. Venues and event planners. The two go hand-in-hand. Venues are one of the first things that event planners look to secure when we are hosting an event. And, in doing lots of the new research over the years, there are a few

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How to Create a Niche in the Events Industry (and Why You Should!)

I think that creating a niche in our industry is incredibly important. Most people tend to think that offering a wide variety of services will bring them more opportunities, but while that sounds intuitively correct, it's actually the opposite. By

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How to Set the Stage for Ideal Brainstorm Sessions

The opening session at last month’s (April 19-20) International Association of Conference Centers–Americas’ annual gathering in New York focused on “Innovation in the Meeting Experience” and, not surprisingly, the subject of brainstorming came

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Hotels Boost Their Interactive Offerings for Groups

As part of their job, planners are always on the lookout for exciting new programs to capture the interest of their attendees. Inevitably these days, such ideas involve new technology. Given the entire culture’s embrace of mobile apps, streaming

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Destination: Jacksonville

Memo to Florida’s highway signage department: To best assist first-time visitors to the state’s northeastern gateway city, we would humbly suggest posting at its myriad entry points the image of a smiling dolphin or gator that proclaims, “Welcome to

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6 Summer Planning Pitfalls to Avoid

Summertime, and the living is – busy! Once summer kicks in, finding the perfect event date gets complicated because your guests are likely to be heavily booked with many more social events, family obligations and vacation time than usual, all

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The Most Popular Event Merchandise of 2016

Merchandise and promotional products are integral to the event planning process. They are used in advertising before the event, and to create a cohesive presence during the event, with uniforms, gift bags, and matching branded gift items. It is

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Hotel Programs Adding Local Color

After decades of stressing consistency and conformity in service, amenities and guest room design as they expanded their respective brands, hotel companies in recent years have done an about face. Travelers—meeting attendees included—no longer want

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Event Reminders: How Many is Too Many?

Ahh - event marketing. The world of email marketing, social media engagement and follow up, follow up, follow up. When I talk to planners in the industry, it seems that we all still heavily rely on email marketing as a primary channel for getting the

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What Do Meeting Planners Want? Survey Says…

The meeting planners have spoken. And what they want from a venue is more flexibility, more access to the latest technology, and more unique experiences to keep their groups engaged. The International Association of Conference Centres (IACC), in

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10 Creative Tech and Social Media Tips for Events

Are you looking to take your events to the next level? Wish you could inspire a little creativity at your next event? As event planners, we are really busy so in respect for your time, I’ve got a quick list of ideas you can implement at your next

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Destination: Hilo

Whether you’re headed to the Big Island of Hawaii for business or pleasure, here’s an inside tip: Give Hilo a chance. For decades, sun-and-surf-starved statesiders would scarcely set foot in the capital city of the 50th state, such was their haste

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Streamlining the RFP Process

Here’s a bit of trivia for you: Did you know that the volume of Requests for Proposals (RFPs) sent to hotels has increased by 300% over the last three years? Did you know that it takes, on average, 20-30 minutes for a hotel salesperson to reply to a

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People Reader: 5 Ways To Become a Better Judge of Character

The clamorous approach of summer blockbuster season begs the perennial question: Which superhero crew reigns supreme? The Fantastic Four, you say? Perhaps the X-Men? Or the Justice League of America? I suspect most meeting planners would place

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Quiet: Why You Need It & Where To Find It

Let’s talk about noise, shall we? Or more apropos, LET’S TALK ABOUT NOISE, SHALL WE? Since the Industrial Revolution, its encroachment into our daily lives has long been the price we begrudgingly pay for technological advancements, whether it be

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