All posts by

Danielle Childress

A Top 10 List for Better Hotel Contracts

Has this ever happened to you? Your client’s event is cancelled by the supplier just a few months before the event. Suddenly they (and you, as the planner) must scramble to find a new venue. If that original contract had not had some built-in

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Apps Every Planner Will Love

I recently started with a new company, and as excited as I am to be at a new place, I am even more excited to learn cool new things. Of course it’s great to learn shortcuts and better planning practices, but here’s what really excites me: apps that

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10 Tech Tools to Boost Your Productivity

As meeting planners, we have to be extremely organized and efficient—but, of course, you already knew that! When you add business travel to the mix, the task becomes even more difficult. While onsite recently with a client prior to the event kickoff,

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Going Social: 5 Things You Should Be Doing

We’re in a highly social, face-to-face season. That got me thinking a lot about other ways of being social—social media, for instance. Its influence is epic. With social media driving marketing, branding, and meetings and events, what is the best way

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Year-End Trend Review

After my traditional Thanksgiving, I did it all over again at a Friday “Friendsgiving.” As you know, our partners in the industry become our friends: hoteliers, DMCs, and vendors. And now, as I looked around my Friendsgiving table, I realized

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Holiday Gift Ideas

I love the holidays, and especially gift buying—better to give, than to receive! I am someone who puts a good deal of thought into picking a gift that I know suits its intended recipient, right down to the wrapping paper! And after I’ve completed my

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5 Hot Trends for Holiday Party Planning

I haven’t even finished my Halloween goodies, purchased my Thanksgiving turkey, and been nipped by Jack Frost. Yet retailers are already planning their holiday displays — and we meeting planners, our holiday parties. With that in mind, I wanted to

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Team Up and Give Back

With the holidays—the traditional season of giving—right around the corner, this seems a good time to enhance our corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs. Planning team-building events that make an impact can have a tremendously motivating

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Autumn-Inspired Activities

  Now that the sun has set on summer, we find ourselves in a new season—and autumn lends itself perfectly to evocative activities. With its crisp air and profound effects on landscapes across the country, fall sets an ideal backdrop for

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Eco-Minded Planning

Kermit the Frog lamented, “It’s not that easy being green.” That may be true for Kermit and his particular brand of greenness, but it doesn’t have to be that way for green meetings. Sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) are terms

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Incentives with Imagination

I think I speak for most meeting planners when I say that orchestrating an incentive trip is the high point of a planner’s repertoire. It is certainly true for me. Planning incentives not only taps my logistical side, but it gets my creative juices

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Filling Stations

Last month I wrote about perfect summer meeting activities (Sizzling Summer Summits). In it, I gave food station ideas to go along with suggested activities. I received several emails asking me about other creative food station ideas, so I thought it

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Sizzling Summer Summits

Summer is here and I personally could not be happier. An office is the last place I want to be on these long, sun-filled days. So, when I am planning summer meetings, corporate picnics, and incentive groups, I always incorporate the outdoors into my

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Social Media—It’s All the Buzz!

I am always excited when I hear that someone has chosen meeting planning as their career path. I give lectures to a college hospitality program from time-to-time and keep in touch with some of the students. One student is in her first year—of her

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Fam Etiquette

When people comment that “meeting planning is a cake job,” I often laugh and think to myself, “you have no clue what my job fully entails!” I must confess that there are some serious perks (and much deserved, as far as I’m concerned) to being a

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10 Ways to Make the Most Out of Your Fam Trip

A familiarization trip, more commonly known as a fam trip, is an informational visit that allows planners to personally experience the sights, sounds, and tastes of a destination. Since these trips are often larger-than-life experiences to

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Spotlight on Sydney

          I had the great pleasure of taking a FAM to Sydney in March. Although I had heard great things about Sydney, visiting in person was a revelation. Sydney offers a great platform for groups, whether for

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Planning for the Unplanned – An Emergency-Preparedness Action List

  Create a preparedness plan with contingency checklist for site visits and planning processes. During site inspection, determine evacuation and safety plans. Send and collect a medical form from attendees that lists health concerns,

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Hotel Site Inspection Tips

As we find ourselves in that time of year were lists are made, and checked twice, I find myself adding a few helpful hints to my site inspection list. As planners we all look for ways to improve our meetings, and sometimes, that begins with us and

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The Idea Factory: Personal Favorites From Successful Events

Have you ever dreamed up an original idea, only to learn that your conference service manager has not only been there, done that—they’ve done it eight times this week! With so many new trends and various vendor options to choose from, “originality”

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