All posts by

Jay MacDonald

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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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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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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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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Grounded? Visit These Flight Zones

What better way to appreciate aviation's colorful past while experiencing its present than with a stroll through one of the 30 museums of flight located within or near a major US airport? Here are three must-see aviation museums well worth a

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The Surprising Benefits of Stress

Ah, meeting planning, the stress-free career! You host a few brainstorming sessions, chat up a vendor or two, casually stroll through a conference here and there, and home by 5. Yeah, right! If there were any justice in this world, the face of a

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Destination: Nantucket

There’s something surprisingly authentic and arguably timeless about Nantucket, the understated oddball island sister who splits the coastal Massachusetts tourist trade with her more cosmopolitan siblings, Martha’s Vineyard and Cape Cod. Perhaps

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Traveling Abroad? Try These 7 Tips to Stretch Your Dollar

One of the great things about a career in event planning is the opportunity to visit foreign countries. The personal growth and insights that come from immersion into other cultures cannot be equaled online or in the classroom. That's why postcards

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Keeping Political Friction at Bay in an Election Year

Few utterances will send your next planning session plunging into chaos faster than this innocent question: “Did anyone see the debate last night?” Politics are poisonous to productivity precisely because passion polarizes, and doubly so in a

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10 Don’t-Miss Attractions in Cleveland

It’s official: you can now add Cleveland to the list of the nation’s nouveau-boho, must-sip trendy destinations. As unlikely as that seems, this perennially overlooked, underrated Ohio river city has been dually ordained among today’s best places to

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Tap This Bartending Wisdom

Your day has unraveled. By 5 o’clock, the meets and measures you woke up hoping to knit into a fine, formfitting sweater now resemble something the cats appropriated for their own amusement. Simply put, you need a drink. Now. Which is precisely

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10 Healthy Ways to Avoid the Afternoon Slump

Let’s pause just for a nanosecond to appreciate what we otherwise consider the bane of our hectic workday: the midday slump. After all, there are few aspects of our tech-driven professional lives that we share with the ancient Pharaohs, Mayans,

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6 New Buzz-Worthy Hotels

Like the search for world peace or a palatable enchilada in Alberta, the quest for the perfect hotel room remains one of life’s most elusive pursuits, best savored for the adventure and not the attainment. As Paul Simon once observed, “The nearer

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Hotels for Groups with a “Healthy” Appetite

  A century ago, hotels were a great place to stay in shape. For calves, quads and hammies, there were staircases, and often only staircases. For biceps, triceps, lats and gluts, you would heft your own luggage. As for pecs, delts and abs,

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The wholesale charm of Burlington, Vermont

In my youth, I had the pleasure of living in Burlington, Vermont shortly after a Brooklyn-born, University of Chicago socialist transplant named Bernie Sanders put an end to the city’s long run of Democratic mayors by 10 votes and founded what

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The World’s Wildest Golf Courses

Since the dawn of organized assembly, meeting planners have set about their task by first asking a question more suited to F&B: Will that be with or without golf? So widespread and synonymous has Scotland’s addictive “good walk spoilt” become

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Offsite Activities: A Literary Approach

Bored with the same old obvious offsite activities? Depending on your event destination, perhaps you need to think outside the box – or, in this case, the book. Touring the homes of American literary masters is a great way to interject art,

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Destination: Austin

It's best to know going in that Austin is a state of mind – or more specifically, a playlist. Austin first won my heart with the Outlaw movement, when musical compadres Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings fled Nashville to create their Hill Country

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What a Product Designer Can Teach You About Life Design

Most of us live our lives ping-ponging between the things we want and the things we need. Don't get me wrong; it's plenty challenging, endlessly educational, often deeply moving and frequently very funny to allow luck, chance and a mad circus of

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