All posts by

Jay MacDonald

To Hug or Not To Hug: Tips on Cultural Greetings

To borrow a catch phrase from a popular insurance commercial, hugs come at you fast. With family, they’re predictable. With friends, pro forma. But in a business setting, especially first-time greetings in other countries or within multicultural

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The Prebiotic-Probiotic Prescription for Healthy Travel

Most meeting planners at one time or another have been blindsided by the event peril that dare not speaketh its name: gastrointestinal party time! This shouldn't come as a complete surprise. After all, what part of late nights, early mornings,

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Destination: Mobile

That old saw “Geography is destiny” cuts straight to the heart of Mobile, Alabama, surely one of America’s most charming yet egregiously overlooked Southern charmers. If the frenzied, elsewhere-headed travelers along Interstate 10 know Mobile at

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Par-lez Vous Golf? Here’s a Primer for Better Banter

Do you feel slightly awkward in professional or social settings when the conversation suddenly turns to golf? No need. Really. In fact, among the major worldwide sports, you probably “talk golf” more than the others, without even knowing

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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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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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