PLAN WELL

When Management Companies Merge

With consolidation currently a major trend in the hotel industry, it’s no surprise that management companies should be some of the players to join forces. Among hotel branding companies, the big news is still Marriott International’s pending

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2017 Hotel Pricing: A Tale of Two Coasts

Research presented at the annual conference of the Global Business Travel Association this month (July 15-20) in Denver presented a mixed picture of what planners could expect in the coming months when it comes to negotiating 2017 hotel rates. For

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New York’s Waldorf-Astoria Downsizes

In late-2014, a Chinese insurance company announced plans to acquire the iconic Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York, well-known by planners of luxury meetings, for a record-breaking $1.95 billion, the most ever paid for a U.S. hotel up to that

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Awesome Art Museums

As extracurricular sojourns go, art museums are a meeting planner’s ace in the hole, a sure-fire destination where every participant, regardless of age, background or culture, will experience something that moves them on a human level. As an added

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5 (Road-Tested) Ways to Cut Planning Stress

Every year, a few career sites publish their top 10 lists of stressful jobs, and not surprisingly event coordinators consistently rank high on the list. So, how to cut the stress we’re all too familiar with in this line of work? Stop it before it

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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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IMEX America: Where Networking Complements Education

Trade shows, exhibitions and conferences too often make a distinction between their educational programs and the events’ networking opportunities—with the networking sessions invariably relegated to second-class status. Entire days may be devoted to

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Hilton Debuts New Hawaii Option

The Aloha state is certainly known for its fair share of luxury, ocean front resorts, many carrying the flag of some of the world’s leading hotel brands. But over the past few years, these trophy properties have been joined on various Hawaiian

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A Planner’s Guide to Brexit

After months of contentious politicking, the people of the United Kingdom voted June 23rd to leave the European Union, a development popularly known as Brexit. The 52%-48% vote stunned many observers. The morning after the vote, commentators began

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Martini, Anyone? A Classic Cocktail Goes Fashion-Forward

Given today’s wall-to-wall marketing, it will come as no surprise to planners that June 19 was National Martini Day. It’s not clear which association or trade group, if any, sponsors this annual recognition, but the event apparently has been

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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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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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