Venues

Places for Perks: A Who’s Who of Hospitality Rewards Programs

For those of us planner types who spend a lot of time on the road, where we bed down for the night matters: high levels of comfort, business-friendliness, cleanliness and amenities are, of course, non-negotiable. Perks and points accrual helps too,

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How the Hotel Majors Stack Up

With Marriott International’s huge acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide now six months old, planners are reasonably wondering 1) how the ranking of the world’s largest hotel companies stacks up and 2) and, probably more importantly,

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Magical Maui

Long before bucket lists became a baby boomer obsession, I inadvertently knocked a whopper off of mine by viewing sunrise from the crater rim of Haleakala, Maui’s highest volcanic peak at just over 10,000 feet. Although I was vaguely aware that

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JFK’s Iconic TWA Terminal To Become Airport Hotel

It’s one of the most architecturally stunning airport terminals in the world, yet no one gets to experience it. Terminal 5 at New York’s JFK airport has been sitting largely unused since 2001, when the mid-century modern masterpiece by famed

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Disney’s Four-Season Calendar for Groups

Thinking of a meeting at a Disney resort? Or a theme park event during your next Orlando or Anaheim conference? The obvious advantage of a Disney-inclusive meeting is the built-in entertainment. Special group activities are easily accommodated by

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Eco-Friendly Venues for Your Next Meeting

Who isn’t on board for an eco-friendly meeting these days? Attendees appreciate it, knowing their carbon footprint is kept to a minimum. And corporate bosses get to tick another box on their company’s CSR agenda, adding to their brand’s

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Get Smart: The New Tech-Savvy Hotel Room

It can be difficult at times to warm to the fast-approaching robot apocalypse, which inevitably reasons out to look like a classic Dantean contrapasso, in which we humanoids are sentenced to suffer the opposite for our shortcomings. For example,

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San Francisco’s Bay Area Beauties for Group Events

As attractions and activities go, the San Francisco Bay Area can claim an embarrassment of riches. World-famous sights, Michelin-starred restaurants, stunning nature, beautiful architecture, year-round mild climate, endless cultural and outdoor

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Luxury, Two Ways

As attendees’ tastes and preferences become more defined, planners are realizing that one definition of “luxury accommodations” doesn’t necessarily fit all palates. There’s a long, established tradition of formal, even staid luxury certainly. But

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Marriott, Absorbing Starwood, Eyes Group Sales

Since closing on its $13 billion acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide in September, Marriott International has methodically gone about the massive integration process. Planners—especially those who were either Marriott or

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How To Dress Up a Ballroom That Isn’t, Well, Versailles

Lets face it, every venue can’t be Versailles. Every planner isn’t Martha Stewart. But when tasked with re-purposing an odd space or hotel boardroom into an environment suitable for a sit-down dinner, minus budget for an event designer, it’s time to

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Private Dinner Primer: 7 Pointers

Skillfully arranging small, intimate dinners for company senior officers, VIPs and select groups of other stakeholders during a larger business meeting or event has always been an important part of a planner’s toolbox. Ten years ago, a boardroom or

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Venue Wisdom: 3 Secrets for Planning Success

Whenever I get together with my fellow planners, inevitably we talk shop, exchanging war stories about our experiences with one venue or another, which ones we love, who’s got the best facilities, which properties have the most attentive meetings

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Team-Building: How To Make Sure It’s Memorable

Team-building activities are an important way to foster connections among meeting attendees.  With today’s world of instant entertainment and viral internet sensations, people are looking more for memorable experiences rather than the traditional

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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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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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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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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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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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