Midsize City, Maximum Appeal: Memphis

Meeting planners find an impressive package of conference facilities for up to 10,000 people at the heart of Memphis. Just 12 miles from the airport, the Memphis Cook Convention Center measures 350,000 square feet, including 190,000 square feet for

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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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Out of Office: The Power of a Well-Planned Retreat

  Today’s frenzied, do-more-with-less work week has presented senior business leaders with a challenging paradox—namely, how do you discuss strategic planning, brainstorm on new business opportunities, and spend quality time as a group to

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10 Tips for Planning Events in Europe

Over the past couple of years, the travel industry has seen a slow increase in the use of international destinations for incentive travel programs. A recent Maritz Travel study, the International Destination Index, revealed that many European

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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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Midsize City, Maximum Appeal: Portland

It’s not just Portland natives, hipsters, cyclers, foodies, and fans of the TV show Portlandia who love Portland. Meeting planners and their groups do, too. Backed by majestic Mount Hood, the city holds more than 37,000 acres of public parks,

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Expert Advice on Social Media for Events

  We asked a group of savvy meeting professionals to share their best tips on using social media for events. “Three of the things that have worked for me include asking guest speakers to blog prior to the event to create buzz, using Twtpoll or

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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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The Magic of Mexico: Puerto Vallarta & Riviera Nayarit

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico’s second most visited tourist destination—together with the Riviera Nayarit, a recently designated tourist destination just north of town—nestles in a narrow corridor between the emerald peaks of the Sierra Madre and the azure

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Meetings In Mexico – Cancun

Cancún, Mexico’s number one tourist destination for nearly 40 years, attracts a steady stream of meetings to its Caribbean shores, including such high-profile events as the 2010 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and Conference to

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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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Meetings in Mexico – Los Cabos

Los Cabos, Mexico’s latest up-and-coming meetings destination, lies at the tip of the thousand-mile-long Baja peninsula, where the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortez. Groups select from 13,000 hotel rooms based in three distinct areas: lively Cabo

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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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5 Apps Every Meeting Planner Should Have

Technology is here, there, everywhere! I consider myself a moderate user of the evolving tech world. I know enough to get around, but I’m certainly not the type to camp out for days to get the latest model of a phone. I certainly cannot intelligently

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Tips For Meeting Far, Far Away

As planners, we move in six different directions on any given day. So when we are asked to “provide more variety” or “increase attendance” in our meetings, we must find creative solutions. Taking your meeting abroad is a great solution. Yes, it may

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Spotlight on Panama

Along with predictably pleasant weather that hovers near 80 degrees Fahrenheit all year long, Panama offers visitors a wealth of culture, natural beauty, and recently, an infusion in high-end hospitality. For meeting planners looking for an

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Farm to (Banquet) Table

The green movement continues to make inroads in our industry, from vendors to hotels to restaurants. The good news is that planners are increasingly joining this mission. Yet, as much as we are being conscientious about incorporating “green” into our

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Five Basic Tips to Jump-Start Your Planning

Over the last year, more and more of my friends, who do not have “meeting planner” in their title, have been asked to handle their companies’ meetings. I often get a call from them seeking my advice, “tricks of the trade,” and so on. With many

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