December 09, 2013
Forty-eight percent of planners say their meetings will have more of a technological footprint in 2014,
according to a new survey
Nearly half of meeting planners participating in a national survey say they will be using more technology in their 2014 meetings.
The 2014 State of the Meetings Industry survey, conducted by Destination Hotels & Resorts, was completed in September by 181 corporate, association, independent and government meeting planners throughout the United States. The survey also generated some other significant trends, including the following:
December 06, 2013
French fry station at the Smart Event at Ojai Valley Inn
Wowing attendees doesn’t have to mean serving them some crazy food item or cuisine they’ve never heard of before. All it takes is presenting something simple in a different way. In other words, take something your guests know and love and make a unique serving bar out of all of the flavors and types.
At our most recent Smart Event at Ojai Valley Inn and Spa in Ojai, Calif., attendees fell in love with the mushroom station. The property set up a table with a variety of mushrooms—including oyster, shiitake, Portobello, enoki, crimini and button—sauteed with fresh herbs. They could top them with fresh garlic, grilled tomato chutney, herb croutons and boursin cheese sauce. It was a simple set up, with an outstanding response.
December 04, 2013
PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., is the site of the 32nd annual Encounter Florida show
The 32nd annual Florida Encounter kicks off today at the PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens. Designed for meeting professionals to learn more about the state’s hotels and conference venues, Florida Encounter is an appointment-based trade show that highlights the state’s amazing assets.
December 03, 2013
The Smart Event Dallas starts in just two days, so what better time to look back at our last event? Our final three-day Smart Event of 2013 was seeped in Southern California style thanks to the luxurious setting at Ojai Valley Inn & Spa. From Nov. 17–19, planners got a chance to experience several of the AAA Five Diamond resort’s event venues, from the rustic, historic barn to its newest edition, Casa Elar, a private, five-bedroom estate. In addition to conducting business efficiently in our signature one-on-one appointments, attendees had a chance to learn and earn CEU credits in sessions led by former professional baseball player Mike Robbins, strategic-meetings-management expert Terri Woodin and industry advocate Roger Rickard. The event also featured the return of the musicians from Drum Cafe to help planners and suppliers forge bonds through the age-old team-building activity of beating on drums.
November 27, 2013
Show floor at IMEX America 2013
It’s never too early to begin reflecting on what the new year has in store. The IMEX Group, which annually stages impressive international meeting and event trade shows in Frankfurt and Las Vegas, offers up a few predictions for 2014 thanks to speaker and expert anecdotes from IMEX America 2013.
1. Content Gets Bigger as Attention Spans Grow Shorter
Content now defines meeting and event type, not the other way around. The incredible growth of YouTube, TED and short, sharp TV and video news clips (including the birth of super-bite-sized Vine) means attention spans are shorter than ever. Four minutes is a lifetime online. Expect meetings and event content to be delivered in ever more entertaining, diverse and digestible pieces. The label ‘hybrid’ fades away as all meetings and events become multifaceted and multidimensional for participants on and offsite.
November 22, 2013
Update December 3
Yahoo! Finance has picked up the story of our show: Smart Meetings Magazine Launches TV Special “Smart Destinations: The Best of 2013″ Featuring the Winners of the Smart Stars Awards.
Press release available at PR Newswire.
Update for Thanksgiving Weekend
If you are up early on Thanksgiving in Wausau, Wis., you can catch our TV special, “Smart Destinations: The Best of 2013,” while you’re prepping the turkey. Otherwise, the show will be broadcast in some bigger markets on Saturday, including Nashville, Salt Lake City and Tallahassee, Fla. Details through the weekend are below, or click here for a complete schedule through Jan. 6.
–Nashville: 8 p.m. Saturday on WNAB (The CW)
–Salt Lake City: 2 p.m. Saturday on KJZZ (independent)
–Tallahassee, Fla.: 9 a.m. Saturday on WCTV/WSWG (CBS/MyNetworkTV)
–East Texas: 1:30 p.m. Saturday on KLPN (MyNetworkTV)
–Boise, Idaho: noon Sunday on KIVI/KNIN (ABC/FOX)
–Wilmington, N.C.: 1:30 p.m. Sunday on WWAY (ABC)
–Central Wisconsin: 5 a.m. Thursday on WSAW (CBS)
–Shenandoah Valley, Va.: 1:30 p.m. Saturday on WHSV (ABC/MyNetworkTV)
November 20, 2013
Dreamforce has attendees covered. Literally. According to the PR folks providing daily updates about the Salesforce.com event taking place in San Francisco this week, the citywide features the largest structure ever inflated in North America.
Expected to draw 120,000 people, the Dreamforce convention venues include a downtown plaza in which a section of streets has been blocked off (Howard Street between Third and Fourth). The plaza offers stages for live entertainment and DJs, plus giant TV monitors for watching keynote speeches. Check out this time-lapse video of the plaza coming to life, including the raising of the massive inflated structure:
“Salesforce is definitely one of our largest events and the impact it has on our community is huge,” says Lysa Lewin, vice president of Moscone expansion and special events for the San Francisco Travel Association. “With over $100,000,000 in economic impact for the city, we are grateful to be able to host such an incredible event each year.”
November 18, 2013
The Rogue River in southern Oregon
It’s known throughout the world as home of the stellar Oregon Shakespeare Festival, but southern Oregon’s many other appealing features are a bit under the radar, partly because it’s not located near any major cities. But this area just across the California border has been inspiring virtually all meeting groups that give it a try.
The region consists of several small, interesting cities. The most famous, Ashland, is known primarily for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and its active arts scene, which are complemented by excellent recreational opportunities, including hiking. The Beaver Dam Trail in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, an easy 2.1-mile hike that can be taken from May through October, can be accessed from the Beaver Dam and Daley Creek campgrounds, some 24 miles from the Ashland Ranger Station. It offers an opportunity to leisurely explore the edge between two different types of habitat: streamside and forest.
November 14, 2013
Mike Robbins pitching for Stanford University.
During his time with the team, he played in the
College World Series. Photo courtesy of
From the age of 7 when he joined the local rec department T-ball league to being drafted by the Kansas City Royals organization out of college, Mike Robbins played on all sorts of teams. Some were full of phenomenally talented individuals but weren’t very good as a whole. For others, the opposite was the case. “That’s what started me out, years ago, becoming fascinated with what makes certain teams more successful than others,” says Robbins, a Bay Area author and speaker who coaches organizations on what it takes to get their members working together effectively. “I thought it was just a sports thing, but really it’s a human being thing. Do [team members] trust each other? Do they understand their roles? Do they feel appreciated?”
Robbins will drawing on his experience as a pitcher, his time in sales during the first dot-com boom and his 13 subsequent years as a keynote speaker when he opens the Smart Event at Ojai Valley Inn and Spa in Southern California’s Ventura County on Sunday. The hotel and destination representatives and event planners in attendance will begin three days of networking and professional development with Robbins’ presentation, “The Keys to Creating a Championship Team.”
An arm injury ended Robbins’ baseball career while he was still in the minor leagues. It was a harsh lesson in learning to deal with expectations and disappointments. “I didn’t want to be the guy sitting at the end of the bar when I was 50 or 60 going, ‘I could have been somebody,’” he says. He also learned that he should have spent more time appreciating the moment rather than letting his identity get caught up in his successes and failures, which is one of the key components of his message. “Most successful teams find some greater purpose to what they’re doing than just winning,” he says.
November 14, 2013