Time is running out to get a gift for Mother’s Day, and while you could go with a last-minute flower-delivery order—again—we have a few suggestions from the pages of Smart Meetings magazine. We highlight trendy gift ideas every month in our Smart Style section. While often intended as incentive gifts for attendees, many of these items will appeal to moms who are meeting planners or simply frequent business travelers.
Below are a few choice items from each issue so far this year. If you have a particularly tech-savvy mom, you may also want to check out the gadgets featured in our May special feature on meetings technology.
And moms: If you see anything you like, feel free to send this blog post to your spouse and/or offspring as an oh-so-subtle hint.
The Laurelette mini clutch is the perfect size to hold a cell phone, tuck away lipstick and tote credit cards and cash. Made of hand-knitted imported highland Peruvian wool, the clutch features a magnetic snap for closing and is adorned with a removable brushed silver brooch. It is 6.5 x 4.5 inches and comes in flamingo pink, plum purple, citron green, black chili pepper and golden rod (yellow). saraholiverhandbags.com
AIBTM—Americas Incentive, Business Travel & Meetings Exhibition—is coming to Chicago’s McCormick Place June 11-13. Make sure to visit Smart Meetings at booth #517!
Each year, the Reed Travel Exhibitions’ IBTM portfolio of shows (AIBTM, EIBTM, GIBTM, CIBTM, AIME, BTM and IBTM India) conducts a research report on the global meetings industry, with a focus on the meetings and events business within the U.S., South America and the rest of North America.
The focus for this research is to obtain information on buying trends and the major issues affecting destination choices in the meetings industry from year to year. It also looks at inbound and outbound business, in terms of which regions, countries and states planners are looking to host meetings.
Chef Michael Mina with Smart Meetings Editor Christine Loomis at an event at Hakkasana San
Francisco earlier this year
From our office in Sausalito, we’re only minutes from San Francisco and less than an hour from wine country. Smart Meetings editors regularly enjoy darting across the Golden Gate Bridge or heading up to Napa to attend press conferences, trendy food pairings, and restaurant and hotel debuts. Although we’re hardly surprised by the number of 2013 James Beard Foundation Award winners from the San Francisco Bay Area, we are quite proud of our neighbors’ notorieties.
Among the food luminaries who were inducted into the “Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America” on May 6 was Michael Mina, San Francisco chef and restaurateur. Smart Meetings Editor Christine Loomis was just hanging out with Mina earlier this year (see photo) at an event at Hakkasana San Francisco. And Mina’s recipe for black truffle popcorn appears in the April issue of our magazine. Mina’s San Francisco restaurant, Michael Mina, was awarded two Michelin stars in 2006 and was named Esquire Magazine’s Restaurant of the Year in 2011.
St. Regis Atlanta’s Herradura Private Selection
Tequila, courtesy of Facebook
There was a clever little sign outside a shop near my home yesterday that read: “We have 45 tequilas. Which one will you regret on Seis de Mayo?” Not bad for a neighborhood liquor store, but there’s no reason to limit your tequila intake to May 5. As we’ve noted in the pages of Smart Meetings magazine, the spirit has been undergoing a re-evaluation in recent years that goes well beyond typical Cinco de Mayo shenanigans. In short, there’s a lot more tequila nowadays than spring breakers doing shots or restaurants serving neon-green margaritas.
Hotels are a big part of the upgrade that tequila’s reputation has been enjoying. The St. Regis Atlanta is a good example. The AAA Five Diamond property released a signature tequila in time for Cinco de Mayo. Director of Food and Beverage Robert Brandenberg collaborated with Casa Herradura—a 143-year-old distillery in Amatitan, Mexico—to craft the double-barrel reposado blend, which was made using the traditional technique of roasting blue agave in clay ovens. Once it was distilled, it was aged 11 months, bottled and certified with hand-numbered labels. The resulting St. Regis Atlanta Herradura Private Selection Tequila, with its floral and citrus notes, is being served at the hotel’s Bar & Wine Room Patio. It is available in a selection of seasonal cocktails—including a special margarita that involves jalapeno and fresh pineapple—as well as part of tequila-tasting flights. Guests can also book a special $599-per-night stay at the 151-room hotel that includes a bottle to take home.
concepts to children in Kolkata, India
Last year, Hilton Worldwide, in partnership with the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program, launched an awards program for films that best showcase the issues, interconnections, challenges and opportunities posed by sustainable practices in a global context.
Dubbed the Hilton Worldwide LightStay Sustainability Fund & Award program, it offers prizes ranging from $5,000 to $22,500 that are presented at the annual Sundance Film Festival. The program is affiliated with Hilton’s LightStay system, which analyzes the company’s performance across 200 operational practices, including paper product usage, housekeeping, food waste, chemical storage, air quality and transportation.
The 2013 winners were selected from a field of 1,500 feature-length documentaries and more than 5,000 short films, and were honored at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, on Jan. 20. The winners are:
Glittering, glam, oh-so-hip Los Angeles was made to be photographed. During a recent trip to the city with Smart Meetings’ fabulous art director Carli Morgenstein, we made like paparazzos and snapped several pictures of three awesome venues: the Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, The Standard Downtown LA and the California Science Center. Here are some of the results.
If you’re only serving only wine and beer at your events, you’re missing out. Don’t ignore the fabulous trend that mixologists are bringing to the table—or in this case, pouring into glasses.
Well-crafted libations are the new norm at events. Whether you’re serving a cocktail with “farm to glass” ingredients or have made your mark on the classic Manhattan with a new twist, imaginative cocktails are a must—not only for taste, but also for style.
Players at last year’s inaugural Meetings Industry Euchre Tournament, courtesy of miet.ca
Euchre is one of those regional peculiarities—a card game beloved by those who grew up with it and totally unknown to everyone else. As a Michigan native, I count myself among the former. Euchre is huge there. You learn to play the game at a young age and spend countless hours picking up bowers, following suit and winning tricks at campsites, sleepovers, late-night parties and tournaments. Anyone who grew up outside the Great Lakes region, however, probably doesn’t even know how to pronounce euchre (it’s “YOU-kur”), much less how to play.
Sheila Wong had certainly never heard of euchre growing up in Alberta, but she became a convert once she moved to Ontario. Now the vice president of business development for Toronto event-staffing firm BBW International, she started organizing small euchre tournaments in her condo to raise money for a three-day cancer walk in which she was a participant. Three years ago, Wong was talking about her little fundraisers with some euchre-loving industry colleagues at a Canadian Society of Association Executives conference. “They said: ‘What if we do it on a bigger scale? What if we did it with the meetings industry in mind and invite all the people in our network?’” Wong says. “Because every one of us has been touched by cancer in some way.”
Rock duo The Black Keys is among the headlining acts at the BottleRock festival coming to Napa, Calif.
Photo by Danny Clinch.
Northern California’s famous wine country is ready to rock. Expected to draw one of the largest crowds to ever descend on the world-renowned city of Napa, BottleRock will take over town May 9-12.
The amazing big-name acts scheduled to perform on three stages at the Napa Valley Expo are as eclectic as the varietals of wine created throughout the region. Headliners, many of whom are accustomed to starring at huge concert halls, include The Black Keys, Kings of Leon and the Zac Brown Band. The Avett Brothers, The Shinns, Train and Jackson Browne further demonstrate the variety of music genres that will be on tap.
Most area hotel rooms have been booked for months, and wineries and restaurants are bracing for daily crowds of up to 35,000 people. While local residents are understandably leery of increased traffic, garbage and general rowdiness, hoteliers are thrilled about the extra business that an event of this magnitude will yield and the future impact of establishing Napa as much more than a wine destination.
Smart Event attendees participating in a team-building activity with Drum Cafe
“By the end of 2013 there will be more mobile devices on earth than people.”
“I believe we were put on this planet not to be takers but to be contributors.”
“We have 60,000 thoughts a day on average—but most of them are fiction.”
“When a heart is transplanted, recipients’ recovery of memories indicates they are tapping into the life energy of the donor.”