Meetings Focus Blog

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Industry experts discuss a variety of topics specific to the meetings and events industry.


5 Tips to Safer Outdoor Events

Outdoor events can be great for lots of groups and in conjunction with meetings. Finding the venue, determining the activity or activities, I'll leave to others. Ensuring safety is more my bailiwick. Whether you're planning a company picnic, an incentive program, an off-site activity, high school reunion, or other event, the safety of those attending is your main concern. 1. Consider your audience Many people on certain medications or with certain illnesses cannot be out in the sun. Period. Not with sunscreen. Not in the shade which still allows sun through. Determine how to include them indoors while others ...

Dana Point - An Oasis of Relaxing Elegance

I’ve always found the Orange County coast extremely appealing, so my recent introduction to Dana Point came with high hopes. They were easily exceeded. Superb beaches, wonderful dining and some comfortably elegant meeting properties stood out most, as did the lack of heavy traffic that SoCal can sometimes be known for. Our host property, the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, encapsulated the entire community pretty well from my perspective: Invitingly luxurious without even a touch of the stuffiness occasionally found at some upscale properties; excellent but approachable cuisine at Raya, with fare like delicate little lobster tacos enhanced by the sweeping views of ...

Advice for Planners in a Seller's Market

Really strong hotel occupancy rates are limiting buyers’ negotiating power. And, with a reduced supply of new properties coming into the marketplace along with many hotels going through inevitable renovation cycles, the supply of rooms is compressing availability even further. Additionally, meeting attendance figures are growing as the economy improves so planners are now threatened with running out of rooms and space. All of these factors contribute to the need for hotels to find different ways to drive value for customers. As a result, it is imperative that meeting planners need to more clearly articulate their priorities during negotiations in order ...

The Viability of the CMP - A Discussion

I recently spoke at a local Meeting Professionals International Chapter's meeting planning basics program on the opportunities and importance of continuing education in the hospitality industry. It came as a surprise to me when attendees mentioned they were unaware of all the different options for education available to industry professionals outside of the CMP program. After some reflection, and noting my indulgent attitude toward education and the importance of never stopping to learn no matter what age, I realized the lack of knowledge of options available is partly due to the lack of communication about them by those within the ...

3 Ways to Make Meetings Marketing Relevant with 1 Bad Example

For years, I’ve been fascinated¹ by photos and copy in print and electronic marketing; by the photos used by hotels, DMOs (aka CVBs) and other industry vendors on their websites and in marketing pieces; by the copy in emails received to market a service or facility. One received recently took me by surprise more than most, so much so that I posted the copy on social media and said it had made me howl with laughter. Before sharing and dissecting the language in what I received, here are the first two of three things that keep the industry the same ...

E-Learning, M-Learning and the Education of Generation Y

Generation Y, sometimes referred to as the “millennial generation,” is the fastest growing work segment today. Depending on the data you access, those who comprise Gen Y were born between 1980 and 1992, and will account for more than 40 percent of the workforce by 2020. Based on this knowledge, it is imperative that an organization meets the specific educational needs of this generation. Given the digital age of their upbringing, most members of this demographic grew up with extensive and immediate exposure to the Internet, cell phones, texting, tablets and so on. They are accustomed to instant access of ...

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12 Years a Slave is a 2013 British-American historical drama filmand an adaptation of the 1853 slave narrative memoir Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup, a New York State-born free African-American man who was kidnapped in Washington, D.C. in 1841 and sold into slavery.