Meetings Focus Blog

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


Best Practices for Calculating Hotel Food & Beverage Minimums

As a planner, one of the most important parts of a program is not only the quality of the food, but staying within one’s food and beverage budget. To assist clients in staying within their means, hotels have developed suggested spend per person as a guide. In most cases, food and beverage minimums are set on the client’s anticipated spend by calculating the number of attendees by the hotel's average banquet pricing. Depending on this number and the hotel's revenue requirements to contract function space, rental may be charged and/or a higher food and beverage minimum may be set ...

Millennials Don't Own 'Mentoring'

I seem to be offering up a lot of my time lately—for coffee. Beyond what is needed for the copious amounts of coffee I already drink (Yes, Starbucks is loving me right now). For example, this past month I have "met for coffee" with five different hospitality students who are looking for mentoring as they enter the industry. Seeking advice, tips, knowledge, ways to make additional connections, and insight. This got me thinking, isn't mentoring just another form of continuing education? Generally when the word "mentoring" is tossed around, I always get a quick image of a youthful junior individual eagerly listening ...

Is the Meetings Industry Corrupt?

Outside the Metro D.C. area, you may not have been following the recent trial of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife on bribery and corruption charges. You should give it a look, not only for the sordid details and innuendo, but for the bigger ethics issues for those who hold elected office, those who are state, county or municipal employees, and for all those who work in our industry.   Why? Because none of this is clear: Why meetings and hospitality industry ethics policies are aspirational, except for the one governing CMPs and its disciplinary procedures. How our industry ...

A Look at Meetings of the Future

As I gaze into my crystal ball I see the future of meetings. What does it look like? As a kid I watched a cartoon called The Jetsons about a futuristic family living in 2062 with holograms, hovercraft-type transportation and aliens.  I liked Judy, the daughter in the family with her floating robotic diary and their robotic maid Rosie. So thinking about the future, do I see robots managing registration, or hovercrafts transporting attendees from various hotels? Wouldn’t it be great to fly over traffic in lieu of busing in a city? Whatever happens, technology will impact our meetings future. ...

What Women Want…From Their Hotels

After extensive research and surveys of many female meeting planners as well as individual business and leisure travelers, Hyatt has compiled a list of how hotels can better service the most well-traveled and discriminating customers, both male and female. Whether you are planning a large conference or small board meeting, it’s important to know what’s at the top of the most commonly listed hotel requests from some of your most particular constituents. Here is a look at the top accommodations respondents were looking for: Availability of frequently forgotten items (think toothpaste and razors). Accommodations for healthy menu offerings (like smaller ...

Upcycling Casinos, Hotels and Convention Centers

In 2008, the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) convened the Global Summit on Social Responsibility, created for association professionals and business partners to talk about the UN Global Compact (that was signed by many organizations and companies, including Meeting Professionals International (MPI)), the future and our roles in it. The Global Compact's Ten Principles is worth reading again if you did before; especially so if you haven't. It was a privilege to be invited to participate in these three intense days of face-to-face and virtual interaction, and it was exciting to focus on any number of issues within the ...

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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.