Meetings Focus Blog

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


Unplugging Can Be the Best Way to Connect

In a meetings industry—and world—increasingly focused on mobile devices and techie connectivity, really getting away from it all has become more challenging than ever. The same tools and platforms that once seemed designed to free us from the office can serve us as a double-edged sword, providing planners and attendees with a 24/7 accessibility that makes it impossible to truly escape the office hustle and bustle for even an instant. I recently explored the meetings landscape for a variety of ‘unplugged’ locales that make disconnecting a snap, leaving your attendees free to network, brainstorm or just play in a wireless way ...

Want Happiness? Get Education

A friend recently posted the following quote on their Facebook page: "Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely." -- Karen Kaiser Clark And it inspired me to answer the question I have been asked several times - "Do I have to continue with education?" Quite frankly, no. It is optional. But remember, life will continue to change. New challenges will be presented as well as new opportunities. Growing into those challenges and those opportunities are your choice. Understand each of those challenges and opportunities are a prospect to learn—to be educated—to glean continuing education. Each offer you the opportunity to grow...and be ...

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. ...

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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.