Meetings Focus Blog

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


Why Aren’t Meeting Breaks More Fun?

(Photo Credit: Reiko Renee Tate) Here’s how this blog came to be, and came to be the inaugural blog for Friday With Joan*: I saw this Washington Post article about the global dominance of Oreos and was fascinated. It caused me to make a puzzled face and wonder why I’d never (ever—in 40 some years!) seen Oreos on break tables at meetings or conferences, even at IACC conference centers! That lead to some thinking and research about Oreos (do a search; the supply of links is endless!) and breaks at meetings; an interview with Patti Shock, hospitality F&B guru, an Oreo ...

If Your Event's Drone Takes Down My Plane...

I don't get it. Our industry is pushing, in recent articles from FreemanXP and BizBash and even, with a bit of caution, Meetings Focus, for the use of drones for meetings and events. Event Marketer mentions the pitfalls of using drones at events, but there's really more about the great opportunity of using them. I don't get why we need drones for our events. Is it because they are the latest “cool thing” and we have to be cool because style trumps content? Living in a no-drone-fly area [not within 15 miles of DCA], I'm fortunate to not have to worry ...

Is Hospitality the Opposite of Hate?

While reading the 8/17/15 edition of The Washington Post, I cried.  The death of Julian Bond, one of my heroes, saddened me because there was now one fewer person to fight injustice. Sad because I had forgotten about the ultimate sacrifice made by Jonathan Myrick Daniels, a young, white, Episcopal seminarian and civil rights activist, when he saved the life of a young black woman, Ruby Sales (August 14 is now on my calendar to observe that day he, a white man of privilege, chose the less easy path). I cried because I was horrified by the xenophobia (again) in Germany and ...

Scenery Steals the Show in Western Colorado

Colorado’s Gateway Canyons Resort, near the Utah border in the state’s western realms, is one of those places that feels wildly remote but is actually pretty accessible. Just over an hour’s drive from the Grand Junction airport, the property is an oasis of outdoor experiences, lush comfort and—dominating every visit—spectacular vistas. If there were a world record for most pictures taken on a media FAM, my group must have shattered it during our recent visit. Whether from high plateaus reached during UTV and horseback-riding outings, aboard a helicopter zipping through Grand Canyon-esque terrain or just strolling the sprawling property, photogenic ...

When the Political Becomes Practical

(Photo Credit: Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com) Donald Trump, a U.S. business mogul and TV personality, made controversial remarks in his announcement to run for President of the United States and has subsequently made more. In his announcement, he referred to people from Mexico and even to the entire country in ways that were, in my opinion and that of many, insulting at the very least. That caused an international brouhaha including one in the District of Columbia, where I live and work, and where the tourism and hospitality industry is a major contributor to the economy. The District is also the site ...

12 Tips to Improve Sustainability at Your Next Event

Hornblower Cruises & Events offers 12 tips to improve sustainability at your next event (pictured above is the Hornblower Hybrid sustainable yacht). Go paperless by using apps or providing USB drives with handouts, speaker bios, agendas and show guides. CrowdCompass mobile apps can help. Design menus around seasonal produce (e.g. Winter, Autumn). Use fair trade coffee, tea and chocolate. Build relationships with farm-to-table caterers and venues. Incorporate ocean-to-table seafood dining into your events. Provide jugs of water instead of plastic water bottles. Give attendees refillable water bottles and provide filling stations. Ensure that all disposables are sustainable and, if possible, compostable. Eco-kits have compostable plates cups, glasses and ...