Meetings Focus Blog

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


Not Your Elevator Speech - Your Story!

An article, an obituary, a cartoon and a class contributed to the thinking behind the creation of this blog. And more, to thinking about our individual stories. The article: From The New Yorker, Mary Norris’ story "Holy Writ", tells of her winding road to becoming the “Comma Queen” at that publication. The telling of her story and the story itself delighted me! (OY! Am I missing necessary commas?). Her early life, her decisions, the chance encounters, her risks, and opportunities, are like many of ours. Perhaps the difference is that, in her story, she took advantage of the un-outlined chapter. Her ...

Dubai Goes All In On Spectacular

Gazing out my window from the Address Downtown hotel in Dubai on a recent FAM visit, viewing the world’s tallest building and the world’s largest fountain system up-close, some words from a media colleague from the UK came to mind: “Dubai doesn’t do things by halves, do they?” The English have a way of putting things, and that remark sums up the dazzling United Arab Emirates city perfectly. Everywhere you look there are mind-boggling offerings, with countless others on the way, and it’s hard to picture a place more perfectly designed to impress a visiting group. How many cities do you know ...

Let's Go to the Videotape! Verifying Someone's Story

If you are following the news, you have probably heard that NBC is fact-checking Brian Williams of NBC Nightly News regarding his telling, differently, a story when he was embedded. This post from Alan Bean, someone I trust when it comes to ethics and justice, though our religious beliefs differ, provides enlightenment about something referred to as "false memory." This is shared not to debate what Mr. Williams and others may have done. It is provided for the "false memory" references from Mr. Bean. It was brought to mind because of the many interviews I have conducted for clients with those they are ...

7 Predictions and 6 Resolutions for 2015

When I began drafting this blog, I ran the idea by a colleague who has been a hotel CSM and sales manager—with a third party—and is now a director of meetings at a major medical association. He laughed with me as I said, “Whatever I predict could have an opposite and equal prediction!" And so it is. Predictions 1. Hotel rates will go up in some markets and down in others.  2. Non-U.S. individuals and entities will continue to buy and own hotels which may cause more brouhaha (like it did when the Sultan of Brunei purchased the Plaza in New York) among some ...

How Meetings Can Help Reduce Alzheimer's

Being an individual who embraces continuing education and further learning—I am continuously fascinated by the human brain. The cognitive ability of the brain to gather and retain knowledge is powerful, as is the cognitive decline of the brain as seen in patients who have Alzheimer's or dementia. The balance between the strength of the brain and the fragility of the brain is potent. Recently I read an article which reflected on a review published in the New England Journal of Medicine showing a decline in dementia rates from 1994 to 2011 in both the U.S. and Europe. Furthermore, an analysis ...

Home Stay Accommodations & Meetings Impact

Home rentals are an increasingly popular choice for meeting attendees. Using an online service such as Airbnb, VRBO, HomeAway, or even Couchsurfing, guests can choose to stay in more spacious accommodations, frequently at lower cost, rather than pay the hotel group rate negotiated by the meeting sponsor. With the rise of home-sharing services, meeting organizers may consider making these arrangements an option for attendees, even listing them in meeting registration materials. These services are even reaching out to gain a share of the meeting business. These may be attractive alternative accommodations. But meeting planners who suggest that their guests consider home stays ...

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