Meetings Focus Blog

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


Author: Joan Eisenstodt

Joan Eisenstodt, is president of Washington D.C.-based Eisenstodt Associates, and a meetings and hospitality consultant, facilitator and trainer.


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 …

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 …

Site Selection: The Questions Continue

In a recent blog on destination selection, I covered tips on what to look for in air and ground transportation and local activities were covered. In the April 30 webinar (scroll down to "On Demand" webinars and the one titled "Site Selection Best Practices"), destination and site safety and security (including destination infrastructure issues), labor conditions, sustainability (of people and the environment), CSR – corporate social responsibility, and accessibility for people with disabilities were discussed with tips about what to do when a group is seeking destinations and sites. (You can listen to the webinar at any time and send …

Destination Selection – But Wait…There’s More!

In the April 2014 issue of Meetings Focus and online, industry veteran planners shared their expertise on site selection. It was just the tip of…well, I was going to say “iceberg,” but they are melting. So let’s say it scratched the surface! In this blog and during the 4/30/14 Site Selection Best Practices webinar, I’ll explore other areas and issues often overlooked when meeting destinations and sites are considered. I’ll use a technique called Q-storming® within each area to provide some questions you can ask. Use the following content as a guide to start your own list of questions. I hope too …

Taking a Stand for People in Hospitality

This blog, as do all the blogs I write, does not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Stamats, the parent company of Meetings Focus, or of Meetings Focus magazine. If you follow the news at all, you probably heard the Arizona Legislature recently passed SB 1062 that would have allowed businesses in the state to discriminate against people who are Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or Transgender (LGBT) on the basis of the business owner’s or individual’s religious beliefs. Supporters of the bill said it would help protect religious freedom. There was an outcry from the hospitality community including American Airlines and Marriott Hotels; from sports (the …

A picture is worth a thousand words

Illustrations can attract or repel us. When marketing products – and in our industry, facilities, destinations and attractions, images are used to draw us in, so we can imagine ourselves in the portrayed setting. Photos and illustrations are used to generate emotion. We smile at something cute (often a small animal or baby) or cry at something sad (a returning veteran who has lost limbs in the war). Sometimes a newscaster will warn the audience the images they are about to see may offend some or will be too harsh for children to view. Not the words that will be …

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