Misc Tidbits Event Industry Networking, orlando, pcma
Planner alert! We all know Orlando as the home of SeaWorld, Universal Studios, Shamu and Mickey Mouse. What you might not know is that the city offers everything you expect from a major urban area including Dining Districts featuring creative cuisine served up by world class chefs.
Thanks to Visit Orlando and the Orange County Convention Center, I was part of a group invited to experience an epicurean evening. Starting with Champagne and appetizers at the K restaurant in downtown Orlando (you must try their Shrimp and Grits) we moved on to The Table Orlando.
Founded in 2003 by Loren and Tyler Brassil (both strong chefs) we were treated to their unique interpretation of New American Cuisine during a 5-course food and wine pairing. The menu changes every day and is designed around the freshest, most seasonable produce available from local farmers. They make everything in house (they’ve even created their own water!
However, what makes this a truly matchless experience evolves from their philosophy – “Pleasure in the Job Puts Perfection in the Work.” Operationally, this translates into an elegant and exclusive evening with limited seating at a singular table, similar to a dinner party. Beginning with wine and bites at the bar, we were treated to an elegant and surprising menu designed from local, seasonal, organic and sustainable foods.
For planners interested in adding a different dimension to your routine dinner event, look no further than The Table Orlando. No disrespect to Walt Disney – but it’s a magical experience and a new reason to choose Orlando for your meeting or incentive event.
Trade Shows meeting ideas, pcma
As usual, PCMA found new risks to take in Orlando this week. Design, engagement, and innovation were the keywords highlighting their theme of new ideas and new formats – and they chose to showcase two innovative ways to reconstruct the lunch programs.
Planners listen up as these concepts were intended to spur ideas for your own events!
Beginning with a novel approach to the Celebrate PCMA Awards Luncheon, the caterer was tasked with serving four menus along with four styles of service at once. Attendees got to choose in one of the following sections:
- Comfort Food
- Small Plates, Big Tastes
- Classic French
- Healthy Trends
I can only imagine what must have been going on back in the Convention Center kitchens – but this idea worked for the attendees!!
The second attempt was not quite as successful…perhaps it just needs a bit more tweaking. The Show Reimagined Networking Luncheon featured chef-attended stations positioned strategically throughout a huge hall interspersed with stages offering educational experiences.
It was more than a bit overwhelming for many as the result was long lines for the food and confusion concerning how to combine eating, networking, roaming (did I mention it was a HUGE space) and learning to get the most out of the experience.
Overall, PCMA deserves kudos for creating an out of the box experience for attendees!
Trade Shows delta air lines, Marriott, meeting industry, pcma, technology
As usual, your intrepid CP.com blogger was knee deep in evaluating the best Education Sessions to cover at PCMA. There were so many interesting topics laid out like a buffet with choices suited to everyone’s “knowledge” palate.
I began with a Master Series Session: Through the Informed Looking Glass. Peter Yesawich, one of America’s foremost travel and tourism industry gurus, mediated a discussion with David Townshend, V.P. Global Sales for Marriott International and Bob Somers, V.P. Global Sales, Delta Air Lines, Inc. – both organizations are supplier members of ConventionPlanit.com.
Interesting take-aways were:
- The “new frugal” is dictating American travelers profiles. Pricing power is back but only for premium quality.
- Technology is a controversial subject for meeting planners and suppliers alike as delegates can (with a couple of clicks) see all the prices. This hinders the ability to negotiate rates and fees for services.
- Everything needs to be done at “Internet Speed” whereby planners are tasked with shortening 4 day meetings to 3 or 3 day events to 2 days. This is just one example of a push toward more efficient use of time which has huge implications for the meetings industry.
- Airlines using mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and code sharing to stabilize the industry. Consolidation should not lead to commoditization with regard to the meeting industry.
- The hotel industry seeing demand in the U.S. association segment strong along with an increasing number of corporate meetings. Mandates by customers addicted to “connectivity” will drive hotels to pump more bandwidth into facilities.
What trends are you seeing in the industry? Where do you see 2013 taking us?
Trade Shows meeting industry, pcma
The PCMA Convening Leaders 2013 being held in Orlando Jan. 13-16 got off to a “whale” of a start during the opening Reception – 6 whales to be exact.
Shamu Rocks was a spectacular mixture of rock music and water gymnastics performed by these beautiful (and graceful for their size) stars of Seaworld who performed for the PCMA audience.
Food and beverage played its’ usual part, but it was these “denizens of the deep” that wowed the crowd!!
Trade Shows Event Industry Networking, meeting experiences, meeting industry, pcma
One of the highlights of the annual Convening Leaders Conference is the Hospitality Helping Hands service project. This year was no different as a captive group of new and returning participants rolled up their sleeves and pitched in where they were needed yesterday. Their choices were the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida Inc. and the Clean the World Foundation Inc.
About 50 PCMA volunteers served breakfast, cleaned toys, playground equipment, and the kitchen, painted offices, and worked on arts and crafts with children for the Coalition for the Homeless. Another 100 PCMA volunteers cleaned and scraped used bars of soap for repackaging and assembling into hygiene kits for Clean the World.
The Orlando 2013 Host Committee recommended the two projects, said Vicky Betzig, CMP, PCMA’s director of meetings and events. The Coalition for the Homeless works to return residents to self-sufficiency through counseling, job training, and educational programs. Clean the World is a hospitality-industry-based organization that recycles guest-room hygiene items from hotels and redistributes them for humanitarian purposes.
Stay tuned for more from PCMA tomorrow on the blog!
Member News charity, holiday travel
The holiday season is more than just a time for hotels and venues to count on increased revenue from holiday travelers and vacationers. It is a time for them to give back to the communities they serve. Companies from around the country are taking time this holiday season to host events that will raise donations for charity.
Washington Duke Inn and Golf Club in Durham, North Carolina hosts a “Cookies are not just for Santa” event on December 9. The event consists of story telling, cookie decorating, and of course, a visit from Santa. The event benefits the John Avery Boys and Girls Club and Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Triangle.
The Marriott and Renaissance Hotels of Greater Washington, DC are bringing Christmas joy by supporting Toys for Tots. Guests staying at one of 21 participants from Washington, DC Marriott and Renaissance hotels this holiday season can help bring joy to children in need. Happiness for the Holidays package hotel in Washington, DC includes luxury accommodation and a selection of gifts that will be paid $20 to Toys for Tots holiday charity. As part of the experience of booking, guests can visit the Happiness for the Holidays online store, http://www.happinessfortheholidays.com/gift/ and choose from a selection of toys give to charity this holiday season.
Kimpton’s Hotel Monaco Chicago is hosing a week-long White Elephant Charity Exchange with proceeds to benefit Chicago’s Children’s Memorial Hospital (CCMH). Guests and locals alike are invited to bring an unwrapped present to the lobby of the hotel; in exchange, the giver will then choose their own present from among those previously exchanged. For each gift exchanged the Monaco Chicago will donate $2 to CCMH. In addition to the monetary donation, the Monaco Chicago will also hold a drive to collect gift cards for families at CCMH.
The entire Southern California hospitality world will come together December 9-11, 2012 for the 2012 holiday extravaganza at the newly refurbished Rancho Las Palmas Resort and Spa in Rancho Mirage. During the course of the two-day event attendees help raise money for charities through a 5K run, an amazing golf tournament, and an all-new Give Back Get Back event.
ATC Travel Management, a travel agency specializing in serving nonprofit organizations, has raised its commitment to charitable causes to a high level by donating 10 percent of company profits to a range of causes, an effort that is especially welcome during the holiday season when so many organizations need assistance.
“We have an ongoing commitment to give both time and money, and much of our giving goes to charitable causes that our employees identify and support,” says company President Heather Burkee Scherer. “We feel it our responsibility to give back to the community.” For example, ATC supports White Fields Foundation, which funds ministries to inner-city youth in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania region.
ATC Travel Management COO Jim Burkee is Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the Milwaukee Rescue Mission, which serves the homeless in southeastern Wisconsin, and the company also provides financial support. Mike Frounfelter, ATC’s Manager of Information Systems, is President and Founder of Labrador Harbor, a rescue mission for Labrador retrievers, another recipient of company donations. Scherer also volunteers for Hospice Care in Washington, DC and Capital Caring in Alexandria, Virginia.
For the past four years, Site Solutions Worldwide, a meeting services company, has been participating in the Chamber of Southern Saratoga County - Chamber Angels Program. “It gets us to remember what the Holidays are really all about,” says Christine King, a Site Solutions meeting consultant. “The whole team gets involved in this program – we sponsor two children from a family in our community and help make their Christmas extra special.”
The 20F Street NW Conference Center in Washington, D.C. takes time around the holiday season to focus on how to help others in need. This year the venue will participate in the Toys for Tots Program by collecting unwrapped toys for newborns to children 14 years old. A collection box for these toys will be located in the lobby to make it easy and convenient for people to make donations.
In a season of excess, it is wonderful to see so many members of the ConventionPlanit.com family giving back and helping those in need.
Contests meeting planner help, meeting planning services
If you are reading this blog, the company ConventionPlanit.com definitely rings a bell – but do you really know how ConventionPlanit.com can help meeting planners?
ConventionPlanit.com is full of ways to improve meeting planner productivity and make the site selection process less stressful.
Take a quick tour of the website to find out how, and receive a $25 American Express Rewards Card* in return!
To register for a site tour, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rewards Cards available exclusively for meeting planners.
Tips charity, volunteer
ConventionPlanit.com supplier members and meeting planners – we want your news!
We are in the process of compiling the annual holiday e-Alert newsletter, which always includes news from our members and meeting planners who use the website.
Tell us what special activities your destination or facility have planned for the holidays, in addition to any special volunteerism or charitable works you are participating in as an organization.
Comment on this post to share your holiday happenings. The holiday newsletter goes out Tuesday, December 4.
Places to Stay, Tips for Meeting Planners advisory council, alexandria meeting hotels, Kimpton, meeting ideas, meeting planning services, travel portland
Has November been a busy month or what? Two weeks ago, we held our annual Advisory Council Meeting with the meeting planners who helped design CP.com (and help to constantly improve it!)
This year, our meeting was sponsored by CP member Travel Portland. We convened at the Hotel Monaco Alexandria, which is located right in the heart of old town Alexandria, Virginia. The meeting planners shared many thoughts on their biggest issues in the industry and ways to make ConventionPlanit.com more useful to them.
Hotel Monaco Alexandria delighted the group with gourmet food from its restaurant, Jackson 20, and a spacious suite overlooking the beautiful hotel courtyard. The hazelnut apple strudel was my favorite part!
View of the Monaco’s courtyard from our balcony. Our meeting suite had an entire wall with this great view!
Travel Portland updated the group on exciting new changes coming to that city. Portland has a strong dedication to green meetings, and has even invited other cities to seminars to teach them these practices. Did you know that the Portland Convention Center is the only center in the country with a martini bar onsite?
The meeting planners provided great feedback on RFP Organization, a service in which ConventionPlanit.com compiles RFP responses for planners into comparable spreadsheets. They recommend a section on the RFP submission form for planners to include the name of their NSO or hotel contact. This change will be made soon.
One problem council members have experienced in the industry lately pertains to smaller board meetings. When they submit an RFP for a smaller board meeting of around 20 room nights, they do not always receive the same attention from the hotel staff as they would with a larger meeting. If a group has a negative experience with a smaller meeting, the impression has already been made and they will not consider the hotel for a future meeting. The council would like the hotels to take this into consideration when responding to their RFPs.
Attendees also raised concerns regarding government RFPs. With new regulations in place for food and beverage, hoteliers need to pay close attention when responding to government leads. ConventionPlanit.com will develop a government RFP checklist, which will be sent to member hotels with any government RFPs to ensure they are responding properly.
The meeting planners expressed a desire for a master calendar of city events, which will be coming soon to ConventionPlanit.com. The calendar will include events planners want to avoid when selecting dates in addition to events that would bring them to a city over specific dates. ConventionPlanit.com will work closely with member bureaus to create this calendar.
The council brainstormed some ideas for future articles in this newsletter – stay tuned for those! The group was also eager to help spread the word about ConventionPlanit.com to their favorite hotels and destinations.
No meeting is complete without a group photo! Back Row: Katherine Markham, CHME; David Markham; Eric Hatch; Mike Smith; Mary Power, CAE. Front Row: Gary Rosenberg, CMP; Betti Kelso; Cara Tobias Ingram; Gail Tannenbaum; Kasey McNeil; Ashley Chalmers; Julio Rodriguez, CMP.
Our afternoon ended with a toast of Portland wine. Thanks Travel Portland!
The Advisory Council provided us with great feedback that will lead to many exciting new updates to ConventionPlanit.com. If you are a meeting planner with ideas or suggestions for the website, we encourage comments any time at email@example.com.
Trade Shows imex, philippine department of tourism, switzerland meetings, united airlines, World Marketing Group
All kinds of news has been coming out of IMEX America, which in just its second year, has quickly become a major platform for announcements pertaining to the global meeting and events industry. One of the latest has DMCs celebrating a milestone during the show.
It appears that the lexicon “Destination Management” was first used in the early 1970’s. The term was actually coined in the United States by the founder of California Leisure Consultants which is now ACCESS Destination Services. He convinced the San Diego Convention Bureau to officially adopt the term to distinguish full-service DMCs from a variety of single-service providers and “ground operators,” as they were previously called.
Our premiere DMC supplier member World Marketing Group not only had a booth at IMEX America but they also sponsored a breakfast on behalf of the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism. Your intrepid blogger was invited to attend along with several members of our hosted buyer group. The Ministry announced 10 Indonesian destinations, including Bali, that are open and ready to handle MICE business. It was great to be educated on this less known but fascinating part of the world.
Activity at the World Marketing Group stand.
A walk with “Super Star” Ray Bloom through the IMEX America extravaganza (A.K.A. the trade show floor) was an added treat for your intrepid blogger.
First we stopped that the Columbia booth for a Columbian coffee treat and then dodged a number of excited suppliers and planners who wanted to congratulate Ray on the great job again this year. We ended our journey at the ConventionPlanit.com booth where David Markham was hard at work educating new planners on the site.
ConventionPlanit.com Co-Founder David Markham chatting with a meeting planner.
The fun-loving (and always creative) team at CP.com supplier member Switzerland Convention and Incentive Bureau had planners flocking to their booth for the opportunity to win a 7 day trip to their magnificent country. Caroline Pidroni, the Director of Sales & Marketing for North America shared that “the hosted buyer appointments were very good…IMEX is the one major North American show we exhibit at. We’ve expanded our booth this year to show our commitment to the U.S. market.”
The United Airlines stand was bustling with activity. Check out their newly updated listing on ConventionPlanit.com!
Susan Hennig, Sales Manager for Meeting, Incentive & Group Sales talks to a client at the United Airlines booth.
It was a treat to visit with our friends with the Philippine Department of Tourism in their colorful and lively booth surroundings.
ConventionPlanit.com Director of Global Accounts and Travelling Blogger, Maureen Pickell chats with Stanie Soriano, Officer-in-Charge, M.I.C.E. and Business Development Unit in their colorful booth at IMEX America.
“Leaving Las Vegas” is never easy and was complicated even more by bad weather delaying CP.com staff departures upon the completion of IMEX America. Waiting around provided time to reflect on a successful business venture and has Katherine, David and I looking forward to the show next year, October 23-25, 2013.
Stephanie will be sending out a save the date to our planners soon…we would like to extend this opportunity to one and all!