Friday, February 24, 2012

2012 Customer Service Practices for Meetings

Libby Hoppe at Collaborate Meetings provides a beautiful definition of customer service- treating customers as individuals with individual needs.  When planning a meeting, attendees are the most crucial element and they are our customers. In order to retain their attendance, it is crucial to provide excellent customer service. Richard Shapiro, founder and president of the Center for Client Retention, has provided seven customer service musts for meeting planning in 2012:
  1. Engage the whole family by providing suggested daily activities
  2. Be eco-friendly by incorporating the company or organization’s green policies
  3. Engage attendees via social media outlets, allowing them to connect with each other and reach up to date information 24/7
  4. Influence the masses with support from key opinion leaders
  5. Offer bilingual staff, websites and directions to welcome international attendees
  6. Offer opt-out options on geolocation based technology

    And most importantly...
  7. ALWAYS have a staff member at a centrally-located and always open registration desk with a smile and desire to serve attendees needs
For more information, click here.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Go Green! “Hacienda Tres Rios Resort” in the Riviera Maya receives the Green Globe Achievement Award for 2011.

In January 2012, Hacienda Tres Rios Resort, Spa & Nature Park was awarded the Green Globe High Achievement Award for 2011. Only six hotels in the world received the distinction for their environmental conservation commitments.

The Green Globe Award is the global travel and tourism industry certification program for sustainable tourism. Green Globe Members save energy, water resources, reduce operational costs, positively contribute to local communities and their environment and meet the high expectations of green leisure and business travelers.

The Endless Luxury All Inclusive Plan at Hacienda Tres Rios combines warm hospitality and luxury 273 suites of native materials as well as an incredible gourmet experience. Its 326 acres of pristine tropical rainforest intersects by three freshwater rivers that are decorated by ten cave like sinkhole natural wells and is known as the only nature park in the Yucatan Peninsula that include three distinct ecosystems: jungle, mangrove forest and coastal dunes. 

For more information, please click here or here.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Top 5 2012 Meeting Technology Trends

The latest article posted by Corbin Ball Associates, “12+ Meetings Technology Trends to Watch for 2012,” provides an long list of up and coming technology trends for meeting planners and attendees. Here are some of our favorites.

One trend for smartphones that will be very useful in 2012 are the free and low cost phone applications for meetings, conferences, and events. Smartphone applications now have the ability to assist in your event planning through the distribution of event information, venue location finding, improving your green business through reducing paper needs and many more options. There are hundreds of mobile applications targeting meeting professionals and the event business, the possibilities are endless!

Like the idea of a meeting application for your phone? The second trend and most popular area of smartphone development for meeting planning is the “Do It Yourself” phone applications. You can create a customized app specifically for your meeting or event using services such as which allows you to customize information, logos and more for a monthly fee. is not the only site with an “events” option for creating your personalized event app. There are many other similar services or you can hire a designer per app.

The third smartphone trend for meeting and event planners in 2012 is “Near Field Communication” (NFC). NFC allows devices to communicate when they are touched together. There are many applications for this technology but we love it for its ability to trade business cards and contact information at meetings.

The fourth trend for smartphones in meeting planning business are the “Indoor Positioning Systems” to help attendees find their way around an event, meeting, or trade show. The standard GPS on smartphones stops working for attendees once they walk through the venue door, but what if they can’t find their way around once inside? The “Indoor Positioning System” allows precise positioning, personal navigation through a venue/exhibit hall with optimized routing, friend/contact finding, networking (with permission) and much, much more.

The fifth and final smartphone trend in 2012 most useful to planning professionals is the recent movement towards free and easy access to Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi makes all the smartphone trends possible. It is becoming a more standard contract addition. While some hotels and venues still charge for Wi-Fi many are offering it for free in meeting spaces and common areas.

Smartphone applications are the future of the event industry so be one of the first to utilize these resources and surprise your clients and attendees with your tech-savvy business!

For more information on the 2012 meeting technology trends, visit:

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Cowboys Stadium: Host of Super Bowl XLV, 2010 NBA All-Star Game, & National Training Workshop 2012?

Y’all looking for a unique way to invigorate and motivate your company’s key playmakers?  Look no further than Cowboys Stadium.  It’s no longer only the home of the Dallas football team, their famous cheerleaders, or Super Bowl XLV; it is the ideal venue to host corporate meetings, team-building activities, and receptions.

This iconic backdrop has more than 22 flexible event spaces, as well as the option for an indoor or outdoor meeting at the push of a button.  The stadium boasts the record for largest domed building in the world and the retractable roof permits for an open air event with piece of mind. 

The event space includes the field itself, two 30,000 square-foot Main Concourse clubs, two Silver Level clubs that each accommodates up to 225 guests, and two Field Level clubs.  The Cowboys locker room, six end-zone platforms, and a post-game interview room are other unparalleled spaces for private functions available throughout the year.  Each club features a variety of high-definition video displays, and many of them feature complete audio capabilities. 

Cowboys Stadium also houses the award-winning food and beverage service, Legends Hospitality Management.  The team is dedicated to using fresh and locally grown ingredients for a distinguishing and inventive culinary experience.   Any event at Cowboys stadium can be kicked up a notch with a visit by the beautiful Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders or Rowdy, the Cowboys’ cheerful Mascot.  The events staff can also arrange a behind-the-scenes tour of the stadium and the stadium’s museum-quality art collection.
Cowboys Stadium is located in Arlington, Texas, just 20 miles west of Dallas, making it the perfect location for nationwide companies. 

For more information, please click here.

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Social Media Policy Tightrope

As the social media scene changes policy becomes more important. Some companies will fall behind and some will become the cutting edge of social media policy. But almost everyone will try to over control their employees or members when walking the policy tightrope.

This is the age of smart phones and tablets and you will see more and more people interacting with social media to talk about their company, association or events that they attend. It is no longer considered forbidden to have your cell phone out during a lecture or to tweet from a networking event. But how do we control everything people say about our companies or events? We can’t.

Trying to over control the output of employees, members and attendees can create disgruntled social media gurus who will in turn post negative things about you. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t restrict posting at all, it just means your policy should be realistic. If your employees want to tweet about a long day at work you can’t stop them. But you can make it a policy not to disclose client information or confidential company information.

Trying to stop all conversations from people that interact with you can actually be a detriment. This stops the genuine conversations that now happen predominantly online. These conversations actually help to give your brand credibility and bring a human aspect when needed. Starting the conversation can be as easy as interacting with employees you already have via social media.

When walking the tightrope of policy, make sure to think about all the consequences of your restrictions and rethink any that don’t align with your company values or your goals for social media. A policy is necessary but it’s up to you how to use it.

For more information click here.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A New Horizon for a Small Island

Hyatt Hotels Corporation recently has announced the opening of Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Villas. This will be the first resort style property on the island of Saadiyat the UAE.

This Park Hyatt will boast 306 guest rooms and villas and has been designed as an “urban resort” concept by New York-based architect Perkins Eastman and Singapore-based designer Wilson Associates. This resort style hotel also boasts a 18 hole golf course and top of the line spa. Located on the Arabian ocean front the views from any part of the hotel are spectacular.

Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi also has enough meeting space to host anything from a banquet of 500 to an intimate board meeting. With plenty of outdoor areas for receptions and special events the Park Hyatt really has it all.

The Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority expects to receive 2.7 million visitors by 2012 and has plans to open many new attractions including museums to become a hotspot for the culturally curious.

For more information visit