Friday, March 30, 2012

QR Frenzy!

Finding ways to use the newest technology is gaining speed as it becomes a priority for many events.  Not only is the use of apps on the rise but so is the use of QR codes according to an article in BizBash recently.  The number of places that you can find QR codes and the amount of information they can link you to is steadily rising also.

In the early days of this technology you would find these codes mostly in print.  Now we are finding them hiding in some very creative places.    Tiffany & Company recently put them on cookies as an invitation to its Fashion’s Night Out and Toronto’s Boobyball fundraiser for breast cancer research placed the codes on the chests of topless male models.

As the locations of these codes expands so do their purposes.  QR codes are now leading their avid scanners to videos, product information, contests, invitations and even digital business cards.  It’s great to know about all the places they can take us but it is important that as meeting planners we understand how to make the most of the technology. 

When creating a QR code, we must remember that the content we link to should be optimized for mobile viewing.  These codes are most often scanned by smart phones.  Because there are many different apps for QR scanning, make sure to test your code with as many scanners as possible. 

Find a way to track the data- these codes can tell you where the scan takes place, if it is shared, or what type of device is used to scan it.  This information can help you to narrow down your demographics and tailor the information that you share.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Go Green..and save Green! Sustainability in Meeting Planning

“If you truly want on top of what’s going on in your game, you have no choice but to engage in sustainability,” says Amy Spatrisano, co-founder of the Green Meeting Industry Council. In today’s world, it is becoming taboo to not live a sustainable lifestyle, and businesses must start considering how they too can become green in order to stay competitive.

Unfortunately, there are still many misconceptions about businesses “going green.” The Green Meeting Industry Council wants to change this by educating meeting planners on sustainable business and event practices. They offer free webinars on green events, CSR, and sustainability through their website, The Green Meeting Industry Council also holds an annual Sustainable Meetings Conference which brings together those interested in green event planning for workshops and education.

For those who may think that “going green” means spending extra green, think again! Sustainable businesses may actually end up saving money. Many planners believe green meetings cost more- however, many of the greener aspects of meetings are actually cost-savings measures: eliminating ground transportation or carpooling airport transfers, reusing signage, doing away with bottled waters… the list goes on:
-Utilize a LEED certified event space. LEED certified buildings are held to a ustainability standard based on their construction, design, and operation practices.
-Instead of providing bottled water, give participants a reusable water bottle and have water stations around your event
-Reuse signage
-Reduce the amount of papers by sending event information electronically – everyone can access it on their smartphones!
For more information on the meeting planning industry’s move to green, please check out One+ Magazine’s article “It’s Easy Being Green when You Have the Right Tools” in their March 2012 issue.

Friday, March 16, 2012

“Book” Your Next Advisory Board Here!

Manhattan’s the Library Hotel is a truly unique experience for leisure and business traveler’s alike. This boutique hotel, offering some of the best views of New York City’s Public Library, keeps in theme while offering a sophisticated sanctuary in the heart of the city. Just two blocks from Grand Central station, this hotel is an oasis from the hustle and bustle on the streets below.

The hotel offers over 6,000 volumes of books, categorized, as every other library using the Dewey Decimal system. Each of the ten guestroom floors honors on of the 10 categories of the classification system. To take it one step further, each guestroom is stocked with exquisite artwork and a collection of books relevant to its own distinctive topic within the floor’s category. The hotel’s honeymoon room is number 1100.006 (1100 referring to Philosophy and 006 referring to Love).

The hotel offers 60 rooms and a few intimate meeting spaces including the Executive Inspiration Boardroom, seating up to 12, the Writer’s Den, comfortably accommodating 20 reception-style, and the Poetry Garden, an indoor greenhouse, perfect for the group’s breakfast and lunch functions. For your next Advisory Board, lobby to book all of your doctors on the math and science floor!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Brain Energizing Breaks: Keeping Attendees Engaged

Meeting breaks are a necessary aspect of meetings and conferences, yet many planners are unaware of their vital importance to our brain function. They contribute to brain retention and productivity and are extremely beneficial to attendees. The most effective meeting breaks are those that are physically and mentally engaging, for example: games, networking, team building and outdoor activities.

People can only listen for a certain amount of time before needing a mental break. Breaks for silent reflection are shown to be extremely beneficial to our brains because it allows them to recharge. After a 20-30 minute seminar, a 10-15 minute silent break can refresh and revive the brain and prepare it for new information.

Meeting breaks should always have a strong purpose. At Sales Meeting and other internal company meeting, networking and team building breaks remind the attendees of why they are there- to work together to make their company the best it can be. Breaks can also include lighthearted play that energizes attendees. Having games outdoors makes these breaks even more beneficial.  An example of a fun team building activity is a scavenger hunt around the meeting property. Attendees must join together to find such items as a chef’s hat or towel with the hotel’s emblem on it. This kind of activity allows people to work together and form alliances that bring everyone together. It is proven that when people are given permission to play their barriers break down and their eyes and ears are more open to information.

Food plays a very important role in keeping everyone alert, and incorporating food into meeting breaks can improve the overall experience as well as brain function. The best types of food to eat during breaks are those that do not contain sugar, flower, or caffeine. Of course, coffee and tea are sometimes a necessary aspect of keeping our brains awake; however water is much more beneficial to brain retention. Planners can design food breaks to encourage creativity among attendees. For example if the meeting or conference is for a specific company, the food can reflect the company colors.

Energizing and engaging meeting breaks can make a huge difference in the effectiveness of a meeting. They are extremely beneficial to the attendee by encouraging creativity, friendship and reflection.

For more information, see “Brain-Power Breaks” in Meeting Focus East Magazine (September 2011).

Friday, March 2, 2012

Who Said Not to Mix Business with Pleasure?

Full service hotel + ample meeting space + world class dining + full casino = Desert Diamond Casino.

Your upcoming meeting, conference, or company social is sure to be a crowd favorite at the Desert Diamond Casino.  Located just a few miles away from the Tucson International Airport, this Arizona gem boasts superior accommodations and impressive guest services. 

The venue has 148 guest rooms and a conference center over 11,000 sq-ft, including seven separate meeting rooms.  With amenities like an outdoor pool, fitness center, and coffee bar, this resort offers luxury alongside business, also coming with wireless internet, a business center, and modern room features. 

A 170,000 square-foot casino brings the excitement to any business function.  Complete with 1,089 slot machines, 24 blackjack tables, 25 poker tables, a 500 seat Bingo Hall and a 35 seat Keno area, this casino delivers sophistication and excitement.   A smoke-free gaming area and poker room is also available for patrons looking to enjoy the games without the typical casino atmosphere. 

After a long day’s meeting, and a few hands of blackjack, guests can let loose at the Monsoon Night Club, which offers live entertainment ranging from well-known acts to up and coming artists.

Dining options are available for all budgets and schedules.  Whether it’s world-class fine dining at The Steak House, or becoming engulfed in the daily themed menus at The Buffet, every palate is sure to be amused.  For the meeting guest on the go, a 24-hour food court is available to grab a quick bite on a break.

The Desert Diamond Casino in Tucson, Arizona is a great option for anyone looking to add some flair to their next meeting.  The combination of attentive service, alluring attractions, and flexible dining options makes Desert Diamond Casino an all-around crowd pleaser. 

For more information, please visit: