Real options for professional growth

December 11th, 2017 @

The Oregon Trail Generation is an outstandingly apt title for those born between 1977 and 1981, so named as many members of this group played the epic educational game The Oregon Trail during elementary school computer classes. This generational segment possesses “both a healthy portion of Gen X grunge cynicism, and a dash of the unbridled optimism of Millennials,” according to Anna Garvey, the writer who coined the term.

Oregon TrailDuring a time in which we were sponges seeking any and all data, we crossed our fingers hoping our digital oxen didn’t drown as we tried to ford the river. (And like many people my age, I, too, experienced countless virtual deaths by digital dysentery.) Along with a keyboard typing course, this was standard computer-based education for my generation until the final years of high school when CD-ROM encyclopedias and, for the lucky ones, 2400 baud modems became more widespread. Then everything changed. The free expanse of the World Wide Web’s growing well of data led to, a few years later, overload via the information super-highway, and we struggled to manage the flood of input.

By most accounts, that overload got worse in the decades that followed—we went from struggling with AOL access number busy signals to having perfect connectivity, always on and embracing a new ridiculous meme each day. In the process, thanks to the hard work of information curators flexing human logic and fancy algorithms, that endless well of data was organized so now computers can deliver real education in ways of which we could have only dreamed while hunting pixelated bison in the 1980s.

In reading the latest issue of Plan Your Meetings (maybe even the analogue print edition) in search of education opportunities you will often be directed elsewhere online—and there you’ll proceed seamlessly and actually learn. Not only will you find leads for scholarships, free and affordable resources and ways to attend professional conferences at no cost, but we’ve even included a full webinar from the MPI Academy (head to Page 18 of this magazine’s digital edition).

How much all of this can help your career is solely up to you. In the right hands, I see this information changing lives. (How’s that for “a dash of unbridled optimism?”)

P.S. Don’t miss free education opportunities at PYM LIVE events throughout North America—see future dates and register.

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Category : Blog and Industry News

Meeting planner scholarships (WINTER 2019/2020)

November 15th, 2017 @

knowledge learning

The cost of education—from college all the way to professional development throughout one’s career—is significant. Knowing this, groups throughout the meeting and event industry have banded together for years to help ensure a sustainable pipeline of skilled professionals. As a result, there is now an incredible supply of scholarships to be had, thanks to generous donations from your planner peers, industry suppliers and professional associations.

The following rundown of scholarships available to students and professionals in the meeting and event industry isn’t all-encompassing, but it will help you plan the next steps in your career growth in a way that utilized existing resources and tools without draining your savings.

Meeting Professionals International

MPI Foundation scholarships

Last year, the MPI Foundation disbursed hundreds of scholarships and grants totaling more than $250,000. The ways in which these funds can aid your professional career are as wide and varied as the organizations and individuals who sponsor the programs. Following are some examples of available scholarships from the MPI Foundation.

  • The Membership Scholarship covers the cost of a new Preferred MPI membership (up to a $489 value).
  • The Professional Development Scholarship, only available to MPI members, covers, partially or fully, the cost of any MPI Academy courses, including the Certificate in Meeting Management (CMM), the Healthcare Meeting Compliance Certificate (HMCC), MPI’s Experiential Event Series programs, Basics Bootcamp and much more.
  • Conference Scholarships, only available to MPI members, cover costs to attend events such as the World Education Congress (WEC), IMEX America and IMEX in Frankfurt.
  • The Academic Scholarship is specific to students attending the Rosen College at the University of Central Florida and universities in Toronto. Universal Orlando Meetings & Events also funds two scholarships each year for students attending San Diego State University’s Master’s in Hospitality and Tourism Management program.

RELATED STORY: Gain free inspiration and education at Plan Your Meetings live events

Professional Convention Management Association

The PCMA Education Foundation funds more than 150 scholarships each year to help students, faculty and experienced professionals in the industry. Following are some examples of scholarship opportunities that have been offered from the PCMA Education Foundation (check online for application deadlines).

  • The Convening Leaders Global Scholarship is awarded to 10 industry professionals who are based and plan events outside of North America. This scholarship includes complimentary registration, accommodations and airfare to attend PCMA’s Convening Leaders event.
  • The Roy B. Evans Student Scholarship provides $7,500 in tuition assistance to up to two PCMA student members.
  • The Deborah Sexton Education Scholarship is available to four individuals with at least three years of experience in the event industry. Recipients get continuing education and travel funds of $7,500, a free ride at the Convening Leaders conference, three years of PCMA membership, one-on-one coaching with Sexton and more.
  • The Foundation Scholars Program offers a tuition award of $3,500, registration, airfare and accommodations to attend the PCMA Convening Leaders event and more for up to five undergraduate students.

The Network of Executive Women in Hospitality

The Network of Executive Women in Hospitality (NEWH) has given more than $6 million in scholarships to more than 2,350 students over the past 35 years. These funds are reserved for students seeking a career in the hospitality industry. Following are some examples of scholarships from NEWH. Applications for these scholarships are typically due by late summer or fall.

  • The NEWH Leadership $10,000 scholarship is open to hospitality management students every other year. Applications for this sizable award open in spring 2020.
  • The NEWH Icon of Industry $7,500 Scholarship is awarded to one design student at the Boutique Design Gold Key Awards Gala.
  • The NEWH BrandED $7,500 scholarship is open to hospitality management students and awarded in winter and late summer.
  • Scholarships named for Ken Schindler and Clifford R. Tuttle each provide $5,000 to one student in hospitality interior design and includes a paid trip to attend HD’s Platinum Circle Awards event.

RELATED STORY: The top 5 reasons to invest in your professional continuing education

The International Association of Exhibitions and Events

The International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) grants several scholarships and financial awards each year while remembering important leaders who left a mark on the industry.

  • Helen Brett Scholarships are given to students pursuing careers in exhibition management. In 2019, the scholarship was given to eight recipients with each receiving $5,000 in tuition assistance. Applications are due June 1—so you’ve got time to get situated for the 2020 deadline.
  • Available for a variety of purposes such as attending professional events worldwide and pursuing the CEM designation, the Bob Dallmeyer Education Fund has no specific financial limit. There are two annual deadlines for the grants, April 1 and September 1.

Other industry scholarships

The Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) David Riddell Memorial Scholarship funds the costs to attend the organization’s education programs, including the Global Conference (up to $3,000), for numerous future leaders each year. The process includes submitting an essay. Two individuals received this scholarship last year.

The Timothy S. Y. Lam Foundation was established in 2012 to honor its namesake and aid those in the hospitality industry. The foundation awards $2,000 tuition-based scholarships for students as well as exam-related scholarships to help professionals attain certifications (CMP, CPCE, CSEP). The foundation also provides travel (up to $2,000) and research grants (up to $10,000).

The Patti J. Shock Scholarship, offered through a partnership between The International School of Hospitality and The Foundation of NACE (National Association for Catering and Events), grants catering as well as meeting professionals the cost of tuition and fees for the Meeting and Event Catering Certificate Program ($1,800). Applications are now open

There are numerous scholarships specifically available to industry professionals pursuing the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) designation.

RELATED STORY: Degree vs. certification: What’s best?

Updated 12/19

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Category : Blog and Industry News

Events to attend as a hosted buyer (in the next 6 months)

November 7th, 2017 @

If you’re growing your professional education while on a budget, hosted-buyer programs may be just the kind of initiative you need.

hosted buyer WEC
Hosted buyer program at WEC

Speak with colleagues and search the web to learn first-hand about the particulars of each event’s hosted-buyer program as they do differ and some can feel onerous—but in general they offer excellent opportunities for you to attend the industry’s leading events at little or no cost. The following events have hosted-buyer programs worth checking out (and even if you’re not hosted, the education and networking is the best in the business and certainly worth attending).

IAEE Expo! Expo!

Nov. 28-30 – San Antonio, Texas

ibtm World

Nov. 28-30 – Barcelona, Spain

SITE + MPI Global Forum

Jan. 12-14 – Rome

PCMA Convening Leaders

Jan. 7-10 – Nashville

IMEX

May 15-17 – Frankfurt

World Education Congress – #Indy18

June 2-5 – Indianapolis

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Category : Blog and Industry News

Report from Houston during the flood

August 29th, 2017 @

In July, Gabriel Garza took on a new role as president of the MPI Houston Area Chapter. In the August issue of The Meeting Professional, he shared insight into the meeting and event industry offerings of his beloved city—the fourth-largest in the United States. On Aug. 25, Hurricane Harvey began an unrelenting attack on southeast Texas, at first with severe winds and then, even more devastatingly, days of soaking rains the likes of which no one can recall experiencing. The total anticipated rain from the storm is expected to match or exceed the rainfall that Houston sees in an entire year—all in a week.

We checked in with Gabriel Garza, complex account director, group sales for The Westin Galleria Houston and The Westin Oaks Houston at the Galleria, to see how he’s doing in this chaotic and dangerous situation. He took some time to share his story with us and his global meeting industry family.

gabe garzaThank you so much for reaching out to me. I certainly appreciate the concern from my MPI family.

My wife and I were talking last night and I told her, I am just mentally drained, and that perfectly states my feelings right now.

Thankfully, we are safe. Our street is flooded and we are stuck but no water has entered our home. This is not the case for many family friends we know. We live in the south side of Houston in the city of Manvel, which is in an area where some of the heaviest rain and flooding occurred (not far from Dickinson and Friendswood, Texas). We know many family friends and individuals who have had to evacuate their homes and/or who have been rescued by boat or helicopter. The worse part of all this is feeling helpless… not being able to lend a hand to friends and community members.

I work at The Westin Galleria Houston & Westin Oaks Houston at the Galleria, connected to the Houston Galleria Mall. Our hotel did not suffer any damage or flooding and is open for business to welcome any evacuees and/or disaster relief teams. Mind you, our hotel is operating with limited staff with many of our team members who have been there since Thursday of last week. Appreciation does not describe how thankful we are to have them tending to our in-house guests.

We have had a few group cancellations due to the inability to get to Houston but minimal. Our sales team is working on a number of opportunities as we hope to be home to disaster relief teams in the coming weeks as we begin to rebuild this great city.

I have communicated to Holly Dotson at MPI Global as we are hoping to establish a disaster relief fund on behalf of our chapter in partnership with the other Texas chapters. I am fortunate to have received emails from other MPI presidents around the U.S. who are ready to assist in our efforts.

In the words of JJ Watt [defensive end for the Houston Texans football team], “Houston’s a great city. We’re going to come out of this stronger than ever.”

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Category : Blog and Industry News

Live music booking best practices

August 21st, 2017 @

Jason SwartzOctober is going to be a killer month of live music entertainment in Texas. I’m planning on attending seven concerts—all of the bands are original and incredible. (For those interested or in need of some music recommendations, the schedule includes the Canadian jazz quartet BadBadNotGood, L.A.’s soul-funk Chicano Batman, Houston’s Thai-surf rock Khruangbin and the always-evolving Australian seven-piece King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard.)

With this in mind, I had the opportunity to chat with music booker Jason Swartz, founder of Alliance Talent, about the challenges planners face when seeking to include live music in an event’s schedule and the state of the festival scene in the U.S.

Have you booked much talent for association or non-profit events? If so, what unique challenges arise?

Through my company, Alliance Talent, I have been actively involved in non-profit events since we began booking concerts in the early 2000s. When it comes to non-profits, I haven’t faced many challenges that are all that different than with any other client. Typically, when an event is run by a non-profit they still have budgets available for booking talent. We go through the process of getting to know the client, the overall goals for the event’s musical direction, press needs, social media and, of course, the budget.

Once that’s dialed in, we obtain the lists needed to make a firm decision on direction. The main challenge that comes with non-profits, like universities and other associations with multiple decision makers, is getting everyone on the same page in terms of musical direction.

Many people choose talent based on their personal interests with the assumption that others will also be engaged by what they like. With 17 years of experience, I know how to get an organization aligned. Sometimes this involves combining an opening act of one genre and a headliner of another or simply guiding them on a list of artists that works for everyone’s expectations.

What advice do you have for planners that appear to be stuck in the habit of hiring 70s or 80s cover bands year after year?

It’s always fun to book 70s, 80s and other theme based cover bands because like DJs they can play a wide variety of music that will appeal to everyone. There is always that concern that choosing a specific act with their own music may lead to them playing 2-3 songs that everyone loves and then having the remainder of the set filled with songs that don’t appeal to the audience.

If an organization really wants a 70s and 80s style show, we guide them on acts that are versed in doing special events for charities, non-profits and corporate organizations. Those kinds of acts will know that they need to play their own music, but they will also add in some jams that everyone can relate to. Often, those include their own versions of covers from that era. Also, the idea of having the actual band that played those original songs adds a much stronger cache to an event both for attendance, press and social media.

Showing organizations how they can benefit from marketing elements makes a big difference from simply booking a cover band. Also, adding a host DJ to the event to warm up the crowd prior and post to a band’s performance is always a great way to satisfy everyone’s needs for a variety of music from a specific decade.

How can planners help their events get out of a rut of offering the same kind of music year after year?

If an event planner is looking to switch things up from past years, they need to make a leap of faith and just jump into it. Again, I’d recommend starting by connecting with a professional talent buying agency that can really guide them through the best options for their budget, theme and overall experience.

I’d also recommend internally to put together a list that aligns with their theme or genre, so that when they do connect with a talent buying agency they will already have taken the steps to get their entire board on the same page. Once a specific list of 10-20 acts has been pre-approved it will be that much easier for the buyers to negotiate on their behalf knowing the event is ready to go.

What does it typically take for an organization to shake things up and get more creative with its auditory entertainment?

They need to look at the benefits of having an actual act with a known national name. As mentioned, the press and the cache will help with the marketing and will help sell tickets for the event that year. In addition, the organization will start to build up a track record of having known national talent, which will make it easier to get bigger names on board year after year. Musicians, agents and managers always feel more comfortable to play an event or a festival once they know other national names have played it in the past or are on board for the current year.

Not all events have significant budgets for entertainment. Can you share some tips to help planners find and pay for recognized bands?

Checking to see who’s already in town or is local is a great way to get some kind of discount. The less a band must travel, the less they will charge. Also, if a non-profit organization is hosting an event for a specific charity or cause, it is often possible to identify musicians that are supportive of similar causes. These acts are often likely to perform at a discount if it is a cause they believe in.

How can planners best locate lesser-known acts that are original but also affordable?

The best way to find known acts at a discount is to go through experienced talent buying agencies. It takes a knowledgeable team that is talking to artists, managers and agents every day to know which artists are more eager for gigs and looking to do things at more reasonable prices. As mentioned, researching who is on tour and close by to where the event is taking place may also lower costs.

What should planners be wary of when booking entertainment?

Event planners need to ensure that the company they are dealing with for booking talent is experienced and well referenced online. Get some documentation from them on their history or ask them for some references.

Also make sure that when you agree to the booking you’re aware of all the additional costs. Booking talent doesn’t just involve a fee for talent, there also may be an additional fee for the agency booking it, as well as additional costs for the talent itself. Those costs usually involve travel, hospitality and backline production equipment.

One benefit of going through experienced talent buying agencies is that reputable ones will be able to compile all of these costs into one all-in fee so planners can focus on what they do best rather than dealing with all the logistical needs of the performers and their teams.

The structure of music festival lineups has changed significantly since the early years of Lollapalooza—now it seems that a set group of acts simply tour between festivals rather than each major festival booking a fully or mostly unique lineup. How is this affecting the draw of festivals?

Even though one would think that having similar acts at various festivals would cause attendance to go down, festival attendance over the decades (since Lollapalooza) have gone up significantly. Acts that typically only tour once every few years can tour more often since festivals pay top dollar.

Acts like Radiohead, Paul McCartney, Bjork and a huge list of others that formerly toured infrequently now tour a lot more. That means more amazing shows by awesome talent across a wider variety of regions. Also, social media has really helped propel festivals. When an artist has an amazing performance at one festival, there is a social media effect that enables people to have the same amazing experience online.

What are some aspects of festival organization and planning that you think could be improved upon?

I’d like to see an increase in creativity when it comes to choosing locations. In the last 10 years, the festival experience has really come of age in America, but how many times are we going to have a festival on a grass field or in a concrete parking lot.

I would love to see festivals branch out to create more events in nature. Whether its eco-concerts in a forest, at beach locations, alongside rivers or in the mountains, featuring music in other natural environments would really enhance the festival experience.

Also, the concept of creating communities within a festival is fun and encourages people to remain on the grounds for the duration of the festival. Creating a community opens all kinds of new experiences related to food, architectural design and communication between fans. In this setting, people won’t just go home from a festival with a phone filled with live show content and a t-shirt. Now they will return having really connected with new people, and will have experienced something unique and fulfilling.

Are there some examples of festival organizers doing this right that you can share?

Lightning in a Bottle in Bradley, Calif., is a really cool festival that continues to make its festival setting more interesting from a community and environmental standpoint. Adding more art structures, lighting and layouts in their campgrounds has created a cool forest-like community.

Also a new festival in Negril, Jamaica, called Tmrw.Tday Cultural Fest was quite interesting as a destination festival that incorporated beach, jungle and even rock cave parties into its weekend itinerary. I thought that was amazing and has a tremendous potential for growth.

These events do not need to be limited to environments, I think festivals could try throwing an event at a water park or amusement park as well. Festivals need to remember in the end that they are throwing a massive party and potentially creating a community for a day. Proper festivals really should be more than just multiple concert performances going on at the same time surrounded by carnival rides and the same old typical food stands.

(CC) ANDI ERDNER
(CC) ANDI ERDNER

The post Live music booking best practices appeared first on Plan Your Meetings @ Meeting Professionals International.

Category : Blog and Industry News

Bright ideas in the new PYM magazine!

June 19th, 2017 @

Orange juice is about the best thing ever. Growing up right in the middle of Florida’s 200-mile-long Indian River Citrus District, orange juice was always a bright part of my life. I always envisioned the act of drinking it as like that of consuming a sweet, liquid extract of the sun (we all know what that tastes and feels like, right?). Lately, however, the cost of orange juice has been on the rise—whether due to myriad general economic factors or the spread of the Asian citrus psyllid, which can lead to bacterial infection, “greening” and the decimation of citrus crops. In fact, just this winter, orange juice futures—yes, that’s a thing—hit an all-time high.

editor noniOf course, the high price of orange juice isn’t in and of itself a significant problem—nothing like what you’re experiencing in the meeting landscape. You’re seeing costs at nearly every stage of planning and executing your meetings and events creep up and up and up. At the same time, if you’re lucky, your budgets are growing as well. However, the associated trend that is proving a challenge is that your budgets are not increasing at the same pace as costs.

The good news is that solutions for your cost challenges exist within the minds of your ever-creative peers—and they’re not closed off to the idea of sharing these strategies and tactics. That’s especially suitable in that various ways of sharing with other planners to save costs pop up throughout the cover story of the newest issue of Plan Your Meetings—including sharing menus to leverage bulk purchasing of F&B and sharing speakers to minimize travel expenses.

Notably, you can also get an in-depth look at how one peer, Pat Guerrero, CVA, senior manager of volunteer engagement and programs for Utah-based Best Friends Animal Society, saves staffing expenses by leveraging the power of more than 150 volunteers for her group’s national conference.

“This conference is a light in the darkness that we sometimes see in animal welfare,” Guerrero says. “It’s our volunteers’ job to be that light because together we can illuminate the world!”

The hope is that within these cost-saving tips and other articles from the newest issue of Plan Your Meetings, you’ll find some ideas that can act like a sun-filled glass of Florida orange juice—bright, eye opening and refreshing.

P.S. Don’t miss free education opportunities at PYM LIVE events throughout North America—see future dates and register. And we’ve also created an interactive map of event venue-related gun laws, state-by-state, a data-intensive follow-up to education provided in the previous edition of Plan Your Meetings.

The post Bright ideas in the new PYM magazine! appeared first on Plan Your Meetings @ Meeting Professionals International.

Category : Blog and Industry News

Bright ideas in the new PYM magazine!

June 19th, 2017 @

Orange juice is about the best thing ever. Growing up right in the middle of Florida’s 200-mile-long Indian River Citrus District, orange juice was always a bright part of my life. I always envisioned the act of drinking it as like that of consuming a sweet, liquid extract of the sun (we all know what that tastes and feels like, right?). Lately, however, the cost of orange juice has been on the rise—whether due to myriad general economic factors or the spread of the Asian citrus psyllid, which can lead to bacterial infection, “greening” and the decimation of citrus crops. In fact, just this winter, orange juice futures—yes, that’s a thing—hit an all-time high.

editor noniOf course, the high price of orange juice isn’t in and of itself a significant problem—nothing like what you’re experiencing in the meeting landscape. You’re seeing costs at nearly every stage of planning and executing your meetings and events creep up and up and up. At the same time, if you’re lucky, your budgets are growing as well. However, the associated trend that is proving a challenge is that your budgets are not increasing at the same pace as costs.

The good news is that solutions for your cost challenges exist within the minds of your ever-creative peers—and they’re not closed off to the idea of sharing these strategies and tactics. That’s especially suitable in that various ways of sharing with other planners to save costs pop up throughout the cover story of the newest issue of Plan Your Meetings—including sharing menus to leverage bulk purchasing of F&B and sharing speakers to minimize travel expenses.

Notably, you can also get an in-depth look at how one peer, Pat Guerrero, CVA, senior manager of volunteer engagement and programs for Utah-based Best Friends Animal Society, saves staffing expenses by leveraging the power of more than 150 volunteers for her group’s national conference.

“This conference is a light in the darkness that we sometimes see in animal welfare,” Guerrero says. “It’s our volunteers’ job to be that light because together we can illuminate the world!”

The hope is that within these cost-saving tips and other articles from the newest issue of Plan Your Meetings, you’ll find some ideas that can act like a sun-filled glass of Florida orange juice—bright, eye opening and refreshing.

P.S. Don’t miss free education opportunities at PYM LIVE events throughout North America—see future dates and register. And we’ve also created an interactive map of event venue-related gun laws, state-by-state, a data-intensive follow-up to education provided in the previous edition of Plan Your Meetings.

The post Bright ideas in the new PYM magazine! appeared first on Plan Your Meetings @ Meeting Professionals International.

Category : Blog and Industry News

Celebrating International Sushi Day (June 18)

June 13th, 2017 @

This Sunday (June 18) is International Sushi Day—and I’m betting you didn’t even realize that was a thing. This special event was launched in 2009—an announcement, unsurprisingly, via Facebook. The sole activity to celebrate International Sushi Day: Eat and appreciate sushi (for bonus points, introduce someone to sushi).

My own introduction to sushi happened 10 years ago at the Loews Lake Las Vegas (now Westin Lake Las Vegas)—so if you’re in Vegas for MPI’s World Education Congress next week, know that sushi options abound even though you’re in the Mojave Desert.

‘Fish in the Desert’

[This tale into my first dip into sushi was originally published in the September 2007 issue of The Meeting Professional.]

I sake-stumble—a gait observers surely recognize as well-rehearsed Tai Chi—up to my room at the Loews Lake Las Vegas, get comfortable and voraciously rip into Nick Tosches’ June Vanity Fair masterpiece, “If You Knew Sushi.”

How serendipitous that I’d land at the table of one of the nation’s finest sushi chefs while newsstands hold a 12,000-word tome on the cuisine by one of America’s finest authors. I hadn’t considered the circumstances, but in hindsight, I really had no choice—I was visiting the desert and I was going to eat sushi, this much was certain. 

“Trust Chef Fuji,” my hosts say. 

“But…but…but…I don’t really like fish,” I squeak.

I taste a variety of sake and select one to accompany the meal.

“Is there anything you absolutely do not want?” an amused waiter asks.

“No eel. Wait, no. I’ll take whatever Chef Fuji wants to make,” I say in overly dramatic tone.

Master Sushi Chef Osamu “Fuji” Fujita’s signature Tuna Cocktail visually pervades the table—an orb erupting with dry ice vapors beneath chunks of sumptuous tuna swimming in a spicy sauce that celebrates the fish’s flavor.

I place the first piece of tuna in my mouth, trying not to taste. I finally breathe, and experience a stunning delight. A sip of sake created a fuller experience—the two tastes mingle and temporarily take over. I shake my head. Whoa.

Moments later, the tuna is gone and the dry ice cloud has diminished. And then? A large plate of indeterminate seafood ingredients appears.

“There’s more?” I thought.

The waiter is a swell guide, and my taste buds find a favorite flavor in the exotic unagi. I take more sake and in a near-out-of-body experience realize that I love the taste of freshwater eel. If you knew sushi…

Sushi knowledge nuggets

Sushi
Image courtesy Benihana

As one of the F&B trends showing no sign of letting up, meeting and event attendees love to be educated about what they’re eating, where it came from (geographically and culturally) and any associated factoids that can make dining a memorable experience—something more than just gobbling down sustenance in between education sessions.

Following are some sushi facts, courtesy of Benihana.

  • The term sushi means “vinegared rice” not “raw fish.” Vinegared rice is the base ingredient to every piece of sushi.
  • Sushi is estimated to have started as early as 500 B.C. but it didn’t transform into the bite-sized sushi everyone knows until the 19th century.
  • Traditionally, sushi chefs use special Japanese carbon steel knives. These knives are only honed on a single side to create the sharpest possible cutting edge for prepping sushi.
  • Sushi is as much of an art form as it is a delicacy. In Japan, sushi chefs must undergo 10 years of professional training before earning the stamp of “Sushi Master.”
  • Sushi is meant to be served in a particular way. In order to achieve the rice’s ideal “stickiness,” chefs aim to keep their rice around 110 degrees Fahrenheit before adding the cold fish. Once served, soy sauce is meant to serve as a complementary condiment rather than a dipping sauce.
  • There’s more to sushi than rolls and makiNigiri (pieces of fish on top of rice), sashimi (sliced fish only) and temaki (hand rolls), are all more common in Japan.

The post Celebrating International Sushi Day (June 18) appeared first on Plan Your Meetings @ Meeting Professionals International.

Category : Blog and Industry News

Essential conferences for event planners in 2017

May 30th, 2017 @

Essential conferences for event planners in 2017

There remains a litany of conferences for meeting and event professionals to receive education and valuable networking throughout the duration of 2017. Following are highlights, including events with hosted buyer programs (*), which can reduce or limit the cost of a planners’ attendance.

This list does not contain every single conference for event planners, but we feel that these are the main ones you should have on your radar. If you feel we are missing an exceptional conference, let us know about it and what makes it so great in the comments below!

 

June


FIEXPO Latin America*

June 5-7, Santiago, Chile
This gathering with exhibitors primarily representing Latin American destinations and services also included dozens of education sessions. Scheduled speakers include Nina Freysen-Pretorium, president of ICCA, and Rajeev Kohli, president of SITE.

CONFEC blue*

June 8-11, Marbella, Spain
In a results-oriented business setting, this event is designed to bring together top international agencies, corporate and incentive organizers to meet with international suppliers for a series of one-on-one meetings.

PCMA Education Conference

June 11-14, New York City, New York
Brought to you by the Professional Convention Management Association, scheduled speakers for this event include bestselling author Luke Williams and Loews Hotels Chairman Jonathan M. Tisch. Watch the 2016 conference wrap-up video for an idea as to what this year’s event will be like.

 

Cvent Connect

June 12-16, Las Vegas, Nevada
Expect approximately 2,000 participants. Last year boasted a 5:1 planner-to-exhibitor ratio. This year: Keynote speaker Jay Leno! Read more about the 2016 edition.

ibtm America*

June 14-16, Hollywood, Florida
Three-day North American event centered on one-on-one meetings between qualified planners and suppliers.

MPI’s World Education Congress*

June 19-22, Las Vegas, Nevada
The landmark annual event from MPI, the world’s largest industry for meeting and event professionals brings together more than 2,000 of your peers for industry-leading education and networking. What’ll it be like? Check out the top 15 things you missed at #WEC16.

Here is their promo video for this year.

 

Latin America Meetings & Incentive Travel Exchange*

June 19-23, La Antigua, Guatemala
An opportunity to engage with a wide variety of Latin American travel industry professionals. Highlights from the 2016 edition.

 

PYM Live

June 27, Charlotte, North Carolina
PYM LIVE Events are the fastest way for meeting and event planners to research meeting venues, network and learn from their peers, play with new event technology and establish important business relationships. Watch video testimonials of past editions.

 

July


ALSD Conference and Tradeshow

July 10-13, Miami Beach, Florida
For 27 years, this event full of networking, education and entertainment has constantly evolved. Expect more than 100 speakers and presenters, including bestselling author Jon Spoelstra. The Sports Sales Boot Camp (a “non-nonsense sports sales training course”) and the Sports Venue Design & Build Forum run concurrently with the ALSD Conference and Tradeshow.

GBTA Convention

July 15-19, Boston, Massachusetts
A gathering of 7,000+ business travel professionals seeking education, networking and news on the latest industry innovations. This year’s convention includes speakers Gen. David Petraeus and Olympian Michael Phelps.

PYM Live

July 27, Denver, Colorado
PYM LIVE Events are the fastest way for meeting and event planners to research meeting venues, network and learn from their peers, play with new event technology and establish important business relationships. Watch video testimonials of past editions.

 

August


IAVM VenueConnect 2017

August 7-10, Nashville, Tennessee
VenueConnect hosts professionals from a spectrum of public assembly venues including arenas, convention centers, amphitheaters, fairgrounds, performing arts centers, stadiums, universities and more, for 80+ education sessions. Read about the conference’s re-branded strategy.

ILEA Live 2017

August 10-12, Calgary, Canada
From the International Live Events Association, this is billed as “an educational and collaborative experience for creative event professionals to strengthen their creative output, sharpen their business strategies and find inspiration.”

ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition

August 12-15, Toronto, Canada
This annual event features networking and education opportunities and more than 400 exhibitions with which to engage. Scheduled speakers include Nilofer Merchant, fellow of the Martin Prosperity Institute, and Nyle Dimarco, a past winner of America’s Next Top Model and Dancing with the Stars.

Caribbean Meeting & Incentive Travel Exchange*

August 13-16, Montego Bay, Jamaica
An event consisting of scheduled meetings between pre-qualified North American meeting planners and incentive buyers and Caribbean suppliers.

IncentiveWorks

August 22-23, Toronto, Canada
Billed as “the largest meeting and events industry trade show and conference in Canada,” this event is centered on education. Scheduled speakers include Event Manager Blog editor Julius Solaris and trend spotter Seth Mattison. Check out some highlights from the 2016 IncentiveWorks.

 

ibtm China*

August 23-24, Beijing, China
Designed as a gathering where industry decision makers do business. Attendees are Chinese and international planners.

PYM Live

August 30, New York City, New York
PYM LIVE Events are the fastest way for meeting and event planners to research meeting venues, network and learn from their peers, play with new event technology and establish important business relationships. Watch video testimonials of past editions.

 

September


ibtm Latin America*

September 6-7, Mexico City, Mexico
A hosted-buyer program and series of one-on-one meetings, with aspirational education,” the event is said to bring together more than 380 suppliers and 6,400 planners.

SITE Classic

September 13-16, Los Cabos, Mexico
A blend of incentive travel buyers and industry suppliers that come together for three days of business networking, education and activities that showcase the destination.

PYM Live

September 20, Dallas, Texas
PYM LIVE Events are the fastest way for meeting and event planners to research meeting venues, network and learn from their peers, play with new event technology and establish important business relationships. Watch video testimonials of past editions.

IT&CMA Asia

September 26-28, Bangkok, Thailand
A combo event of Incentive Travel & Conventions, Meetings Asia and Corporate Travel World Asia-Pacific, this is the only double-billed industry event in the Asia-Pacific region. If your work matches any of the above buzzwords, check it out. Watch a sizzle reel from 2016

 

October


SITE Young Leaders Conference

October 8-9, Las Vegas, Nevada
Scheduled to take place immediately prior to IMEX America, this event is designed as an opportunity for Millennials to meet each other and learn to help those pursuing a career in the incentive travel industry.

IMEX America*

October 10-12, Las Vegas, Nevada
With more than 12,000 participants last year representing all facets of the global meeting and event industry, many rightfully argue that IMEX America is the can’t-miss show. Before you go, read our 10 essential IMEX America hosted buyer tips.
Watch the promo video from 2016

 

PYM Live

October 18, Houston, Texas
PYM LIVE Events are the fastest way for meeting and event planners to research meeting venues, network and learn from their peers, play with new event technology and establish important business relationships. Watch video testimonials of past editions.

ITB Asia

October 25-27, Singapore
This B2B show is designed to become the primary event for the Asia-Pacific travel industry, welcoming all sectors, including small and medium-sized businesses. Last year, ITB Asia reported more than 10,000 attendees from 110 countries.

 

November


PYM Live

November 15, Ottawa, Canada
PYM LIVE Events are the fastest way for meeting and event planners to research meeting venues, network and learn from their peers, play with new event technology and establish important business relationships. Watch video testimonials of past editions.

IAEE Expo! Expo!

November 28-30, San Antonio, Texas
This show emphasizes thought leadership and best practices in unique learning environments. It’s “the show for shows.”

ibtm World*

November 28-30, Barcelona, Spain
More than 15,000 industry professionals come together for networking and education in ibtm’s premier annual event. Explore some highlights from last year’s ibtm world

 

The post Essential conferences for event planners in 2017 appeared first on Plan Your Meetings @ Meeting Professionals International.

Category : Blog and Industry News

Gun laws & event venues interactive state-by-state map

April 27th, 2017 @

Plan Your Meetings is pleased to offer a free, interactive U.S. map showing state-by-state gun laws as they relate to meeting and event venues.

gun map graphic

The Gun Laws & Event Venues map was created as a simple starting point for planners looking into the matter of firearms possession at their meetings and events—a follow-up to a series of gun-related articles released over the past six months, which was designed to educate meeting and event practitioners on myriad factors associated with firearms, such as safety, security and the attendee experience.

Select a state and you’ll immediately see the general status of handgun and long gun possession in the state, including whether or not permits are required. You’ll also get information related to exemptions in the law that apply specifically to potential meeting and event venues.

TX gun map detail

For example, in Texas, concealed and open carry of handguns is legal with a permit, except in venues that serve alcohol, amusement parks, racetracks, at sporting events and at businesses that post appropriate signage banning weapons. Each entry also includes a link to more thorough details (warning, these details are heavy in legal-speak).

Plan Your Meetings @ Meeting Professionals International is neither pro-gun nor anti-gun; we are pro-safety and pro-attendee experience. You are strongly encouraged to read the following articles about the intersection of firearms and meetings to understand your general rights when renting a space and how those rights may vary between states and venue types, among other potential implications.

Getting a grip on event firearms policies

You’re responsible for the safety of meeting and event attendees—so what are your options?

Firearms at events…and your liability

Legally, the question of a planner’s liability really comes down to identifying the organizer’s “duty of care” regarding firearms at the event

Navigating changing gun laws

Guns at meetings are not a problem for everyone—here are some guidelines for planners

Do you need armed security at your event?

There are certainly occasions when armed event security is necessary—and when such security is a hindrance

Essential firearms terminology for planners

Some necessary basics for planners to understand as they begin learning about firearms and event venues

 

As we move onto other important topics, please do not hesitate to let us know if there are additional angles to the firearms-at-meetings/events story that you’d like us to look into.

The post Gun laws & event venues interactive state-by-state map appeared first on Plan Your Meetings @ Meeting Professionals International.

Category : Blog and Industry News