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SITE SOLUTIONS Blog

Kristi Harbers

Recent Posts

Tips On How To Travel Easier

Posted by Kristi Harbers on Fri, May 6, 2016


I find that the more I travel, the more I try to refine the process. From TSA Pre-check, to finding that perfect carry-on bag and having the right necessities, here are some of the things that make traveling less painful for me.

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Topics: meeting planners, Travel/Destinations

Don't forget about YOU!

Posted by Kristi Harbers on Mon, Jul 6, 2015

Last year Event Coordinator was deemed one of the most stressful jobs you could have, and I touched upon how they affect the different generations. One of the best ways to not allow yourself to get completely stressed out is to have a little “you” time. Here are few suggestions on you can have some “you” time and help yourself de-stress. 2015-06-03_14.34.32-1

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Topics: Health/Wellness/Careers

2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil: Warm and Welcoming

Posted by Kristi Harbers on Thu, Jun 26, 2014

Well after much hype about Brazil not being ready for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, I think they have done an impressive job to be ready. I had mentioned in a previous blog, Brazil: Are they Ready?, that the airport in Brasilia seemed far from being completed. However upon arrival I found the new gates were completes and a bigger terminal completed. Some minor construction on new food venues within the airport were being completed, but plenty of other options were available.

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Topics: Travel/Destinations, Sporting Events

Brazil: Are they ready?

Posted by Kristi Harbers on Mon, Jun 9, 2014

After the bad publicity that the 2014 Sochi Olympics received in regards to not being ready for the world to come to Sochi and the trending #sochiproblems, one might think that all future major event locations would do their best to make sure that projects are completed on time to save themselves from similar embarrassment. However that does not seem to be the case. With the upcoming FIFA World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics taking place in Brazil, both events have a lot of work that still needs to be done, some of which I saw first hand on a site visit to Brazil in early April.

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Topics: Sporting Events

A country with heart

Posted by Kristi Harbers on Thu, Oct 17, 2013

When an email came across my desk with an invitation to be a part of a FAM post-trip to Croatia after IMEX, I was beyond excited. Croatia was right at the top of my list of countries I want to see. Having the opportunity to see what this country has to offer from a meeting professionals perspective was even better!

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Topics: Travel/Destinations

U.S. cities meeting planners should consider with more bang for the buck!

Posted by Kristi Harbers on Thu, Sep 19, 2013

Trying to decide where to hold your next meeting? Do you want to go somewhere exciting without breaking the bank or going too deep into your attendees’ wallets? Consider the United States’ second tier cities as a place to hold your next meeting. Often 2nd tier cities are much more affordable than places like New York City or Los Angeles and offer more amenities with unique experiences for your meeting attendees. Here are just a few cities in the U.S. to consider:

 

  • Salt Lake City: As they mention on their website cityyy“Salt Lake offers one-of-a-kind combination of metro and mountain—an urban oasis with a breathtaking alpine backyard.” In the downtown area the convention center is surrounded by hotels, shopping and restaurants for the attendee’s convenience. There is even free public transportation around the convention area using TRAX light-rail and busses. Having hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics, SLC’s infrastructure is already in place to hold larger meetings.
  • Reno Tahoe: This area definitely offers first tier service at a second tier rate. If you’re looking to be able to have plenty of entertainment for your attendees but by spending less dollars Reno Tahoe maybe the place to look. They’ve recently spent close to $1 billion on renovations around the area and on the national average are about 25% less expensive than holding your meetings elsewhere. Reno also hosts many fun activities during the off seasons. You could book around the Jazz Festival in the spring. Or if you book in September you could book around the Great Reno Balloon Race or the International Camel Race, that’s something you don’t see every day that you’re attendees would definitely keep talking about.
  • Daytona Beach: Once considered a spring break locale, Daytona Beach has grown up. Daytona Beach has expanded and upgraded much of its meeting space including at the Ocean Center which as 200,000 square feet of meeting and exhibit space and located closely to the Hilton which has over 750 guestrooms. Daytona Beach is accustomed to holding large events such as the Daytona 500.
  • Irving: Located only 15 minutes from Dallas and 20 minutes from Fort Worth, Irving can be the more affordable choice. You can give your attendees that big Texas feeling by holding an offsite event at a local ranch like the Lindero Ranch which specializes in corporate events.
  • Minneapolis: Minneapolis is a city that offers activities such as Broadway worthy shows, tax-free clothes shopping and outdoor activities nearby around the lakes and natural trails and parks. It boasts the #1 airport in America in 2012. It’s also a growing destination for Millennials which you may want to keep in mind for your next site selection. Home to Mall of America – easily accessible by light rail and offering many on and off site options such as the A.C.E.S. Flight simulator, Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium , Jillian’s and many more!
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Topics: Travel/Destinations, Site Selection

Onsite Conference Staff gain a New Perspective on New Orleans

Posted by Kristi Harbers on Thu, Aug 1, 2013

Laissez les bon temps rouler ….or better known as “Let the good times roll!” My co-workers and I recently worked onsite at a conference that took place in New Orleans. It was myNOLA first time to the well-known party town but I didn’t fully know what to expect. What I did know was that it was going to be 80 degrees and sunny which was much better than the 30 degree wintry weather we were expecting to have in upstate New York; I knew already I was going to like New Orleans. Most of our time was spent at the Sheraton New Orleans on Canal Street, but each night we were able to do a little exploring and have some really fabulous meals!

The weekend of the conference was also the same weekend as the French Quarter Festival, which is the largest free music festival in the South. Stages, with live music playing throughout the day, were setup all over the French Quarter. There was a ton of food and drink vendors setup along the Mississippi River, many of which were located around New Orleans, like K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen, Pat O’Brien’s Bar (home of the famous Hurricanes!), and House of Blues. The atmosphere was fun and exciting with people dancing all over the streets. Whenever you book your next meeting location, consider piggy backing with a large public festival like this when hotel meeting space is largely empty so your attendees will have unique experiences in their down time. 

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Topics: Travel/Destinations

Blog, Blog, Blog (by and for meeting professionals)

Posted by Kristi Harbers on Thu, Jul 18, 2013

These days blogs are everywhere on a full range of topics. top10They can be a great source of information to see other viewpoints on topics and what other people are doing. For meeting professionals there are so many blogs to follow and see what’s going on in the meeting industry. Here is my personal top ten list of blogs which I read regularly because they are very informative and sometimes even entertaining.

 

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Topics: Social Media

Meeting Professionals - don’t forget about YOU!

Posted by Kristi Harbers on Mon, Jun 3, 2013

Last year Event Coordinator was deemed one of the most stressful jobs you could have, and I touched upon how they affect the different generations. One of the best ways to not allow yourself to get completely stressed out is to have a little “you” time. Also, by taking some time for yourself studies have shown that you are more productive and have more energy. Here are few examples that may inspire you to find new ways to de-stress.

  • Work it out. Physical activity can really help relieve stress. Joining a gym and actually going, going out for a walk, catching an exercise video on demand, anything that gets you moving will help you stop thinking about whatever else is going on and just focus on the movements. Plus by including more physical activity into your routine, you’ll start to get more energy, which is always helpful when you’re working those long hours onsite!
  • Join a club. Whether it’s a book club, cooking club or a ski club, getting together with other people to discuss and meet about similar interests can be lots of fun. It’s easy to find different clubs or people with similar interests on sites like www.meetup.com. You can search your local area to find what you like and will give you an opportunity to meet new people.
  • Take a vacation! Go away for a full week or even just a Tropical Vacationcouple days. Just some time away from the norm can help take your mind off things. Hop in the car and get away. A three day or four day weekend away from your email and the office will help keep you from burning out and realign / refocus you on what needs to be done when you get back.

Whether you just completed a big project, it’s your birthday or simply because it’s a Tuesday, why not reward yourself instead of everyone else?

Personally I like to go to the gym and workout right after work where I don’t think about anything except making sure I have the right form. And I’m also part of a ski club where I get together with friends on the weekend for ski trips to mountains in New York and Vermont.

How do you reward yourself with some “you” time?

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Topics: Health/Wellness/Careers

For your consideration….international meeting destinations

Posted by Kristi Harbers on Thu, May 2, 2013

Where should you hold your next international meeting?  There are so many places around the world that are great cities or countries to hold your meetings and it can be really hard to decide. Here is a brief list of some cities we have visited that you might want to consider when doing site selectionfor your next international meeting.  
  • Brussels: Just as DC is the capital of the US, Brussels is the2 capital of Europe. Home to many associations it is familiar with catering to conferences of all types and sizes. It is also centrally located in Europe making it easy to access with direct flights and rail connections. The main languages spoken here are English, Dutch and French. Brussels is a very green city with many initiatives throughout the city, so if you’d like to green your conference more, Brussels may be the way to go.
  • Berlin: Berlin is a city to not be ignored. It is expanding and building to help bring more conventions into town. It’s building a new convention center that will hold 10,000 people and in 2013 will be opening a new airport which will have trains that connect directly into the city. There are also a number of new hotels being built in Berlin to help draw in more international delegates.
  • Barcelona: This coastal city offers much to see and do and is a big draw for international delegates. Some fun things to do in 1Barcelona are to see the different Gaudi buildings and La Sagrada de Familia and to walk down Las Ramblas and see the different performers. The city is drawing many global chains that are building new properties in Barcelona such as Marriott and Starwood. Barcelona has also hosted EIBTM.
  • Vancouver: This very green city in British Columbia can offer exciting offsite venues and excursions for your attendees that look for more adventure. Located on the Pacific, your attendees can go on whale watching excursions where they can see killer whales, or they can take a seaplane ride over the coast and into the snowy mountains. Having hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics, the infrastructure to hold large meetings is in Vancouver. Click here to see hear what our own Megan Higgins has to say about the lovely city.

·         Johannesburg: After hosting the 2010 World Cup, South Africa and Johannesburg have shown that they are capable of hosting large events. Johannesburg has a large airport that was updated for the amount of people that were expected to arrive in 2010. There are also many activities for delegates to do from sporting events, to shopping and historical museums. For more on why South Africa read “South Africa – A Destination worth Discovering”

 

Are there any cities you would recommend that you have had planned or attended in internationally?

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Topics: Travel/Destinations