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Benefits of having a Kids Camp at your Conference!

Posted by Sarah Hughes on Fri, Sep 12, 2014



Topics: associations

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.


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.


Topics: Sporting Events

When should you start marketing a conference?

Posted by Christine King on Mon, Mar 10, 2014

The ways in which one can market for a conference has progressed so much in the past few years.  Do you remember having to “snail mail” out a full conference preliminary program book to your database – costing you hundreds of dollars in printing and postage?   Now we can email out links to full programs online, tweet that the conference website is live and invite our members to “like” our conference Facebook page.   With so many ways to market your conference the core questions still remain – When do you start, How much should you do and how do get their attention!   We have those same questions so we decided to ask the experts.  We spoke with Ron Rosenberg, President of Quality Talk, Inc, a nationally recognized expert on marketing and customer service. Ron gave us some great insight into conference marketing with some tips that he also uses in one of his presentations – How to Get Record Attendance at Your Next Event. Ron_photo


When should you start marketing a conference?


Topics: Conference Management

Are You Asking the Right Questions On Your Conference Evaluations?

Posted by Kristina Catrambone on Tue, Mar 4, 2014

We have all attended a conference and quickly answered questions on evaluation forms at the end. When filling out an evaluation we tend to forget about how important they are to the planners. Conference evaluations are a major part of planning for a future conference or event. They can be used to learn from your mistakes, plan for the future and to get valuable honest feedback from your attendees.


Topics: Conference Management

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!


Topics: Travel/Destinations

Rock Star Speaker Coordinators

Posted by Debra Marshall on Thu, Oct 3, 2013


Topics: Speaker Coordination, Conference Management

International Customs & Etiquette

Posted by Lisa Appiarius on Thu, Sep 26, 2013



Topics: Travel/Destinations, International Conferences

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!

Topics: Travel/Destinations, Site Selection

Networking at your Conference

Posted by Lisa Appiarius on Fri, Sep 13, 2013

As meeting planners we are afforded the opportunity to attend conferences both as planners that handle the conference logistics, and as attendees.  I have had the good fortune to work with our client’s attendees, exhibitors and sponsors.  This has allowed me to gain a networkingbetter perspective of what they are seeking to achieve at a conference.  One thing they all have in common is that they want great networking opportunities to build on their business.  Whether they are an attendee, an exhibitor or a sponsor, they have a common goal of making new connections and building on existing relationships to help propel their business interests forward.  I often attend events myself that are touted as “Networking Events”, not always the case.  I just attended an event this week for business matchmaking and there was absolutely no opportunity to network with other attendees, other than to be present at your scheduled meetings.  This is a huge lost opportunity.  YIKES!

There are so many goals and so little time to accomplish everything you want at your annual conference.  You have two to three days to squeeze everything in.  You have General Sessions, Plenaries, Work Shops and Break-outs.  You have sponsors and exhibitors that are looking to you to help them market their product or service.  You have a responsibility to your attendees as well.  So how do you make sure that all of these folks get a bang for their buck?  How do you make sure that you ultimately have a well received conference that will result in successful events for years to come?


Topics: Networking