When doing a buffet meal, here are some suggestions to enhance guest experience: If seating is for everyone, instruct banquets to set the tables completely instead of placing silverware in a napkin roll on the buffet. The room looks much nicer. Ask that banquets pre-set or serve the beverages instead of having drinks on the […]
Advice and best practices
Here you can find articles and tutorials to help you in practically every aspect of meeting and event planning. These articles are written by our awesome PYM community members and industry experts.
State of the industry
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With the increase of broadband Internet service in public spaces, including hotels and meeting venues, the technology of sending and securing information while it’s transmitted over the Web is more important than ever. iBAHN, a broadband provider that services more than 2,000 hotels and meeting venues worldwide, invested $2 million this year in updating partner […]
Expedia.com released two new site features geared to helping business and consumer travelers cut expenses. “Despite rising prices and industry reports of more costly air travel, demand for summer travel remains strong,” says John Morrey, vice president of air at Expedia.com. “[We’re] constantly looking for ways to leverage our travel intelligence to help travelers save […]
It’s not bad enough that every airplane traveler with a cell phone feels compelled to loudly tell loved ones that they’re “about to take off” or that their “plane just arrived.” Soon, travelers may be allowed to chat on cell phones during flights. But is that really what business travelers need from an industry that’s […]
Brace yourselves: PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) is betting hotel prices will continue to rise, despite the construction of 119,000 new hotel rooms. According to its 2006 Average Daily Room Rate (ADR) Forecast, the increase in hotel rates for first quarter 2006 exceeded PWC’s predictions. Combined with consumer price inflation (caused by soaring energy costs) and an occupancy […]
Just in case you were looking for something to taunt your regional execs with, Bizjournals.com has published a list of America’s smartest cities. Topping the list is Seattle, with the highest percentage of college-educated residents (47 percent), nearly twice the national average. Also-rans include San Francisco and Austin, Texas. Washington, D.C., Arlington, Va., and Ann […]
Actor George Clooney and developer Jorge Perez scrapped plans for building the well-publicized, 11-tower hotel, condominium and casino complex Las Ramblas in Las Vegas. Reasons cited included a softening condo market, high construction costs and lack of hands-on casino management experience. The land for the proposed project was sold to the W Las Vegas hotel […]
Marriott International is transforming lobby bars into in-house destinations. With transformative panels, sliding walls and advanced audio and visual effects, the bar area will smoothly transition from a morning breakfast spot to an afternoon meeting venue to an evening cocktail bar. The program, called “A.M. comfort, P.M. cool,” will be implemented over the course of […]
Live art, geo-caching and keeping things cool.
More than 200 meeting and event planners mingled with representatives from the food & beverage, entertainment, audio/visual, hotel, special facility, event product and service industries at the Plan Your Meeting’s Oceans of Opportunities cocktail party and trade show June 22, held in the Georgia Aquarium’s Oceans Ballroom. Quotes The PYM Atlanta trade show was excellent. […]
After years of “red” or “white” being the choice at many events, the pendulum has swung back to hard liquor and boutique-designed drinks. Instead of the traditional lemon/lime, drinks are being garnished with everything from floating rose petals to a sprig of rosemary or thyme. Only the freshest of ingredients are being squeezed or puréed fresh before our eyes. How about a frozen rum drink with fresh puréed pineapple in a toasted coconut-rimmed glass with a rum-marinated cherry garnish?
How do you incorporate some of these new drink ideas into your events?
New Orleans businesses, poolside drinks, ferry rides and “green” hotels.
Travel professionals hit the high seas last month and listened to discussions on strategic and budget issues, similar to those facing meeting planners, at The National Business Travel Assn.’s (NBTA) Fundamentals of Business Travel Management course and focus group onboard Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas. The management course focused on maximizing cost containment strategies, […]
Hilton Hotels Corporation leads the hotel industry in customer satisfaction, according to the latest statistics from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). With a score of 78 points out of a possible 100, Hilton took the leadership position among the seven hotel companies mentioned in the survey. Overall, the hotel industry improved 3 percent to […]
Got a group heading to the islands? Consider slipping a novel of life, love and the oil industry into their goody bags. Promoters of “Crude! A Story of Passion in Aruba” are not only billing the newly released book as a sure-fire way to enhance travel to the Caribbean this year, but are also expecting […]
Cancun is coming back. The Hilton Cancun Golf & Spa Resort opened in May after undergoing a $40 million renovation.
Holiday Inn is now the “Official Hotel of Major League Baseball (MLB).”
Mexico is upping the ante for visitors with the Luxury Travel Expo to be held at the Aventura Spa Palace in Riviera Maya in Mexico, June 22-24. The event reflects the recent growth of the upscale segment say its organizers, the Mexico Tourism Board and the Riviera Maya Tourism Promotion Board.
Mobil Travel Guide, originator of the prestigious Mobil Star ratings, has released its latest list, “The Best Hotel and Resort Spas for 2006” just in time for summer travelers.
Oceania Cruises has unveiled what it calls “the ultimate in supreme dining experiences” featuring Versace china, Christofle silver and Riedel crystal. “Fine dining is more than sitting down to eat a good meal, it’s an experience that encompasses many different elements that combine to make every meal a truly memorable occasion,” says Frank Del Rio, […]
Will Paris Hilton's sister become the next Donald Trump?
Planners are always on the lookout for new, exciting venues for their next meeting. At Plan Your Meetings’ Dallas Expo, May 11, they got quite an eyeful. The trade show and luncheon was held in The Empire Room, framed by breathtaking views of the city from the 48th floor of 1401 Elm, just a few […]
Carlson Hotels Worldwide (Regent International Hotels, Radisson Hotels & Resorts, Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts, Country Inns & Suites, Park Inn) appointed Paula Winkler chief information officer.
Francis Purvey was named director of sales for the Radisson Aruba Resort & Casino in Aruba and the 253-room Radisson St. Martin Resort & Spa in St. Martin, scheduled to open in December.
Pete Sears was promoted to senior vice president, field operations, for Hyatt Hotels Corporation.
“Take care of your employees and they’ll take care of your customers.” — John Willard Marriott, founder of Marriott International
According to Money magazine, planning meetings is one of the best jobs you could have.
According to the State Department, only 20 percent of Americans have valid passports. That could mean big trouble next Dec. 31, when American citizens will need a valid passport to reenter the country from Canada, Mexico, and Central or South America via air or sea.
Travel-friendly shoes, safety tips, dog-gone hotels and pampering trends.
The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation intends to invest $400 million in a casino resort at the site of the Broadwater Hotel in Biloxi, and is awaiting approval from state regulators before beginning development of the Foxwoods Resort Casino at Broadwater Beach.
Several four- and five-diamond/star properties have joined Associated Luxury Hotels (ALH): The Boulders Resort & Golden Door Spa in Carefree, Ariz.; the Peaks Resort & Golden Door Spa in Telluride, Colo.; Jumeirah Essex House in New York City; and Pan Pacific Seattle, in Seattle, Wash.
The city of Athens, Ga., takes business and leisure travel seriously, so it held its first Hospitality U at the Classic Center to educate locals about the importance and economic impact of meetings and conventions on the local economy.
Dallas-based REIT WW Lodging Inc. is looking for buyers of its three-property, 891-room portfolio, which includes hotels in prime locations: Orlando’s Walt Disney World, San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf and San Diego’s Harbour Island. The 325-room Best Western Lake Buena Vista, 355-room Radisson Fisherman’s Wharf (with 45,000 square feet of waterfront space) and 211-room Hilton Harbor […]
Starwood Hotels received top honors in all five hotel categories in the American Automobile Association (AAA) Preferred Partner Performance Survey, winning “2005 Hotel Partner of the Year,” “2005 Lodging Partner Best in Service,” “2005 Lodging Partner Best in Product,” “2005 Lodging Partner Best in Sales Support” and “2005 Lodging Partner Best in Marketing.” This was […]
Names Chairman-elect Mark Andrew, CMP, took a leave of absence from his role as general manager of the Westin Bayshore Resort & Marina in Vancouver to pilot Meeting Professionals International (MPI). Former President and CEO Colin Rorrie Jr. stepped down last month; a search for a new CEO is underway. Starwood Hotels & Resorts named […]
Carlson Companies’ Regent Hotels and Radisson Seven Seas Cruises merged under the global Regent banner, and re-branded itself as Regent Seven Seas Cruises.
Give these ideas a whirl.
After a hotly contested round of bids from cities including Atlanta and "Birthplace of Speed" Daytona Beach, Fla., NASCAR announced the home of its hall of fame would be in Charlotte, N.C.
Despite record lows in domestic airfares paid in 2005, business travelers should expect to shell out more in 2006, says the Business Travel Monitor (BTM) report released by American Express’ business travel unit.
The hospitality industry is holding its breath, waiting to see what happens July 1 when labor agreements with New York City’s 25,000 hotel workers expire. Labor contracts will expire in six North American cities this year — Toronto, Honolulu, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Boston — representing two-thirds of the industry’s labor contracts in […]
One of the biggest advantages to meeting at a university-managed facility is the cost factor. “We’re a non-profit organization managed by Georgia Tech,” says Kirk Englehardt, director of communications at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) Conference Center in Atlanta. “Our goal is not to make a profit on the facility. At the end of […]
Atlanta Connect Cards, Château Élan's, Outdoor Alabama, and room layouts.
At the center of Cancun’s hurricane recovery effort is a $20 million beach recovery program, scheduled for completion April 30, 2006. The project primarily is focused on renewing and restoring the southernmost beach along the city’s hotel strip, and is designed to do so without disturbing visitors currently enjoying the reopened beaches. Attractions and hotels […]
Holiday Inn’s new eHost went live last month. The virtual concierge service is the first by a major hotel chain. Accessed via hotels’ free high-speed Internet access systems, eHost gives Holiday Inn guests 24-hour access to the information normally provided by a traditional concierge, including area dining options, attractions, movies, shopping, transportation, and events in […]
A decline in requests has led many hotels to reduce its number of smoking rooms in recent years, but now a major chain has gone smoke free and family-friendly Disney hotels have kicked the habit. At the beginning of the year, Westin Hotels & Resorts became the first hotel chain to introduce a brand-wide smoke-free […]
“The Lighter Side of Business Travel” is a collection of 90 cartoons, originally published in the legendary New Yorker Magazine, that capture the business travel experience from airport security screening to hotel wake-up calls. The National Business Travel Association (NBTA) partnered with The Cartoon Bank to produce the book, billed as a great gift for […]
“Mileage Pro: The Insider’s Guide to Frequent Flyer Programs” gives travelers advice and tips for managing and maximizing frequent flyer programs, including choosing the best program, how to reach elite status, identifying optimum awards, and exchanging miles and points among programs. Aimed at road warriors, miles junkies and even infrequent travelers, this book offers useful […]
You have an important event. You know you’ve planned everything well, down to the printed program, which looks great. You’re ready. But when it comes time for the video presentations, there’s no sound. And you note that the screen is too big for the room (and for the people sitting at the front tables to […]
Villa Christina, Bocce ball, "flight nights," and a telephone chain.
Delta has received approval from the United States Department of Transportation to expand into 11 new markets across Europe and the Middle East this summer. By June, when non-stop flights to Kiev, Ukraine, are expected to begin from New York-JFK, Delta will become the world’s leading carrier across the Atlantic, offering more flights and destinations […]
After a rocky 18 months of attempting to “challenge the status quo,” Independence Air shut down operations on Jan. 5, canceling its more than 200 daily departures to 37 destinations, and filing for bankruptcy. Under section 145 of Congress’ Aviation and Transportation Security Act (Nov. 19, 2001), U.S. airlines must offer stand-by transportation to passengers […]
American-based Hilton Hotels Corporation (HHC) agreed to purchase 400 hotels from U.K.-based Hilton Group (HI), reuniting the Hilton brand for the first time since it split in 1964. Upon completion of the buyout, scheduled for first quarter 2006, HHC will become the world’s largest lodging company with nearly 2,800 hotels and 475,000 rooms in 80 […]
American InterContinental University interior design student Kevin Knight won Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts’ Meeting Space-Off challenge for undergraduate design majors with his design for a modern boardroom, transforming the Crowne Plaza Atlanta-Perimeter NW’s The Boardroom into an industrial-style meeting space using environmentally friendly materials and a warm color palette.
Spa Treatments in AZ, In-room shopping, loungin', and meeting in Mexico.
The Special Event Assistance & Resources With a Caring Heart (SEARCH) Foundation will present a check for $25,000 to the New Orleans Foundation for Events Associates Revitalization (NOFEAR) during the Special Event Trade Show in Dallas on Jan. 11.
Haunted bed-n-breakfasts, NASCAR simulators, ice-breakers, and candy.
Host Marriott Corp. acquired 38 luxury and upscale hotels from Starwood Hotels and Resorts Inc., which Starwood will continue to operate for up to 40 years. Meanwhile, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide acquired 130 Le Meridien hotels and resorts in 56 countries, significantly increasing the company’s presence in Europe, Africa, Asia Pacific and the Middle […]
Along Mississippi’s Gulf Coast, attractions, hotels and restaurants are beginning to reopen. Charter boats for deepwater fishing are already carrying near-capacity loads. Most of the coast’s golf courses are expected to open by January. Many restaurants, including the Biloxi landmark Mary Mahoney’s, have reopened. The Isle of Capri, Imperial Place and the Palace are planning […]
Development in Atlanta heated up this fall with the Nov. 23 opening of The Georgia Aquarium, the largest in the world. This is an amazing time to be in Atlanta, as a resident or visitor,î said Spurgeon Richardson, president and CEO of the Atlanta CVB. ìThe city is gearing up for an unprecedented series of […]
Small meetings in central Florida, native cuisine in Scottsdale, edible flowers, and The Smart Pen.
People in the hotel industry continue to find creative ways to help recent hurricane victims. Employees of Orlando's The Villas of Grand Cypress are donating vacation day pay.
Marriott Rivercenter and Marriott Riverwalk have teamed with Deaf Link, a San Antonio-based company that uses state of the art technology, the Internet and certified interpreters to provide communication access for the deaf and hard of hearing. Using a Web-based camera and videoconferencing technology, the two hotels provide deaf and hard of hearing "callers" 24-hour […]
Downtown Atlanta's Marriott, Hilton and Hyatt hotels have teamed up to offer planners looking to book 1,000 to 4,000 peak room nights a comprehensive, contiguous and affordable meeting package.
The General Service Administration increased the standard daily allowance for meals, incidental expenses and lodging for government travel in most markets for fiscal year 2006. New per diem rates went into effect Oct. 1. In the cities where government meetings book the greatest number of rooms, the average allowed per diem rate is higher than […]
InterContinental Hotels Group opened a “Holiday Inn for the 21st century” in Pooler, Ga., on Sept. 28. The 63,000-sq. ft. Holiday Inn Savannah-Pooler is designed to capitalize on the iconic heritage of the Holiday Inn brand while offering modern, innovative amenities for business travelers and families. Rooms are equipped with business amenities, such as voice […]
Several hotel chains have waived cancellation fees for meetings scheduled in New Orleans. According to Lodging Econometrics, Inc., 160 Louisiana hotels (28,481 rooms) and 33 Alabama hotels (3,650 rooms) currently are closed. In Mississippi, 93 hotels with a total of 13,701 rooms are closed. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has declared the following counties […]