Planning a Successful New Year Corporate Party in Arizona

Planning a Successful New Year Corporate Party in Arizona

Throwing a New Year party is a great way to recharge your team and giving it the new impetus for the next year.  However, a corporate event is a synonym for boredom in the dictionary of many employees. As an organizer, it is your job to dispel such perceptions. You have to make sure your event look and feel less formal and more of a New Year bash. Nonetheless, you still need to be diligent to make sure it doesn’t turn into a frat party either.

By striking this challenging balance, you can make your New Year’s corporate event a success. Also, this success will be long-lasting. The employees who will attend this party are going to wait for the next year’s bash. If you are an Arizona-based business and want to organize a tempting New Year event for your team, then read on. We are going to discuss things that will tone down the formality of the event while adding more fun to it but without tarnishing its core identity of being “corporate.”

The Venue Should not Be a Hotel

Hotel ballrooms and conference halls have an inherent formal feel to them.  There are strong chances that having your corporate New Year bash inside a hotel will make it stale. It would be better if you pick an open-air venue. It looks and feels less formal.  You can also opt for some unconventional options like a hangar. Hangars are, in fact, a better option than an open-air venue. Its enclosed construction makes sure your event doesn’t get affected by the overwhelming cold of a December evening.

Make it Less Informal Through Drinks and Foods

You can also make your New Year Corporate party more interesting, engaging, and less formal by choosing the menu carefully. For instance, order more drinks per head than a regular corporate event. However, don’t go overboard where people start binging on drinks as if it is a happy hour. Remember, you don’t want your event to turn into a frat party.

Also, choose the side dishes and main course that doesn’t need peculiar cutlery and table manners to consume. By offering foods that one can only eat in an informal manner, you can change the entire ambiance of the event. Wings, fries, burgers, pizza, lasagnas, sausages, etc. are a staple in informal food menus for your New Year’s corporate event. You can also add Middle Eastern and Indian dishes to the menu to simultaneously make it interesting and less formal.

Entertainment Should Set the Mood Accordingly

There strong chances that the majority of your staff would belong to Generation X and Y. So, make sure the entertainment, primarily music, at the event should be in accordance with their test. If EDM is a popular genre among guests, then it should be played. Electronic music will also suit the upbeat mood of a typical New Year bash.

From arranging a hanger to taking care of catering and entertainment of the event, Scottsdale Private Event Venues will make sure your New Year Corporate party becomes a resounding success.

What Planners Need to Know About Meeting Logo Design

What Planners Need to Know About Meeting Logo Design. Your conference logo should reflect your strategy and message. Does it?

In a world saturated with conferences, don’t just slap a logo on your event. Instead, make it strategic and thoughtful. “It’s always worth the effort,” says Kate Silva, design director at Freeman XP. A well-designed conference logo offers the first glimpse into what an attendee can expect from the live experience and helps maintain connections over time. It should be given the same consideration as every other touchpoint of your brand.

The logo is out there in the world for all to see and experience. Invest the time. Do it right,” says Silva. But what is the right process for designing a conference logo that will reflect your brand and be remembered?

From the concept stage, to the final product, every agency has its own process, and it is rarely linear. An important first step is partnering with someone who has a shared vision.

Silva suggests using an agency that utilizes “Design Thinking,” a customer-centered process to inform the development of the design that gathers “key strategic insights, develops customer segments, creates a message hierarchy, and ultimately a creative brief.” Initial steps, says Sarah Klimek, program management director, Aimia, “include a discovery meeting to survey the need, purpose, and cost-benefit analysis.”

Here are four steps to expect when working with a design professional to create your event logo.

• Creative brief. First of all an effective creative brief is the single most critical factor to ensuring a successful project. Therefore it should focus primarily on the business objectives of the project, allowing the planner and the designer to clarify exactly what is to be achieved before any work starts. It’s the roadmap for everything that follows.

• Design and conceptualization. There should be an open line of communication between the planner and designer, with frequent updates detailing the progress of the design.

• Feedback. The designer revises the concepts and designs based on the planner’s feedback.

• Final approval and delivery. Both parties sign off on the design and the designer delivers the final creative assets.

What Makes a Great Logo?
Of all the factors that go into a great logo design, one rises to the top, “simplicity.” The conference name should be clean and easily legible. “Don’t clutter it with all the details. Location. Venue. Dates. That’s what invitations and websites are for,” says Silva.

“The most successful logos are simple graphics that complement the corporate logo and brand,” agrees Joan Parker, creative director, Aimia. “They look like they naturally derive from the same visual vocabulary and graphically fit inside the corporate umbrella brand. They can easily take center stage or take the back seat based on how they are being used.”

Also Silva points to the logo for Salesforce.com’s Dreamforce event as one of her favorites. “There’s a clear connection with the Salesforce brand,” she says. “The logo is clean, simple and iconic.”

Parker believes any event logo should evoke a feeling of “I want to go there and participate!” From a practical standpoint, however, versatility is also important. “The logo needs to work when used in very small or very large formats … and many sizes in between.

Therefore it can be used to convey the identity of an event or conference on signs, mobile app screens, emails, menus, T-shirts, and more. For this reason also, simple is best,” says Parker.

One mistake clients make, says Parker, is thinking that the name of the event, location, and dates must be part of the logo. “We think of the logo is a graphic identifier,” she explains, with the copy that accompanies the logo treated as support. “We try to first create a graphic that can be used on its own, then a second version that includes the event/conference name (which will often be used the most), and then one that includes necessary details such as dates and location to be used when appropriate.”

Change or Revise?
Design and marketing professionals argue strongly for maintaining a conference logo from year to year. “Consistency allows your audience to form connections and memories around your event,” Silva explains. “Changing a conference logo each year suggests confusion around your brand. Connections are not formed. Expectations are lost.”

As a result that doesn’t mean nothing can or should change. Silva tells the story of a Fortune 50 technology company that rolled out a new overall corporate design scheme, which necessitated a logo refresh for its event. “The event was a recurring event—so rather than a dramatic redesign, which would have risked jeopardizing existing brand loyalties, we opted to refresh and reflect the new brand framework.

We updated the color palette; streamlined and simplified the iconography; created more balance and symmetry and aligned typography. The logo was still easily recognizable, but more closely aligned with the overall brand.”

One way to keep a logo consistent but fresh is with a theme logo, says Silva. “Overall the conference logo remains the same so the brand connection is maintained, but a theme logo is developed for that year.” This approach is useful “to highlight larger corporate initiatives or a strategic focus within the company,” she says.

Also the Professional Convention Management Association uses this approach for its annual Convening Leaders conference by incorporating an iconic piece of the host-city skyline into the logo each year.

While consistency is the goal, there are times when a new or radically updated logo is required:

It is dated. Is your color scheme or typography showing its age?

Has technical issues. If it isn’t readable when scaled or doesn’t translate to black and white, it may be time for a change.

Logo is forgettable. If the design is complicated, it won’t be memorable.

In conclusion building a new logo for your event is an exciting and impactful process. As Aimia’s Klimek says, “conference logos bring cohesion to the purpose of the event. Rally attendees around a common message or theme, and serve as a beacon.” Give it the attention it deserves.

Unique Venues Something different

Unique Venues Something different. The flexibility of our space provides for a blank canvas for your imaginative occasion planning.  You can alter this space to fit nearly any style of event. Call us today to see how Scottsdale Hangar Parties can serve as your next fantabulous event!

Hangars range from urban to flawlessly finished. We have amenities not generally located in this kind of venue.

No other source that can provide such a unique venue which is faultless for several types of events including:

We are your one-stop, full-service event partner. Scottsdale Hangar Parties connects you to our unique event venues while also providing the most comprehensive turnkey event production solutions. We specialize in corporate event locations and production in Scottsdale, Arizona, and the surrounding cities.

SPEV and no other source provides such a unique venue which is faultless for several types of events including:

Hence we are your one-stop, full-service event partner. Venues of North Scottsdale connects you to our unique event venues while also providing the most comprehensive turnkey event production solutions. We specialize in corporate event locations and production in Scottsdale, Arizona, and the surrounding cities.

With that said if you want your event to be a marvelous accomplishment, you need to make sure that it is something special. With all the things tried and tested with regards to event management in Scottsdale, there is little room to improve on standard practices. That is why you need to think out of the box. We’re talking about something really out there when we say out of the box. A victorious event needs a really good theme.

Specialties: Destination Management, Meeting Planning, City Wide Conventions.

Local Host Committee Coordination, Sales Training Meetings, Incentive Programs.

Customer Appreciation Receptions, Board Retreats, Holiday Events, Off-Site Events.

Dinners, Dine Around, Concept Creation, Themed Events, Transportation, Manifest Management

Venue Selection, Tours, Professional Staffing, Hospitality Desks, PR, Speakers, Entertainment, Promotional Events

 

 

 

 

 

The Importance of Entertainment at a Corporate Event

Reasons Why Live Entertainment Is Important at Any Corporate Event

If you are planning a corporate event, you definitely would want to get the most out of it. To make the event successful, you make sure that all the major things including the venue, decoration, and food are par excellence.

However, one of the most easily neglected aspects of any corporate event is entertainment. The planners easily over-look this significant feature of any event.

That’s why we share with you some major reasons why hiring live entertainment can determine the success of your corporate event.

 

  • Cheers up the Guests

 

The corporate events can become very boring at times. The constant serious talk related to business can wear out people quite easily. Thus, what is needed to enliven their spirits is good entertainment. It is also important that you hire entertainment that goes along with the likes and interests of your audience.

Live entertainment can help the guests to have fun and be relaxed. It could also be a nice way to engage better with others, getting the opportunity to talk about other light and fun topics.  

The energy of the event elevates the mood of the guests, making them feel more positive. This way they will go back home with a smile on their faces.  

 

  • Reflects Your Values and Vision

 

You might not know but live entertainment at your corporate event can be a way to showcase the visionary ideas that your company upholds. It means that you can use entertainment to help your guests understand the motive of your event.  

The entertainment that is according to the purpose of the event helps to run the event more smoothly and naturally. Your guests will easily understand the message you are trying to convey, and that too through music. Hence, it is vital to choose the right kind of entertainment for your event.

 

  • Makes the Event Memorable

 

Do not underestimate the power of live entertainment. Good music or funny stage performance can make your event stick out in the minds of guests forever.

People never forget the things that successfully make them happy. Keeping that in mind, if the live entertainment at your corporate event is able to bring joy to people, your event will be totally a hit.

Trust us, people will definitely talk about it afterwards. Surely they will also look forward attending your next corporate event.

 

  • Enhances the Morale of the Co-Workers

 

A popular live entertainment can give your co-workers a chance to boost their energy. All year long they work hard which can drain out their energy. Thus, a lively entertainment can give your co-workers a reason to stay at the company.

When planning entertainment you can also set the space for dancing which can be a light-hearted fun for everyone.

Do you know that Venues of North Scottsdale can book you the industry’s greatest performing artists for your corporate event? So, book them now if you want a flawless entertainment for your next corporate event.

 

2016 Chicago Cubs and Great Meeting Teams Have in Common

2016 Chicago Cubs and Great Meeting Teams Have in Common. Before the 2016 World Series is a distant memory, I want to share my observations about what made the Chicago Cubs so great and how those qualities translate to great meetings and events teams.

1. During the locker room celebration, Cubs executive Crane Kenney proudly proclaimed that culture eats strategy for lunch. Culture starts from the top, with leadership setting the tone for willing followers. There can be great strategy, but without inspired people who genuinely love their jobs and who are empowered to execute, strategy is nothing more than an idea.

2. But…strategy is important! You have to have a grand vision (what you aspire to be) and a well-articulated plan for how to get there. Culture and strategy work in tandem: With a poor culture, the plan is going nowhere fast. Both are key to any organizations success, and meeting planning is no exception.

3. Pay attention to the details. In baseball, players simply need to react to the ball. However, those who rely on Sabermetrics—baseball’s version of Big Data—have a better chance at success. Good planners combine an eye for the big picture with a knack for knowing the details.

4. Balance matters. The Cubs, by design, had a good mix of veterans and rookies. There was a group of players who had been there before and knew what to do and those who were curious to know what it means to win it all. Experience and exuberance continually proves itself to be a worthy combination. Successful meetings teams aren’t comprised just of seasoned professionals.

Luck is not an accident

5. Luck is not an accident, and neither is success. Sometimes the ball bounces in funny ways, or the rain comes at an opportune (or inopportune) time. Great teams seem to get the breaks, but the reality is they are prepared for any situation that comes their way. They are resilient and are rarely caught off-guard.

6. Shedding is growing. The Cubs had to let go of a lot of talented players over the years to get the right people in place and in the right order. Great meetings and event teams are not those that continually try to do the same thing, but those that take calculated risks and dare to be different. Letting go of the right things creates new opportunities and keeps events fresh.

7. Good things often take time—well, not usually 108 years!—and sometimes it is the journey, rather than the destination, that matters the most. Quality and success do not happen overnight. There is no such thing as the perfect meeting. Planners learn from their mistakes. Sometimes having a few bad events makes the great ones more satisfying.

8. Many Cubs played multiple positions during the year and didn’t complain, although they may have had expertise at one position. Versatility is valuable. The most valued meeting professionals may be great at one thing while simultaneously demonstrating their breadth by adapting to virtually any situation.

Relax and have fun

9. Relax and have fun. Nobody performs well when they are stressed. Cubs manager Joe Maddon often created dress-up themes for road trips to keep the players loose. Meeting planning may be among the most stressful professions, but at least you don’t have a 90-mph fastball coming at your head!

10. Celebrate your successes. The Cubs celebrated every victory in their locker room. When the event ends, does everyone pack up the boxes and head to the airport? If so, you’re missing an important part: the celebration of a job well done.

11. Cubs employees get the best of everything. The organization flew all of its employees to Game 7 of the World Series. You can call it their incentive trip! Everyone will receive a World Series ring. The Cubs spared no expense because they knew the rewards in the future will pay dividends in employee retention and loyalty. Find a way to convince your leadership to support your efforts in big ways.

12. In conclusion You need loyal, passionate customers. Therefore none of this matters without appreciative fans—or, for meeting planners, attendees. Fortunately your participants don’t have to wait a century for a great event!

Executive Director, Financial & Insurance Conference Planners

10 (Harsh) Truths Nobody Tells You About Being an Event Planner

10 (Harsh) Truths Nobody Tells You About Being an Event Planner . On the flipside however some of these common characteristics we share and our demanding career path can actually be a nightmare for those around us, at home, work and play.

In this post we explore the downsides of our work as an #Eventprof. This is essential reading for anyone training to be an Event Manager or starting out in the industry and should strike a cord with all Event Planners. This light hearted post is a special thank you to our friends and loved ones who put up with us day in and day out and love us anyway, despite these foibles and our unconventional jobs!

Perfectionist or Control Freak?

Attention to detail matters a lot in this job, for obvious reasons. However there is actually a very fine line between a perfectionist and a control freak. If you believe that you have to do everything yourself to ensure your high standards are met and struggle with delegation you may have crossed the line!

Do you believe that everything will crumble if you do not micro-manage every single detail? Try to keep a healthy perspective and reality check yourself otherwise with so many details to manage on every single event you can easily burn yourself out with stress and anxiety. Remember events are about team work for the greatest chance of success.

It is also sometimes inevitable and completely outside of your control when things go wrong. At times like these you need the right side of your brain to take the lead, rather than the methodical, task-based and logical left side. When you have to think on your feet and react quickly you really show your worth as an Event Manager. It takes nerves of steel not to crumble and to take control of the situation authoritatively and quickly and to smoothly direct a new plan of action. On the plus side there is no time to worry about it and the adrenalin often kicks in. You really must “Keep Calm and Carry On.”

All Work and No Play

Many people envy the role of an #eventprof. It is true that the job can have many perks, but it certainly isn’t always as glamorous as many people imagine!

In reality it is hard work. It involves long, long hours and plenty of pressure to ensure everything goes to plan. If you are looking for a set 9 to 5 job this probably isn’t the career for you to choose.

Moreover, when the event is in full swing on the day/night there is often no time to relax. At the end of the day you are putting on the event for other peoples benefit, delight and objectives, you are there to do a job and not to enjoy yourself!

Of course jet setting across the world or even just to other towns and cities sounds exciting. But often you have little or no time to explore the outside world before you are back on the plane/boat/train/car back home again.

Shhh. Don’t Tell!

Another misconception about our job is how lucky we are to work with celebrities and famous people and this is true most, or at least some, of the time. It is great to truly appreciate how someone has deservingly got where they are through talent and charisma and seemingly managed to stay grounded.

HOWEVER I think every #eventprof has horror stories of egotistical, downright rude and dislikeable characters we have had the “pleasure” to work with. But of course what happens backstage, stays backstage – or at least until I write my memoirs!

It’s Not All About You

One of the greatest skills of an Event Planner is actually fading into the background! You are not the star of the show, you are there to silently and efficiently work behind the scenes so that the event happens as if by magic.

Of course people should know where to turn if they have any questions or concerns but humility is actually a very important attribute for every Event Manager and this is a good marker to me of a successful event.

Sociable and Outgoing? Or Simply too Loud?

This profession seems to attract those that are fairly confident and outgoing, which makes sense in this public facing and customer orientated role. However it is important to realise that what is sociable to one person can sometimes be seen as overbearing to another. I have certainly met some marmite characters in the world of events.

The best #eventprofs are able to judge a situation and the characters involved perfectly and blend in as the circumstances demand. Like a chameleon they are well practised at keeping the conversation flowing on seemingly any topic, champions at asking questions, listening and showing an interest and of course able to inject professionalism, humour, intrigue and storytelling as required.

Tech Obsessed

For many Event Managers their role today is closely interlinked with technology. And social media and seems to demand being online 24/7. To others we can appear to act like teenagers, or even sometimes be perceived as being rude. Constantly checking our smart phones. However we are “working” – honest! In social media quick responses are essential so replying promptly across multiple social media channels is important. And it can be tempting to check ticket sales, reply to that email, update your to-do list and start planning that next blog post while your phone is at your fingertips.

Just please oh please do not fall in to the 75% of Americans that admit using their smart phone on the toilet….

Cranky?

Time and time again Event Management is listed as one of the top ten most stressful jobs. So can you blame us for being a little tetchy sometimes?! An event really is the ultimate immovable deadline. Stress levels and patience can sometimes run a little thin at pressurized times!
To be frank after a LONG, HARD event day of non-stop talking and endless smiles looking after guests it is nice to simply be quiet!

And yes, on event days we can easily cover 20 miles plus so we are fully entitled to moan about our aching limbs and blistered feet too!

What Time Do you Call This?

18 hour days and finally falling into bed at 3am after running a dinner or awards ceremony or rising at 4am to run a conference or exhibition is part of the job spec. Hopefully you have an understanding bedfellow as many people wouldn’t dream of keeping the hours demanded as an #eventprof.

Once An Event Planner Always An Event Planner…

When you go to an event organised by someone else we still cannot help ourselves. Do we switch off and enjoy not being in the driving seat for once? NO! Instead we seem to go on auto pilot, opening doors, directing people, solving other people’s problems. The strange thing is people seem to naturally gravitate towards us as if they think we are in charge! Event Management is in your blood.

Just Enjoy the Moment?

Furthermore we can’t help but wonder “why have they done it that way? I would have done that differently” whilst also appraising what they have done well and what is and isn’t working.

At festivals and concerts in particular I find myself completely fascinated. Watching the crew do their jobs and appreciating the quick set changes. And the sound, vision, lighting and special effects in minute detail. Does this detract from my enjoyment of the event though? No – not at all!

In Conclusion

I know lots of amazing Event Planners who are fantastic at what they do. However there is definitely a flip side and the traits that make us dynamite Event Managers. Our over-demanding careers can also make us frustrating friends, lovers, family members, work colleagues or acquaintances. I hope that we are worth it!

Can you identify with any of the truths in this post? What other honest confessions would you add to this list? I would love to have your input in the comments below.
Read more at http://www.eventmanagerblog.com/truths-event-planner#hYQBo4SXcBdTBGVG.99

4 Must-Follow Rules for Planning Events in the Trump Era

4 Must-Follow Rules for Planning Events in the Trump Era.

To say that emotions have been running high in the U.S. over the last month since the election of Donald Trump is possibly the understatement of the new century. Whatever side you ended up on, whatever your political affiliation, you are probably exhausted and ready for a break from the election’s divisiveness as well as the media’s continuous barrage on our senses.

However, as event professionals, we will be faced with the repercussions from this election over the coming months as attendees of all political persuasions will be coming to our events and interacting with each other. Granted, some of you may be holding events that may appeal more to one particular mindset or political leaning, but even in these cases you may have guests that widely differ in their reactions and level of attachment/detachment with the issues of the day.

So as you plan and launch events during the Trump Era, here are a few rules to follow to ensure that your events remain on track and your attendees stay engaged with each other … not enraged at each other.

1. Provide a “safe haven” for your attendees

Whether you are hosting a fundraiser, organizing a meeting or planning a party or wedding, you may have attendees with positions all over the political map. And one thing that can intimidate attendees and put them on the defensive is if they feel they or their ideas are being minimized or attacked. And when people feel cornered, they tend to lash out, which could require you to diffuse uncomfortable situations and even derail your event.

So from the outset you should make your attendees feel comfortable to be who they are and let attendees know that their role is not to judge each other but to try and understand, listen to and learn from each other. Yes, this may sound very “kumbaya”, but by setting this precedent at the outset, you can hopefully diffuse any eruptions before they occur and begin your event with a low anxiety/aggression baseline.

One suggestion for setting this example is for you or your first speaker to openly acknowledge the potential differences of opinion in the room and to reiterate the purpose of the event so everyone can stay focused on it and not on defending a position that may not have anything to do with the event.

2. Offer positive solutions

Every election season has a fair measure of negativity, but this season has subjected us to something more like an avalanche of negativity, followed by a tsunami of vitriol, finished off by an apocalypse of animosity.

Of course this is cause for concern as to what it says about the state of our government. But it also sets an unfortunate precedent in that this dark mood bleeds into our daily lives and interactions with each other. It’s as if we now expect negative interactions and outcomes in all facets of our lives, and to be honest there are many, many things in our lives to be thankful for and to embrace.

It’s one of your responsibilities as an event organizer to rise above the fray and focus on positive solutions and outcomes for your events. The events you create can be a path forward both for your attendees and for your cause, company or organization. And if you are celebrating an occasion. This can be a moment of reflection and a reminder of the common ground we share. Embracing forward-thinking themes and constructive ideas will not only unite your attendees. But it gives them hope and purpose as they leave your event and return to what many feel is an uncertain new world.

3. Don’t contribute to the noise and misinformation

As we have witnessed in politics over the last 20 years. Saying extreme things and speaking in constant hyperbole often works wonders and gains lots of ears and eyeballs. The media has picked up on this and used it to spin ratings at the cost of our sanity. Marketers even stir up fake controversy to attract attention. And social media is usually the rank cauldron where all this activity brews and builds. Where misstatements, exaggerations and even downright lies go unchecked and take on the semblance of truth and normality.

In the end, we all end up feeling duped by our culture. Like everyone and everything is trying to pull one over on us and trick us into believing or buying something. So we approach every message and look at every messenger with suspicion.

This is why it is vital for your outreach and your message to attendees to be honest, heartfelt and sincere. Sure there’s still room to be clever, creative and even edgy. And maybe your topic or approach is controversial in and of itself. But if you think playing on people’s fears or relying on shock is now normal behavior in getting people’s attention. You may discover that we are all getting pretty desensitized to it. And you will most likely alienate a segment of your audience that you will never get back. Don’t stoop to the level of our political discourse (or lack thereof) … rise above it. Your attendees will appreciate you all the more for it.

4. Encourage and create opportunities for dialogue

Politically, our country is as polarized as ever, and more than ever Americans’ identities are wrapped up into party affiliation. Unfortunately this has created “siloed” populations where like-minded people only seek out information that reinforces their beliefs. And only interact with people who agree with them.

As event professionals, we have both an immense challenge and a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create an open dialogue among attendees. We all can start finding common ground and understanding each other better. And what motivates each of use to think and act. This is where the events industry can take the lead in creating forums where dialogue is encouraged. And where people can listen to different ideas and come to respect different points of view.

The key word here is “respect”, in that Trump-Era events need to encourage a respectful demeanor among attendees. In which people are less inclined to judge. React or withdraw and more inclined to listen, participate and interact in a positive fashion with one another. This is the best way to ensure your attendees leave your events satisfied and inspired … and the best way to ensure they continue to attend future events.

The Donald Trump administration may well bring a fair amount of change and controversy. But by following these four rules you give your events the best chance of success in the era of Trump.

http://blog.planningpod.com/tag/event-venues

Delta Lets Travelers Track Luggage in Real Time

Delta Lets Travelers Track Luggage in Real Time. Maps are an integral part of travel. For those flying with checked bags, being able to see a piece of luggage and its journey through the airport and from one plane to the next has been lacking. Delta Air Lines now offers customers a mapped view of their bag’s last scanned location. This week, baggage tracking information on the Fly Delta mobile app, allowing passengers to view the whereabouts of their belongings in real time.

The new map enhancement builds on Delta’s industry-first, system-wide launch of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) bag tags and the roll out of RFID tracking technology at 84 airports in the U.S. All domestic stations now offer a map view of the bag’s journey. International stations will receive this technology in the coming months.

Track Checked Bags in Real Time with Delta Air Lines Mobile App

“We’re the first carrier to offer this level of visibility,” said Bill Lentsch, Delta’s senior vice president of airline operations. “From the moment our customers drop off their bag, we want them to know we’re looking out for it every step of the way and working to take the stress out of flying one innovation at a time.”

When a customer wants to see the location of their bag, the display starts by showing a zoomed out map of the U.S.. As the bag travels from one airport to the next. The map then automatically zooms to airport view. Users can follow their bag along its journey via pins, with the last known location identified by a suitcase icon. Tapping any of the pins or the icon will provide additional text information about the location of the bag.

Push notifications will sync with the app later this year.  Therefore offer Delta customers down-to–the-minute updates on their checked baggage. It will also automatically update as flight details change.

3 Things to Consider When Finding the Perfect Venue

3 Things to Consider When Finding the Perfect Venue. So you have narrowed down all the hotels that meet your selection criteria to two or three destinations and are ready to send out RFPs … all 125 of them, right?

Before filling out your RFP to hotels and venues that will not meet your requirements, do your homework to save time for both you and the potential venue partner. Remember, while it may not take much effort to send out an eRFP, it does take a lot of time for the hotel to respond and for you to review. Seems like the extra step is necessary in the venue vetting process and is guaranteed to pay off. Here are three things to keep in mind when selecting the perfect venue:

1. Look at Meeting Objections and Requirements

While the items listed below may sound like they belong on an RFP, they are high-level considerations you must nail down before reaching out to venues.

Goals: What are the goals and objectives of your meeting? Once you can convey them clearly,  many venues will become obvious choices.

Style: What is the style of the meeting? Is it a networking function for employees, educational session of like-minded professionals, or a large annual convention?

Also, does the venue reflect the image of the organization? Is it a place your company, its stakeholders, and its sponsors would be proud to enter? On the other hand, is it too opulent for your guests?

This takes time to assess and requires planners like you to walk a fine line. The venue should not be “too” anything. Too cheap or too expensive are not words you wish to hear from attendees.

Meeting Space, AV, and Food

  • What is your total meeting space requirement? Would a convention center, conference center, or hotel work best for your group? How many breakout rooms do you need, and will you want to use outside function space?
  • What type of audio/visual equipment will you need, including risers and podiums? Is technical support available onsite?
  • Are there ways to brand your event through the hotel’s marquee or digital signage?
  • Is Wi-Fi prevalent throughout the facility, including outdoor space? Is it free or fee based?
  • What about charging stations? Are they available throughout the space, and do they support many types of mobile devices?
  • Look at food and beverage – overall, what is the cuisine? Can you bring in outside caterers, if desired?

2. Break Down the Budget

If you are like most meeting professionals, you collect surveys from attendees at the end of each meeting to garner feedback. Consequently now is the time to pull up those results and really learn from them.

If yours is an annual event, take a hard look at your three-year history. As a result analyze meeting spend in the areas of space, audio/visual, presenters, food and beverage, and any other items of significance.

Lastly, map these results against your goals. How do they line up? Should you be doing things consistently or do attendees want a fresh take?

3. Look and Ask for Help

There is an abundance of free resources available to help you make meaningful and successful decisions while planning an event.

Convention and Visitors’ Bureaus address three major areas:

  • Gathering information and connecting with hotels that meet your search criteria
  • Setting realistic expectations about the destination and venue
  • Educating you about local demand factors, such as peak times, special conventions, and construction projects scheduled for the time of your event

The Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) blog details perspectives, insights, and advice about locations and venues for meeting professionals.

The Convention Industry Council offers the Accepted Practices Exchange (APEX) that promotes development and implementation of industry-accepted practices. These practices are designed to create and enhance efficiency throughout the meetings, conventions, and exhibitions industry. There are many free templates available to evaluate venues and destinations.

Therefore if you are a member of Meeting Professionals International (MPI), you can search under the community directory and connect directly with other planners, suppliers, and university faculty in the city you are looking to explore. As a fellow member, you can ask for advice about the best venues from experienced professionals.

The American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) has a collection of models and samples used by real associations and industry partners designed to generate ideas and save you time when planning your meeting.

The Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) offers courses, articles, and research on meetings and exhibits strategy, and lets you search specific terms.

There are many LinkedIn groups that you can ask for guidance or suggestions about specific venues within a destination. The following three feature active discussions about anything event management related:

Planning and Event Management with 273,000 member

Event Peeps with 130,000 members

Planners and Coordinators with 68,000 members

Cvent has two offerings to help planners narrow down their choices:

  1. The Cvent Supplier Network offers live chat capabilities with a Cvent consultant and serves as a way for more than 70,000 planners to find venues, send RFPs, and collect proposals through a single platform
  2. EliteMeetings.com is a free tool for planners looking at luxury destinations. It gives you an opportunity to view 44,000 properties via an exclusive portal. Every member has direct access to a personal assistant who can help with information about a particular destination and finding the perfect hotel for a specific event

Now you should be armed with enough information to send out your RFPs. You have completed your homework by looking at your goals, requirements and history, but most of all, you’ve gone deeper into industry ideas and standards. Click here to help you craft the perfect RFP.

Check out The Essential Planner Guide to help you source your next meeting or event.

7 Thrilling Team-Building Adventures

7 Thrilling Team-Building Adventures. Clutching a rockface while navigating a 300-foot walkway, leaning over the ledge of a tall building, and bungee jumping from a bridge 708 feet above the ground.  These are among the pulse-pounding adventures available to visitors in locations around the world.

Such exciting activities aren’t for everyone. But they can certainly provide a jolt for meeting groups, and offer great team-building takeaways. Here’s a rundown of some of the most thrilling attractions.

Coiling Dragon Cliff Skywalk, Zhangjiajie, China:

Situated in China’s Hunan Province, this glass-bottomed walkway attached to Tianmen Mountain offers stunning views. It’s also 4,700 feet above the ground and only about 5 feet wide, so visitors steady themselves by clinging to the rock face.

Mount Huashan, Shaanxi Province, China:

Not to be outdone, this mountain in Huayin City offers visitors the opportunity to hike on wooden planks. They are along the side of the mountain until they reach a teahouse 7,000 feet above the ground. Visitors complete the journey wearing harnesses that are attached to a chain strung along the path.

Grand Canyon

Skywalk, Arizona:

Walking to the edge of a cliff isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but those who do so at this location, protected by a railing, are able to snap amazing shots of one of the world’s most magnificent natural attractions.

Trolltunga Cliff, Hordaland County, Norway:

Those who want to take the Grand Canyon experience a step further can head to this location. It features stunning views of nearby cliffs and a lake that are most dramatically viewed from the ledge of a cliff. But there are no railings to steady and protect you!

CN Tower Edgewalk, Toronto:

Leaning over the edge of this building, 1,200 feet above the ground, sounds like a terrifying experience.

Bloukrans Bridge bungee jumping, South Africa:

Even the most experienced bungee jumpers’ hearts skip a beat at this location, near Nature’s Valley, Western Cape. It’s the tallest commercial bungee jumping attraction in the world, 708 feet above the Bloukrans River.

Stratosphere Casino, Hotel and Tower, Las Vegas: Thrill-seekers love the eccentric rides on the roof of this hotel building. X-Scream passenger cars dangle perilously over the edge as they tilt over the city. Those who dare to ride Insanity, a huge claw-like ride, spin in the air while extended 64 feet over the edge of a 900-foot tower.