In the News

17 SOCIAL Ways to use google Glass at events

Event professionals currently testing Google's wearable device suggest ways to incorporate it into events and meetings. Google Glass is a wearable computer currently being tested by more than 10,000 participants in its Glass Explorers program. The company is still refining the product and has not announced when it will be available to consumers.

Read More –http://www.bizbash.com/17-ways-to-use-google-glass-at-events/new-york/story/28018/#.Uxii45SJIuh.twitter #smhq #glass

It's All About Choice

“Sherry Parks, CEO of Corporate Planners Unlimited Inc. in Dana Point, CA, tackles the special request situation in several ways. "Our food content has become more complex, so when we put menus together, we have the chefs sign off on what ingredients are in them," she said. She then offers attendees the option to choose their menus in advance when they register for the event. "We list (details such as) the grams of protein, amount of sodium, number of calories…

Read More – http://www.themeetingmagazines.com/index/tabid/1484/Default.aspx

SOCIAL MEDIA GURU KEEPS PLANNERS TUNED IN TO TECHNOLOGY

Calling Dan Parks an early adapter is a serious understatement. Parks has devoted his career to being ahead of the technology curve — especially when it comes to meetings.Parks is president and creative director for California-based Corporate Planners Unlimited. But he is probably best known as a social media guru for meeting industry insiders….
by Harvey Chipkin

Read More – http://www.travelmarketreport.com/content/publiccontent.aspx?PageID=1367&articleid=6446&LP=1

Dan Parks 5 Questions: Corporate Meetings and Incentives Magazine

If you could be anywhere in the world, where would you be?
Right where we live, here on Vancouver Island on the ocean. Sydney, Australia, would be a strong No. 2.

What’s playing on your iPod?

Okay, let me break out some fresh music for everyone to try out: "Best for Last" by Adele (my favorite right now!)
….

Read More – http://meetingsnet.com/corporatemeetingsincentives/mag/parks_president_director_0301/

Time Out – Concierges To Meet Your Every Need

If you could be anywhere in the world, where would you be?
Right where we live, here on Vancouver Island on the ocean. Sydney, Australia, would be a strong No. 2.

What’s playing on your iPod?
Okay, let me break out some fresh music for everyone to try out: "Best for Last" by Adele (my favorite right now!); "Black & Gold" by Sam Sparro; "That’s Not My Name" by the Ting Tings; "Get on Your Boots" by U2; "Death & All His Friends" by Coldplay; and "L.E.S. Artistes" by Santogold….

Read More – http://www.pcma.org/Convene/Issue-Archives/October-2007/Time-Out.htm1

It takes a village to brand

Tourists in Ireland encounter huge billboards urging the populace to smile — at the tourists. San Francisco isn't there yet, but The City's tourism czar is hoping that an “all-on-board” mentality will prevail as his organization rolls out an ambitious 2007-08 business plan.
“One of the most important things we want to stress with this plan is that we have to collectively market the San Francisco brand together….

Read More – http://www.sfexaminer.com/news/business/it-takes-village-brand

The business of the independent meeting planner is business

There's plenty to like about the term "independent." After all, it's a concept many countries have fought for. Independence implies freedom, and freedom implies ability to choose. When it comes to the independent meeting planner, there's little doubt that freedom is among the most alluring parts of the job.
But as history has shown, independence is often a double-edged sword….
Author: Robert P. Farmer

Read More – http://www.mpiweb.org/Archive?id=7799

time management – the race to beat the rock

Aside from the office bug that seems to hit everyone around the same time of the year, there's another highly contagious culprit that spreads from cubicle to cubicle and meeting room to meeting room, sparing no one in its path. The culprit is poor time management.
"If someone fails to deliver something important by the time they've promised….
By Baylee Simon

Read More – http://www.themeetingmagazines.com/index/tabid/891/Default.aspx

Book $1M, Get Single Air Deal

Minneapolis — Northwest Airlines has begun offering a single consolidated contract covering meetings and transient travel, available to companies that annually book at least $1 million in total volume with the airline.
Although carriers, including Northwest, previously have offered such agreements on a case-by-case basis, usually by adding an addendum to transient contracts for….
By Donna M. Airoldi

Read More – http://www.allbusiness.com/transportation-communications-electric-gas/4232421-1.html

Meeting in Europe – Know What to Expect

Aside from the office bug that seems to hit everyone around the same time of the year, there's another highly contagious culprit that spreads from cubicle to cubicle and meeting room to meeting room, sparing no one in its path. The culprit is poor time management.
"If someone fails to deliver something important by the time they've promised….
by Peggy Swisher

Read More – http://www.pcma.org/Convene/Issue-Archives/October-2007/Meeting-in-Europe.htm

Lost In Translation – Meetings Strategies

Planners: Has media coverage of anti-American attitudes abroad made you reluctant to take a meeting across the Atlantic? Then maybe you should mull over the following comment, made by an American meeting planner who organizes programs in such far-flung locales as Morocco and China as well as such perennial meetings destinations as Paris and
London: “I really don’t see international politics as having an effect on meetings,” she says. “I’ve read about anti-American sentiment abroad, but I haven’t felt it, wherever I’ve gone….
By Sara J. Welch

Read More – http://www.successfulmeetings.com/Event-Planning/conference-management/Articles/Lost-In-Translation/

20 Changemakers: Dan Parks

These individuals have driven SMMP in their companies, advanced their roles as meeting pros, and are helping to take our industry to the next level…..

Read More – http://meetingsnet.com/corporatemeetingsincentives/changemakers/2009-smmp-changemakers-bios/index20.html#ixzz1ktULI2La

Meet me in cyberspace

Could virtual reality events mean the end of business travel as we know it? Jenny Southan reports on the brave new world
Technophobes beware — the future is upon us. It's time to bring to life that alter-ego you always sensed lurking in the depths of your imagination, create your virtual business card and perfect your keyboard skills, because the next conference you are invited to may well be in cyberspace….

Read More – http://www.businesstraveller.com/archive/2011/march-2011/special-reports/meet-me-in-cyberspace

Where You’ll Find Cutting Edge Technology
and First class accommodations

These individuals have driven SMMP in their companies, advanced their roles as meeting pros, and are helping to take our industry to the next level…..

Read More – www.meetingmavericks.com/PuertoRico.pdf

Event Planning Expectations Shift
Corporate event planners take on new ways of catering to clients

In these turbulent times, the corporate event planning business has shifted as its clients have cut back on services, focused more closely on strategy, built their online presence and gone green…..
By Joalien Johnson


Read More – http://www.eventique.com/wp-content/themes/eventique-main/upload/press/pdf/6472_Tradeshow%20Weekly_Event%20Planning%20Expectations%20Shift.pdf

8 Ways To Slim Down Your Food Budget

The current economic downturn is challenging event planners as perhaps no other time in history. Still, putting together a successful catered event is quite possible. All it will take is some creative thinking, a little flexibility and a bit of teamwork to pull it off….

by Cynthia Kinkaid

Read More – http://www.themeetingmagazines.com/index/tabid/1225/Default.aspx

“Creating Memorable Events”
from Corporate & Incentive Travel Magazine

DMC’s often show potential clients spectacular portfolios filled with pictures of their most creative theme events. But how many of the pictures capture the faces of participants when they enter a transformed ballroom?

As a planner, one of the most satisfying moments is when you watch your clients’ jaw drop and eyes pop wide open when they see the venue that you have magnificently transformed. That’s when you know they will see this event as memorable and unique. If the eyes and lips are pleasant but immobile, then you have not wowed ‘em. Sure, the event may be successful, but it may not be memorable. Events that meet both standards are always creative and dynamic. When participants tell business associates about your event, you don’t want the response to be, “Oh, yeah, we did something like that.” You want to inspire envy.

Sometimes it’s the splashy decorations or the intriguing ambience that makes an event memorable. Other times it’s relatively small details. Either way, there is more than one way to create that memorable event. Many independent meeting planners create their own events from scratch, while many corporate planners hire DMC’s. Depending on their locations, some DMC’s offer an extensive repertoire of creative and successful events.

The best theme events stem from your imagination and from tailoring prepackaged DMC offerings to connect with your clients. “We come up with ideas that are based on the unusual. If you have done it, then we probably do not want to do it, at least not the same way,” says Sherry Parks, owner of Corporate Planners Unlimited, Dana Point, CA. “Everything needs to have a twist and turn that’s unique to your company.”

To ensure uniqueness, and to save on the rising costs of theme events, Park uses DMC’s infrequently. They often have programmed ways of doing things that constrict her imagination, she says. “Also, I don’t want to pay a middleman an extra 20 or 30 percent. I use them only if I feel they have a unique situation and many do. But for someone who has been in this business so long, I get more out of doing it myself. There is a part of me that likes to bring out my child-like creature and share it with the world.”

Parks does not measure her most successful events by her view of their creativity. Instead, she asks, “How close do my clients think my creating comes to their vision of the company, and the theme of the event?”

By that measure, here is one of her most memorable events:

Connecting with the blockbuster movie “Titanic,” Parks organized a black-tie sinking-ship theme for the national sales conference of a medical firm. Actually, she modeled the room after the ship that sunk in the movie “The Poseidon Adventure.” Upon entering the ballroom, people got the idea that they were upside down on a sinking ship. There were false floors and tables attached to the real ceiling with wires (which they later brought down for dinner), and soda cans and ashtrays also sat on the ceiling.

“We even turned bubbles upside down and had them coming the other way,” says Parks. “We had fog to give a mist, and had water in self contained Plexiglas circles attached to the walls with backlighting that served as portholes. They gave the impression that the ship was going down.”

Meanwhile, the original theme music from “The Poseidon Adventure” was playing as the 350 attendees danced in 1940′s style clothing. The ship’s “captain” periodically interrupted the music with announcements.

How did Parks do it? First, she discussed the company’s theme with one of its executives. “He said the medical industry was changing quickly, turning upside down. He wanted to suggest to employees that if they don’t follow the rules and get results by thinking outside of the box, then that’s when he will applaud their actions. We discussed the typical magic and illusion themes. Finally, we decided that was too hokey.”

Once they settled on the sinking ship theme, Parks went to work, putting it together herself. “We lifted the design for the room off still photos from the movie studio and tried to match them identically. I had a prop company deliver some props that we used in a different manner than usual. I had a decor company drop off lights and lamps of all kinds. We used set design pieces and redesigned them. Once we got everything, it took about two days to build it. It was not expensive, considering what we did, between $40,000 and $50,000.”

Another of Park’s most memorable events involved an Alice in Wonderland theme. It’s a relatively common one, but she feels her was unusually realistic. “We took them through their childhood,” says Parks. “We even had psychologists that talked about how they developed from childhood to what they are now. We had a maze that they travelled through, like Alice, taht took them to another time — the converted ballroom. Everything was oversized, plates, food portions, tables, cups. We had potions and a huge hat. There was the rabbit and Cheshire cat on mirrored walls and seilings looking down on them. The whole theme was to imagine what you can do if you let your imagination run away with you.”