Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Extra, Extra!: Convene Newsstand

Welcome back to ThisWeek@PCMA's online news supplement, Extra, Extra!. So what's meetings-industry news in late September/early October? Let's see:

Party planners will be happy to hear that, after two years of scaled-back (if not entirely canceled) celebrations, holiday parties are apparently back for 2010, according to a story in the Boston Herald. One COO of a restaurant-owning company said its clients did want to hold holiday events in the past couple of years, but that they didn't want to spend so much per person on a meal. Now, though, a senior vice president of the event-planning firm Best of Boston says that companies are planning parties designed to reward their employees, rather than raise a toast to the company's revenue. "It's not lavish, it's conservative, but it's definitely focused on employee recognition," said the senior VP. But the question remains: How will employee spouses feel about once again having to tag along to their significant other's office holiday party?

The New York Times published a great Q&A on "Staying Professional in Virtual Meetings," with "Ask Heloise"-style questions about etiquette, do's and don't's — and even appropriate dress for virtual meetings. Here's one representative exchange that can help novice virtual presenters:

Q. If you are a presenter at a virtual meeting, how should your presentation differ from that in a face-to-face meeting?

A. Virtual presentations should be shorter because it’s easier to lose people’s attention. Mr. Preston suggests pausing periodically to check in with your audience. “If you notice people tuning out, looking around or fidgeting, address them,” he advises. For example, he suggests, say: “Debbie, you look a little puzzled. Can I clarify?”

Not a bad idea, though I imagine you might want to make an effort to sound a little less like a math teacher scolding a note-passing junior-high student.

Do you remember the outrage you felt the first time you ever saw a vending machine charging a whole dollar bill for a can of Coke? (Or, for those who've been with us a while longer, a whole 50 cents?) You can have that feeling again by checking out the new, "luxury vending machine" at New York City's Hudson Hotel, which, among other items, vends the following:
Classic paperback Catcher in the Rye, a stylish toothbrush by Paul Smith, a retro Ouija Board, a luxe Dagger Rosary by renowned jewelry designer Pamela Love, an Essential Travel Kit by Malin+ Goetz, a chic black sequin mini skirt by Haute Hippie, BluePrintCleanse, a red Ferrari 599 GTB that you can rent on a whim from Gotham Dream Cars, and a personal portrait shoot with renowned photographer Ben Watts.
What, no pretzel M&Ms?

Still, you have to admit it's a pretty cool idea (though I cringe a bit at its dangerous weapon-evoking name: "Semi-Automatic"). At any rate, here's more on the machine from Gadling.com.

The initial budget has been submitted by Omni Hotels for Nashville's new headquarters hotel, to go along with its forthcoming Music City Center convention center, reports The Tennessean. Omni, which earlier this year was announced to be the hotel's developer, has committed to set aside at least 80 percent of the hotel's 800 rooms for a convention (= 640 rooms), provided that that convention in question is scheduled at least 36 months out. The story also discusses ongoing negotiations between Omni and the Country Music Hall of Fame, the future hotel's next-door neighbor, about integrating a planned expansion of the Hall of Fame into the new property.

Finally, here are the top 10 Twitter-friendly CVBs, according to CheapOair.com:

@VisitMusicCity (Nashville)

Clicking on any of the above links will take you to the CVB's own personal Twitter feed, so you can see for yourself what sets them apart (and maybe, if you like what you read, even "follow" them!). Also: Click through here to read what CheapOair has to say about each tweeting CVB.

No comments: