Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The last few days...

Im on my last week and half at Show Me Arizona. Theses last two weeks have been pretty slow. Andy and Francine have done a lot of vendors /site visits as well as a few vendors coming in.

Overall I have enjoyed my experience here. It gave me a chance to get just a taste of a DMC. Though it was a not the full experience because of the off season but it was enough to get a better understanding of what is all involved in a DMC.

I have made some great new contacts within the planning industry. I was also able to learn a lot about the different activities that are offered in Arizona especially in Scottsdale and Sedona. I am very happy I was able to go around and view and research about different hotels, resorts, and venues.

The best thing about this internship is I learned a lot about marketing, selling, and making positive working relationships with everyone I meet.

I enjoyed my time with Show Me Arizona. Everyone was very helpful, friendly, and a pleasure to work with. I plan on touching base with them in a few months to see how things are going and let them know how I'm doing. With the working environment we work in its almost like family, I'll miss them.


Think about this...

Ponder this: The CEO of your organization just "friended" you on Facebook, do you accept? What are the repercussions...bad and good? Will they know if you decline (then what are you hiding?)?

For me this would not be a problem. If I used my Facebook page I would make sure there was nothing on my page that could jeopardize my job or my character. For someone that doesn't think a boss/supervisor would notice there page... think again. A lot of companies "Google" a future or current employee to make sure there isn't anything on the internet about them that could hurt their company. Many teens and adults need to be aware of this. At the time it might seem like a great idea but they don't think about the repercussions that can happen from it.

Companies are very aware of Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and myspace. Again, because of this people need to be sure of what goes up on facebook or keep the profile private. Since Facebook is aware of this there are settings to keep certain people from seeing particular things if you choose to "accept" a friend. If you decline and someone makes a comment as to why you decline it could simple be that you want to keep your personal life separate from work.

Not only is the question brought up about CEOs, supervisors, co-workers etc... but teachers and professors. I feel like there is a thin line with this as well. With technology and online access becoming more and more "the thing to do" people need to be more aware. One might have delete a picture off of Facebook but Facebook still has the rights to the picture... (read the fine print!!!)

My only advice is to be careful who takes pictures of you and watch what you post!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Going Green...Energy Saving Convention Center

The center had 237-booths that fit 2,500-people. The Melbourne Exhibition Center was home to the 2009 Australia Tourism Exchange, the largest convention of its kind. It was the first convention there before the grand opening of the center’s extension.

The $1 billion development brought versatility to the 323,000-square-foot Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Center, making it Australia’s largest convention space. Additions include 32 new meeting rooms, a grand ballroom and a 5,000-seat plenary hall that can be divided into three self-contained theaters.

The Center has booked 50 major international conventions beginning with the International Geomorphology Convention in July and including the Parliament of World Religions in 2010 and the World Diabetes Congress in 2013.

Its unique feature is its unheard of six-star energy rating design. Some of those features include solar hot-water systems offsetting more than 40 percent of the energy used on water heaters, a black-water treatment plant that collects rain and waste water to be used in toilet flushing and irrigation, and the use of an environmentally friendly Forest Stewardship Council-certified, sustainable timber.

Not only is the Convention Center friendly to the environment, but also to the people it hosts. Pipes in the concrete floor carry water that heats or cools the ground creating a comfortable temperature, while carbon dioxide monitors integrated into the air conditioning, along with the use of carpets, paints and adhesives low in Volatile Organic Compounds to ensure better air quality.

Here a few more tidbits about how their convention center is so environmentally friendly I just took this from their website which is very user friendly:


  • Displacement ventilation - low level air delivery and high level air exhaust in the plenary hall and foyer areas provide effective air flow with high indoor air quality at low energy consumption
  • Expansive glass facade allows availability of natural light to the foyer and pre-function spaces. This reduces the need for artificial light and provides good thermal qualities in the winter months
  • Solar hot water systems can offset more than 40 per cent of general hot water requirements and can provide 100 per cent of public amenity hot water requirements
  • Light fittings have been selected and positioned in order to minimize resource and energy consumption. For example, energy efficient lighting is design with daylight and motion detection control features


  • A black water treatment plant collects building wastewater and some stormwater to provide treated water for toilet flushing, irrigation and cooling towers
  • Water efficient fixtures and fittings, including urinals that use a chemical system rather than a water flush

Indoor Environment Quality

  • Radiant slab heating and cooling in the foyer (with pipes in the concrete floor carrying hot or cold water to heat or cool the slab) provides a more comfortable internal environment with good thermal comfort levels
  • Carbon dioxide monitoring and control is part of air conditioning systems and ensures fresh air is continually delivered to the convention center
  • Enhanced indoor air quality as a result of carpets, paints, adhesives and sealants that are low in Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and the use of low emission building materials

Also, here is a link to watch a 5:45 video about the center and the area that it is in. This a place and country I would love to be able to do a site visit to.

Aloft Hotel....

So I found a new style of hotels (we have one in Tempe too!) with a great new interactive website. Its a high-tech, style atl AloftSM Hotels brand, they launched a newly expanded Aloft website, featuring an interactive feature never before developed by a hospitality brand. The site includes a guided insider’s tour of the hotel, maps and city guides for each location and allows visitors through a bunch of original, branded games that bring the Aloft experience to life. It's amazing.

You can browse a map of Aloft’s global a-list locations and check out local hot spots, restaurants, and special city guide content provided by Travel + Leisure magazine (great magazine if you enjoying learning about the latest hot spots to travel).

There is gaming and trivia to get yourself the true Aloft experience by listening to tunes as the Aloft DJ, you can even try bartending, play a game of online billiards or even play travel trivia games on the site.

To celebrate the launch of the ne
w the website guest can enter for the chance to win a prize of one million Starwood Preferred Guest Starpoints. This basically can get you enough for over 25 roundtrip airline tickets, more than 140 free nights at Aloft hotels.

Technology is a big part of the Aloft brand. It’s basically their trademark. Every hotel has a self-serve aloha kiosk, a touch-screen power house located in the lobby that makes check-in and check-out simple, high-speed wired and wireless Internet access. Once inside your room there is a high-tech office and entertainment center, a one-stop connectivity for multiple electronic gadgets such as PDAs, cell phones, MP3 players and laptops. It doesn't stop there though, its all linked to a 42” flat-panel HDTV-ready television for optimal sound and viewing.

I've been to their hotels in Tempe right by ASU. I just went to visit my friend and I absolute love the decor and the great hospitality that I received while being there. There are board games as well as catch phrase which I and my friend played for at least an hour. I've thought about staying there for a night. I would definitely recommend going there even if it’s just to have a cocktail at their groovy bar or tell a friend that might be from out of town to stay there.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Some NWA flight attendants want to wear red dress

This is an article from Yahoo! I found it quite interesting thought I would share it with you out there!

Some NWA flight attendants want to wear red dress

Northwest flight attendants want Delta to offer bigger sizes of signature red dress uniform

  • On Friday July 10, 2009, 7:05 pm EDT

ATLANTA (AP) -- The union that represents flight attendants who worked for Northwest Airlines before it was bought by Delta Air Lines is crying foul over Delta's failure to offer bigger sizes for its signature red dress uniform designed by Richard Tyler.

When he was hired to create his uniform collection, Tyler said he wanted them to "look sexy and great."

The Northwest chapter of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA has filed a grievance with the world's largest airline operator, asking it to offer the red dress up to size 28. The union hopes the grievance will go to mediation in August.

The red dress currently is only offered up to size 18, though a Delta spokeswoman said the airline offers a range of outfits in other colors and styles up to size 28 that flight attendants can wear.

Patricia Reller, who handles grievances for the union's executive committee, said Friday that even if there was only one flight attendant who wore a size over 18, that person should be able to wear the stylish red dress.

"I think red is an eye-popping color and it's not subtle, and to me by not offering it in a size over 18, Delta is saying, 'We don't want you wearing that if you are over size 18,'" Reller said. "But the job isn't about being sexy. It's about safety."

Reller said she did not know how many pre-merger Northwest flight attendants want to wear the red dress but need a size bigger than 18.

"If the dress wasn't a tiny size 18, there would be less," Reller said. "It's a very small size 18, so that makes the numbers a lot larger."

Delta spokeswoman Gina Laughlin could not immediately say why the red dress is not available in bigger sizes while other uniform options are. But she said there have been few complaints.

"The majority of pre-merger Northwest flight attendants have given us very positive feedback about the Richard Tyler Collection," Laughlin said.

Delta hired Tyler in 2004 to do a makeover of its gray employee uniforms. Tyler, whose dresses have been worn by stars such as Julia Roberts, Heather Locklear and Jamie Lee Curtis, promised a classier -- and in some cases, sexier -- look for flight attendants, airport agents and other workers.

"I want them to look sexy and great, but you have to keep that classic look as well," Tyler told The Associated Press at the time.

The uniforms -- including white blouses and navy dresses besides the red dress -- debuted in 2006. Atlanta-based Delta acquired Northwest in October 2008. Pre-merger Northwest employees began wearing the Delta uniforms on March 30.

Delta said at the time it announced its plans for the new uniforms that the decision was a "wise investment" that would boost morale among employees and increase the airline's bottom line in the long run.

According to Delta, flight attendants must be able to perform the safety and security functions of their job, including being able to reach and close overhead bins, reach and close any of the aircraft doors and be able to sit on the aircraft jumpseat and fasten the flight attendants seatbelt.

Reller said a flight attendant who wears above a size 18 can do all of those functions well.

"The sizing of our red dress has not been an issue with Delta flight attendants since the program's inception three years ago. This is AFA hype leading up to the election," Laughlin said.

There are roughly 21,000 flight attendants at the combined airline, 14,000 from pre-merger Delta and 7,000 from pre-merger Northwest.

The Northwest workers are represented by a union, while the Delta workers are not. At some point there will be a representation election at which the combined workforce will decide whether it wants to be represented by a union or not. The two groups also must decide on how to integrate their seniority lists.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Trickle Down Effect

I would say the pace here at Show Me Arizona has definitely slowed down. Being in middle of the off season has really showed how bad the economy is.

It has been tough for DMC's to be able to get leads because business are afraid to send their employees on an incentive trip thanks companies like AIG. With Obama's Administration basically having a watchful eye on incentive trips and bailout money it has had a bad effect on the business travel world.

The basis of this effect has started with Incentive trip planning. With no trips to plan it leaves DMCs and planners unable to book things such as, hotels, transportation, restaurants, and activities. So everyone's company is hurting. With programs slowing down, it slows the company and the revenue coming in. When business and revenue slows down the Owners/Managers have to either lay off a few employees or let people go. But this is happening in every industry.

With business slowing down around it has allowed some of our vendors to "just be in the neighborhood" to stop by and drop off little goodies to remind us of them when business starts picking up or even invite us to a free meal at their restaurant. Desperate times calls for desperate measures and if it means free food or trips its all worth it in the end if we pick them for our next event.

In my second week here at SMA I did a little research about how the meeting world was suffering. I found this website called Keep America Meeting! it basically explain what is going on and how the meeting and planning are struggling as well as a petition. The petition needs 100,000 signatures in order to be brought legislators. When I saw this I signed up and forward it to my co-workers. They had told me they had already signed it and told me to pass it on to my friends.

Over the past few weeks I have read many meeting & planning magazines that are just trying to get planners to keep hope alive and be positive that things are going to change.

I'm hopeful that things will turn around so the meeting industry can pick up before so many start closing down.

On another note, I also work for a luxury travel consultant. These clients will spend anywhere from $8,000-40,000+ for a trip. That side of the travel industry is not slowing down at all. Just last week Friday, I had 3 new clients all wanted to go on extravagant trips. There are a few select few that aren't struggling that are able to help keep the industry afloat. This might just be because people are stressed out and want to get away.

So again I’m really optimistic that soon everything will be back to normal or even better!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Why use a DMC?

I did some research to find out why a company would use a DMC versus going direct with a vendor. Bottom line: A DMC will know about the area and the vendors.

A DMC can act like a "interior designer, a travel agent, an event planner, a marketing executive, an entertainment consultant and a graphic artist all rolled into one." The purpose of the DMC is to give the client unique customization whether it is an event for 40 people or 5,000. Primary jobs of a DMC are to plan and execute events for business, which means that they need to have good contacts. A DMC is relied on to make sure there's a respectable turn-out for the event; a DMC will work to get the best deals possible on everything from flower arrangements to music. A DMC with good contacts will save clients money and increase your chances of success.

How well they know the area - DMC are more than likely only going market to the local area, but a DMC might also have a national or even international client list. The important thing, is that the DMC you choose is familiar with your local area. An event in Arizona will be planned differently than it would be if it was in Georgia.

Experience- Industry knowledge is important for planning events, meetings and travel, which means that the DMC will have a better knowledge of industry and what it takes to make sure all the little details and professionalism are taken care of. Little things like this example, "Have you ever seen a coach driver get lost, and try to maneuver directions from a small font on a dirty faxed paper while transporting VIPs to a destination?"

Budget- Hiring a DMC to handle everything from travel arrangements to employee schedules might sound good on paper, but do you have the financial resources to back this up? A DMC is willing to work with your budget to be sure that you stay within budget. When I was reading article about why you would choose a DMC over a planner the biggest assumption was that DMC cost more- not necessarily true. When working with a DMC it allows for one phone call for the client to make as opposed to calling the different vendors, for example, the caterers, transportation, the linens, or the venue.

Range- A DMC is going to have more range of experience. They can offer more services than just going direct with one particular vendor.

To add to what I mentioned before on some reasoning behind choosing a DMC.
Save Money and Time
Practical Local Knowledge - While information is becoming ever more accessible via the Internet, local knowledge and expertise is irreplaceable. DMC will know which vendors provide the best services, which ones to avoid, and we stay on top of the latest trends.
Insider Tips and Connections -DMC will know little places that an average event planner might not know about or have the privilege to know. Places that are local and secure, privileged access to private areas, making a program more special for guests.
Vendor Relationships
Loyal vendor relationships- it’s that simple.
Onsite Representation
Time - it saves the client time

I found a really great article that discusses all the great reasons why to choose a DMC. It points out some of the details I already stated through my research at ADME, Newport Hospitality and a bunch more.