Friday, October 29, 2010

How to Make Videos That Sell

Have you seen the promotional video for IACC-America's next Annual Conference?  If not, you've been missing out.  Catch up now!

The video does an excellent job of showcasing the property (the National Conference Center) and the theme of the conference -- Rev It Up!  It incorporates humor, good supporting music, and an entertaining lead actor.  These components are elements that can help any business video you make a success.

Videos are a modern tactic that many companies use to promote their products and services.  Making them go "viral" (meaning that viewers pass them along to friends and contacts -- basically "word of mouth" marketing on the Internet) is sometimes difficult, but it doesn't have to be.  The key is to identify just who you want the video to go viral with, and then make a goal plan on how to do so.

If you have thought about making a video for your property or to market special deals you are promoting, now is the time to test it out!  This Open Forum article goes into greater detail on ways you can try out this trend, and also save money while doing so.  Making just one video could help you reach sales goals or spread your marketing message to a wider audience. 

The Annual Conference will be held March 23 - 25, 2011 at the National Conference Center in Leesburg, VA (just outside of Washington D.C.).  Registration opens on Monday, November 1st, so make sure you Rev It Up!  and register early!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Carbon-Neutral Meetings...are they prevalent in the U.S.?

While talking to a family friend this morning, I learned about an organization at the University of Florida called Neutral Gator. "Neutral Gator is an initiative of Earth Givers, a non-profit focused on reducing carbon emissions through energy conservation and carbon sequestration projects. Neutral Gator is dedicated to eliminating Gainesville’s contribution to global climate change by supporting the University of Florida in reaching carbon neutrality by 2025 and by reducing the carbon emitted by the local community."

Neutral Gator specifically works with UF's athletics department.  Through carbon-reduction projects that focus on the local Gainesville community (such as planting trees), the group successfully developed the first carbon-neutral athletic organization in the country and first carbon-neutral football season.  Talk about amazing! Just consider how much air and land travel is required to get all the necessary players, coaches, support staff, media, and equipment to each game.

All of this new information led me to think about carbon-neutral meetings. That was a big buzz-phrase when Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth came out in 2006. To me, it seems as if this movement has fizzled a bit in the meeting industry in the United States. Maybe I'm wrong (and please leave comments if you are seeing RFPs for carbon-neutral meetings), but I can list the number of carbon-conscious groups I've served in the past year on one hand.

That being said, I think the force behind this movement is going to make a comeback very soon in the U.S. The world's first carbon-neutral conference/convention center just opened in Ireland. Everything from the concrete foundations to the insulation of the Convention Centre Dublin was designed to be sustainable, carbon-neutral, and minimize overall energy consumption. Also, the facility provides guidance to groups wishing to offset their carbon emmissions (caused by travel to the CCD) through the purchase of carbon credits.

What's your opinion on carbon-neutral meetings? Are organizations wishing to offset their carbon emmissions, or are they more focused on other green initiatives, such as recycling programs, at conference centers? If you work at a conference center property, do you offer guidance on how to offset carbon footprints to groups? I'm interested to hear what the trends are like around the country.

Written by:
Meghan Bollenback
Food & Beverage Manager
R. David Thomas Executive Hotel & Conference Center

Friday, October 15, 2010

Follow Up to Exciting New Meeting Apps!

As a follow up to the last post, the creaters of wrote a more-detailed description of what their web portal offers! If you are a meeting planner, you must check out their website as you will find tools to make your job much easier.  Read on to learn more about this exciting technology... is the World’s First Portal for Meeting Apps. This site enables planners and tourism industry professionals to quickly locate iPhone, iPad and BlackBerry apps related to the meetings and events industry. The apps on are categorized by useful headers such as: Air Travel, Conferences, Convention & Visitors Bureaus, Green Tools, Hotel Search, Meeting Management, Food & Wine, Venues and much more. There is no fee to use the site and the apps are listed at no charge. This portal was built for the purpose of making it easier for meeting and event professionals to quickly find the apps needed to plan and operate meetings, events and travel programs.

Our directory currently lists BlackBerry and iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch meeting apps. Android apps are in development and will be listed before the end of year. New meeting apps will be continuously added to, keeping planners up to date with the latest developments. Planners will be able to not only easily search for meeting apps, but will also be able to rate apps and read reviews and articles on app technology on our site.

In addition, global planners and hospitality partners can now sign up for App Alert to receive the best free apps related to the meetings and events industry. There are thousands of free apps currently available, but only a few that will be selected based on their functionality and relevance to meetings and events. Our goal is to save planners and hospitality partners research time and make their lives a little bit easier. At no cost, anyone interested in finding out about the latest meeting and travel apps can join at:

For anyone developing a new app for their venue, hotel or convention center, please check out existing apps at:

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Exciting new Meeting Apps! is a relatively new web portal where users (ideally, meeting planners) can learn about various applications that are specific to the meeting insdustry and how they can make their jobs easier and more efficient.  In addition to being available for purchase on this site, also lets users review the apps which can lead to improvements from web developers. 

Read on to learn about some of the newest meeting apps and how they can benefit you!  These apps are currently only available for Blackberry and iPhone users, but Droid models are in the works.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Here are some great tips for developing a social media program as authentic and unique as your property: