Mindfulness in Meetings

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Let’s talk about Mindfulness and Meetings, shall we?

 The application of mindfulness in meetings appears to be one of the hot topics in our current environment, but what does mindfulness related to meetings actually mean and how can we all get onboard with this inspiring concept?

Let’s discuss meetings.

By show of hands, how many of us enjoy, appreciate, and/or value meetings, specifically several meetings a day, and/or week?  Anyone? Any hands up in the air?    

Our world has become riddled with meetings all tied to our electronic calendars on a daily or weekly basis.  One thing that seems to be consistently agreed upon is that meetings can be a waste of time, are exhausting and create anxiety for the tasks going undone while attending these meetings.  Our minds drift elsewhere while banter is happening among colleagues or when presentations are lasting longer than anticipated.  

In turn, this creates anxiety to end the meeting, to get to other tasks etc  and who needs any more anxiety and stress in our life?  Noone.

But let’s face it, some meetings are vitally important. Face to face interaction cannot be replicated and meetings aren’t going anywhere.   For the sake of our livelihood,  that’s a good thing!

That said, let’s address mindfulness.

By definition, Mindfulness is

             1. : the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.

             2.a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and emotions, used as a therapeutic technique.

 Take a moment to ponder the idea of launching your next sales conference in a room filled with only the sounds of calm and quiet, or perhaps some soft spa music to create serenity.  Better yet, imagine an individual guiding us to shift our thoughts to the present moment, to all things positive, and to visualize a team working in cohesion.   Ah ha! We might be onto something.  

Most people spend their day rushing from one meeting to the next, so taking a few moments to incorporate a  15 minute meditation or breathing session may enable participants to shift thinking, reduce stress and ready them to focus on the present moment and to achieve objectives at hand.  In turn, more dynamic conversations, more engaging content, and a more productive meeting may result from this short exercise to eliminate external “noise”

This, my fellow friends and colleagues, is part of a new era of thinking to help us better engage as planners, group attendees, and even hotel partners. Endless time is invested into thoughtful programming content, yet, how about considering a little “reset” for your next program by adding a cause for pause. Because, don’t we all desire a moment to exhale, be still, breath and regroup in our day to day lives?

There are many resources available to incorporate mindfulness into your meetings!  Reach out to your Site Selection Services team for some inspiring ideas on how to add this concept to your next program. Your attendees will show gratitude, that’s a promise.

 

Destination Wilderness :: Properties and Programs focusing on Nature and Adventure

 Photo: Chris Burkhard, www.chrisburkard.com

Photo: Chris Burkhard, www.chrisburkard.com

Have you ever considered a wilderness destination for your company meeting or retreat? 
Has an eco-resort in Costa Rica, glamping in Montana or a dude ranch in Colorado ever been tossed around as possible meeting or incentive destination?  What about adding an outdoor team building activity to bring your attendees into nature for your next conference?  

If you have never considered these ideas, maybe you should!

We live in an overstimulated, always available, expect-to-be- connected-24/7 society where many busy professionals  crave the thought of being one with nature to clear the mind and unplug from the daily tasks, schedules, conference calls, emails and meetings.   

Fresh air and memorable outdoor surroundings often lead to fresh thinking, and, as a result, exciting new ideas. In addition, many planners say meetings in nature can generate a more relaxed atmosphere, which often results in enhanced personal and working relationships. 

To get the ideas flowing, we’ve shared some potential properties  you may want to consider when planning your next meeting or escape:   

Travel & Leisure compiled a list of best Nature  Resorts in the U.S. highlighting their unique amenities & activities that give guests a connection to the earth’s surroundings – think organic sustainable food, relaxing and healing team building events, forest bathing – ever heard of this?,  sunrise  yoga, river rafting, mountain biking and more!

Reader’s Digest also composed a list of 15 Hotels where guests can reconnect with nature, without having to dismiss modern amenities.  Many of these hotels are geared towards a small team retreat, with minimal meeting space unless you are willing to take your meetings “out of the box”, literally, and into nature. 

Take a look at these 18 amazing hotels in nature,  featured in Escape  
From a New Zealand countryside inn, to quirky Chilean Patagonia rain forest accommodations, to igloos in Finland, you will create unforgettable memories in these naturist resorts and venues. They are certainly one of a kind.

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If you need to ease into this idea of being “one with nature” and are not ready to commit to a wellness resort in Tucson or secluded dude ranch in Montana for your next corporate meeting,  what about adding an outdoor team building event or adventure sport to your conference agenda?   Many adventure companies will customize a team building activity and bring the adventure to you!

Based in the Bay area, Adventure Out  specializes in corporate team building programs with a mission “to help people fall back in love with nature.”   They create adventure-based programs to meet your groups specific needs and philosophies. From 1-day team-building exercises, to week-long retreats,  Adventure Out has the outdoor opportunity you are looking for. 

Team Bonding will bring a customized outdoor team building to any company in any city.  Remember summer camp? Does it elicit fond, lifelong memories?  One of TeamBondings signature programs is Summer Camp Throwback:  “Your group will be split up into teams of 10-12, and each team will create their own camp themed name and a team cheer to go with it. After some traditional camp energizers,  such as the Human Knot and Helium Pole, teams will break off to compete in the main camp challenges which you select and customize beforehand.”  
Adult Summer Camp might be just what you need to re-energize your team and build some comradery and  team spirit!

Taking your attendees out in nature may create more out-of- the-box thinking, generate new ideas and the unique shared experience may create stronger bonds which can be very helpful when everyone returns back to the office.  

We hope some of these resources may pique your interest and have opened a vision for a new & adventured experience in your near future!

Happy 4th of July :: Where to Find the Best Firework Displays of 2018

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Every year on the 4th of July, cities across the US go all-out to celebrate our Nation’s Independence Day with an astounding display of red, white and blue explosions that fill the sky.  Whether you are watching from a backyard barbecue with your family or with thousands of others at a large city display, you’ll undeniably find the colorful show in the sky to be an awe inspiring spectacle. 

Wallet Hub just released its list ranking the top cities for 4th of July celebrations.  The top 10 cities are New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Denver, Seattle, Atlanta, Milwaukee, San Diego, Washington,  DC and Buffalo, NY.

Here’s a glimpse at how a few of the top 10 cities will be celebrating:

New York, NY:  39thMacy’s 4thof July Fireworks the fireworks will be taking place in two locations this year, on the East River in midtown and within the South Street Seaport historic district. The theme of this year’s show is Brave, and more than 40,000 pyrotechnic shells will fire during a 25-minute synchronized display. Designed in collaboration with PyroSpectaculars by Souza, the show will be fired from four barges positioned between 23rd and 37th Streets in Midtown and from one double-barge positioned below the Brooklyn Bridge. 

Should you not be able to make to The Big Apple, you can watch the fireworks from the comfort of your own home by tuning to NBC’s two-hour national broadcast of Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular beginning at 8:00PM ET (check local listings).

Boston:  Boston Pops Fireworks are  free and open to the public. This display is held at the DCR Hatch Shell on the Esplanade, presenting a spectacular 20-minute firework show designed by Grucci Fireworks, and accompanied by the patriotic tunes from the Boston Pops.  Big-name performers, such as Melissa Etheridge, and other popular musicians from past to present, will bring the celebration to an end.

Washington, D.C:  You can feel like you are live at the Lawn of the US Capitol by tuning in to A Capitol Fourth fireworks. If you are in D.C. the firework can be watched from different locations around the National Mall. Other cities near the Washington, DC will also hold  4thof July festivities.

PhiladelphiaWawa Welcome America July 4th Concert and Fireworks is an outdoor free and open to the public event, featuring city blocks of family fun, including food trucks, live performances, a zip line, games, beer gardens (for the adults) and a kids’ zone. The fireworks show will feature new special effects and a soundtrack dedicated to love,  produced by Pyrotechico and Comcast. 

Chicago:  Daytime celebrations at the Navy Pier with live DJ, barbecue feast, and rides, as well as a miniature golf game featuring 18 Chicago-theme Hotels. With a separate ticket, you can celebrate on the pier with great views of the lake and 9:30 p.m. fireworks overhead . Choose Chicago assembled a great list of 4thof July Events happening throughout the city. 

San Diego: Big Bay Boom can be watched from various viewing points, including the Marina District, North Embarcadero, and the Coronado Ferry Landing. Bring your lawn chairs and enjoy the show!  San Diego CVB assembled a magnificent list of events around the city where you can watch the fireworks.  

The 4th of July is a very special celebration to most Americans. An outing to any city across the U.S. will bring a majestic time for any visitor!  

From our Team to Yours, Happy America Day!! We hope you Enjoy & Would Love to Hear Where you Decide to View the Celebration & Make Lots of Memories....  

Networking in the 21st Century :: MAKE IT PERSONAL!

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The term networking is often defined as connecting with others in a group setting, small or large, to encourage nurturing of potential new as well as existing connections. Bottom line, as quoted by Herminia Ibarra with the Wall Street Journal, "Networking is crucial for advancing a career, building relationships and getting knowledgeable about a range of subjects". In the title article, "What Women Need to do to Network" I found that most of the ideas were extremely compelling and certainly applicable to all those seeking a way to prosper via their relationships in this fast paced, ever changing and competitive world.

Consider the following the next time you're contemplating your networking goals and strategies; they just may inspire you to try something new in your tactics:

Be a Bridge: The best way to expand professional relationships is by making connections across diverse circles that make up their network. For example, share ideas you've identified via an industry website with a colleague or contemporary; you never know what value that idea might bring to their team's best practices. 

Do it Your Way: Make YOUR PASSION part of your strategy. If you love theater, knitting, cooking, perhaps bird watching, or strolls on the beach, organize an activity that allows you to draw those you're interested in getting to know into your circle. Make it fun, welcoming and most of all a reflection of you. 

Join a Professional Network that is close to your Heart: The saying, do what you love, and it will never seem like work is true. Join a group that speaks to you and a new network of followers will contagiously come aboard. 

While networking is certainly a vast topic, it's above all a personal tactic that should be developed and executed by one person, and that's you.  Have fun, enjoy and results will surface in due time. 

 

 

 

Goodbye 2017.... We're Forever GRATEFUL!

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If we could sum up 2017 with one word, it would be GRATITUDE.

The end of the year is always a time of reflection, a time to look back at all the great experiences, the new & old relationships, take stock in those opportunities that created growth and finally set new goals and new words that define our futures. At Site Selection Services, we couldn't be more grateful for the partnerships and relationships that made us who we are TODAY....

It's never been about a hotel room or another ballroom.....  It's always been about creating a relationship that stretches so far beyond that..... Our hope is that in some small way, we helped your company, your organization or even just you, make some sort of positive change in the world or leave an unforgettable mark on the future..... So thank you to our clients, our suppliers and our friends for your support, your business but mostly your trust in US. YOU make our jobs everlasting fun and an ever changing amazing JOURNEY!!!  

Before the rush of the end-of-year hustle takes over completely, we wanted to leave you with a few things we are thankful for this year & some inspiring words to live by as you make your way into 2018:

A heart full of LOVE and Gratitude! A mind full of integrity and curiosity. A soul full of peace and generosity. This is a Rich Life. A sincere thank you to all our friends and partners in our everyday lives. Thank you for helping us grow. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to be grateful. Wishing you all a happy, healthy and prosperous 2018. Cheers, Scott 

Each Day I am grateful to wake up, to be surrounded by a healthy loving family and work with colleagues, industry partners and clients that I not only respect, but call true friends. It makes "work" feel a whole lot less like "work".... Additionally, I am blessed to be in an industry that affords meeting planners opportunities that few other industries can compare to and I realize after every site inspection, every educational FAM trip or amazing event that I am lucky. Truly TRULY Lucky! My life is richer in so many ways because of my career and I want to wish all my industry friends and clients a very happy and prosperous New Year! The best is yet to come, Kim   

Thank you 2017 for the opportunity to be exactly Here. Exactly Now. With a wonderful family and circle of friends in all corners of the world. I’m thankful to be inspired by my work/my passions every day and to be surrounded by the most intelligent, driven, hard-working partners, clients friends & people I’ve ever met. I’m grateful and humbled by others who challenge me to be a better person and to continue to find true growth every day. Cheers to a fabulous new year, Cami

 

2018 Wisdom To Live By:

*Let Today be the Start of Something NEW

*Slow Down Happiness is Trying to Catch You

*Throw Kindness Around Like It Is Confetti

*Travel is the Only Thing You Can Buy That Makes You RICHER 

*Be Fearless in the Pursuit of What Sets Your Soul On Fire

 

Cheers My Friends! We Wish You a Happy & GRATEFUL New Year, 

The Site Selection Services Team!!!