Friday, August 30, 2013

Small Business. Big Game



There are 167 million Big Game viewers. 
And they'll all be watching Ellegant Affairs by Juanita's commercial on the 2014 Big Game. 
How are we going to get an ad on the Big Game, you ask? Easy, with your help, we are going to win it from Intuit.

 Intuit is giving a small business a TV commercial on the Big Game. I want that ad to belong to Ellegant Affairs by Juanita. You can help make it happen. 

Just click here to vote for Ellegant Affairs  http://intuit.me/1a0f8oN.


 Thanks. (keep your fingers crossed for me) 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Cider Cellar Rules! A new Dimension on Team Building!



Team-building exercises can be a powerful way to unite a group, develop strengths, and address weaknesses – but only if the exercises are planned and carried out strategically. In other words, there has to be a real purpose behind your decision to do the exercise – for example, improving the team's problem-solving or creativity skills – rather than because you felt like giving your people a nice day out of the office.

Are you looking for a way to start or end a meeting for you top level executives that bring a sense of unity and comradery then the Petritegi Cider Cellar is the place for you.

Petritegi is located in the village of Astigarraga, in the heart of Basque cider country.

Our cider farm is the result of a cider making tradition at the Petritegi farmhouse, which dates back to before 1558.

Today, the Petritegi cider farm offers you an ideal location to enjoy Sagardoa (natural cider): They are located in the heart of the countryside, surrounded by apple orchards, only three (3) miles from San Sebastián; they have a number of comfortable, attractive dining rooms in which they offer a cuisine that suits the characteristics of Sagardoa (traditional menu which includes delights such as : Red sausage braised in cider, codfish omelette, codfish with peppers, T-bone steak, local cheese, quince jelly and walnuts, Almond pastries from Tolosa); their large cider hall has more than 40 barrels and is open all year round. They have more than 70 years of experience of serving their customers. The family style setting and the lively atmosphere make way for sharing and great conversation.

If you would like to surprise your clients with a unique dining experience, Petritegi offers you the cider "tour" all year round. To learn more about the Petritegi or to schedule a tour; visit their website at http://www.petritegi.com/en.







Juanita E. Gaynor (http://i-meet.com/jegaynor)
President & CEO
Ellegant Affairs by Juanita (http://www.ellegantaffairs.com)

i-Meet.com is the worldwide business community for people who plan meetings and events.  With over 108,000 members in 175 countries, i-Meet brings professional networking, online marketing, and social tools to create awareness and a voice for the industry.

I’ve Been There is a travel history and sharing application for planners and enthusiasts.


Tourist Office of Spain – Chicago - One of 33 worldwide offices of TURESPAÑA, Spain’s government tourism promotion authority based in Madrid, TOS in Chicago is the branch office in the USA responsible for marketing the business, incentive and meeting tourism product. TOS Chicago acts as a liaison between suppliers and DMC’s in Spain and the buyer/planner in the USA. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Pagos de Leza Winery - The Marriage of Tradition and Modern Technology


Pagos de Leza, more than just a winery ... tradition, represented by the fourth generation of a wine family; wine tourism, with its pairing trends: cuisine, wine, tourism and history; innovation with the development of our Micro-Elaborations, quality winemaking resulting in a high range of wines under our Signature Name; and respect and recovery of the environment, through the planting of native trees.

Pagos de Leza is a winery that was born under the watchful eye of the Sierra de Cantabria, a silent mountain range with its peaks and forest slopes; it has served as the backdrop for several novels by Pío Baroja.

From this amphitheater of mountains you can contemplate our land in detail, as it acts as a natural viewpoint. And we have in it a great ally, because it shelters our vineyards from the cold north winds which favor the maturation of our grapes. Pagos de Leza has a stepped architecture reminiscent of the Sierra silhouette and of the Carasoles, types of sloping vineyard which face south-southwest.

The surrounding areas of our winery are a treasure for the visitor: Dolmens, Chapels, a prehistoric settlement and medieval villages await.

Thus creating a space to enjoy, learn and participate in many activities related to the world of wine, culture and tourism. To learn more about the winery, possible tours or holding your nest evet there visit there website at: http://www.pagosdeleza.com  or visit the Rioja Alavesa Wine Route at: http://www.rutadelvinoderiojaalavesa.com/en/






Juanita E. Gaynor (http://i-meet.com/jegaynor)
President & CEO
Ellegant Affairs by Juanita (http://www.ellegantaffairs.com)

i-Meet.com is the worldwide business community for people who plan meetings and events.  With over 108,000 members in 175 countries, i-Meet brings professional networking, online marketing, and social tools to create awareness and a voice for the industry.

I’ve Been There is a travel history and sharing application for planners and enthusiasts.

Tourist Office of Spain – Chicago - One of 33 worldwide offices of TURESPAÑA, Spain’s government tourism promotion authority based in Madrid, TOS in Chicago is the branch office in the USA responsible for marketing the business, incentive and meeting tourism product. TOS Chicago acts as a liaison between suppliers and DMC’s in Spain and the buyer/planner in the USA. 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Bilbao - A New Place to Meet


Bilbao is the poster child for European city regeneration, thanks to the Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Bilbao museum, which opened and was inaugurated on October 18, 1997 by King Juan Carlos I of Spain; single-handedly put this Basque settlement of 350,000 souls firmly back on the travel agenda. The striking museum has been the catalyst for improvements in Bilbao event venues and hotels, with the result that tourism numbers jumped from 25,000 in 1996 to 700,000 today. Bilbao remains the Basque Country's principal industrial center. New developments such as its Abandoibarra and Zorrozaurre areas are continuing to energize Bilbao.

The main travel portal, Bilbao Airport (BIO) had a Santiago Calatrava-designed terminal opened in 2010 and is now seeing more than four million passengers per year. It is six miles north of the city center and has service from all over Spain, as well as the rest of Europe.
Chief among convention venues, Bilbao Exhibition Center, which is in the nearby town of Barakaldo, has 2,702,330 square feet of space in six exhibition pavilions, as well as a shopping mall, two hotels, an 180,000-square-foot conference center, a 415,000-square-foot atrium and the Bizkaia Arena with 18,000 seats.

The meetings-ready hotel at the convention center is the 203-room Novotel Bilbao Exhibition Center, which has eight meeting spaces of its own. Hotel venues in Bilbao central are the 172-room Melia Bilbao, which has five meeting spaces, the largest able to host up to 300 persons; the stylish, 64-room Petit Palace Arana Bilbao, which has one meeting space for up to 50 persons; and the Silken Gran Hotel Domine Bilbao (which faces the Guggenheim and the Jeff Koons' artwork Puppy) is trendy and has a stunning atrium for events; is the first five-star and flagship of Silken Hotels. The GHDB expresses a contemporary concept that avoids ostentation and promotes fun. There are 145 rooms offering the maximum possible comfort and a decor created to reflect the history of the finest Interior design. It has a versatile big space which can accommodate 500 people or 20, through which passes from a transparent surface to establish small intimate spaces, through a sophisticated system of partitions.

Unique function spaces in the city include the Euskalduna Conference Centre and Concert Hall, which has a 2,164-seat auditorium, 61-seat theater, a gallery, an exhibition hall and 12 meeting rooms; Alhondiga Bilbao, an events space in a former, 1909 wine warehouse, which has been co-designed by Philippe Starck, opened in 2010 and contains a cinema, library, auditorium and a restaurant, among other spaces; Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, which is a fine art museum with the Chillida Hall for 450 persons, a 206-seat auditorium and Mongrovejo Hall for 120, among other spaces; the 1890 opera house Teatro Arriaga Antzokia, which has a main theater for 1,206 persons, a foyer for 250, a main hall also for 250 and two meeting rooms; and the Museo de Pasos de Semana Santa de Bilbao, which chronicles the history of Easter celebrations in the city, is in another old wine warehouse and has gallery space and a mezzanine for events.

The Basque Country is famed for its cuisine, perhaps most notably tapas, or as it is called in this region, pintxos. It is quite hard to go wrong food-wise here. Great restaurants for pintxos choices include Atea and El Huevo Frito, or The Fried Egg. Other notable establishments include Aizian, inventive Bascook and equally inventive, stylishly designed Extanobe.

So when you are looking for a change in pace and seeking something unique for your meeting or congress, Bilbao is the place. For more information on Bilbao or Basque Country, please visit Bilbao Tourism  or Basque Country Tourism





 
Juanita E. Gaynor (http://i-meet.com/jegaynor)
President & CEO
Ellegant Affairs by Juanita (http://www.ellegantaffairs.com)
i-Meet.com is the worldwide business community for people who plan meetings and events.  With over 108,000 members in 175 countries, i-Meet brings professional networking, online marketing, and social tools to create awareness and a voice for the industry.
I’ve Been There is a travel history and sharing application for planners and enthusiasts.

Tourist Office of Spain – Chicago - One of 33 worldwide offices of TURESPAÑA, Spain’s government tourism promotion authority based in Madrid, TOS in Chicago is the branch office in the USA responsible for marketing the business, incentive and meeting tourism product. TOS Chicago acts as a liaison between suppliers and DMC’s in Spain and the buyer/planner in the USA. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Meet In Madrid ~ Take your meetings to the next level!


Located in the middle of Spain, beautiful Madrid is the capital and largest city in the country. The city's geographic location denotes its central role in Spanish politics, economy and culture, as it serves as the residence of the Spanish monarch, the richest region in Spain, and the home to many of the country's – and Europe's – top museums and attractions. With over seven million residents in the metropolitan area, it is also the 3rd largest city by population in the European Union, after London and Berlin.

In Madrid, the present and future are built on the past. During Spain's Golden Age, Madrid's culture and arts flourished. This period in history introduced the city's breathtaking Baroque and neo-Classical architecture, inspiring Madrid's many artistic geniuses such as Picasso and Miró, as well as its literary heroes such as Cervantes and the "Father of Spanish Playwrights" Lope de Vega. Madrid also served as the home and inspiration to great American writer Ernest Hemingway.

Not only is Madrid an ideal city for pleasure and leisure travel, it's also a world-class meeting destination. It comes as no surprise that the city hosts more than 4,000 conventions and meetings each year and attracts over 700,000 business visitors annually. After all, it boasts nearly 80,000 hotel rooms, more than five convention centers and expo facilities, and a never-ending list of cultural attractions. Plus, Madrid is home to the offices of 90 percent of the major companies operating in Spain, making it the obvious choice for showcasing products and services.

Also benefiting event organizers and business travelers in Madrid is the easily-accessible Madrid-Barajas Airport. Located just 12 kilometers northwest of central Madrid, it was voted Best Airport in the 2008 Condé Nast Traveler Reader Awards, thanks in part to its recently expanded terminal space and top-notch customer amenities. Madrid-Barajas offers service to hundreds of domestic, European and international destinations and handles the majority of Spain's transatlantic flights.

Upon arrival, guests need not travel far to find some of Madrid's largest and most impressive event facilities. Just five minutes from the airport, the sleek, avant-garde Municipal Convention Centre offers 30,000 square meters of space for conventions, tradeshows, presentations and more. Meanwhile, in the heart of Madrid's Casa de Campo Park, El Recinto Ferial spans over 70,000 square meters of indoor and outdoor meeting space. Additionally, the Palacio de Congresos de Madrid welcomes up to 2,000 guests from a convenient location that's within walking distance of over 10,000 hotel rooms.

Always on the cutting edge, the city of Madrid has plans to expand its inventory of convention facilities with the opening of the International Convention Centre in 2011. Located in the new financial and business area, it will be the largest meeting venue in the country at over 70,000 square meters. Fitting of such a ground-breaking facility, the International Convention Centre will be housed in a massive semicircle-shaped building, symbolizing that the sun never sets in Madrid.

Aside from its large-scale convention facilities, Madrid offers a wide range of unique meeting venues perfect for more intimate events and gatherings. The iconic Reina Sofia Museum is not only home a modern collection of such masterpieces as Picasso'sGuernica, but is also a fantastic venue for private events. With its 600-square-meter screen and room for up to 450 people, IMAX Madrid lends itself well to powerful presentations and seminars. Or, give guests a true taste of the city by treating them to dinner and a show at Corral de la Morería, a widely-known flamenco venue that's also listed in the New York Times bestseller 1,000 Places to See Before You Die.

One of Europe's largest financial centers, Madrid is a major center for international business and finance. The city has also recently experienced major growth in the service sector, with the Madrid-Barajas Airport playing a key role in the economy. Madrid is also home to several public and private universities, including the Complutenese University of Madrid, one of the oldest universities in the world, and the Autonomous University of Madrid, one of the top-ranked public universities in Spain.

So when you need world class destination for your event, meeting or congress, Madrid is the place. For more information on Madrid and other available activities, please visit: http://www.spain.info






Juanita E. Gaynor (http://i-meet.com/jegaynor)
President & CEO
Ellegant Affairs by Juanita (http://www.ellegantaffairs.com)

i-Meet.com is the worldwide business community for people who plan meetings and events.  With over 108,000 members in 175 countries, i-Meet brings professional networking, online marketing, and social tools to create awareness and a voice for the industry.

I’ve Been There is a travel history and sharing application for planners and enthusiasts.

Tourist Office of Spain – Chicago - One of 33 worldwide offices of TURESPAÑA, Spain’s government tourism promotion authority based in Madrid, TOS in Chicago is the branch office in the USA responsible for marketing the business, incentive and meeting tourism product. TOS Chicago acts as a liaison between suppliers and DMC’s in Spain and the buyer/planner in the USA.


Friday, June 7, 2013

Shifts in the Meeting Industry ~ Are You Prepared!



In the ever evolving meeting world, you always have to stay abreast of the latest and greatest in order to give your clients the best options for memorable and cost effective events. During the recession, meeting planners had to cope with limited resources and demanding stakeholder expectations.

I will explore the shifts in the industry and how we as event and project managers can still to create memorable events for our clients and their stakeholders!
So with that said the question of the day is: What are the shifts in the meeting industry?

Planners and project managers are facing tighter budgets, having to navigate the social media world and become more savvy and efficient in social media, and overall a tougher job for the planner as a whole in getting stakeholder buy in. Here are three items that will be critical to the industry as a whole.

Budgets

Even though there has been some substantial growth in some sectors, budgets will continue to stay tight in 2013, due to these restrictions planners will have to become more knowledgeable and efficient in Strategic Meetings Management Program (SMMP) development and implementation, having procurement department engagement in the meeting planning process (this can be a good overall; as we educate these departments the relationships can be less volatile and more proactive and productive.), shorter lead times, continued emphasis on cutting costs, possibly more local/regional meetings, unique venues.

Social Media Development

Social Media is here to stay, so it’s best to get onboard and provide your client which the best, not just promote their events/meetings, but also to engage participants before, during, and after an event.

Hotel & Airfare

Hotel and air rates are rising and they do not look like the y are slowing up, and we can expect both to find new and creative things to charge a fee for. Planners will have to work harder than ever to provide compelling reasons to pay increasing costs to attend. Hopefully leading to cutting edge and unique meetings and events that will compel the stakeholder to invest in the event and continue to attend for years to come.


This is the time to show; what we are made of! We have the skill, drive and the resources to do what we do best; PLAN! Remember no one ever plans to fail, but the fail to plan. You want to network and gain knowledge in the areas you may be struggling in then, AIBTM Chicago being held June 11-13 is for you to connect with many of the DMC’s and international suppliers to take you meetings and events to the next level. Visit their Website at www.aibtm.com for more details.


For additional tips and trends on creating impactful and profitable events, please connect with Ellegant Affairs by Juanita online on twitter @EllegantAffairs, LinkedIn, Facebook, and of course on I-Meet.


Blog post sponsored in part by:



*AIBTM Chicago - June 11-13, 2013*
Join i-Meet at AIBTM as a Hosted Buyer in Chicago (June 11-13). Start your application today: http://www.i-meet.info/aibtm

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Get your passports ready!


The business travel, meetings and events industry continues to evolve, and 2013 will likely reflect some significant shifts that will influence where, when and how we meet in the future.

Even though the economy has been sluggish for the industry 2013 looks promising.  Overall spending on business trips is predicted to grow 5.1% in 2013 and Group travel also on increase by as much as 6%, as more will be attending conventions and industry events.

So where are the up and coming locations for business events?  London, Shanghai and the Riviera Maya (Mexico) are likely to be top destinations for business meetings in their regions, according to the 2013 Global Meetings Forecast by American Express Meetings & Events. London should gain greater longer-term visibility by leveraging its Olympics legacy status to attract other major events and programs, starting this fall when Olympic Park will become available for private events. Other destinations that made the list include Las Vegas, Barcelona, Singapore and San Juan (Puerto Rico). Barcelona’s moderate winter climate and dedication to hospitality will always attract business travelers. And Singapore consistently appears as one of the top cities for international meetings, having a reputation for a high concentration of business and leisure activities. Other destinations on Business Travel Destinations’ watch list include (but are not limited to) Berlin, Madrid, Mexico City, New York City and Thailand.

Destination management companies (DMC) have grown from the ranks of ground transportation into their reputations today for serving as destination event experts, known for their ability to create unique experiences at unique venues. With the volume of destination information today, many meeting planners expect this, but are also requiring greater involvement from the DMCs they hire.

Business meetings and events will contribute to the growth of travel industry jobs.
Travel and tourism is one of the world’s largest industries, supporting 255 million jobs and generating 9% of the world’s GDP, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). Travel will to continue to expand annually between now and 2021.
Business travelers and meeting professionals will play a key role in that growth. In doing so the industry will gain greater recognition for its favorable economic impact on local communities and countries around the world.

AIBTM Chicago being held June 11-13 is for you to connect with many of the DMC’s and international suppliers to take you meetings and events to the next level. Visit their Website at www.aibtm.com for more details.

Join me next month as we discuss ~ What are the shifts in the Meetings Industry!

For additional tips and trends on creating impactful and profitable events, please connect with Ellegant Affairs by Juanita online on twitter @EllegantAffairs,  LinkedIn, Facebook, and of course on I-Meet.

Blog post sponsored in part by:


*AIBTM Chicago - June 11-13, 2013*
Join i-Meet at AIBTM as a Hosted Buyer in Chicago (June 11-13). Start your application today: http://www.i-meet.info/aibtm

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

One Stop Shop


Innovative Services in the Meetings Industry

It’s time for meeting planners to recognize that we as an industry have the power to unify to truly create an optimistic future. We touch every industry across the planet from associations to corporations and beyond, all organized groups build community through meetings and events. Now we must be the change we want to see, because if we do not create it and become it, who will?

With that being said let’s discuss what innovation is and how it can be harnessed to create effective and memorable meetings. Innovation is the development of new values through solutions that meet new requirements, inarticulate needs, or old customer and market needs in value adding new ways. This is accomplished through more effective products, processes, services, technologies, or ideas that are readily available to markets, governments, and society.

Long gone are the days where you have to several vendors for different aspects of your event. You now can go to one company to handle everything from your initial site visit to the breakdown of your event.

Freeman Company (http://www.freemanco.com), an Alliance Partner of AIBTM has been a leader in face-to-face marketing since 1927, they offer a full range of face-to-face marketing solutions from sound strategy to compelling creative ideas and, of course, constant innovation. Also, they can effectively and delicately take care of all of the details from exhibit design, rental and transportation, to audio visual and electrical services for your event, worldwide.

How is this innovative? It saves time, money and allows you to think more outside of the box, one contract, and one point of contact. It keeps consistency to your event and it gives your attendees a top notch experience that can be second to none.

What to see and experience the latest products and solutions that can take your event to the next level and beyond? Then AIBTM Chicago June 11-13 is for you. Visit their Website at www.aibtm.com for more details.

Join me next month as we discuss International Travel!

For additional tips and trends on creating impactful and profitable events, please connect with Ellegant Affairs by Juanita online on twitter @EllegantAffairs,  LinkedIn, Facebook, and of course on I-Meet.


Blog post sponsored in part by:




*AIBTM Chicago - June 11-13, 2013*
Join i-Meet at AIBTM as a Hosted Buyer in Chicago (June 11-13). Start your application today: http://www.i-meet.info/aibtm


Saturday, April 6, 2013

What do “Smart Meetings” mean to you?


In the ever evolving meeting world, you always have to stay abreast of the latest and greatest in order to give your clients the best options for memorable and cost effective events. Over the next few months, I will explore these changes and how we as event and project managers use these tools to create memorable events!

So with that said the question of the day is: What do “smart meetings” mean to you? At first thought you might think of Going Green, being energy efficient, social media savvy and have the latest technology of apps for your event. Those things are great and when combined properly they can create a memorable event indeed. However, the definition is something that is a little different.

So what should a “Smart Meeting” mean to you? A Smart Meeting is a meeting streamlined for content retention; by stripping unnecessary information away and putting a laser focus on crucial elements that maximizes learning and engagement. By doing so you create engagement experiences and interactions that make an event more brain-friendly; and also allows for efficient follow-up to keep event messaging alive and actionable.

In order for you to create this type of learning environment and have a successful event you must be:

Specific - Your goal statement for your event should be a clear and specific statement of what you want to accomplish.

For Example ~ On the Americas Incentive, Business Travel & Meetings Exhibition (AIBTM), About Us Page , they are very clear who and what they do and they overall focus of their event. You don’t have to guess who they serve and how they intend to serve them; by doing so they continually have successful events that continually grow yearly because they are laser focused in their goals.

Measurable - There is an old saying that says "what gets measured gets done."

Achievable - This means that the goal should be achievable. It doesn't mean easy, just that you can have a reasonable expectation of achieving it.

Relevant - Good goals are relevant to your organization. Relevant goals are meaningful and significant; they can make a difference in your organization. If a goal is not relevant to the organization, then you need to ask yourself why you are even contemplating it.

Time-Bound - For goals that have a natural ending (like outcome goals), establishing a clear deadline for them adds an element of urgency and motivation.

Trackable - All goals should be trackable so you can see what the organization’s progress is, either in terms of results you are experiencing, or actions you are taking.

So whether you have a board meeting of tem people or a tradeshow with thousands, male sure that you attendees come away with more than just glitz and glam. Let them take away useful sharable knowledge that they are willing and able to pass on, to other staff members, colleagues and top management. Remember you event is your marketing platform, use it wisely.

Join me next month as we discuss Innovation in the Meetings Industry!

For additional tips and trends on creating impactful and profitable events, please connect with Ellegant Affairs by Juanita online on twitter @EllegantAffairs, LinkedIn, Facebook, and of course on I-Meet.

Blog post sponsored in part by:



*AIBTM Chicago - June 11-13, 2013* 

Join i-Meet at AIBTM as a Hosted Buyer in Chicago (June 11-13). Start your application today: http://www.i-meet.info/aibtm

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

2013 Stiletto Woman Business Award Finalists


I am extremely honored to be selected as a 2013 Stiletto Woman in Business Award FINALIST! The Stiletto Woman in Business Awards (SWIBA) is an initiative of Stiletto Woman Magazine. SWIBA honors and celebrates women in business, particularly those in solo and micro businesses.

I am a finalist in the following categories: 
  • Entrepreneur of the Year (Weddings & Events) 
  • Business on the Rise Award 

I am honored and blessed to be a finalist among such talented women. To get a full list of all of the 2013 finalists, click here. 

The Awards ceremony will take place on March 16, 2013 at the Hilton Garden Inn, Atlanta, GA. Thank You to Stiletto Woman Media for such a wonderful acknowledgement!



Who is Stiletto Woman?
Stiletto Woman began recognizing amazing women in the summer of 2009. During that time, they realized that women had begun to make significant social media, business strategy, and community-building contributions (particularly in the micro business sector), and there was no formal recognition for these women and their momentous efforts; therefore in 2009 they set out to change that! Since that time they've featured some of the most amazing women in business from around the United States and Canada.

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