As the new year brings renewed optimism for increased business and incentive travel, Landry & Kling, the Miami-based cruise meeting and incentive specialist company, has released their picks of the top 10 ships for meetings and group events at sea in 2011-2013. This is a great resource for any Meeting Planner looking for a cost effective way to host a special event or corporate meeting. As we’ve discussed before, the value of cruising is unparalleled in the industry. With the inclusion of many amenities such as meals, meeting spaces, and a variety of entertainment options, cruises provide a refreshing alternative to stuffy conference rooms and an experience not soon forgotten.
The ships highlighted as ideal vessels for their superior service, state-of-the-art facilities and special dining options include:
SeaDream II—SeaDream Yacht Club
Liberty of the Seas—Royal Caribbean
Celebrity Millennium—Celebrity Cruises
Silver Spirit—Silversea Cruises
Pride of America—Norwegian Cruise Line
Seven Seas Navigator—Regent Seven Seas
MSC Splendida—MSC Cruises
Allure of the Seas—Royal Caribbean International
Carnival Dream—Carnival Cruise Lines
National Geographic Endeavour—Lindblad Expeditions
As part of the release, they have also provided a stunning slide show, showcasing each ship with a description of why they made the cut as well as their occupancy and some fun facts. Service, adventure and savings all in one package- sounds like a great deal to us!
Maybe you’re not always what you eat but emerging studies do bolster the theory that eating the right foods can have a big impact on how your brain works.This becomes evident at corporate meetings and conferences where attendees are usually served high carb and white flour foods in breakfasts, lunches and snacks. The result?A quick sugar rush, followed by a sharp crash, often leading to unfocussed, sleepy and all-around cranky participants.
As Andrea Sullivan, president of BrainStrength Systems states, “For a long time, we’ve focused on what we should not eat. This shift is about focusing on what we should eat to produce desired results.”Rather than the traditional meeting menus, the goal should be to provide foods which aid the brain in learning and improve attention skills.In the article, Ms. Sullivan goes on to describe the benefits of a more balanced offering; “eggs are rich in choline, which aids healthy neurotransmission and enhances our ability to pay attention, form new memories, and make decisions.”
That doesn’t mean cutting out sweets altogether though.Instead, it’s about providing healthier choices with foods that enhance your program rather than work against it.Dark chocolate, for example, has been proven to have a positive effect on cognitive performance even for hours after consumption.Although the lower costs of the sugar-laden foods are attractive for keeping within your budgets, when you look at the overall cost of its effects, are you really getting such a good deal?After all, what good does it do to fly someone in, pay for their lodging and participation, only to have them zone out after a sugar buzz, and subsequent crash?
Instead of pastries and cinnamon rolls, try serving quiche, whole grain breads and some fresh berries.High protein salads with light vinaigrettes are a great alternative for lunch.So are salmon and mackerel, both of which contain the fatty acid, omega 3, proven to rev up your thinking power.For snacks, serving nuts, yogurt, and fruits will prove more effective than a sugary cookie or cake.
Although it’s not anything we don’t already know in our personal lives, carrying that thinking into the business meeting arena may show returns much greater than a snazzy presentation or a captivating guest speaker can ever provide.Besides, how likely will it be that your attendees will remember your message if they’re too busy trying to stay awake?
Let’s face it. Event and Meeting Planners are constantly traveling all over the country and sometimes, the world. In our ever constant search for practicality and convenience, gadgets become our best friends. Some make traveling more comfortable. Some help us become safer in new surroundings. And some, well honestly, are just too cool not to have.
With each passing year, a new crop of must-have gadgets hit the marketplace. For the weary traveler, these can often be life-savers. And so, here is a list of 10 new (and not so new) essential gadgets every Event and Meeting Planner should have.
There is nothing worse than turning around to look for something in your bag or stepping away to get another cup of coffee only to realize that your laptop has gone missing in an instant. Every year, thousands of laptops are stolen from unsuspecting people too preoccupied to realize taht it only took a split second before their valuable electronic lifeline was gone. Whether at an airport, coffee shop or even a conference center, this handy lock attaches to 99% of all laptops and makes it less attractive to a thief looking to make a quick nab.
No more fumbling about looking for the right converter when traveling abroad or to the Caribbean. This handy and compact travel power converter will automatically detect incoming voltage and convert it so that all of your small appliances will work safely and effortlessly. Best of all, since it works in over 150 different countries, it’s the only converter you’ll need to take with you on your travels.
Hooked on your iPad? Then, this handy gadget is a definite must have. Lightweight and easy to store, the Gorillamobile Ori for iPad provides a comfortable way to view your iPad in a variety of different of ways to suit your need. No longer will you have to keep looking down and straining your neck to view your favorite apps, simply look up and enjoy!
Speaking of neck support…Travel pillows are not a new invention for the weary traveler, but how many are made of memory foam, come with a drawstring for a more customized fit AND have a pocket for your mp3 player? It’s the perfect combination for getting sleep on the plane when the passenger next to you snores louder than a lumberjack with a chainsaw.
Tired of trying to type long emails or texts on your phone’s tiny keypad? This may be the solution. Like something out of a sci-fi movie, the Bluetooth Laser Virtual Keyboard will project a full-sized QWERTY keyboard in just about any flat surface. Best of all, this space age gadget is only 3.5 inches tall!
With all the recent talk about the vulnerability of smart-chips in credit and ID cards, even while in your pocket, one safeguard is to protect them using a stainless steel case. This handy Smart Card Case is stylish and practical, holding up to five credit cards and designed to easily access your cards with the flick of a thumb. You can even have it custom engraved for a truly personal touch.
Ever gotten to the airline check-in terminal with your bags only to realize that you’re over the weight limit? Do you pay the extra surcharge or frantically transfer things out of one bag into another? With the ever rising costs of baggage charges, this gadget certainly pays for itself many times over. Simply attach your bag to the T-bar scale and a digital readout along with a green LED light lets you know if you’re under the standard 50lb weight limit. Lightweight and compact, take it with you and you’ll know how much space you have left for souvenirs too.
Sure, this portable speaker system can provide high-sound quality to listen to your favorite tunes off your phone or mp3 player when you’re away from home but it is so much more than that. It also features built in microphones to allow for hands-free conversations, making it ideal for conference calls. Another great benefit of this system is that it allows any Bluetooth enabled device such as iPods, cellphones and laptops to connect wirelessly so you don’t have to worry about carrying around yet another set of cables.
So you’re traveling alone, decide you want to go to the pool but feeling nervous about leaving your room key and money on the pool deck while you get into the water? Fear not. Reef’s Stash 2 Sandal is the perfect solution. Available for both men and women, this clever sandal has a built-in “secret” compartment to discreetly store and protect your valuables. More stylish than a money belt, these sandals are also the perfect accessory when traveling in an unfamiliar city or area.
Those familiar with Apple products may know the Airport Express as a handy home network gadget. However, its compact size also makes it ideal for use on the road. Simply connect your hotel room’s blue Ethernet cable to the 3.7 inch box and voila, you have a private Wi-Fi domain. Now your laptop, tablet and Wi-Fi capable entertainment devices are all connected. Need to have a spur of the moment meeting with co-workers? No worries. Up to 10 users can connect at one time, creating a business center in an instant.
If you have any experience with these or any other handy-dandy travel gadgets you can’t live without, share them with us!
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