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Oh The Possibilities!

As I raised my glass on New Years Eve to salute the coming year, I heard myself say "Cheers to Sweet Sixteen". The next day, it was a delight to see the announcement for the 'colour of the year' as it aligned perfectly with my vision.  The organization Pantone Color Institute, with a break in tradition, announced two colours for 2016: Rose Quartz and Serenity. The soft pink and the light blue with a hint of purple were selected to invoke calm, balance and wellness for the year.  As I write this piece, I am in Florida surrounded by hues of pastels and white.  It will be fun to see how designers and social architects integrate these colours into our next 365 days.

Just like lighting, colours create a mood.  Using a palette of soft colours to balance our hurried lives is a welcome opportunity to create space.  During the many hotel site visits that I do in a year, I love to see the colours and mediums that the designers use. Secretly I am taking note on what to bring into my home as I know the hotels' investment in their creations have to have at least a seven-year shelf life.

What colours are you choosing for your blank canvas?  What mood are you creating for your events this year? Hopefully you save some RED to paint the town every so often!

Timely yours, 
Brenda

Upcoming Event:  February 11, 2016 is MPI Tech Day.  There is a wonderful lineup of presenters on a wide scope of topics.  We will present a round table on Cyber Security for our industry. Registration opens soon:  Click Here
 
 

Top Five Ideas: 
Un-conference Your Conference



 
As a former hotelier, I've seen a number of meetings from start to finish.  Some were more memorable than others as their attendees seemed to be more excited to be there.  

Wikipedia offers the definition of ‘unconference’ as a meeting whereby the attendees determine the agenda.  For those of us who like order, this ‘unplanned’ approach does cause concern. Here are some tips to navigate through these uncertain waters and allow your delegates to lead the way:
  1. If having a complete conference without an agenda seems unrealistic (and just a bit crazy!), begin with one session or perhaps one session per day whereby attendees create their own agenda in the room at that moment.  The session will have a start and end time and everything else will ‘free flow’. 
  2. Allow ideas and topics to rise from the group. At at first it may seem chaotic and unproductive because innovation is not a comfortable place.  The experience will feel like you’re in ‘a space’ you’ve never been before which is precisely how it is supposed to feel. 
  3. The food and beverage will always be important. It is what participants look forward to as everyone is curious to know what is being served. Having a choice is certainly a welcome option based on your budget and the culinary team you are working with.   
  4. Collaboration and open discussion are the foundation to an unconference. While keynote speakers are typically thought leaders, perhaps break their time down to smaller ‘bite size’ portions and allow free time discussion around certain topic pillars. Having your audience ask questions before the presenter begins, may provide a guide to the information the audience really wants to cover. 
  5. Change up the physical setup of the room. Just remember that comfort will never go out of style.  Having a conference chair that folks will be comfortable in for many hours is key.  The flex back chairs with the purse/bag hook on the back are becoming more available. There are now chairs that have a small shelf below which allows even more flexibility as there is a spot for their belongings which eliminates the need for a table. 
Share with us your unconference ideas!  We’d love to hear your successes and even ‘failures’ as we all learn together!

Jeanna Andre-Murdie 
Senior Sales Manager, Global Accounts 
jeanna@thehowesgroup.com

 
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Who knew that there are no words that rhyme with orange or purple.  Bet you tried?!  So did I... They are both considered secondary colours as they are created by mixing two primes.  Red + Blue = Purple and Red + Yellow = Orange. 

Prince Edward Island is CORRECT!  Jeanna was enjoying the sites and sounds of Rodd Crowbush on the beach.  Thank you to everyone who sent in their guesses and congratulations to Bob B who won a $50 Gift Card for Vintages!  

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