My Life As an Intern

For those of you that are new or who perhaps don’t remember, I introduced myself to the A&M blog several months back in March. Upon taking on the role as a Social Media & Administrative Intern, I dove head first into a pool of new and enriching experiences revolving around all things social media. It may seem simple, but one of the many takeaways that I gained was that it, this whole social media thing, surely is not.

The up and coming world of social media is a challenging place. It’s an entirely new environment, a new channel through which people seek to establish virtual communication and interaction among a seemingly endless population. It’s daunting, it’s overwhelming, it’s competitive…It’s cool.

Previous to being given this opportunity, I minimally acknowledged what more social media outlets have to offer beyond what Justin Bieber is doing, feeling, and thinking (sorry J.B. lovers). In fact, I’ll admit it, I was bitter toward this network of communication. Little did I know how important and valuable it was for an ever-improving world, and I have A&M to thank for teaching me that.

In March, never would I have guessed that I’d be dabbling with html codes, a concept  that I previously perceived as foreign. I’ve explored the possibilities provided by Excel, and even created outlets and options on various social media sites that I always assumed were limited to the experts. In addition to these technical gains, I was introduced to the world of corporate (green) meetings, and perhaps more importantly, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Familiarized with this practice by, you guessed it, social media, CSR doesn’t force society and the environment to adapt to the growing business world as a means of success; rather, it deals with a professional drive for and commitment to success through social awareness and sustainability. Also, my opportunity to have a little taste of everything at A&M taught me something else: social media lies at the root of it all. All these other “things” are simply the branches. Social media has truly created its own self-sustaining network, or family tree, if you will. It’s where ideas are created, shared, spread, marketed, and sold.

As I approach my yearlong study overseas, I owe (much of) my hope for staying in touch with those I care about to my time here at A&M. Social media, in both the corporate and informal atmosphere, is a means of connection, compromise, and success. It reaffirms the fact that sometimes the most simple things are far, far from just that: simple.

Great lessons. Great people. Thank you A&M M&I (and a shout out to the Apple Vacations Destination Wedding Team)!

Always,

Savannah Trifiro

www.linkedin.com/in/savannahtrifiro/

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Two Cents from Taiga Company: Julie Urlaub

We are thrilled about a guest post that we have to share on the blog today! Julie Urlaub, Founder and Managing Partner of Taiga Company, offered us her two cents on some of the green meeting goals that we promote here at A&M:

Greener Meetings Means Responsible Resource Management

Bringing people together for meetings, often for multiple days at a time, can create a “host” of environmental impacts—from the smog and greenhouse gas emissions associated with air and ground travel to the paper, plastic, and food waste associated with feeding attendees.  Since meeting face to face is oftentimes a requirement, today’s environmentally minded executives and staff are looking for smarter meeting options.  As such, many are discovering how environmentally responsible meetings are not only good for the earth, they’re great for business.

An aspect of business sustainability is making informed choices regarding green meeting planning.  This includes everything from site selection to meeting materials to catering.   Every mindful action can significantly reduce the environmental impact of the event and oftentimes, reduce meeting costs.

Research indicates more than two-thirds of meeting professionals take environmental considerations into account when planning their conferences.  How are they doing this? By keeping responsible resource management at the forefront of their decision making.  Areas worth considering are:

  • Waste management and recycling
  • Water conservation
  • Energy efficiency
  • Carbon Offsets and Event Calculators
  • Green Travel and Lodging
  • Sustainable Tourism Organizations and Initiatives

By including sustainability concepts in event planning, it demonstrates company values to employees and meeting guest as well as gives business a competitive edge, a great reputation, and can save time and money in the process.

carbon-footprint

A huge thank you goes out to Julie for sharing her insights!

What are your thoughts?

Julie Urlaub is the Founder and Managing Partner of Taiga Company, a social media and sustainability consulting company specializing in social media communications, strategy, training, managed services and stakeholder engagement for sustainable/ green business.

Leveraging 36,000+ twitter followers and a blog with global reach, Julie works with clients to powerfully engage in sustainability related issues and stakeholder communications in the social media space to help businesses maximize sustainability strategies and to communicate how their sustainability strategies are making a difference in their business and our world. Not only does Julie walk the talk, she rides it too as an endurance mountain bike racer.

Website: http://www.TaigaCompany.com
Twitter: @TaigaCompany
Facebook/TaigaCompany
Pinterest.com/TaigaCompany
LinkedIn/in/julieurlaub

Don’t Miss Out!

With our July Special, you can receive complimentary sourcing for TWO destinations simply by submitting an RFP to us online! You can access the form by clicking “request info” via our website.

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The end of July is quickly approaching, so don’t wait!

On Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): What, how, & why we love it

CSR is the talk of the town of recent, and slowly but surely businesses are jumping on board to this new trend. With that said, the term is thrown around a whole lot, and while you may contribute to it’s reach, are you entirely aware of the meaning and what it involves?

Allow us to briefly elaborate. CSR incorporates social consciousness that extends from personal aspects like corporate citizenship to environmental means such as “going green”. In an effort to achieve this recognition, businesses may encourage team volunteer projects, green meetings, and sustainable incentive trips. Now, this is where we come in, and why we love CSR so much.

Successful companies promote employee involvement. By that we mean team bonding, efficient meetings, and friendly events beyond the professional field. And, we are here for just that. The planning. The nitty-gritty details that make many cringe. We do that. And guess what. We enjoy it. But, there’s more. What’s so special about your next corporate meeting or incentive trip if it’s not eco-conscious? In this day and age, with the extent of knowledge that people have acquired over the years, we owe loads of respect to our natural environment. It sustains us, so why shouldn’t we sustain it?

Not sure where to start? Well, the first step would be to come to us. From there you can let us know what you’re looking for – the destination you’re dreaming of, the type of team engagement your seeking. Below are a few examples of what we mean here at A&M.

Remember that culinary incentive trip to Italy featured on the blog several months back? Well, that option certainly still exists. Or how about taking a volunteer trip in South America? Talk about rewarding. If you’re looking for the ultimate relaxation in the sun, head to the Virgin Islands; St. John has some serious green thinking on their minds that we are thrilled to work with.

Rooftop solar panels in St. JohnThe options are endless, and that’s what makes incorporating CSR into planning so exciting! For more information on what we mean and how we promote our own social consciousness, visit our website!

What an Incentive!

Italy. Food. Bonding. What’s not to like?

A major part of being an effective team is maintaining the ability to cooperate with one another both inside and outside of the workplace. Bonding over fun and stress-free activities help to aquaint coworkers as well as develop relationships beyond the professional arena.

So that’s bonding, but what about Italy and food? They are both relevant, I promise. According to Flavor of Italy, cuisine related team building helps to boost morale, foster solidarity and collaboration, break down barriers, build new relationships at work with both customers and colleagues, improve time management skills, stimulate problem solving skills, as well as enhance creativity. Think about it: tradition has it that meals are not solely about the food, but also the social aspect of sitting down with others to enjoy a shared delicacy.

Italy Countryside

Now, let’s talk the real fun stuff. Flavor of Italy offers Corporate Culinary Team Building that facilitate this social sharing. The options? Try out the “Fusion Cooking Team Building” which divides participants into teams that will create an Italian fusion meal with international ingredients. If this doesn’t strike your appetite (yes, pun intended), look into the “Recipe & Meal Creation Event”. Teams gather their own ingredients to make a meal that will be rated based upon originality, taste, presentation, speed of preparation, cost, and sustainability (bonus!). Not into the cooking idea? Opt for the wine tasting event that provides various samples of reds and whites to participants, which are then randomly resampled by the same group in an attempt to identify the most correctly. Have a different event in mind? Flavor of Italy notes how if that’s the case, simply ask them about it! They are more than happy to accommodate specific interests.

Wine

These options are among the activities offered by Flavor of Italy to foster both team building as well as the enhancement of an equally amiable and professional work ethic. “Getting the job done” is no more important than setting time aside to create relationships with coworkers. In fact, the latter is often necessary for an effective completion of the former.

It’s also vital to recognize that Flavor of Italy promotes and practices culinary responsibility in each of their programs. They state, “Culinary sustainability is an increasingly important part of our lives as the world we live in becomes more global, resources become more scarce, and we face important issues such as recycling of our ever-increasing waste and GMOs.” Despite indulging in some of Italy’s finest, Flavor of Italy’s policies can alleviate your team’s concerns about leaving the “green”.

Check out Flavor of Italy’s blog for some more information and updates!