Location, Location, Location!

Numerous components go into creating a successful meeting but one of the most important is location.  Many planners think that just by choosing an all-inclusive resort in Mexico, the meeting will be a hit.  After all, who doesn’t like bragging about heading to Cancun for “work”?  But fun in the sun doesn’t always make for a stress free experience.  If you are in charge of a meeting; you have food quality to consider, local business mentality to access and ease of getting there to evaluate.  People are often surprised by some of the unique, undiscovered gems just a short drive from their office.  Following are 3 brag worthy properties, all close to major cities and guaranteed to make your attendees smile.

The luxury accommodations of Winvian are worlds unto themselves.  Just a short drive from Boston you will find eighteen unique resort cottages designed by fifteen different architects, each with a story to tell, each a surprise, an escape, a splendid adventure.

The Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg VA set on 340 acres in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains amid Virginia’s famed horse country and lush vineyards, is just 35 minutes from Washington Dulles International Airport. With 168 guest rooms and an equine team building activity, this resort is a great option for companies in central VA.

Four hours from NYC and you are at The Sagamore on the tranquil banks of Lake George. Breathe in the fresh mountain air on a scenic hike. Enjoy fishing right from the dock or tee off on the Donald Ross-designed 18-hole golf course. From swimming and tennis to sumptuous spa treatments and a host of winter activities, this resort invites you to discover the allure of the Adirondacks at your own pace.

Best of all, these properties all have a green focus and are sustainably minded.  A win win for you and the planet!

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The Top 5 Reasons Why Choosing A&M Is Good For Your Business

What makes A&M Meetings and Incentives unique? Why should you entrust us with planning and organizing your next company event? Why is the “Go Green” initiative important? We’ve compiled five main reasons why you need to book an event through A&M today. Read on!

  1. Everyone deserves a reward. And what better way to say “thank you” to your employees (and yourself) for a year’s worth of hard work than on the lush green field of an ocean side golf resort? It’s the best of both worlds!
  2. There’s something for everyone. Not interested in the beach scene? No problem—Escape the fast-paced lifestyle of the city by booking an event in the tranquil countryside of Tennessee.  Looking for something more adventurous? Embark into the breathtaking mountains of North Carolina and indulge in one of the many spa services offered at the Grove Park Inn; because no one ever said roughing it had to be taken literally. Whether you’re looking for scenic views of the water or the sights and sounds of Center City, Philadelphia, we’ve got you covered.
  3. You’re helping the environment. There’s only one Mother Earth, and it’s up to all of us to do our part to ensure the beauty we experience each day is around for future generations. Our “Green” meetings benefit your business and the environment simultaneously. Save money, be innovative, and make a difference.
  4. We know what we’re doing. With over fifty years of experience, we are determined to make sure your event is exactly how you want it to be—even down to the smallest detail. As event planners, we don’t simply create events. We create experiences. It is our job and passion to ensure that your flights are booked, your schedule is planned, your finances are secured, and your vision comes alive.
  5. The possibilities are limited only to your imagination. Think of it this way: you’re the artist, we’re the paints and paintbrush, and the finished event is the canvas. We are your catalysts for putting the wheels in motion. Golf trip, co-worker spa weekend, company incentive, product launch, training course…we do it all. Come to you with your ideas in mind and we will work as a team to produce the results you desire.

Please visit http://www.aandmtravel.com/events.php for more details!

Just Ask For It

We live in a nation that has shied away from placing an importance on the quest for change and the fight for a societal revolution. The feminist and civil rights movements are now a working memory—their waves of change still lapping against the shores of our country’s political system, but their cultural bearing lost on the newer generations. Sure, in recent times there have been smaller-scale movements supporting important causes such as LGBT equality and Suicide Prevention, but nothing that unifies our country in quite the same way as prior revolutions did.

We are becoming lazy. A cause that seems to be “too far gone” or unable to be drastically altered within the immediate future is considered a cause not worth pursuing. One of these causes is the initiative to save our environment. We have yet to join together as a community and vow to make actual change no matter how challenging or discouraging the cause may be.

Who holds the power of influencing change? The government? The youth? The educational system? These outlets may each play a small part in motivating citizens to adopt the cause of promoting sustainability, but their reach is limited. You see, the influence lies within our economy—in businesses, organizations, major corporations, “Mom & Pop” shops, fortune 500 companies, family-owned stores, etc. We need to put pressure on our country’s economic tributaries immediately. No matter how big or small the company, implementing environmental-conscious practices within the workplace can produce results that are tenfold.

So, how do we do it? This is where the Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC) comes into play. GMIC places a focus on helping businesses organize meetings and incentives that were environmentally friendly and beneficial to both the Earth and the company’s budget. They are unique, economically feasible, and impactive meetings that are easy to plan and organize.

GMIC’s latest campaign is promoting the “Just Ask For It!” movement. This campaign centers on encouraging meeting planners to ask suppliers to provide “Go Green” services for their event. GMIC theorizes that if all companies join together to demand sustainable resources and meetings from their suppliers, the suppliers’ desire to satisfy the planners will drive them to comply. By making “green” a workplace necessity, it will in turn spark global change.

A&M recognizes the importance of this cause and has recently joined forces with GMIC by revitalizing the A&M Meetings & Incentives program to better suit the needs of the environment and customer. A&M now only works with hotels and resorts that promote sustainability and “Going Green.”  Affordable, unique, and easy to plan, the customer is able to choose from five different “green” resorts from five different locations—ranging from an urban to a country setting. Helping the environment and planning an enjoyable business getaway has never been so easy and beneficial to the Earth.

For more information about A&M’s “Go Green” initiative, go to: http://www.aandmtravel.com/events.php

To learn more about GMIC’s “Just Ask For It!” campaign, visit the following link: http://www.gmicglobal.org/?page=APEXRegistry

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.

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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!