Planning Your Next Professional Conference

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Planning a professional conference is a lot of work, but can be an exceptional place to build rapport, network, and gain valuable up-to-date knowledge about your field.

One Year In Advance

  1. Select conference committee
  2. Select conference site and establish group rate for guests
  3. Prepare a budget
  4. Set registration fees, and open registration

Ten Months in Advance

  1. Begin contacting key note speakers
  2. Select conference sessions and schedule
  3. Send confirmation to speakers
  4. Select menu and meal preferences
  5. Send Publicity to the media

Three-Six Months in Advance

  1. Request AV needs from speakers and staff
  2. Request speaker introducers
  3. Decide on final agenda and meal options

One Week in Advance

  1. Confirm room, AV, meals, and set-up with hotel staff
  2. Give final numbers for caterers

Day of Conference

  1. Relax and enjoy it! You’ve worked hard for this

After the Conference

  1. Send follow up material to all guests and participants
  2. Ask for feedback in improving the conference
  3. Send thank you letters to all speakers

 

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Wedding Tips – Choosing the Right Venue

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There are a few (or a lot) of things to consider when choosing the right venue for your oh-so special event! Picking your venue should be one of your first priorities. The decor, the food, sending out invitations, and even your colors can hinge on what venue you choose!

1) Think BIG!

Or small. Consider how many people you are inviting, and plan accordingly. How many people does the venue hold? Do any of your guests need special accomidations such as a wheel chair ramp? Think about your guests and how comfortable they will be at your event.

2) Think Original

There are plenty of hotels and reception halls that will help you decorate your event so it shows off your personality. While this is a beautiful, convenient option, don’t forget to look at places like museums, outside pavilions, barns, or restaurants. Theme parks even cater to weddings!

3) Think Decor

What style of event are you throwing, and how much work do you want to put in to make your location perfect? A lot of venues will have decoration packages that can be reasonably priced. If you want to decorate yourself, make sure to ask how much is allowed.

4) Think Comfort

Think about your guests, and how they will proceed through the event. Try and make their visit as enjoyable as possible. Does the venue offer enough parking? In addition to the wedding venue, you’ll want to offer a few hotels with group rates to your traveling guests.

5) Think Lighting

Pictures are probably the most valued after-wedding possession. Is there enough natural lighting for your photographer? What time of day will your reception take place, and what kind of accommodations will your photographer need?

6) Think Service

How many of the venue’s staff will you need? Make sure the venue provides plenty of help. There’s nothing worse than playing the waiting game on your wedding day! Also, be sure to ask about restrictions. Some venues don’t have a liquor license and have restrictions on wines. Some have restrictions on candles or throwing rice/confetti.

Whew! That sounds like a lot of work! Well, it sure doesn’t have to be.

My name is Jennii Fielding, and I specialize in helping brides with booking accommodations. I can help you find your perfect venue, and negotiate hotel group rates for your guests! The best part? I’m absolutely FREE to work with! I get my commission from the venues and hotels. I know you’ve got a lot to do, so why worry about one more thing?

Check out next week’s post for tips on what to do after you’ve picked your venue!

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Boutique Shops at Gateway Mall

Here are my top three boutique shops at Gateway Mall!

Charming Charlie

Charming Charlie is GIGANTIC! As a cute accessory store, they have everything conveniently sorted by colors. It’s hard not to instantly fall in love with such a visually appealing store. The store can be a little pricey, but they frequently have discounts that fit into anyone’s budget. While I was there, they had an entire wall of discounted jewelry and watches. It’s hard to beat that!

Bohme Boutique

For everything Bohme, check out this awesome store. From maxi skirts, to basic tank tops, and pretty sundresses, this store has it all! Owned by a Utah native, Bohme Boutique has grown into five locations. I love this store for the awesome prices, and unique Bohme style.

Francesca’s

This boutique store has just 15 stores around the United States. Francsca’s is famous for being “whimsical and eclectic.” Their website has a unique collection of “Look Books” for all your fashion inspiration. Don’t miss out on these unique styles!

Check out Hotels.Tv Salt Lake City Pinterest for more shopping opportunities!

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Gateway Mall

We visited the Gateway Mall this weekend, and it was a great reminder of how much we love this place! While City Creek has been getting a lot of attention lately, Gateway is still the main stop for local business. This time we visited Bon Bon, and the Children’s Museum (which is a blast even if you’re in your 20s). City Creek is big and trendy, but it’s mainly high-end stores. Gateway has the same classy feel, but focuses more on local restaurants and entertainment. If you’re looking for a cozy coffee shop, or little (and not so little) botique stores then Gateway is your place! It’s an outdoor mall, and has a nice open feel. It recently underwent a $2 million dollar renovation. Included in this renovation are more shaded sitting spots, beautiful flowers, and black stone fireplaces.The fireplaces are a great gathering spot in the winter. Gateway is still decorated with the statues and memorials from when Olympics came to Salt Lake in 2002. So, although with the recent competition from City Creek, Gateway is alive and still stays very busy on Friday nights.

Parking

There are many parking spots around Gateway, most costing about a dollar an hour. Although, the first hour is generally free!

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Discovery Gateway – The Children’s Museum

 

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Is it OK to admit that my husband and I had a BLAST at the Children’s Museum? I sure hope so. When we have kids, this will be a frequent stop for our family. At Discovery Gateway, there were two huge floors dedicated to letting kids discover and learn. There even was a life sized helicopter on an outside patio. At this exhibit, children get to wander around a play ER. With some great touch screen technology, the kids get to pretend to give someone surgery. Part of the simulation has them drilling into bones, and screwing metal plates down. Gross! There is a beehive where throwing balls through different tubes make different sounds, a media center where they can pretend to be a newscaster, a room for video editing, a story center, and an entire play city! Admission is generally $8.50 per person, but they frequently have sales for $5. Check out their website to find the coupon! During the day there are classes the kids can participate in, and they put on different events like a Dr. Susses’ birthday party. They have an event room for birthday parties, and even weddings. We love Discovery Gateway! Salt Lake is definitely one of the best places to be a kid.

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Bon Bon at the Gateway

Bon Bon is a local restaurant with only one store front location. It’s located on the second floor of the Gateway Mall, and is a charming restaurant for Crepes, Gelato, and Ice Cream. But, be warned they don’t offer Crepe’s during the summer, because they get way too busy. The store is decorated with antique tables, and trendy lights. My husband and I ordered the grilled cheese crepe, a fresh fruit crepe, and two child sized ice creams. The crepes were beyond delicious. I don’t know what kind of cheese Bon Bon used, but my oh my we were sure sad when we got to the last bite. The Fresh Fruit crepe came with two fruits, and one spread of your choice. We got strawberries and blackberries, with a cream cheese spread. Our Raspberry Nutella, and orange chocolate cake ice creams were a-mazing. At only $1.99 for a child’s size cone, we could have tried all of the flavors!

The store owner was the one making our food, and it was delightful getting to chat with her. She said her crepes were made from about four ingredients. That’s about as simple as you can get! The simplicity definitely added to the authentic, home-made taste. Bon Bon is a delicious, trendy store that has definitely become one of our favorites!

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Brian Regan 2014

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We have our tickets, do you? Brian Regan is a Utah favorite, and we’re excited to have him at the Salt Lake Salt Palace on the 28th of February and 1st of March.

3 Reasons We Love Brian Regan

1) His family friendly comedy

Brian Regan leaves his audience with sore jaws and side aches, and we love that he can do that without being vulgar. It takes a special kind of comedian to pull that off, and we admire him for it. This is definitely an event you’ll want to bring your whole family to.

2) His facial expressions

For anyone who’s seen Brian Regan, his facial expressions are enough to bring back that deep belly laugh. We can’t wait for the crazy eyebrows and tricked out smile.

3) His every day observations

The laughs don’t stop at the end of the night. He makes everyday events hilarious, and so you’ll be quoting him every where you go! In no time at all you’ll be quoting, “I’ before ‘e’ except after ‘c’ and when sounding like ‘a’ as in ‘neighbor’ and ‘weigh’ and on weekends and holidays and all throughout May and YOU’LL ALWAYS BE WRONG NO MATTER WHAT YOU SAY!!!!”

Brian Regan is performing at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City on February 28th and March 1st. Need help deciding where to stay for the event? Check out the hotels listed below for great prices that are close to the Salt Palace. These hotels are ordered from most to least expensive. For more hotels by location check out the Hotels.TV Salt Lake destination page

Marriott City Center
Salt Lake Plaza Hotel
Shilo Inn Suites

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Skiing in Salt Lake City

Utah has the best snow on earth, and here’s the inside scoop on Skiing in Salt Lake City! There are eight world-famous ski resorts within an hour of downtown. Here are the highlights of each resort. Make sure to check out the Salt Lake destination page, or contact saltlakecity@hotels.tv for help planning your ski vacation!

Alta

Alta is a local favorite. Skiers LOVE that snowboarders are not allowed at this resort, and fresh snow stays fresher for longer! Snowbird and Alta are located in the same canyon, and typically get the largest amount of snow in the state. Their ski school is one of the best, and they offer lessons at every level for children and adults. Alta also offers a telemarking class and numerous multi-week ski camps.


Brighton

Brighton is cheap and kid friendly. This resport also has a very popular ski school. There are runs for beginner, intermediate, and advanced. It shares Big Cottonwood canyon with Solitude. One of Brighton’s best features is the Brighton Night Ticket. Night Lift Tickets are $36 M-F and $27 Saturday Nights. These tickets are good from 4-9 everynight, as long as the temperature stays above 0 degrees. Many restaurants are open at the lodge, so skiis can grab a bite to eat before their night skiing adventure.


Canyons Resort

Canyons was ranked in the top ten for America’s best ski resorts. The award is given by Ski Magazine as the Reader Resort Award. It was ranked #5 in access, #7 in lodging, #10 in dining, and #11 in terrain parks. In 2010 they started some major renovations — totaling $75 million in infrastructure improvements. And these improvements have really paid off. It’s just 35 minutes away from the Salt Lake Airport, and is a must see on any Salt Lake ski vacation! It has many off-hill activities, including zip-line tours.


Deer Valley

This is another skiiers only resort, and they know how to pamper their guests. Skiiers rave about the well groomed trails suited best for beginner and intermediate skiiers, with a few advanced runs. Their cusine and catering is equally raved about, and offer selections for a wide variety of tastes. Deer Valley was rated the number one ski resort in North America by readers of SKI Magazine in 2008, 2009, and 2010. That kind of title comes with it’s price, and this luxurious resort is one of the most expensive in the area.


Park City

Park City Mountain Resort has some of the largest acreage, and offers a huge variety of runs. This resort takes advantage of the digital age, and their website features an online route planner. You can enter your preferred difficulty, type of terrain, and the intensity, and it will let you print off an map for your personalized routes, and you don’t waste anytime on the slopes. They’re proud of their convience factor, and offer a lift that takes you to Main Street in Park City.


Snowbird

This resort has the highest peak, and offers the longest runs. Snowbird is great of advanced skiiers, but tends to be a little overwhelming for beginner skiiers. It has something to offer all skill levels, but advanced skiiers seem to enjoy it more. This is one of the most popular ski resorts in Utah, and has frequently been given awards for the best ski resort in North America. Each lodge has it’s own taxi service that will take you back to your hotel room or over to Alta.


Snowbasin and Powder Mountain

This resort tends to be less crowded than other resorts. It is known for it’s high alpine bowls, and two of the toughest downhill race courses. Skiiers love the high-speed, comfortable gondolas, and with it’s four lane, lift-assisted tubing hill, it’s a great place to take the family. It offers child care, and on-slope, faceshot photography.


Solitude

Solitude is less crowded, with more untracked snow, with 65 named trails and three bowls.  It has a variety of runs that are good for all skill levels. Skiiers have said you can find powder on the second and third day after a storm. Their Honeycomb Grill just opened with a new menu, so be sure to check out the fine dining at this resort. They have small village with excellent food and nice loding options.


Sundance

This is Utah’s smallest resort, so if you’re looking for a cozy getaway, this is the place! It’s an intimate resort with a spa, art exhibits, and excellent dining. If you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life, there’s no better scenery than Sundance resort. If you’re looking to add some variety to your ski vacation, Sundance has an art shack, where you can learn everything from pottery to glass blowing. The Sundance Film Festival is also held here in January.

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Salt Lake City Golf

Salt Lake City maintains nine full-service golf courses. They are some of the best maintained, highest rated, and most affordable public golf courses in the country.

Wingpointe

Wingpointe has been voted one of the the Top 5 golf courses in Utah by Golf Magazine for two different year. It was also named one of the state’s top two public-access courses by Golf Digest. There’s a distinct Scottish flavor to this course, so grab a club for a unique golfing experience!

Bonneville

This is one of the more challenging Salt Lake courses. Bonneville is located on the East Bench, and is known for the hilly terrain, and has some wooded area around the fairway. This course is only five mintues away from Downtown.

Rose Park

Nestled in the Northwest corner of the Salt Lake Valley, just minutes from downtown and the Salt Lake International airport, Rose Park is well-known for some of the finest bent grass greens in Utah. A variety of pine and willow trees frame most fairways, requiring accuracy off the tee. With subtle dogles and well-manicured fairways, Rose Park is a delightful course to walk. Rose Park is rated as one of Golf Digest’s Best Places To Play.

Mountain Dell

The Mountain Dell courses, situated 16 miles east of downtown Salt Lake City and at an altitude of 6,000 feet above sea level, offer 36 holes of breathtaking views and frequent glimpses of wildlife. The higher elevation provides ideal summer golfing conditions. The Canyon Course stretches up the eastern mountain from the clubhouse approximately four miles before looping back.  The Lake Course features narrow, rolling fairways and dramatic tee shots over deep ravines and water.

Glendale

Combined with exceptional views of the Wasatch and Oquirrh Mountains, Glendale creates the ideal golfing experience. The course offers large wonderfully maintained greens with lake and wetland lined fairways that attract an abundance of waterfowl. There is a great view of the Salt Lake City skyline and the state capitol building from the 9th green.

Forrest Dale

Forest Dale was built in 1906 as the Salt Lake Country Club and holds the distinction of being the oldest golf course in Utah. Forest Dale has undergone several phases of renovation since the City acquired the course in 1935. A major redesign in 1986 maintained the tradition while transporting the course into a contemporary test of golf. Today, it’s a challenging course with several small, original table-top greens that place a premium on accuracy.

Nibley Park

Nibley Park, which opened in May 1922 after the Nibley family donated the land to Salt Lake City, is the oldest public golf course in Utah. Its central location has made it a popular destination for city dwellers and tourists, offering breathtaking views of the Wasatch Mountains. Fairways and greens are guarded by mature trees, many of which were planted before the early pioneers arrived in Salt Lake City.

Jordan River

The Jordan River Par-3 is a challenging executive par 3 course that measures 1,212 yards from the back tees. Plenty of established trees shape the course giving each hole its own unique personality. This is a pleasant walking course that winds along the banks of the Jordan River.

Check out Salt Lake City’s golf website for more information.

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Book with Hotels Directly – Tips and Tricks

Here’s an industry fact: most hotels don’t like working with online search engines. These sites ask for an incredibly high commission. To make up for the money they lose in the commission, hotels generally give these sites lower end rooms, and focus more of their attention on higher profit customers. You know what I’m talking about. The rooms in the back corner with no windows, or the one with paint peeling off the walls. If you’re looking to save money, or at least get a descent room, then book with hotels directly. Online sites are convenient for comparing hotels, but once you’ve found the hotel you want to stay at, look up the hotel’s website and book there. If the price isn’t cheaper, you’re guaranteed to get a better room. If you’re really looking to get some bang for your buck, call the hotel. With so much business going on online, it almost always pays to talk to people in person. Talk to a booking agent or salesperson, tell them the price you found online, and see if they will beat the price, or at least add a free breakfast. Most often they will be more than happy to offer something extra to keep you from booking though an online search engine.

Does this sound like a headache? It’s easier than you think, but if you’re not into making phone calls or price haggling, let me know! I’ve built relationships with the best hotels around Salt Lake and can do all the work for you! And don’t forget to check out Salt Lake’s destination page!

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