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Blog — Page 2

How Did Hawaii Get Discovered, and Why Are All the Hotels Booked?

Lately, we have been discussing Hawaii a lot around the office, because there are several upcoming Client meetings happening there (it is yet to be seen if falling oil prices will make air travel to Hawaii any cheaper). All this talk reminds me of one of the most amazing stories I have ever heard.

The story is about how humans first discovered Hawaii. Scientists know for a fact that the youngest islands sprang from sub sea volcanic activity around 400,000 years ago, around the same time the Rolling Stones started touring.

At some point, inhabitants in far south Pacific islands noticed flocks of migrating birds bypassing their island. The islanders had no knowledge of other land in the direction the birds were flying. So one year, a brave team climbed into dugout canoes and started following the birds. As you can imagine, the birds were fast and the Islanders soon lost sight of them, and returned to their island. They waited until the next year and anticipated the migration of the birds by rowing out to the last place they had seen the birds, and waited for the chase to resume. This became a tradition which necessarily started earlier and earlier every year. The Islanders relayed their knowledge of the birds flight path from generation to generation and according to legends, it took 400 years of persistent anticipation of the birds migration, and dangerous ocean tracking, but eventually they sighted the incredible green cliffs of the Hawaiian islands.hawaii-wallpaper-09

Every time I have thought of this story I marvel at the persistence and drive of those Islanders. Nowadays we often see travel as a necessity, and not always a welcome one. But every reason to leave the nest is a fascinating opportunity to grow and learn about the bigger world. You never know when or where you might discover your own Hawaii.

Business travel and the demand for hotel space for company meetings is near an all time high.

Contacting hotels one by one, trying to find available meeting space, may leave you feeling like you are chasing a flock of birds toward the horizon with no hope of catching up to them.

If that is the case, you should call VenueQuest. We instantly cut through the flock of hotel options out there and find the perfect venue for you. The benefits of booking your hotel through VenueQuest include:

  • One point of contact with a VQ Hotel Specialist
  • Easy to read side-by-side hotel comparisons
  • We redo all the reports after your boss changes the dates or the location of the meeting!

Best of all, booking your hotel through VenueQuest
COSTS NOTHING

We work with groups visiting any destination, and requiring 10 or more rooms per night.

The Correct Way to Peel a Banana

I am sorry to break the news to you, but you have been peeling bananas the wrong way, your entire life.  But don’t worry, I am going to help you.

There are videos floating around the internet which all feature chimpanzee’s and other monkey species peeling bananas, and they do it differently than we do.  Now, I can imagine the objections, “But Dan, we also clean our hair differently than monkeys, and I for one prefer the shower method.”  That would be a valid counter point, if not for the fact that from childhood on up, we have positioned monkeys as “the authority” on banana eating.

Monkey with banana

Look up one of these videos and you will learn that monkeys instinctively pinch the bottom of the banana (the end opposite the stem where YOU begin to peel) until it splits open, and then they simply peel back the skin from that end.  There are two major advantages…1.) They never get a finger tip smooshed into soft banana, and 2.) The strings peel right off with the skin in one step.

That’s it.  Now you know.  Peeling a banana from the other end does not change how delicious a banana tastes, nor does it detract from the many health benefits of eating bananas.  But it is cleaner, easier, and more efficient.

Kind of reminds me of the difference between your way of booking hotels for meetings:

  • Looking up hotel locations online
  • Calling or emailing several different hotel offices
  • Waiting for inquiries to be returned
  • Crunching all the different proposals into meaningful comparisons
  • Doing it all over again when your boss changes the date

…versus the same process when you call VenueQuest:

  • One point of contact with a VQ Hotel Specialist
  • We send you easy to read side-by-side comparisons
  • We revise the comparison if specs change
  • We can compare multiple cities, and multiple dates in one effort

Best of all, just like improving your banana peeling experience, booking a hotel through VenueQuest COSTS NOTHING but delivers a much higher quality experience.

 We work with groups visiting any destination, and requiring 10 or more rooms per night.

Where Can I Put This Pan

At the end of April, I relocated to a new home. A much smaller home. My previous residence was a 5 bedroom suburban colonial with a basement, an attic, a wide driveway and enough storage and closet space to hide a small marching band. My new place has just enough storage space to hide a photo of a marching band. Ah, the sacrifices we make for love.

As I have spent nights and weekends trying to achieve organization, I have re-learned that there is always more than one way to get something done. And having the perspective of a fresh set of eyes can absolutely work wonders.  More than a few times, I have found myself standing in the middle of the kitchen, with a bowl or pan in my hand and defeat on my face as I try to locate a resting spot for just one more item. And then, just as I am about to give up and write a blog post about being frustrated, my fiance glides in, looks left, then right, flips a stack of plastic cups and a cheese grater, snatches the bowl from my hand, and before I even understand what has happened, she is gone.

This scenario has played out both ways. The downsizing required the rental of a storage unit and it turned out there is a reason why my Dad was always in charge of packing the car for family vacations…I seem to have genetic super powers when it comes to stacking, turning, balancing and fitting the boxes together in that tiny space. That time, it was my lady who stood by watching with amazement.  In both cases, we had each confronted a challenge with our own perspective, and our internal tools for problem solving, and while I am sure we each would have gotten the job done, it turned out that someone with a different perspective could get the job done faster and easier.

If you find yourself in a situation at work (or with church, team sports, or family gatherings) where you need to book a hotel for a meeting, and you need discounted hotel group rates, consider calling VenueQuest to see if our perspective could get the job done faster and easier for you.

To qualify for discounted hotel group rates, our minimum size is 10 rooms per night.   Booking hotels for groups is all we do, so we have the resources to find you the ideal venue anywhere in the world. There is never a fee for this service, and you will not pay more for hotel rooms brokered by VenueQuest, than you would had you booked it yourself.

Our value is in providing a decision making process which gives you the confidence that you have selected the best hotel for your group.

Thanks for reading today.

Don’t Let This Happen To Your Meeting

Before I get to the funny stuff, I want to suggest the concept of meetings ROI, or return on investment.  Many meeting industry professionals have tried to formulate an accurate way to calculate the financial return of holding a face-to-face meeting and often they are disappointed by the results.  It’s not because they don’t try hard.  They do.  But there are so many benefits to getting the team together which are difficult to measure in a spreadsheet.

Perhaps the most important element is achieving effectiveness.  If you have ever attended a conference or an off-site meeting, you know what I am talking about.  There is an energy and a level of connection with other colleagues, members, associates, customers, vendors and even friends which cannot be captured on a conference call, a webinar, or even a gathering in the company conference room.  It’s the little interactions which build connections between humans and allow you to look forward to speaking on the phone with that vendor the next time there is a problem to resolve.  You aren’t just another problem on that person’s to-do list, you are a friend who needs help, and you will get better results for your team and your employer.

When we meet in person and spend time focused on a task, an idea, a problem or a decision, we tend to get results which matter.  While you are thinking about that positive experience at a conference or off-site where you put a face and a laugh to someone who was previously just an email address and a voice, take a few minutes to watch this funny video which perfectly simulates how ineffective some meeting alternatives can be.

Home For the Holidays

As you know, our business at VenueQuest is brokering the rental of hotel rooms for meetings, off-sites, teams and other groups.  So, it makes me glad to hear people are traveling, especially if my company booked their hotel rooms.  However, with Christmas and the holiday season upon us, my wish is that everyone gets to go home for the holidays.

All the tablets, smartphones, sparkly jewelry, must-have toys and new cars with huge bows on them pale in comparison to the joy of reuniting with the people you love the most.  A large part of VenueQuests business comes from coordinating housing for traveling members of the U.S. armed forces, and there is no other group of people who are more deserving of a little time off and a visit home than these dedicated men and women.

So if you are not quite feeling the warm and fuzzy of the holiday season yet, grab a tissue (or two) and watch this video.  You will be longing for your family within minutes.  Thank you for your business in 2013, and keep an eye out for my next newsletter which will carry the announcement of a really exciting new special offer.