New Shoes Rubbing You The Wrong Way…Try This

I was recently attending IMEX America, a huge annual trade show for meeting and conference planning professionals. My wardrobe was in need of new shoes, so I took the occasion of a big industry event to trot myself out to the mall and got a nice pair of lace-up, leather dress shoes. I wore the shoes for the first time, as I walked into the Las Vegas Convention Center. Three days later, after walking the equivalent distance of Forrest Gump’s coast, to coast, to coast run, I was ready to throw my new shoes into Caesar’s fountains. I wish I had learned this break-in trick before setting out to Las Vegas with my new shoes.

Here’s the trick…Put on your regular socks, and then pull on a pair of really thick and heavy socks over those. Next, wrestle your new shoes onto your feet and lace, buckle or zip them up. Now, grab your hair dryer, and spend a few minutes blowing hot air over the parts of the shoe that give you any discomfort. Get it nice and warm so the material stretches from the pressure of those thick socks. Lastly, turn the hair dryer off, but leave the shoes on. Walk around in them for awhile until they return to normal temperature, which is when you can take them off. The whole project should last about twenty minutes.

Now that you know how to get out of a tight squeeze with your shoes, let me tell you how to get out of a tight squeeze at work. The next time your team needs a hotel for an off-site meeting, or a block of group rate hotel rooms, instead of finding the time to call hotel after hotel, and explain your meeting space and hotel room block needs over and over, you can call VenueQuest once and we will do all that work.

You will receive an easy to read, and easy to share report (see a sample right here) which makes selecting your hotel easy.

VenueQuest provides a professionally managed, zero cost way to search hotels for meeting space, and group room block pricing.  
  • Our hotel search service is provided free to any customer with a minimum block of 10 hotel rooms, for at least one night  
  • Hotel search service is not limited by hotel brand or chain
  • Hotel proposals available within 24 hours

Do’s and Don’ts of Booking Hotels With VenueQuest

The most comDos and Donts of booking hotels with VenueQuestmon misconception we face at VenueQuest, is customers who think our third party hotel booking services are only for large meetings.  The truth is, most company meetings are small meetings, and never see more than 35 people in attendance.  While we certainly enjoy when a company meeting is big enough to fill an entire hotel, it is the customers who regularly need to find hotels for small meetings who are the bread and butter that keep our lights on and our team working.

But this is only the most common misconception which we hear about.  During a recent convention, an informal poll of potential customers revealed a few more reasons why some would-be customers thought it would be best to book group hotel rooms and off site meetings on their own.  This infographic is your quick guide to understanding where we all stand when working together.


Haircuts with Hall of Famers

Two weeks ago, legendary Atlanta Braves pitcher, John Smoltz, was inducted into the baseball hall of fame.  My son, an avid youth baseball player has an autographed picture of Smoltz in his bedroom, but he could care less about the hall of fame.  My sons interest in the famous pitcher stems from the barber shop.  We live in suburban Atlanta, and about two years ago, my son learned from his barber that John Smoltz comes into the very same shop every two or three weeks to get his hair trimmed.  Since then, I have never had a problem convincing my little guy to get a haircut because he thinks there is always a chance he could be in the chair next to Smoltzie.
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My son, posing with his autographed John Smoltz photo and baseball card.

John Smoltz is best known for being part of a trio of high performing pitchers on the Braves roster, which also included Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux.  Each pitcher had his particular strengths and by working together, and utilizing each of those strengths, they led the Atlanta Braves to an unprecedented 14 consecutive Division Titles, and a World Series Championship.

Now, I don’t think there is a hall of fame for travel consultants, but I do know that the Administrative Professionals, Association Executives, and Corporate Managers who make up our clientele are appreciative, and they find our services useful.  Just like the Braves had a team of pitching specialists for different parts of each game, we form a team with our client so that they can focus on the internal agenda and objectives of their meeting, while we focus on negotiating the best hotel and transportation logistics.

If you book hotels for more than 10 rooms at a time, and you have not tried our completely free booking service, then you don’t know how easy it is.

  • One point of contact with a VQ Hotel Specialist
  • Ability to query ANY hotel in North America or Europe
  • Easy to read side-by-side hotel proposals
  • You are still the customer of the hotel you choose, and you keep any loyalty points or incentives

What To Do When Hotels Are Sold Out.

We have always promoted the fact that VenueQuest hotel booking service was a convenient way for our customers to find and book the most Sold Out Hotelcompetitive hotel for their needs.  Conversations with our customers about which factors were important to them when selecting a hotel for their meetings have revolved around factors such as; convenient location, good price on hotel rooms and recently renovated.

But as of early 2015, we are seeing a surge in requests from anxious Executive Assistants who are discovering their go-to hotel is booked, whether that happens to be in San Francisco, Atlanta, or Frankfurt.  And so is the hotel next door!  This reveals another benefit of VenueQuests booking service which is becoming more relevant as the demand on the travel industry grows more intense every month.  That is the fact that we can simultaneously determine the availability of group room rates, and meeting space at every hotel in a given city.

After placing your request for group hotel rooms and meeting space with VenueQuest, we promptly solicit your requirement to every hotel that can physically accommodate your needs.  Then, we prepare a custom report for you detailing only the offers with guaranteed availability for your dates, and meeting space needs.  2-3 days after your initial request, you will have the information you need to select a hotel for your off-site meeting and proceed with a booking.

There is never a fee for this service, and we can assist you with your hotel booking needs in any city or resort worldwide.

Send Us Your Hotel Request

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

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.