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The government shutdown that began at 12:01 am today is dominating all headlines and news broadcasts, and it will have an impact on the travel and tourism industry. 

Tourist Destinations are Closed

In Philadelphia and beyond, many top tourist destinations are closed today.  Visitors to 401 federally funded parks and attractions, including Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, the Statue of Liberty, the Smithsonian museums, the National Zoo, Alcatraz Island, and all national parks will be disappointed today, as all of these destinations are closed.

As much as I love my meeting binders and my neatly printed resumes (where I can make organized notes with one of my many gel pens!), tech tools, goodies, and gadgets really do make getting through a complex event much easier.  Whether it’s jump-starting some brainstorming, tracking a VIP, or collaborating with a large and disperse team, we really are reliant

Like most planners, we usually find ourselves in various stages of planning simultaneously.  It seems like there is always an event next week, near quarter, and even next year that are all demanding attention.  It’s easy to give into the one that is next week, well, because it is next week, but finding the balance to satisfy all of the needs is an important concept to master.

Here’s a peek into what we are managing on a daily basis right now …

Many planners have experienced being called a magician by a client.  We can often make things happen in mere seconds or make things appear almost instantaneously.  But, I have yet to meet a planner who can make a bus that is still 45 minutes away arrive any faster or clear the traffic jam that has claimed our VIP’s ride to the airport.

Vehicles and traffic are immune to the superpowers that planners possess. Well, mostly immune.  We do have some tricks at our disposal that will usually help us triumph.

The “25 Cost-Savers” Feature in Meetings & Conventions this week caught our eye, as we are always looking new cost-savings ideas to help our clients maximize their budgets.  We employ a lot of these ideas already (like the signature cocktail with beer and wine instead of a full open bar, using house props or fruit as centerpieces, and small size display platters) and love that we found a few new ideas to try too.

Have you noticed the back to school displays that are just chock full of brand new school and office supplies?

Yes, we know they’ve been there since right around when school ended a few months ago. We chose to ignore them until now.

There is just something about a brand new pencil or a never before opened pack of highlighters that brings us joy.

Back-to-school time is a perfect time to re-evaluate what has a home in the office supply bins that you keep stocked, packed and ready to go on-site to an event at a moment’s notice.

Booking meeting space by the hour, free Internet, Xbox 360s, apps for changing room temperature, build-your-own-trailmix, and mojito bars. Hotels across the country are rolling out new amenities and features to lure business travelers and meeting/event business. 

Check out this recent article on USA Today to learn how hotels are getting creative to lure groups and business travelers.

You outlined your goals.

You did your research.

You interviewed countless speakers.

You made your short list and traveled to events to see them in action.

You weighed all pros and cons.

You selected your speaker!

Congratulations.  Is now a good time to mention that selecting and booking the speaker is only the tip of the iceburg?

Yes, really.