This issue: Earn CEUs while learning ROI Methodology and Innovative Golf Games to Encourage Group Camraderie

South Place Hotel in London still has availability for Fashion Week

South Place Hotel in London still has availability for Fashion Week

I’m a diehard fan of Project Runway in all its incarnations. Maybe that’s why when I saw the enticing promo from Design Hotels that Fashion Week is coming to New York, London and Paris and that hotels were sprucing up their discounts with equal verve and finesse, I just couldn’t wait to pass on this info for those of you who may be looking for an excuse to gawk at the upcoming trends by trendy and classic designers.
New York leads off the crushing week of non-stop shows, parties and posing. There are five hotels still available for the September 4-12 shindigs. The Standard has two hotels: The High Line and the East Village. Hôtel Americano’s 56 rooms fuses Latin and industrial flavors while the Gramercy Park Hotel’s 185 rooms go for more classic chic. If price is less an object, consider checking out The Crosby Street Hotel, rich in color and textures. London Fashion Week begins where New York leaves off, September 12-17. The youngest of the Fashion Weeks family, Design Hotels has 14 hotels still available with discount packages. According to Design Hotels, these range from modern British eclecticism, oriental exoticism, or even black & white Zen minimalism. Pricing ranges from $185 to $411 a night. Check out Ham Yard Hotel, the legendary couture Blakes Hotel, or the cutting edge décor of Boundary. There’s also Charlotte Street Hotel, Dorset Square Hotel, Covent Garden, Haymarket Hotel, and Eccleston Square Hotel. Included also are the Knightsbridge Hotel, La Suite West, the homey Pelham, and Number Sixteen. If you want the surroundings to complement the clothes you’ll appear in at the shows, you might want to look into the fashionable South Place Hotel, Town Hall Hotel and The Soho Hotel. Of course, there’s always Paris. I love Paris no matter what season it is, but I remember being knocked out by the scenes in Devil Wears Prada of the runways and beautiful people decked in attire I wouldn’t know to dream of. Anyway, there are only three hotels left during the time of Paris Fashion Week, September 23 – October 2. Rooms are selling out, so to find out what’s left in any of these three cities, go to
Christmas comes early to Gaylord Palms in Orlando

Christmas comes early to Gaylord Palms in Orlando

It’s still in the mid-90s in Orlando (where I am), with humidity making for steamy 100+ temperatures. Maybe that’s why I find the new Christmas holiday promotional packages for Gaylord Palms so refreshingly cool. The prices may vary with each package, but the level of fun for the family exponentially grows each year. Fun in Florida is getting to bundle up in parka, mitts and hats to walk through the wonderland that is two million pounds of the carved ICE Exhibit, November 15 – January 4. This year’s theme is The Nutcracker. New this year to Gaylord Palms in Florida are the eight lanes of the Alpine Rush Snow Tubing ride. Not so sure you want to slide your tush down one of those icy tubes? No problem. Check out Dreamworks’ Shrekfeast or maybe decorate a gingerbread cookie.
I fell in love with Bath (U.K) on an incredible press trip sponsored by Visit Britain. I’ve never forgotten the city’s beauty and charm and marveled how its venues would make enhance any incentive or corporate group experience. If you’ve never been, here are some sweet deals that may entice you to book your group.
*Book any of four historic venues (all of which I’ve visited) by August 31 and get 10% discount on venue hire for a private Christmas event in November or December 2014. Mention Bath Tourism when booking. 44 (0) 1225 477782
*Cookery Classes at Demuths for 16 people. Choose from the regular classes or prepare a Festive Christmas Cookery menu. You finish in time to grab a cup of special mulled wine and browse the famous Christmas Market. 10% discount for all corporate bookings.
The pop-up Apres-Ski-Bar at the Abbey Hotel evokes holiday cheer

The pop-up Apres-Ski-Bar at the Abbey Hotel evokes holiday cheer

*Maybe the pop up Après Ski Bar with its authentic Alpine ambience will bring your group to rousing cheer. Located at the Abbey Hotel, the snow-topped cabin, open from November 27 through January 3, can be booked out completely or for smaller parties.
Want to know about other possibilities? 01225 322435;
Everything you wanted to know about visiting or staying in historic royal palaces in the U.K but didn’t know who to ask is now available through a groups and travel trade newsletter of Historic Royal Palaces. The publication is called “Fanfare.” Their summer issue just came out. Where else might you learn about the tour possibilities for Hillsborough Castle, a late Georgian mansion built in the 1770s
and later remodeled in the 19th and 20th centuries? Book at least 20 people and get 10% off.
There’s a plethora of themed events occurring at The Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace or the Banqueting House that your group could never do in the U.S. My jaw literally dropped when I visited the Banqueting House. Imagine the hush over your guests when a covered table laden with period dinnerware extends the length of a multi-vaulted ceiling room (the Undercroft), lit by standing candelabras prevalent in 1622 when the Banqueting House was built. Imagine guests gazing upward at the ceiling of the Main Hall blanketed by the only intact installation in the world of a Reubens mural. Italian chairs reflective of the 1600s cushion guests (up to 380), while the sweet serenading sounds of strings could be swapping sets with the brass instruments trumpeting from the balcony. Can you tell I was awed by this venue?
There are private tours, exclusive visits, and educational entertainment awaiting, many with special pricing. See for yourself.
Okay, Meeting Planners. You’re always seeking new ideas for team building or group activities. Omni Hotels & Resorts’ newest customizable golf competitions and activities aims to do just that with the creation of structured play that will appeal to players of all abilities.
Take, for instance, the Golf Purist. Here are some of the possibilities.
•       Pre-round Warm-up Like a Pro: Stretch their limbs and teach them better striking techniques.
•       Match Play: Head-to-head (or would that be club-to-club?) traditional match play tournament.
•       Competitive Horse Race: Nine holes of sudden death elimination
•       Short Course Challenge: A specially-constructed three-par course can make for a quick round of golf for a “skins” game or as warm-up to other events
•       Mix & Match Format: Two-team tournament. The first six holes are a scramble; second six are best ball; and last six are alternate shot play.
Team Building designed for breakouts or post-meeting relaxation.
•       Closest to the Flag: As long as it’s round, you can throw it at the hole and see who lands closest to the flag. Take your pick: golf balls, footballs, tennis balls or maybe Frisbees. toward the green to see who can land closest to the flag.
•       Putting Green Activities: There’s “Night Putting” using glowing golf equipment or “Blind Putting” where one participant blindly putts, and his or her teammate serves as the guide. There’s also “Extreme Putt-Putt” for which attendees must putt around an obstacle course.
•       Foot Golf: Using traditional golf scoring for two holes, players attempt to kick a soccer ball into a hula-hoop on the green. Even I might be good at this one.
•       Moonlight Golf: If your attendees are late night partiers, this may be ideal. Glow in the dark holes can be constructed on the courses’ driving ranges for a one-to-three hole tournament.
•       Frisbee Golf: No excuses for not participating in this rousing match for nine or 18 holes.
Leisure:  No experience necessary.
•       Group Fun Run: Breakfast and a morning run on the back nine.
•       Marshmallow Long Drive: Held in a hotel meeting space. Participants test the skill of mind over muscle in a driving contest with golf balls replaced by marshmallows. Does that come with chocolate?
•       Golf Stretch: Loosen stressed muscles with this relaxing golf-specific stretch.
•       Omni Golf Blackjack: Played just like the card game except participants are pitching balls from a tee box into a “deck” of mock cards in attempts to hit 21.
•       Chip Off the Old Block: First everyone eases through the golf stretch and they chip a Velcro ball into a net.
Did I mention this offer is valid at nearly all 60 of the luxurious Omni Golf Resorts?; (800-788-OMNI);;; and
Who: The Palm Beaches has partnered with ROI Institute, Metrics2Meetings and PGA National Resort & Spa. ROI Institute is the global leader on the use of return on investment (ROI) in non-traditional applications.
What: Two-Day Meeting and Event Program Focused on Performance Metrics. The ROI Methodology is considered the industry standard for measuring business impact and ROI for meetings and events.
When: October 2 & 3
Where: The AAA Four Diamond PGA National Resort & Spa (400 Avenue of the Champions, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida).
Why: to explain the value of using the ROI Methodology™.
For Whom: meeting and event professionals
Benefits: The ROI Methodology is supported by Meeting Professionals International (MPI), the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), and American Society for Training & Development (ASTD), and provides 12 hours of continuing education credits.
Details: The professional, skill-building workshop will feature expert speakers Christopher Kirchner, Jack J. Phillips, Ph.D., and Terri Breining. The program will focus on the value of performance measurement and how it can enhance the results of meetings and events while documenting six types of data, including business impact and financial return on investment for stakeholders.
Cost: Registration is $895 per person.  The PGA National Resort & Spa is offering a $99 per night accommodations rate for attendees.
Where to Register: or
For resort accommodations, call the PGA National Resort & Spa, (800) 633-9150 or (561) 627-2000 or visit
Karen Kuzsel is a writer-editor based in the Orlando area who specializes in the hospitality, entertainment, meetings & events industries.  She is a Contributing Editor-Writer for Prevue Magazine and is an active member of ISES and MPI. She writes about food & wine, spas, destinations, venues, meetings & events. A career journalist, Karen has owned magazines, written for newspapers, trade publications, radio and TV. As her alter-ego, Natasha, The Psychic Lady, she is a featured entertainer for corporate and social events.;; @karenkuzsel; @thepsychiclady

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