ConventionSouth

DEC 2017

ConventionSouth magazine is the leading resource for meeting planners who book all types of events, conventions, conferences and group travel in the south.

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⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 7 w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 28 The AWARDS Issue! EMILY HARTSTONE Manager of Conferences & Meetings Magellan Management, Inc. Boca Raton, Fla. 8 Years In The Business Helping Create Team Spirit Emily Hartstone found a creative way to incorporate people's sports ri- valries into an event that developed a true team spirit. At an annual conference held in Minneapolis, Minn., home of the 2018 Superbowl, during the opening week of football season, she organized a football-themed closing reception. "Everyone wore their favorite team colors and the chef at the resort happened to be the former executive chef for the New England Patriots," she explained. "We created a menu that displayed favorites from different teams' hometowns, like a delicious lobster roll for the Patriots table, tater tots for the Vikings and different buffalo wings for the Buffalo Bills. One of our sponsors gave away football-shaped drinkware for everyone to take home. The group made this event extra fun because of the com- radery it fostered amongst our members and the team rivalries." Challenges: "I'd have to say the biggest chal- lenges I currently face as a meeting and events professional are rising F&B costs and room rates. Many groups get accustomed to pricing and expect it to always stay the same, no matter how much time has passed or where the location is. I work with one group for example, who is used to always keeping their room rates at $199 and has done so for 28 years. Although I was able to achieve their pricing requirements, it's becoming more of a challenge as room rates rise. In addi- tion, F&B menus go up about a dollar per year, so sticking with the same F&B budget can be a challenge as well. We all know it isn't the per person cost of the actual meal that hurts us, it's the extra costs at the end." Solutions: "When I am sourcing locations and negotiating contracts for groups such as the one above, the hotels are able to work with me so we can get creative on the pricing. This year, one in particular gave us a proposal with a room rate of Readers' Choice Award Winners • Alpine Helen/White County CVB, See Ad On Page 29 • Augusta CVB • Augusta Marriott At The Convention Center • Awesome Alpharetta • Callaway Gardens Resort • Clarence Brown Conference Center • The Classic Center • Cobb Travel & Tourism • Columbus CVB • Columbus Georgia Convention & Trade Center • Dalton CVB • Emory Conference Center Hotel • Explore Gwinnett • Georgia International Convention Center • Georgia World Congress Center • Grand Hyatt Atlanta Buckhead • Greater Rome CVB • Hilton Atlanta/Marietta Hotel & Conference Center • Hotel Indigo Savannah • Infinite Energy Center • Macon – Bibb County CVB • Nessmith-Lane Conference Center • Peachtree City CVB • Peachtree City Hotel & Conference Center • Richmond Hill City Center • Sandy Springs Hospitality & Tourism • Sea Island • Sea Palms Resort & Conference Center • University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education & Hotel • Valdosta-Lowndes Conference Center & Tourism Authority • Visit Savannah • The Westin Jekyll Island • The Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa Honorable Mention Award Winner • WinShape Retreat New & Renovated Award Winners • Chateau Elan • The DeSoto The AWARDS Issue! MEETING PROS TO WATCH IN 2018 Shining a spotlight on a select group of meeting planners who have been highly recommended for applying their organizational talents, creative ideas and hard work. Georgia Football-themed closing reception

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