Where in the World is Team Precision?

We’re now three months into 2012, and the ladies of Precision Meetings and Events have been busy packing and repacking their bags to travel across the country and even internationally to execute flawless and memorable meetings and events. See below for a map of our travels to date. Here are a few of the highlights:

  • Orchestrating a custom fireworks show over Old Fort Jackson in Savannah, GA following a private riverboat cruise
  • Dog sledding through beautiful, snow-covered mountains in Vail, CO
  • Showcasing a world-class aerial violinist to entertain guests at a sophisticated dinner gala in Washington, DC
  • Treating guests to a taste of creole heaven at a locally famous restaurant in New Orleans, LA
  • Hitting a high note with one meeting’s VIPs as they enjoyed a private dinner at the Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad, CA
  • Braving 14-hours flights and language barriers to experience the rich cultures of Brazil and Argentina on for a client’s international study mission
  • Serving banana soup to the masses for a semi-annual meeting gone tropical in sunny St. Thomas

With nine months more to go, 2012 is shaping up to be another exciting year for Team Precision!

 

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Business on the Beach

A quick look at the weather application on my phone tells me it is 36 degrees right now, and my brief moment outside this morning confirms it.  It is moments like these when we wish, despite our mild D.C. winter this year, that we were somewhere warm, somewhere like…Naples, Florida. 

Two of our Precision ladies were lucky enough to be there just a few weeks ago!  Our client’s meeting took place at the La Playa Beach & Golf Resort, http://www.laplayaresort.com/, which is located in a quiet and relaxing area of Naples. 

The resort features the Baleen Restaurant which is one of the top rated places to dine in the area.  With a menu featuring the freshest sea food imaginable and a view of the beach that is truly breathtaking, it is no wonder the Baleen has an outstanding reputation.  Guests who dine at the Baleen also have the luxury of cozying up to the fire pit, or they can enjoy beach butler service while digging their toes in the sand.

The Precision ladies did have the opportunity to leave the resort one night and head into town for a girls dinner in Naples.  They ended up at Yabba Island Grill, http://www.yabbaislandgrill.com/index.php, which features fresh seafood with an island twist…a little jerk seasoning really punches up the menu!  This establishment is a great place to party on the weekends and the perfect atmosphere to relax during the week. 

Some added excitement: Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich were in town that night so the Precision ladies got a peak of all the excitement and commotion surrounding their presence in the area.

Precision’s Vail Vision

If you are planning on heading to Vail, Colorado anytime soon, Precision has done your homework for you!

Want to know where to go? Where to stay? Not only did we research and plan an incredible meeting for one of our clients, we were able to put everything to the test, for quality assurance…of course!

For the benefit of our fellow D.C. residents and everyone else not from Vail, here is a list of the best this magical ski town has to offer!

Dining and Entertainment:

Bol (pictured) is an upscale bowling alley with much more on the menu than unattractive shoes and pitchers of cheap beer.  Appetizers like spice tuna tartar and pumpkin fritters grace the fun and impressive menu of their full service dining area.  Chic and modern looking bowling lanes are complimented by a VIP-like area filled with sleek yet comfortable couches.  It was the perfect spot for the Precision employees to test out their first night in Vail.

http://www.bolvail.com/bol

A visit to the mountains calls for snow activities!  That is exactly what Precision provided to our clients with a snowmobiling tour through the mountains.  In addition to the snowmobile tour our clients were able to enjoy a dogsledding tour. They were also able to visit the farm where the dogs are held and go on a horse pulled sleigh ride.  These activities are fun and unique to the area, they should definitely be put on any traveler’s “To Do in Vail” list!

Game Creek Club (pictured) is a hungry adventurer’s dream come true.  Only accessible by skis or a gondola ride this European-style chalet is a trek to get to, but worth the effort.  Breathtaking views and an exclusive atmosphere make this the perfect snowy mountain party venue! 

http://www.gamecreekclub.com/

Sweet Basil has a well established reputation as one of the best restaurants in Vail. Since 1977 Sweet Basil has offered extremely fresh ingredients and an interesting menu.  Two of Precision’s team members had the pleasure of dining there on their last night.  They indulged in an amazing warm apple and beet salad, scallops and dumplings, and a “hot sticky toffee pudding cake.” Yum-o!

http://www.sweetbasil-vail.com/

Lodging

Precision stayed at the Vail Marriott Mountain Resort and, true to the Marriott name, the service and food were awesome and the property was wonderful.  For our client’s reception we worked with Marriott on food stations from all over the globe.  American, German, Mediterranean and Asian cuisine were featured at the reception and the food was a hit!  The Marriott is located in Lionshead Village and a free shuttle is available that will take you anywhere in Vail!  Extremely close proximity to the mountains provides breathtaking views.  Our team members had a fantastic stay at the Vail Marriott Mountain Resort.

http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/whrco-vail-marriott-mountain-resort-and-spa/

Exciting Extras

ALTITUDE SICKNESS!  A crazy noun that can mean the difference between a fantastic visit or a visit to the hospital.  It was Precision’s goal to ensure that our clients and their guest had the best meeting possible and therefore it was imperative that altitude sickness be prevented at all costs!  At every reception, an oxygen bar was present.  Attendees could sit, network, and visit all while breathing in oxygen provided by a doctor who specializes in mountain oxygen.  Our team members went a step further and had the doctor attend dinner at The Game Creek Club which sits at an altitude of nearly 12,000 ft..  Precision packed seven oxygen tanks on a hotel bell cart, then rolled them over to the gondola with the help of the amazing Marriott staff! Then, they were loaded onto the gondola.  Once the gondola ride was over, the oxygen tanks were rolled via bell cart through the snow to the Snowcat, and were finally brought it into the restaurant.  All the work paid off and was a huge hit!

 

 

 

PCMA San Diego: Informational Oasis

Among the picturesque palm trees and luxurious yachts calmly swaying in the beautifully blue ocean (pictured) is the state-of-the-art San Diego Convention Center, which is where the story begins:

January symbolizes more than the start of a new year, it is also the time for the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) to host their annual meeting!  This year, members from all over the country convened in San Diego, California for what proved to be a three day whirlwind of fascinating educational programs, outstanding receptions and introductions to the best San Diego has to offer.

The speakers were not only informative, but immensely interesting!  Some of the all-star cast included Dr. John Medina, author of Brain Rules, Jane McGonigal, author of Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World and David Brooks, author of The Social Animal: The Role of our Unconscious Mind and How We Meet and Succeed.

Here are some of the most fascinating take-aways from each speaker:

Dr. John Medina:

  • The human brain cannot multi-task.  When a person tries to do so the brain signals for the release of stress hormones and you become stressed.
  • The reason we sometimes wake up in the middle of the night is because our sleep pattern is still wired to scan for predators throughout the night.
    • Dr. Medina calls it “Gazelle Syndrome” if we still lived in the wild we would be easy prey for nature’s predators.  Therefore our subconscious pulls us out of deep sleep in waves throughout the night.  If a person is stressed the brain interprets that as fear of an imminent threat and wakes us up.
    • The idea of being a “morning person” or an “evening person” is fact not fiction.  There is a gene that determines when your brain will be most productive, for some people that is the morning, for others that is the evening.  A person cannot change this trait.

Jane McGonigal:

  • The majority of Americans game every day. 
  • Games evoke positive emotions in people and satisfy human urges such as problem solving and team work to overcome obstacles.
  • Incorporating gaming into meetings and life in general can lead to people coming together to complete amazing real-life accomplishments while staying engaged.

David Brooks:

  • David explained the importance of human connections.
    • Babies who are not held are much more likely to die and children who are not responded to when they are young do not develop proper behavior because they are not taught how to interact.
    • We were also given a little bit of political insight.  Since David often interviews politicians he gave us his honest opinion on the men running for the presidency.
      • He also noted that politicians are hyper- connectors, they are able to emotionally connect with strangers unlike the average person.

This year’s PCMA Annual Meeting was truly enlightening.  From new ideas on how to incorporate technology into your meetings to how to keep attendees engaged throughout conferences, the knowledge we gained is priceless.

Looking forward to next year!

 

Planes, Boats and Automobiles

Our East Coast Precision team members headed west for business and adventure in the great state of California.  From modern California Cuisine to historic San Diego districts two of our Precision team members experienced all the fantastic city had to offer. 

 

Leslie and Megan, two of Precision’s best and brightest, were on a mission: to make certain their client’s events ran perfectly.  From cruises to cars and even piano bars the meeting ran smoothly and fun was had by all!

 

It was time to think out of the box and off the streets; the first event took place on the “Dream” boat and featured beautiful black and white table settings.  On a moving dining room surrounded by water, the views were unbeatable. 

 

Once back on solid ground it was time to prepare for the next exciting event taking place at Evan’s Garage, a privately owned museum built in 1983.  The museum is home to vintage automobiles and fire engines dating from 1886 to 1962.  Needless to say the attendees were intrigued by their vehicular surroundings!

 

For a taste of old San Diego it was off to a piano bar in the historic Gaslamp District which began construction in the 1860’s.  The Gaslamp district still features authentic gas lamps which were considered new technology when this area of town was being constricted.  Now shops and restaurants line the streets of this quaint and beautiful San Diego destination.  

 

Following true Precision tradition our team members had lunch at George’s on the Cove in La Jolla before hopping back on the plane home.  Unbeatable views of La Jolla Cove paired with delectable fish tacos and local beers create the perfect relaxed atmosphere that San Diego is known for.  No wonder the Precision team has made a habit of visiting this spot year after year!

 

From plane rides across the country to dinner cruises and mingling among vintage automobiles, Precision experienced the best of the air, sea and land during this trip!

Banana Soup in Paradise

Aruba…old news.  The Bahamas…over it.  The new hot spot south of Florida is the whimsical island of Curacao (pronounced: keer-i-sow).  One of Precision’s finest was lucky enough to visit this Caribbean wonderland with some of her favorite clients and returned with tales of fantastic food and beautiful beaches.

From a swinging bridge connecting Punda and Otrobanda (the two sides of the island), to thirty private beaches, this destination showcases the best the Dutch Caribbean has to offer.  The downtown area, also known as the “mini Netherlands” due to the uncanny resemblance, was one of our Precision team member, Leslie’s favorite areas.  The rich history of Curacao is present in the three bridges named for Queens Emma, Juliana and Wilhelmina.  The Queen Emma bridge has gained notoriety for its tendency to wobble as patrons walk across it. 

As one of the ABC islands and scenic trade port there is never a dull moment on Curacao.  Leslie was able to experience it all, especially some of the islands exquisite cuisine.  Although fear of the unknown initially stopped Leslie from ordering the banana soup featured on the menu at De Gouverneur restaurant, she had no choice but to try it when the chef sent some to her table.  To her surprise it was delicious!  She was also impressed by the amazing meals presented by Trevor, the beloved chef at the Curacao Marriott Beach Resort & Emerald Casino.

Since we feel it is important to keep you abreast of all the new trends and great places to be, like Curacao, we followed in the footsteps of the educational publication Cosmopolitan and offer our very own “Hot & Not” list for 2012.

Tropical “Hot & Not” list 2012

Hot Not
Dutch Caribbean British Caribbean
Banana Soup Chicken Noodle Soup
Swinging Bridges Steady Bridges

Vegas Adventures

When sky blue gets dark enough to see the colors of the city lights, a trail of ruby red and diamond white, hits her like a sunrise…”- John Mayer, “Neon”

Precision’s ladies stepped off the plane in Las Vegas prepared and ready for the conference they had expertly planned.  Although every detail was arranged and every issue anticipated, the Precision team had no idea of the exciting adventures awaiting them in Sin City.

The first night was marked by excellent food and an even better view.  The sky-high service at Mix Restaurant at Mandalay Bay impressed our Precision team members as did the classic French and American cuisine.  Brilliant views of the strip through Mix’s glass walls made for an exciting first night in Las Vegas.

The kick-off to the conference lived up to the over-the-top Las Vegas style that is the trademark of the incredible city.  Guests were greeted by Gary Anthony, a Frank Sinatra look-a-like who, as luck would have it, also has a very similar voice to the legend.  Classics like, “Come Fly with me,” serenaded guests as they entered their Italian themed opening reception.  A six-foot tall ice sculpture of the leaning tower of Pisa (pictured) adorned the center of the room bringing a taste of Italy to Caesars Palace.   A menu of pizza, pasta and paninis left guests satisfied and ready for the week ahead.

Creative break food between meetings kept attendees happy and focused throughout the day.  Nostalgic snacks like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, doughnut holes, chocolate milk and Reese’s peanut butter cups were a welcome change to the monotonous chip and pretzel option.

The first celebrity the ladies encountered was Chef Vincent of Aureole at Mandalay Bay (pictured)!  With specialties like ricotta ravioli and smoked salmon it is no wonder this restaurant has earned multiple Four Diamond Awards and the Michelin Star.

Precision’s second VIP moment happened when our ladies were able to finagle a table at the grand opening of the new Michel Richard restaurant: Central in Caesars Palace.  Not only did they enjoy a fantastic meal, they were also able to meet Chef Richard himself.  But, wait, this story gets better; Chef Richard recognized our fearless leader, Peggy Marilley who had the pleasure of meeting Chef Richard at an event at his DC restaurant: Citronelle.  It was exciting to be among the first to witness the debut of this culinary master’s latest undertaking. 

As always, we have saved the best for last. John Mayer, famous recording artist, had the privilege of meeting two of our team members, “big deal” event planners, at the XS nightclub at Encore.  Although he was overpowered by excitement and relentlessly asked to be in a picture with Precision, our ladies politely declined (Precision must protect itself from the fiending paparazzi).

To learn more about Gary Anthony aka Frank Sinatra visit the following link: http://www.majorep.com/frank