Precision Meetings & Events Blog

Where sophistication meets imagination.

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Work/Life Balance

The most productive days that I have at work are the days that I arrive well rested, in positive spirits and focused on the tasks at hand. While I always do my best to give 125% on whatever I am working on, I have learned in just the last couple of weeks that work life balance isn’t about dividing your time… 

…It’s about enjoying your days, one at a time. 

Here are a few tips that helped me live a balanced & focused life as an Event Planner.

Listen to Music at Your Desk:

If you have the option to listen to music quietly when you work, you should. I find that for me… it fosters creativity, puts me in an amazing mood and helps me to focus.

5 Minute Break:

Take 5 minutes to get up, walk around for a minute, go grab a glass of water and then return back to what you’re doing. Everyone needs a mental break!

Lunch Hour:

For many years, I only took a 15 minute lunch break as I felt like I couldn’t break away from my desk for longer than that. While others took the full 45 minute – 1 hour break, I ate quickly and then retreated back to my desk because I couldn’t even consider taking that time for myself. It was to the point where I felt guilty about giving myself time to enjoy a meal. And then 4pm, would come around and some days, I would crash/lose momentum because essentially I was working 8 hours straight without any break.

Recently, I decided that I was going to change that routine and allow myself to have the full hour for myself. Working in beautiful Alexandria, I have the opportunity to take a walk on King Street, sit by the water and people watch and clear my head for a minute.

Returning back to my desk after my 60 minute lunch break, I now feel reenergized, centered and ready to attack the next item on my to-do list.

Improve Your Atmosphere:

If you have the opportunity to personalize your work space, do it! I have always made it my mission to make my desk/office/cubicle space- an inviting area for all. A place where you feel happy to be for hours at a time and a space that is welcoming to your teammates.

While it might not seem like an essential thing, I look forward to arriving to my office when it feels like a “home-base”, personal thinking area and a positive space to start-my-day!

Enjoy the moments…

Sometimes, I get so wrapped up in the event that I am working on that I don’t take time to step back and enjoy the event as it happens in real time. It is important to take a minute and watch your hard work come together and rejoice in the moment! You’ve worked hard….

…..GO to the corner of the banquet room/venue for a second and see it become a reality!

Now, of course, you might not be able to do this on a daily basis and you’ll find weeks that you can’t break away—but, do your best to find some time to focus on YOU! By focusing on your health– not only will you be able to be more productive, but you’ll be happier too!

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Summers not over (yet)!

Recently, everyone has been talking about how summer is coming to an end and the fun, active outdoor activities are winding down, but that’s not the case here at Precision! We are taking full advantage of all that DC has to offer towards the end of summer. Here are some activities not to be missed before the end of summer this year.

Jazz in the Garden is always a DC summer favorite of mine. Pack a picnic dinner, grab a blanket, and make your way to the National Sculpture Garden Fridays at 5:30 pm. Although you can’t bring alcohol into the Sculpture Garden, you can buy beer and sangria by the pitcher! If you like jazz music or even just like hanging outside with your friends and a big pitcher of sangria, definitely check out Jazz in the Garden.

For the more active adventure seekers, I would recommend going to Key Bridge Boathouse to do some water activities. Precision team members have tested the waters in both kayaks and standup paddleboards and both seem to be an equally as fun (and strenuous) workout.

If you’re not interested in the outdoor activities because it has been sweltering hot this year, head over to the National Building Museum for the indoor Beach exhibit! The exhibit features a beach with sun chairs and umbrellas and an ocean made of those plastic balls you find in fast-food restaurant play pits. My first thought was that it was going to be a giant cesspool of germs, but the architect anticipated that problem well before it happened. The balls in the pit are made of germ blocking plastic creatively named GermBlock. So there is no excuse not to go enjoy the germ free indoor beach!

Of course, there are tons of things to do in DC in the summer, but we wanted to share a few of our favorite summer 2015 activities. Hopefully you get inspired to take full advantage of what’s left of the summer because it’s not over yet!




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Vermont: Versatile, Varied, and Vibrant


This past week I celebrated my two year anniversary with Precision Meetings & Events, Inc. I found myself on that day, standing knee-high in a body of water, in waders, holding a pole, fly fishing. I thought to myself, it has been two years and I am still experiencing new things that I never thought I would in my years at Precision or in my life.

This last meeting, I spent a whole week in Stowe, Vermont. Being a city girl myself, I had the opportunity to experience an entirely different environment that Stowe had to offer. They are known for their hiking trails, fly fishing, and many different art vendors, such as jewelry makers, glass blowers, and furniture makers. We took the opportunity of being in such a different location (this particular group had never really been to this part of the world for this meeting), and immersed the group into all of these activities throughout the meeting.

We began by taking the Executive Committee Spouses fly fishing one morning. We put them all in waders, taught them how to tie a hook to a fishing line, and allowed them to practice casting. Then with our four experienced guides, we allowed the group to hike to their perspective locations and fly fish for a couple of hours. This is something this group had never done before and it really allowed them get outside their comfort zone and try something new. We even had someone catch bass which made the experience all worth it!

Next, we brought artisans in from nearby towns to our Opening Reception for our larger meeting. We had stone jewelry makers, glass blowers, wine makers, craft-brew makers, and local cheese and chocolatiers. They all had the opportunity to set up a booth to show off their crafts and tell their story. This truly allowed our attendees to experience and taste a little bit of Vermont.

One of our more overwhelmingly liked events was the presentation by Miranda Thomas and Charles Shackleton. This husband and wife duo own a Vermont based company, Shackleton Thomas. They pride themselves in their handmade fine pottery, furniture and accessories. They shared their love story and how they began their lives together and found their passion for creating items with their hands. They also told us about one of their most meaningful projects, The Naked Table Project. This allows a group to take the day to learn to make tables –bonding and creating lasting tables in an environmentally friendly manner. Participants learn about a sustainable approach to furniture making, how to prepare and assemble its mortise and tenon joinery, and how to finish their tables to look their best. To fully understand the process of sustainably making furniture, you must go into the forest. Guided by expert foresters and sawyers, they take the participants on a tour through the forest where the iconic Sugar Maple trees were harvested for the table workshop.

Lastly, we ended our meeting with an optional tour to Quechee, Vermont to visit Simon Pearce glass blowing factory. We feasted on a traditional Vermont brunch with views of the Quechee George, a spectacular waterfall. We then received a private tour to see the glass blowing and interesting machinery that creates the glass.

I have learned so much in my two plus years with Precision and every day there is always something more.  I have been blessed with many opportunities and I am fortunate to keep experiencing all the new challenges, rewards, and places. Vermont opened my eyes to another part of this world and its unique culture. To say the least this meeting was versatile (adapted our meeting agenda to Vermont’s environment), varied(offered many new options for tours and programs), and vibrant (two words: green mountains). To those who have never been…I urge you to go!

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Why Whine? Drink Virginia Wine!

What better way to enjoy the beautiful summer weather then going to a wine festival? Coming home from a long day last week, I was listening to the radio and heard them talking about a wine festival and I thought – that’s exactly what I need right now. I decided to give them a call and try to win the tickets they were giving away, and I did!  

This past weekend, my friend and I went to the Vintage Virginia Wine Festival where over 30 vineyard owners and representatives from around Virginia came together to showcase their best wines. The event was held at Bull Run Regional Park, only about a 40 minute drive from D.C. Luckily the tickets I won included a bus that took us there and back from D.C.  

I have taken a few classes about wine and taste when I was in Mendoza, Argentina and also when I was in southern Spain, but I’m certainly no sommelier. Although, after meeting some of the vineyard owners and listening to their explanations of different wines, I’d like to think I’m a step closer! They enthusiastically described how to drink wine (let the young red wine breathe!), when to drink certain wines, and what foods to pair with this wine or that wine, but the best part was actually tasting the wines.  

The vineyards represented at the festival had every type of wine imaginable. I think I tried every fruit flavored wine that exists, and I must say my favorite was a raspberry cabernet franc. I am more of a dry wine girl, but it’s always fun trying different flavors! There was a ghost pepper and habanero wine and I love my spicy foods so I wanted to give it a try. As you can imagine, it was incredible spicy! When I could breathe again after trying it, I tried a chili hot dog flavored wine. They gave us a piece of cheese with the wine and it tasted exactly like a chili cheese hot dog- definitely an experience! 

The festival wasn’t ALL about wine though; they had live music, food trucks, and craft fair vendors to shop around as you sipped on a glass of your favorite wine. In the end I found a favorite; the Vidal Blanc from the Rockbridge Vineyards called St. Mary’s Blanc, which they told me pairs well with warm baguettes and brie. I will definitely be having a wine and cheese party with my new favorite wine this week!



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International Meetings are Sizzling

According to a recent study done by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), the United States ranks as the top country for hosting meetings, but it is the international destinations that take the top twenty slots in the ranks for the most trending cities to host meetings. Over the last ten years, international association meetings have grown exponentially.

With improved relations with other countries that were once off limits to US travelers, such-as Cuba, cities like Havana have seen an increase in their meetings industry. In an age where meetings are competing for individual’s time and attention, planners are forced to create truly memorable experiences instead of just average meetings. With this, planners are seeking to offer the “once-in-a-lifetime” experience to their attendees, by giving them the “opportunity” to travel internationally.

In the last three months, Precision has been to five different countries that we have not hosted meetings in before.  These destinations have ranged from France to the Caribbean to Central America. Each of these destinations offer their own unique qualities, and through creative planning, the attendees of these meetings are sure to have an “once-in-a-lifetime” experience.

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