JNR Spotlight: Corporate Trends in Conferences

Earlier this month Successful Meetings released an article revealing the six corporate trends that they see as revolutionizing today’s conferences. We thought we would take a closer look at what factors made the list.

  1. Unique and New Venues

The venue for meetings and conferences can make all the difference between the “same old” and a mesmerizing experience. Over the last few years JNR has held events in Football stadiums, Queen Elizabeth’s garden and has even had an emotional chat with Nelson Mandela’s cellmate in the very cell they were imprisoned in for so many years. A venue should be tailored to the group and the desired outcomes.

 

  1. Event Transformation

No matter what the venue, some form of transformation needs to take place. While our Planning and Operations teams do a spectacular job of precisely creating the exact look and feel that the client wants, we’ve been known to call on the expertise of a specialized décor company to ensure the desired outcomes are achieved.

 

  1. Focus on Attendee Engagement

With the use of apps and the integration of social media platforms, the attendee experience can completely change from simply sitting in the audience to becoming an integral part of the program. Successful Meetings mentions how traditional presentations are being replaced by live-feeds, video conferencing, hands-on audience participations or workshops, on-site bloggers, event-specific apps and event hashtags.

 

  1. Ultra High-Tech Events

This point goes beyond free Wi-Fi to include personalized push notifications, real-time language translation and in-app scheduling and communication capabilities. Audiences want to see a ‘WOW’ factor and with all the advances in technology, such as virtual reality and holographic display, the ‘WOW’ factor can certainly be achieved.

 

  1. Events as Communities

Technology is allowing attendees to connect before the conference begins as well as stay connected after the conference ends. LinkedIn and Facebook groups allow for discussions and event hashtags let attendees see what other people are experiencing. This community aspect gives attendees the feeling of belonging and creates a memory trace back to the events and the learnings.

 

  1. Local, Organic and Sustainable

We love this trend and have been embracing it for years. Not only does providing attendees with local and organic meal options give them healthier and more energizing fuel to learn while at the conference but going the sustainable route leaves a smaller foot-print on the environment. It’s a win-win situation.





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Let us design your next big conference or meeting by implementing some of the ideas you have read here.  Please give us a call at 800.343.4546 or email us at jnrinfo@jnrcorp.com.

 

By JNR Incorporated

Written by Stephanie Thomas

_____________________________________________________________________________

JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom incentive travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies in many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.

 

JNR INCORPORATED CELEBRATES THIRTY FIVE YEARS OF SUCCESS Global Events & Incentives

It seems like only yesterday JNR was a small, five-person enterprise owned and operated out of Las Vegas by us, Jim and LuAnn Jalet.  We were veterans of the hotel and hospitality industry who had worked together and shared a passion for quality and service. When we realized a void existed between hotels/resorts and busy clients in the managing of large-scale events, we conceived of offering a one-stop solution for incentive, event and entertainment management. That’s how it all began…

In 1980, the hours were long, the clients were few, and there was no money for additional staff.  Now, some thirty-five years later, the hours are longer, the client roster includes many of the nation’s leading corporations, and an incredible staff of 80+ keeps things moving at an energetic pace.  It has been a challenging, demanding and wonderful journey!  We are very proud of the growth we’ve achieved and recognize that our success has come from the relationships we have established with our employees, clients and suppliers.

What began with a core idea thirty-five years ago has developed into a thriving enterprise through hard work, integrity, values, careful nurturing and prudent management.  When we started JNR, we created a company where people would enjoy coming to work. One of the many reasons for the organization’s success is our belief in treating employees much like an extended family.  This philosophy has proven very effective, with the average tenure of current JNR employees being 10-15 years; several individuals have been with JNR for more than 20 years. We are very fortunate to be surrounded by extremely dedicated, knowledgeable, experienced and passionate people.  Each person on our JNR team brings something unique and valuable to our process and they exhibit a level of care and pride about their work that is refreshing, respected and appreciated. We know the strength of our organization lies in our team and we want them to know how important they are to us.  We have been able to evolve and thrive over the years through a true collaborative effort.

We value the successful partnerships and genuine lasting relationships we’ve developed throughout the years, and are fortunate to enjoy friendships that reach far beyond the business realm.

We have gained the respect of business partners around the world and our client’s say that, even in today’s highly competitive world, JNR stands alone as the one company that never compromises on quality or service, and delivers on every promise. We have always focused on our client’s needs and take the initiative to make things better by delivering exceptional programs and events, at a superb value, providing everyone with extraordinary once-in-a-lifetime memories.  We are proud of our reputation.

We express our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who has supported and believed in us.  If you work with JNR, we thank you.  If JNR is new to you, please take a look at our site and let us know how we can help you: www.jnrcorp.com

You have our assurance that your decision to work with JNR will be appreciated and one you will be pleased with.  You have our promise.

 

Thank you,

Jim & LuAnn Jalet

______________________________________________________________

JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies of many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.

The Importance of On-Site Staff to Meetings, Events and Incentive Travel – Part Two

Last week we took the opportunity to release The Importance of On-Site Staff to Meetings, Events and Incentive Travel – Part One, the first part of our informative three part series. We covered the basics of why expert on-site staff members are needed to ensure flawless execution of any event. This week we will dive into Part Two where we will cover how to best utilize on-site staff and the roles they play on a program. Make sure to check back here next week when we will conclude the series with Part Three which will take a look into the qualities that capable on-site staff should posses.

In any event there are numerous components that come together seamlessly to make it a success. Most of these are executed behind the scenes and, if done correctly, participants will never know that these intricacies have taken place. The event should look effortless in the eyes of a participant. This is where the difference between internal administrative staff and expert on-site staff truly shows through.

Although Travel Directors wear a multitude of hats when operating a meeting or event, today we will focus on the range of tasks that a Travel Director must undertake when operating an incentive travel program and the roles they should be assigned to best utilize their expertise.

VIPs

Important internal and external stakeholders are sure to be at any organization’s event, and while it is important for all participants to enjoy a program, there is an extra level of attention that needs to be paid to the “VIPs”. Regardless of how well an event goes for everyone else, if it goes poorly for the VIPs, the event is remembered as a failure.

The top Travel Director should always be assigned to the VIPs and their needs. This Travel Director will work with the VIP or their representative from start to finish. There are certain expectations that must be met and attended to by the assigned Travel Director. These include:

  • Meet and Greet upon arrival
  • Private transportation to and from venues
  • Inspection of hotel rooms to ensure all requested amenities are ready prior to arrival
  • Collaborating with security detail
  • Pre-arranging spa services
  • Pre-arrange the Entertainment and Activities

The Travel Director must go to great lengths to ensure that the VIPs enjoy the program and leave knowing that it was a success.

Guest Rooms

The Travel Director assigned to guest room responsibility has a huge role that requires meticulous organization. They spend a significant amount of time working with hotel staff to manage room blocks and ensure each participant has the correct room for the correct dates. Having someone arrive on the program to find there is not a room for them is simply not an option.

Food & Beverage

Whether it is an early morning breakfast, an outdoor lunch, a mid-afternoon break or a lavish dinner party, participants always remember the food and beverages. It has to taste amazing, be delivered on time and there must be enough to go around.  Special requirements and allergies need to be taken into account and the venue must have ample notice to make such preparations. The Travel Director that is in charge of F&B makes sure this happens as planned and is a highly visible part of the team. They keep detailed documentation and invoices to ensure you get what you pay for and are not overcharged. Having the correct information on food and beverage details will help resolve final billing after the event has operated.

Transportation

Travel is one element that stresses participants out on programs. Travel Directors know this and work diligently to alleviate some of this worry by ensuring transportation runs smoothly, efficiently and on time, leaving a positive lasting impression on attendees. Travel Directors assigned to transportation will work closely with car services, bus companies and airlines to coordinate stress-free transportation logistics from the beginning of the program to the end. This allows participants to arrive feeling relaxed and ready for the program ahead.

Business Meetings

Most corporate events and travel programs will integrate at least one business meeting into their agenda.  So that participants can gain the most from it, Travel Directors work to ensure that:

  • Meeting rooms’ environmental conditions meet expectations
  • Meeting rooms are correctly organized
  • Audio-visual requirements are met
  • Technology is set up and working correctly
  • Hosts and speakers know when they are required and what is needed of them

With these things in place, the Travel Director allows for easy facilitation of meetings and, regardless of the primary objective for the business meeting, companies and their participants can run an effective gathering on-site.

Entertainment and Activities

Entertainment and activities can often be the highlight of a travel program, or any event for that matter. It is the fun part that builds a sense of camaraderie and creates memories that participants will take home and share with others. When activities do not go as planned, it can ruin the participants’ entire program experience. Professional Travel Directors are experienced enough to stop incidents from taking the program off course. Many activities are planned away from the hotel, so Travel Directors must stay on top of all the small details, always be prepared for the unexpected and ensure the participants’ happiness. They are trained to negotiate and can put a program back on track if something unexpected does occur, all without the participant ever knowing there has been a change.

Hospitality Desk

Travel Directors represent the client as program ambassadors. They work the hospitality desk and are the face of the program for participants. They help participants with checking into the hotel, confirming activities and pass on important guest information. Participants see value when there are knowledgeable staff members on hand to deliver accurate, timely information or to help with any need that may arise. The hospitality desk is a hot spot for activity, with Travel Directors keeping things organized and efficient.

Merchandise and Gifts

Most travel programs will incorporate specially sourced gifts that participants receive before the program, when they arrive on-site, during activities and delivered to their rooms on certain nights. Travel Directors take charge of all these amenities, keeping them organized and on track. They start by procuring the correct items, getting them through customs and ensuring that they arrive on time. They make sure quantities are correct and that colors, sizes and styles will bring the most enjoyment to the participants. These Travel Directors work behind the scenes to organize everything by working with the hotel bell staff. Travel Directors make sure the Bell Captain knows as much as possible ahead of time, so they can guarantee adequate bell staff and resources are available to properly execute the room drops at the scheduled times.

 

Whether responding to one individual, or the entire group, JNR’s on-site Travel Directors are prepared should an emergency strike. When a situation impacts on your travel program, rest assured, they have the comprehensive training, skills and resources to manage the well being of all your participants. By assigning Travel Directors to specific aspects of programs their skills can best be utilized, focusing on their assigned element, while using any down time to assist other Travel Directors where needed.

Their job is to make your company look good.

 

By JNR Incorporated

Written by Stephanie Thomas with insights from LuAnn Jalet, Chief Operating Officer at JNR.

______________________________________________________________

JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies of many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.

Photo: “Cydcor Conference Audience” by Cydcor Offices is licensed under CC By 2.0 

Indian Travel Spotlight: Diwali Festival

With your bellies full on Biryani Rice, JNR now takes you into the bright and dazzling world of India with the Diwali Festival. Diwali, or the Festival of Lights, is a traditional Hindu festivity celebrating the victory of light over darkness, hope over despair and good over evil. This tradition dates back to ancient times and brings family and friends together for many days of preparations before the darkest night of the new moon between mid-October and mid-November. On the night of Diwali, Hindus wear their best outfit and light lamps and candles inside and outside of their homes which have been cleaned and renovated for this occasion. It is common for family and friends to give gifts to each other and, after a beautiful feast, the night is capped off with a fireworks display.

This festival is celebrated throughout India with different regions varying their traditions. Diwali occurs after the summer harvest and is said to be one of the happiest holidays in India. The use of light as a major feature is intended to please the gods and to ask for health, wealth, knowledge, peace and prosperity. Firecrackers are said to represent joy, with the sounds awaking the gods and letting them know they are in a plentiful state.

The four days of preparations each have different traditions associated to them. The first day of the festival is known as Naraka Chaturdasi and celebrates the vanquishing of Naraka, a demon, by Lord Krishna and his wife Satyabhama. It is common for people to buy gold on the first day. On the second day, Amavasya, the goddess of wealth, Lakshmi, is worshipped. Kartika Shudda Padyami is celebrated on the third day and remembers the time Bali stepped out of hell and ruled the earth. This is usually the main day of merriments with family and friends celebrating together. Yama Dvitiya is the fourth day which is a time for brothers and sisters to come together and share food. In the Hindu calendar, Yama Dvitiya is seen as the start of the New Year.

This year, Diwali runs from October 20th – October 23rd.

If you would like more information on this festival or India as an incentive destination please email jnrinfo@jnrcorp.com.

 

By JNR Incorporated

Written by Stephanie Thomas

______________________________________________________________

JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies of many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.

Photo: “Diwali Lanterns” by Dhinal Chheda is licensed under CC By 2.0

 

Indian Spotlight: Indian Vegetable Biryani Recipe

After a fun-filled month in Germany, JNR now ventures east to the bustling and vibrant country of India. Situated in South Asia, India takes the prize for the second-most populous country in the world and is home to the famous white marbled Taj Mahal, among other culturally significant landmarks.

Throughout India’s 29 states and seven union territories, there is a large diversity in soil types and climates, resulting in an array of regional cuisines. Rice, lentils and whole-wheat flour are staples throughout the country with Biryani being a popular dish.

Biryani is a spiced, mixed rice dish that often incorporates meat or vegetables. The name is derived from the Persian word “birinj” meaning rice and although the origins of this dish are uncertain, it is eaten throughout the country, though different regions tend to have different styles of this dish.

Today we are sharing with you our Vegetable Biryani Recipe that hails from Hyderbad, the capital city of Andhra Pradesh. While this dish can be finished in a rice cooker or saucepan, traditionally it is made using the Dum Pukht techniques that involves slow cooking the rice in a sealed clay pot that allows the rice to cook in its own steam and infuse with the herbs and spices.

Vegetable Biryani Recipe                                               

Total Time:    1 hr 25 min

Prep:     25 min

Cook:    1 hr

Yield:    4

Level:    Moderate

 

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups basmati rice
  • 3 saffron strands (dissolved in 2 tbsp of warm milk)
  • ½ cup clarified butter
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 black cardamom
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup white onion (diced)
  • ½ tbsp garlic (minced)
  • ½ tbsp ginger (minced)
  • ½ cup mint paste
  • ½ cup coriander paste
  • 1 tbsp biryani masala powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup potatoes (diced)
  • 1 cup carrot (diced)
  • 5 French beans
  • ¼ cup cauliflower florets
  • 2tbsp fresh cream
  • ¼ cups milk
  • ½ cup milk curd
  • 1 tbsp fresh coriander (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp cashewnuts
  • 2 tbsp almonds
  • 2 tbsp raisins

 

Directions

Cook the basmati rice so that is three quarters of the way done and the rice grains separate. Mix in the saffron milk. Take the rice off the heat and set aside.

Melt the clarified butter in a pan over medium heat; add the cloves, cardamom and bay leaf. Increase the heat to high and sauté for a minute. Mix in the onions, ginger and garlic and sauté until the onions turn translucent. Mix in the mint paste, coriander paste, biryani masala, salt, all the vegetables, cream and milk. Reduce the heat to medium and let the vegetables cook.

Remove from heat; cool the mixture to room temperature and mix in the milk curds.

Place the vegetable mixture into a large saucepan and heat on lower temperate. Add in the rice, mix well, cover and let steam for half an hour.

Serve hot.

If you would like to learn about how JNR can organize a magical incentive trip to India, where participants can taste the delights of traditional Indian food first hand, please email jnrinfo@jnrcorp.com.

 

By JNR Incorporated

 

Written by Stephanie Thomas

______________________________________________________________

JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies of many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.