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 Spotlight: Brain Foods for Meetings

Not only should foods be wholesome and nutritious in everyday life, but when it comes to feeding the crowds at a meeting or conference they should also boost concentration and learning ability. This category of food has been labeled “Brain Food” and is used to improve mood, motivation and intellectual performance.

When learning is an important aspect of an event, maintaining steady blood sugar levels through complex carbohydrates and consumption of foods with low glycemic indexes can improve concentration and ultimately, ROI of the meeting.

“Brain Foods” improve brain function and increase alertness.  What we find though is foods that are traditionally served by caterers produce chemicals in the body that make participants unfocused and tired and should be avoided.

So what should you be serving at your next meeting to get the most out of your participants and see a higher ROI?

Breakfast:

  • Avoid sugary foods and those made with white flour such as doughnuts, Danishes and bagels (unless it is whole grain).
  • Offer meal options that are high in fiber, protein, complex carbohydrates and whole grains.
  • Fresh juices, antioxidant yogurt bars, hard-boiled eggs and cereals are great options.

Lunch:

  • Avoid meats that produce tryptophan in the brain, such as red meats and turkey.
  • Try to stay away from highly processed foods and replace them with fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Avoid fatty foods that require more energy to break down. Ever felt tired or had a “food coma” after a big meal? This could be due to your body using a large amount of energy to break down the fat in the foods you just consumed.
  • Offer smaller options with proteins such as chicken and fish over a bed of quinoa, brown rice or whole-grain pasta.

Dinner:

  • Most of the day’s learnings will have been achieved by dinner so this is a meal where participants can enjoy traditional options including red meats.
  • Smaller portions are still a good option.

Snacks:

The following list was compiled by The National Conference Center and released in their paper The Science of Food for Thoughts: Enhancing Meetings Through Food.

  • H2O
  • Granola
  • Nuts
  • Blueberries
  • Yogurt
  • Mangoes
  • Bananas
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Whole Grain Breads
  • Hard-boiled Eggs
  • Peanut Butter
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Energy Bars

It is easy to see the benefit that a healthy and nutritious menu can have on participant experiences at meetings and conferences.  With hotels such as Omni Hotels & Resorts, Marriott International, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts and Westin Hotels & Resorts introducing “Brain Food” options to their catering menus, the change can be easy.

If you would like to learn more about how you can increase the ROI of your meetings and conference through the introduction of “Brain Foods” please contact JNR. We would love to set up a time to talk about your organization’s needs. 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 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: “Food is for eating and good food is to be enjoyed.” by Gloria Garcia  is licensed by CC by 2.0

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 Three

Today concludes our informative three part series on The Importance of On-Site Staff to Meetings, Events and Incentive Travel. If you have not already, take a moment to read Part One and Part Two. In today’s final piece we cover the qualities to look for in a capable on-site staff member.

JNR is committed to delivering phenomenal business meetings, corporate events and incentive travel programs every time. A large part of ensuring that we deliver on this is making sure we have the right people for the job. We employ on-site expert Travel Directors that we like to call your “insurance policy.” They make sure the event runs smoothly, keep costs in check and they send participants and clients home happy. A solid team of on-site logistical staff is crucial to any event’s success.

When hiring on-site staff members, JNR looks for certain attributes, skills and qualities in a potential employee. These are often elements that cannot be taught.

Hardworking

On-site staff members must be disciplined enough to work incredibly hard. They are the first to rise and the last to rest. They have an array of intricate tasks that must be completed before participants arrive, seemingly impossible tasks while the event is running, respond to individual needs as well as the entire group’s needs, and, as participants are heading home, they stay to make sure everyone has checked out, have rides to the airport, and arrange for any outgoing shipments. Amidst it all, they make sure all billing notes are in order.

Responsive

The first thing you learn on-site is that things change. Our expert Travel Directors expect that there are factors that are out of their control and that they must remain flexible and on their toes in order to keep the event on track. Whether it is a travel delay, inclement weather or a key item that will not be delivered on time, they work on finding solutions rather than getting stuck on problems. They also keenly anticipate complications arising before they actually happen and prepare accordingly. This is fondly referred to as avoiding Murphy. When factors do not go as planned, most of the time, they are solved so efficiently that participants remain blissfully unaware.

Teamwork

On-site staff members are given key responsibilities and are empowered to jump in where needed to help other staff members. While they work in their own specialty areas, they know that at the end of the day the program as a whole is the big picture and that they need to work together for it to be successful – no task is solely one person’s duty. Members of the on-site team know what each other are working on and come together to help with all things from finishing touches to more complicated elements.

Positive Attitude

On-site experts work grueling hours, have multiple jobs on their plates at once and respond to client and participant requests at any hour of the day – all with a smile on their face. Even if an event throws curve ball after curve ball, having the right attitude with a passion for delivering their best can be the difference between an average event and an incredible event. Our on-site staff members see the big picture and work diligently towards that rather than getting stuck on components that do not go as planned.

Ability to Understand the Client’s Objectives

Travel Directors must be fully aware and understand the client’s objectives to deliver a successful meeting, event or travel program. Once goals and objectives have been explained to on-site staff members, they know what elements will deliver on these goals. They are conscientious of how to use their skill sets to direct a meeting, event or travel program in the direction the client wants.

Communication and Negotiation Skills

At any one time, Travel Directors will be in communication and negotiation with multiple parties. They rely on third parties to deliver exactly what is expected of them and must therefore communicate what is needed in an efficient manner. They use their strong negotiation skills to get the best outcomes and value for the client, all while keeping a positive relationship with the vendor for future programs.

Communication with participants can truly enhance the program. We often hear that our client was impressed with our team, how nice it was that participants knew the on-site staff members by name and how wonderfully they were treated.

 

On-site staff members are unique individuals that are driven to deliver above what is expected of them. With a trained eye and a thorough understanding of “back-of-the-house” operations, our experienced on-site travel management professionals direct the logistics of your event, leaving you free to attend to VIP’s, participants and the actual program content. You can focus on just one thing… your business.

 

To find out how JNR can help orchestrate an amazing meeting, event or incentive travel program, please call us on 949.476.2788 or email us at jnrinfo@jnrcorp.com. We would love to work with you on your next program.

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: “The Standard – Cooper Square” by Susan Sermoneta is licensed under CC By 2.0

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