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Marriott reverses course on Wi-Fi blocking
After receiving a $600,000 fine and facing blowback from a recent Federal Communications Commission petition, one of the nation's largest hotel brands is retreating from a controversial policy.
On Jan. 14, Marriott — a company which represents hotel chains such as the Ritz-Carlton, Gaylord Hotels and Renaissance Hotels — ended its policy of blocking personal Wi-Fi hotspots at its facilities, particularly during trade shows and conferences.
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Hotels add art, whimsy to upgrade conference centers
Hotel conference centers are getting major makeovers to become spaces for both work and play. Hotels across the country are spending millions of dollars to attract conferences by upgrading their meeting spaces. The rooms are no longer tucked away in dark underground corridors. Instead, they're appealing spaces often located on higher-level floors or even outdoors.
Government planners headed to Fort Lauderdale for 2017 convention
The Society of Government Meeting Professionals will hold its 2017 National Education Conference & Expo in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Fort Lauderdale was chosen in large part because of its reputation for sustainability: The Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center was the first in Florida to receive LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, and it is one of only three convention centers in the nation to achieve this status for an existing building.
How mobile and data is changing the travel industry — 5 new emerging trends
Hotel News Resource
An interesting Infographic identifying five new trends emerging in reaction to the increasing use of data and mobile by the airline, hotel, OTA and travel industry was recently released by Eyefortravel. It outlines the more subtle changes that are happening at an organizational, business model and financial level.
Donate now to SGMP's 2015 Online Auction
SGMP's Gilmer Institute of Learning (GIL) is asking for your donations for the online auction at the National Education Conference & Expo (NEC) in April. This is a fundraiser that will benefit the GIL scholarship fund, which provides an opportunity for government planners to attend the NEC. In 2014, the online auction raised enough funds to send 18 planners to the 2015 NEC in Minneapolis. Our goal is to raise more funds to send even more planners to the 2016 NEC in San Diego!
All bidding will be done through your own cell phone or computer. You can bid from anywhere at any time before the close of the auction right from your own device and you even get an update if you are outbid. In addition, please feel free to send this to your friends and family so they can contribute to SGMP. This is great exposure to a national audience for you, your organization and your local area.
Please use the auction donation form and ensure that you send in your commitment today to GIL Fundraising Trustee Kimberly Forte, CGMP, at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have questions or concerns, please email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to a successful auction and an exciting conference in Minneapolis. Thank you for your past and continuing support of SGMP's mission of enhancing and promoting the expertise of government meeting professionals.
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New York City launches Delegate Discount Pass for meeting planners and attendees
International Meetings Review
Good news for those looking to plan a conference in New York City: NYC & Company, the City's official marketing, tourism and partnership organization, has launched a 2015 New York City Delegate Discount Pass, offering exclusive savings throughout the year at more than 70 restaurants, tours, attractions and retailers.
The latest battleground for Uber and Lyft? The airport
Trade groups representing both airports and taxi companies say that ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft should not have access to the pickup lanes at airports unless the services pay for the right to be there. It's just one of the battles heating up around the companies nationwide.
Marriott considers offering Netflix, Hulu and Pandora in hotel rooms
Marriott, recently in the news for attempting to block private hotspots, is working to offer familiar entertainment via their in-room video systems. Marriott International is testing out new in-room entertainment in eight hotels across its chain that includes the ability to watch Netflix, Hulu or listen to Pandora from the high-def television in the room.
Georgetown University is rewriting the manual for hotel executive training
Unlike in Europe and Asia where an executive career in hospitality enjoys a heightened stature, hotel careers in North America have traditionally been viewed as an occupation, not a profession. In fact, for many people employed today in U.S. hotels, even at the highest levels, it's often an "accidental occupation" according to Gray Shealy, executive director of the new Master's of Hospitality Management program at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
Help restore confidence in our industry-register for the 2015 NEC & Expo
The 2015 SGMP National Education Conference & Expo (NEC) on April 28-30 in Minneapolis is coming during a crucial time in government meetings. It is crucial for our members to restore confidence in how cost-effective meetings make government more productive. SGMP is yoursource for the latest in industry best practices, knowledge sharing by experienced professionals and a marketplace which is tailored to the unique work for which we are all responsible. This is your opportunity to sharpen your skills, to expand your expertise and to be a part of the future of government meetings. We look forward to seeing you in Minneapolis!
Airlines add dozens of flights to handle Super Bowl crush
U.S. airlines are adding dozens of new flights — and even a few temporary routes — to capitalize on demand for flights to Super Bowl XLIX in suburban Phoenix. American, Delta, United, Alaska Airlines, JetBlue and Southwest all have beefed up their Phoenix schedules around the big game on Sunday, Feb. 1. Not surprisingly, most of the extra flights come on routes connecting Phoenix to Seattle and Boston — the home markets of Super Bowl XLIX participants Seahawks and Patriots.
The inside story of how the US Capitol gets ready for the State of the Union
It may only draw half the viewers it once did, but for staffers at the U.S. Capitol, the annual State of the Union address by the president is their Super Bowl. It is the single most complex logistical undertaking held each year at the United States' more than 200-year-old central legislative building. Heroic efforts and months of work by press gallery staff, the House and Senate sergeants-at-arms and Capitol Police are required to stage the event for television cameras around the world.
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