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Machines serving people: A new reality or a futuristic concept?
By Linchi Kwok
Starwood's Aloft Hotel in Cupertino, California, recently added a new member to the service team called A.L.O. However, this is no traditional employee. It only takes electricity as salary and tweets as tips, and it will work as a "Botlr" — robotic butler — for the hotel. At this point, having a Botlr to provide customer service is only a pilot program by the Aloft brand, but expansion is planned. So, does this mean hotels can rely on machines to serve humans now? Probably not at this moment, but the time will come soon. Now, let's picture a futuristic hotel where machines serve people.
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Report: Following airlines' lead, hotels pile on fees
Associations Now
According to a new trend analysis from New York University, the hotel industry is following the airline industry's example by incorporating fees into its business strategy. The tally this year? A projected $2.25 billion in the U.S. alone.
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Managing audiovisual for nontechies
Event Planners Spain
Meeting and event planners need to be generalists — skilled across all aspects of events. Often, as planners, we may gain expertise in areas that are most interesting to us. Many planners are great with people, timelines and the big picture, but may not have real hands-on understanding of audiovisual. Here are the keys to success.
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Hotels prepare for highest occupancy levels in 20 years
Skift
A nightmare year of 2009, when U.S. hoteliers saw room rates and revenue plummet, now may seem like a vague, unpleasant memory as hotel occupancy in the U.S. in 2015 is forecast to reach 64.8 percent — the highest in 20 years.
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Why is LinkedIn so popular with employees of the US Army?
Nextgov
More LinkedIn users list the U.S. Army as their current employer than any organization besides IBM and Hewlett-Packard, according to the professional networking website. It's unclear why the networking site is so popular with the branch's employees. The Army said it does not specifically endorse or promote LinkedIn.
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SGMP social media webinar series continues on Sept. 11 with LinkedIn
SGMP
"Your LinkedIn Presence: The New Answer to 'Why Do You Matter?'" is the next installment in our Social Media webinar series with very popular NEC speaker Valarie Sparks, available to members for $25 each or $40 for the next two webinars. Learn how to tell a better story, how to use proper LinkedIn etiquette and how to stand out from the noise. Register now.
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How to show leadership, even if you aren't the leader
The Washington Post
Henry Evans is the co-author of "Step Up: Lead in Six Moments that Matter," which explores ways that you can demonstrate leadership regardless of your job title. Evans spoke about his leadership theories with Tom Fox, a guest writer for On Leadership and vice president for leadership and innovation at the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service. Fox also heads up their Center for Government Leadership.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Feds publish 2015 per diem rates (Successful Meetings)
6 ways to create a must-attend conference (Associations Now)
Hilton launches 'TED'-like video series for meeting planners (Successful Meetings)
Female business travelers find more accommodating world (USA Today)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.


IACC releases 'Insider Tips' for meeting planners
Hospitality Net
IACC has released their top 10 "insider tips" for meeting planners. The tips include advice on venue selection, connectivity, social media, negotiating rates and budgeting tips with contributions from the IACC community.
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Government meetings training manual available from SGMP
SGMP
Did you earn your CGMP prior to 2013 or are you considering sitting for the CGMP course in the future? Any SGMP member may purchase the 2014 edition of the CGMP Training Manual. We invite you to add this revised and critical resource as a key part of your continuing professional development. Get your copy of the revised manual by signing in at www.sgmp.org and clicking on Upcoming Events --> Online Store --> CGMP Manual.
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14 million fliers to take to the skies this Labor Day
USA Today
U.S. airlines are gearing up for an end of summer surge in passengers, with 14 million fliers expected to travel over the Labor Day holiday, 2 percent more than last year, says industry trade group Airlines for America. In a recent forecast, A4A said U.S. carriers will be increasing the number of available seats to deal with the heightened demand.
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What's stopping you from using your vacation time?
Associations Now
Earlier this year, the U.S. Travel Association looked into how much paid time off Americans were leaving on the table each year. (It was a lot.) But why are so many days going unused? A follow-up study tried to answer that question.
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TravelClick predicts 'hot' winter for hotels
Successful Meetings
Summer traditionally is an annual high point for hoteliers. This year, however, winter could be just as strong, according to hotel consultancy TravelClick, which recently released its August 2014 TravelClick North American Hospitality Review, showing a 3.7 percent increase in committed occupancy and a 4.6 percent increase in average daily rate (ADR) for the next 12 months.
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