June 19
Austin Backyard Backstories with Elizabeth Macasadia

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Hello! Texas' Elizabeth Macasadia has been to 125 countries and 49 states, so she's a pro at finding the best things to do in cool cities. Here's her expert take on Austin!

My definition of One Perfect Day in Austin is going to an amazing brunch with mimosas and live music at Stubbs, followed by loads of shopping at The Domain, an electric bike ride on our new waterfront boardwalk at Lady Bird Lake, and then dinner and salsa dancing at Casa Chapala.

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I chose to make Austin my home because: Hello! asked me to move here! No, really, I absolutely love exploring new cities, so when our General Manager asked me to make the move, I happily accepted!

I'm passionate about street art in my hometown. All around Austin there is amazing street art. It seems everywhere you turn downtown there are murals of all styles. It's gorgeous!

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People would be surprised to know that Austin was just named the Best Place to Live by US News & World Report.

In my opinion, Tex Mex is the signature food/drink item that visitors must sample in Austin. There are so many varieties and amazing places to get Tex Mex here!

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June 14
Hello! Arizona Wows with a Week of Exciting Events!

In March 2017, Hello! Arizona produced a week of events for a global manufacturing company at the Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass. We managed the entire program, from airport pickups to drop-offs and everything in between.

 

It all started with a Western Welcome Reception on the lawn. Our 280 guests mingled as the Arizona sunset lit up the sky. The following night, guests chilled out with a Food Truck Party, sampling the best of Chandler, Arizona dining. On the third night, we took everyone to the Corona Ranch for an old-west experience complete with an Audience Participation Rodeo. The next day, guests took a break from meetings with our River Float, Hiking, Golf, and 4x4 excursions.

We finished with a gala dinner at the Heard Museum. Once the whirlwind week was at an end, our clients wrote to Hello! Arizona Account Executive Rachel Hall about their experience:

“On behalf of our entire team, I want to thank you, Lauren and Lindsay for your assistance in the planning and execution of the events portion of our global meeting.  Our leaders consider it a huge success and were very pleased with all that was planned.  We acknowledge that our success is reflective of the excellent service we received from the Hello! Arizona team!

I conducted a debrief with our team and the overall feedback is extremely positive.  You, Lauren and Lindsay are the ultimate professionals.  All of the events, activities, and transportation arrangements were very well managed.  You and Lindsay did a fabulous job of overseeing the set-up of the dinners and were great about checking in with us throughout each evening to ensure that things were meeting our expectations.  Lauren did an excellent job of overseeing the various transportation arrangements throughout the week, working closely with Paula to manage the changes.  You are clearly experienced and talented planners, creative, very knowledgeable of the area and the various options for group activities, and you have a “hands on” management style which makes a difference in the ultimate success of a meeting like ours.  Additionally, you are warm, thoughtful, and just fun to be around.

Our leaders have not yet made a commitment to another meeting, but, if/when they do, you can be sure that we will look to partner with one of your national Hello! teams.  It would be great if we could return to Phoenix and work with you again.” Congratulations, Rachel, Lauren and Lindsay on a job well done!

 

June 12
Backyard Backstories with Demetria Rogers

Hello! South Florida's Demetria Rogers serves our team as a Production Accountant, and in her off time she's busy enjoying all that the Sunshine State has to offer!

My definition of One Perfect Day in South Florida is: the weather at 72 degrees partly cloudy, no chance of rain and the ocean's breeze running rapid through the city.

 

I chose to make South Florida my home because: I was born and raised here. It's a melting pot of culture. I'm minutes away from the most beautiful beaches in the world. And the greatest place on earth…Disney!

I'm passionate about charity work in my hometown.

People would be surprised to know that many Floridians don't take advantage of the beaches in my hometown.

In my opinion, Seafood is the signature food item that visitors must sample in South Florida.

 

June 07
Success Stories with ConferenceDirect!

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The ConferenceDirect All Partner Meeting was held on May 2, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland.  Hello! Destination Management was thrilled to receive the CD Partner of the Year Award. The Hello! team is excited to win this prestigious award for two years in a row.  

Hello! has a team of dedicated professionals who work with ConferenceDirect: Brianna Moody (Arizona), Kristina Ghiloni, Rachel Matsukawa and Amanda Flaum (Las Vegas), Mitch Jordan (Nashville), Michael Schultz, Meg Singleton, Aaron Tharp and Adrienne Henk (Texas), Amie Garrett and Erik McCandless (Orlando), Mika Duynhouwer and Jennifer Reilly (South Florida), Susan Saville, Kerry Sauber and Kelly Truitt (Washington, D.C.).

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This team is led by Valerie Hershiser, Hello!'s Director of Strategic Partnerships. Valerie is honored to represent Hello! as the "tip of the spear" with ConferenceDirect in starting the process for the rest of the team. The team relies on each other in order to have this effective and thriving partnership.

Hello! Destination Management is honored to be recognized by ConferenceDirect and looks forward to many more years of this successful partnership! CONGRATULATIONS to our Hello! team and everyone in the company who touches ConferenceDirect business.

About ConferenceDirect

Based in sunny Los Angeles, California ConferenceDirect is a meeting resources company specializing in Site Selection, Contract Negotiation, Conference Management, Housing and Registration, and Mobile Apps. ConferenceDirect provides its expertise to more than 2,500 corporations and associations worldwide. In addition, their sales force of over 325 associates and worldwide regional offices comprise the fastest-growing meeting resources company in the hospitality industry today.

June 06
Hello! Hometowns... Nashville Edition

Hello! Nashville General Manager Mitch Jordan was born and raised in Music City. Let's find out how he likes to experience Nashville with his family!

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My definition of One Perfect Day in Nashville is taking a morning run out in the country followed by breakfast at the Loveless then Catching a Titans Game before wrapping up with some live music down on Broadway.

I chose to make Nashville my home because I was born and raised here, it took moving away for a few year to realize how much I appreciated the slower pace and genuine friendliness of the area

I'm passionate about faith, family and football in my hometown.

People would be surprised to know how broad the music scene is beyond Country Music in Nashville.

In my opinion, Biscuits and Hot Chicken is the signature food item that visitors must sample in my hometown of Nashville.

May 26
Success Stories: Miami International Boat Show

This February, more than 100,000 visitors came to Virginia Key for the 76th annual 2017 Miami International Boat Show. This was the second year the show was held on the island at the historic Miami Marine Stadium. Hello! Destination Management’s South Florida office expertly managed all of the transportation and staffing for this world-renowned Boat Show. This 5 day event drew 100,000 people and included several venues and over $3 billion in marine products on display.

 

For months leading up to the show, we worked with police to plan traffic patterns, creating special bus lanes on Virginia Key. Our buses were specially branded, including custom wraps and 1500 seat covers.

During the week, the show went off without a hitch. Account Manager Ricky Plokhaar manned our control center trailer. Director of Operations Kristine de las Salas and General Manager Darlene Plisko both suited up in their Hello! shirts to offer assistance. Account Manager Lauren Berbusse kept things running smoothly at the yacht show, and Account Executive Michelle Wilkie communicated with our clients at the Boat Show to make sure we were meeting all of their needs. It was our pleasure to enable thousands of people to have a lovely day in Miami planning their boating adventures, we can’t wait for 2018!

May 24
Arizona Desert Success Stories

Every year for the last 8 years, Hello! has produced the annual convention for a global technology service company. Boca Raton and Austin played host to their conference in 2015 and 2016. For 2017, the lucky city was Phoenix, and Hello! Arizona got a chance to shine.  Our team produced a full week of wow-worthy events at the posh JW Marriott Desert Ridge.

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It all started with a glamorous Noches de los Muertos fiesta. The guests' experience started even before they even left the meeting space. Day of the Dead greeters led them down a long outdoor sidewalk lined with hundreds of prayer candles. The guests then become part of an entrance procession thrusting them into the immersion of the experience! At the end of the procession a living chandelier with an aerialist dressed as a skeleton, pouring champagne, welcomed them to their decadently twisted fiesta in the desert.

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Gothic black furniture evoked the heritage of the Spanish culture, which was melded with day-glow pieces to give a luxurious and vibrant look of a modern club, giving guest a little bit of the familiar past and present while fully immersing them in the culture. We wanted to keep the procession alive during the party by incorporating carnival entertainment aspects from the start to the end of the event.

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Costumed aerialists and fire dancers lit up the night, a chalk artist recreated the essence of the Mexican Street Art movement, a Tequila Expert offered guests intoxicating information about Arizona's favorite drink, and a Skeleton painted Horse gave guests a perfect photo op to show off their very own Day of the Dead makeovers.

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On the second night, Hello! Arizona created an exotic Arabian Bazaar. Arabian Bazaars have always been spaces with a constant flow of travelers indulging in their broad offerings of foreign and exotic goods. This led to Bazaars becoming more than just markets, but social centers as well. Hello! Arizona brought this ancient notion of networking to the modern day by recreating the atmosphere of an Arabian Bazaar, giving guests a chance to refill, relax, and connect in luxury while still delivering an immersive high-energy experience.

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Belly Dancers and Snake Charmers entranced guests with their mystical charms, and flash tattoo artists and an aura photography station kept them engaged with the mysterious and exotic theme. Hundreds of colorful hanging lanterns hung from the trees surrounding the lawn. A variety of tones, textures, and patterns for the table linens create a warm space filled with eclectic variety, much like a buzzing bazaar. Mixed seating included Ottoman tents filled with Moroccan pillows, and low tables where guests lounged on floor pillows, something traditional in Arabian culture, but unique for our corporate guests allowing them to interact in a new way. We even created a custom photo opportunity that made guests appear to be floating in the sky on their very own flying carpet!

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The next evening, we capped off the Arizona experience with a bright and bouncy Good Times color pop party. We transformed a gigantic and bare warehouse into an exclusive vibrant club, a la Studio 54. Aerial acrobats and Roller Girls entertained our guests, and we brought in the big guns for the disco theme- the band CHIC, featuring Nile Rogers, famous for disco hits such as "Le Freak" and "Good Times". A sparkling mirror ball mobile created a focal point over the glowing LED dance floor, and guests could commemorate the evening by making Slow Motion videos of their antics! Following the call of the disco ball, our guests were stayin' alive until the wee hours of the morning!

May 22
Carly's Backyard Backstories

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Orlando Sales Coordinator Carly Ruecker knows just how to live it up in Central Florida! Find out her picks for a perfect day.

My definition of One Perfect Day in my hometown is: Eating and drinking around the world at EPCOT.

I chose to make Orlando, my home because there is never a lack of entertainment. New and exciting restaurants, bars and venues open every day!

I'm passionate about the unity in my hometown.

People would be surprised to know about the amount of diversity in my hometown. It is rare to find a native Orlando resident (although I am married to one!)

In my opinion, a peanut butter and chocolate milkshake from Twistee Treat is the signature drink item that visitors must sample in my hometown.

May 18
Hello! Give Back Stories: Guinness World Record Edition!

This spring in Orlando, Hello! Destination Management created an opportunity for our client to win a Guinness World Record! 

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Our pharmaceutical clients were in Orlando for a conference and wanted to take some time to give back to the community.

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Hello! Destination Management Account Executive Shannon Orme and Account Manager Cortney Smith planned the logistics to make everything smooth and easy.

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We purchased 12 different toiletry items like shampoo and deodorant and lined up clear plastic bags for stuffing.

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The clients formed teams of 10 and worked quickly together to fill 1000 bags of essential items to be distributed to residents of homeless shelters.

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The Guinness World Record people were there to certify the achievement, and our group now holds the Guinness World Record for stuffing the most charity bags in a one-hour period!

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May 15
Backyard Backstories with Stacey Sandritter

Our multitalented Sales Coordinator Stacey Sandritter shares her Central Florida picks for today's Backyard Backstory!

 

My definition of One Perfect Day in my hometown is discovering something new that this city has to offer! There's ALWAYS something new and exciting right in our own backyard.

I chose to make Orlando my home because when I was four, my parents didn't like the idea of them moving from New Jersey and leaving me behind. I've loved it so much since that I haven't left!

 

I'm passionate about all of the opportunities in my hometown.

People would be surprised to know about the proximity to the beach my hometown. Just because we live in Florida, doesn't mean we're five minutes from the beach. It takes AT LEAST 30-35 minutes to get to the ocean.

 

In my opinion, Dole Whip is the signature drink item that visitors must sample in my hometown. (I'm not even sure if it's considered a drink, but if you walk around Magic Kingdom for five minutes in July, it'll become a drink in no time! Regardless, it's delicious!).

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