BLOG: Introducing People Who Know What They Are Doing

I will share cool stuff I find about people I trust with you, and then we'll keep it all on the website in a searchable library so other people looking for cool ideas can find them… I want people to know they can always find cool stuff they can trust when they need it… 

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Oregon: Land of Many (Fill In The Marketing Word)

So let’s talk about Oregon. Land of Many Things To Do (I have to work on that). Started in Portland, drove to the coast and circled back to Bend. That sounds simple except there were lots of twists and turns as Bill (one of my original back road cruising buddies) and I decided the theme of the trip was “Tributaries”, and so we randomly chose roads that paralleled rivers and continually ended up in the middle of nowhere. Our rental Jeep came in handy. :) Good times.

Here are three great places we stayed in and if you have any reason to have your meeting in Oregon (there are a lot of reasons), I strongly suggest you put all three of these into your consideration set.

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San Diego = Good

Meeting planners all know that every destination has its pros and cons, The art of choosing a destination and venue that fits your group (and their particular hot buttons) is a process of weighing those pros and cons to determine what is most appropriate. I have been to San Diego many times, and after this most recent trip, once again have concluded… San Diego has a lot of pros and not many cons. Now that I am thinking about it… unless you want a snow skiing destination, not many cons at all (if any).

Obviously, there are a zillion great “things” in Greater San Diego and I will keep adding to the Library over time, but rather than bore you with a ridiculously long list of possibilities, I will start with these four, all worth noting from my recent trip, and purposefully chosen to be unique Greater San Diego experiences…


We Went And Saw Things

Sonoma County is big. Really big. You’ve got the Valleys… Sonoma Valley, Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley, all with about a zillion wineries… you’ve got Redwood Forests, miles of coastline, cute towns (with shopping) and world-class restaurants. And in an entirely different category, you’ve got Safari West.

Although it is physically impossible to see even a fraction of it in 36 hours, with the help of the wonderful folks with Sonoma County Tourism, we did our best.

The background… I partnered with SCT to organize a Hosted Buyer Familiarization trip… hey, it’s my job… and six qualified planners (and I) met on a Friday evening and “experienced” as much as we could through lunch on Sunday. Here are just some of the things we did and saw (and not in any order of importance other than the order in which we saw them). If you are considering a meeting and/or event and Wine Country is in the consideration set, consider these…

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The Magic Bus, the Backroads of Texas, and Me.
The background story… my niece runs a non-profit called Whenever there is a natural disaster and families are evacuated, or there is a refugee crisis somewhere in the world, her volunteers go in either with an old school bus or shipping container, plus lots of art supplies, and hold art classes for kids. Helps them get through the trauma (plus gives their parents a break). My niece has won all sorts of awards for setting this thing up… and she is cool.

Anyway, after Hurricane Maria in Houston they sent in one of their old school busses and when it was all over, she needed a volunteer to drive it back to San Francisco. I said why not… a road trip sounded like fun, plus I could stay at some nice hotels along the way and write about them.

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Why Meeting People Is A Good Idea

Full Disclosure… I organize events where people meet people. I guess this is a self-serving article, but since someone else asked me to write it I also guess it’s OK. Here’s the over-simplified punchline first…

If you don’t care about time, money and your effectiveness, then relationships don’t matter. If you do, they do.

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This Cute Little Group of Hotels

First, I apologize for using the word “cute”. Second, you may not have heard of MetWest Terra Hotels, but you might be familiar with some of their Bay Area boutique properties. In case you have not… here is some basic info and check out their web sites when you get a chance. Here goes…

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Why I Really Like GSOs

Here’s why… sometimes I have to find answers from a lot of places all at once. A multiple destination search, a large, complicated event… or maybe I have to find something in a destination I have never worked… I turn to my GSO friends and suddenly have an army of helpers who want to help me close a deal.

I have listed some of them in previous blogs but here’s a more comprehensive list… or at least one that will help get you started when you have to do that next search… Note… I have put in my contacts e-mails and you are welcome to contact them, although depending on your location they may refer you to a colleague… and remember, there may be some overlap in properties that belong to more than one group (but that is their problem, not yours)… anyway… here goes… and not in any order of preference…

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New York. Center of the Universe.

I grew up in New York City. Been back many times over the years and (assuming I have some money in my pocket), immediately feel comfortable there…the intensity, the “everything in its original” experience. The Babel of languages, the food, the feeling of “there is no place like this” and it goes on forever. But my Moldovan born wife and Siberian born son had never been, so I had the great pleasure of re-experiencing the city through their eyes. They had no idea where we would be going or what we would be doing until I surprised them… it was fantastic.

We stayed in four different hotels over four nights, so I could show them the different neighborhoods…

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More Team building Plus Etc

Part of my job… to give you (as in the meeting/event planner) ideas about things you can use. I try to put them in to categories, but sometimes they all just overlap. So here is a “conglomeration” that I hope you can use. :)

Hey, wait a second, how did this 496-room Scottsdale resort with 50k square feet of meeting space 36-holes of golf, a 90k sq. ft. casino, six restaurants, 3 pools and a Las Vegas style showroom appear in a team building blog? Because… they have a “zillion” team building options either on property or “like”, right there.

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I get a lot of e-mails. A recent one began, ”Hi, I was the former guitarist/vocalist for the multi-Platinum band, BOSTON…”. My first thought was… wow, this Nigerian Prince thing has really evolved, but as I read through it I realized, hey, this really was David Victor!

Why me? He now does this music/ team-building thing… and so I am now introducing him to you. You… David (the BOSTON guy). David…You. Here’s the brief over-view…

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Here's An Idea For A Meeting Venue

Ireland is one of those places I would go back to again and again. Some of the nicest people I have ever met (and you also want them on your side in a bar fight). I could write pages and pages, BUT… for now, I had asked my DMC friend, Derek Wallace with the Wallace Travel Group (, to give me an idea about a “different” meeting and/or event venue in or around Dublin. He recommended…

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Here's An Idea Vol I.

I really loved my experiences in Costa Rica. It has everything a planner could want, plus lots of “critters” (I like critters) and great photo opportunities (I like photo opportunities). I asked Mauricio Arevalo (a really nice guy) with Costa Rica DMC ( to suggest an event for a group that has limited time to really explore the amazing diversity that is Costa Rica. He suggested…

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...and budget was no object… what would I want to do

A big part of my business life has involved suggesting destinations and activities for corporate incentives and meetings. This blog theme… if I was the guy who decided… and budget was no object… what would I want to do. The options are endless, but I will start with this (and I will definitely bring my camera) and will continue the infinite series over time…

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I took my family for a quick get-away to the Mendocino Coast and thought it would be a great opportunity to do some research and write a blog about meeting options in the same way I have written about many other destinations.