Wallet-Friendly Wedding Planning Tips

Starting to get the budget blues? With a little planning savvy, creating an amazing wedding doesn’t have to break the bank. Here are some of our favorite money-saving tips.

High wedding season — spring, summer and early fall — is typically the busiest and most expensive time of the year to host a wedding. Consider having your wedding during the off-season (such as late fall or winter) to net a considerable discount. Certain venues may have different peak times, so check ahead to determine its least busy time of the year.
Most weddings are held on Saturday evenings, so it can be less expensive to pick another day of the week, such as Friday or another weekday. Hosting a brunch or lunchtime wedding can also often be much less expensive than an evening wedding.
Choosing a single venue for your wedding ceremony and reception can be a great way to reduce your overall cost. You won’t have to worry about transportation between two locations for the wedding party and oftentimes won’t need a separate cocktail hour because guests can flow directly into the reception space right after the ceremony’s finished.
Trimming the guest list is an obvious, yet often necessary, way to reign in your budget. Invite everyone you couldn’t imagine celebrating the day without. Then consider any extras you don’t have to extend an invite to, such as former co-workers, friends you haven’t seen in over a year, distant relatives or your parents’ neighbors or friends you haven’t met. Also consider eliminating plus ones for any guests who don’t have a spouse or serious significant other.
Work with your caterer or venue to choose menu items that are delicious yet budget-friendly. For example, instead of a formal, plated dinner, consider a buffet with a couple of protein options, salad, veggies and then limit sides to a few crowd-pleasing options. For dessert, if your heart’s set on a big cake, choose a cake with a faux tier or two to add height, and have a separate sheet cake in the back that guests can be served from. Also find out if the venue charges a cake cutting fee. Another money-saving trick is choose alternative dessert options such as cookies, pies, tiered donut cakes, cake pops, cupcakes, etc.
Instead of offering an open bar all night, offer one or two beer and wine options to keep things simple and keep the budget under control. Check with your venue to see if it’s possible to bring in your own alcohol to save money. Just be aware that some caterers may charge a corking fee, even if you bring in your own wine. Another area to save is skipping a champagne toast, which many guests won’t drink anyway. Let your guests toast you with whatever drink they already have in hand instead.
Brainstorm what you can borrow, DIY and let others help you out with whenever possible. Pinterest is a great resource for a plethora of fantastic DIY ideas. Consider asking friends and family if you can borrow items for your wedding, whether it’s a veil, jewelry, get-away car, décor, etc. Also tap into some of your guests’ hidden talents in lieu of a wedding gift. For example, maybe your cousin is ordained and could serve as your officiant, or your aunt loves flower arranging and would be happy to take handle the flowers, or your friend is an amazing baker and would love to make your wedding cake. Give them an opportunity to show off their special skills to make your big day even more personal.
You don’t have to thank your wedding party for their role on your wedding day with an expensive gift. Also don’t worry about getting everyone the same exact thing. Choose gifts based on each person’s personality and interests instead. There are many budget-friendly, yet thoughtful gift ideas to consider. Check out online retailers for affordable personalized gifts or Etsy for unique handmade gifts.
While favors are a great extra if you can work them into your budget, you can easily skip them without anyone noticing. Guests will remember the amazing time they had, rather than the great piece of swag they took home.

3 West Club offers fantastic wedding packages and can work within your budget means. Contact us today!
Source: https://themanregistry.com/groom-101/wallet-friendly-wedding-planning-tips/

10 tips for planning town halls & executive briefings

Periods of uncertainty also create anxiety for employees. In the corporate world, town halls and executive briefings to address employee concerns directly are far more likely to be beneficial than comfort animals. Corporate event planners can play a vital role in organizing these interactive meetings.

Town halls vs. executive briefings

Town halls are informal meetings that date back to traditional town meetings in Colonial America. They are an opportunity for leadership teams to provide updates and address employee questions and concerns.

Executive briefings are more formal presentations to convey the direction of the organization and clarify the mission and vision during times of uncertainty.

Here are 10 tips for planning and organizing effective town halls and executive briefings.

1. Select the appropriate design.
If there is a lot of anxiety among employees, the highly interactive and unstructured format of a town hall is likely to yield better results. If there is confusion, an executive briefing will make it possible to convey more information. The trade-off is that question periods are shorter.

2. Determine the best platform.
Town halls and executive briefings can be offered in face-to-face, virtual or hybrid formats. If an organization has many dispersed locations, a virtual or hybrid meeting will ensure consistency of messaging. If you opt for a virtual or hybrid format, it is important to provide vehicles for interaction and a way for participants to obtain answers to their questions.

3. When possible, keep the group size small.
Smaller groups are likely to encourage more participation. If possible, cap the group size at 50 for each meeting. A series of meetings will make this achievable for small-to-medium-sized organizations. Another approach is to begin with a large meeting and move to breakout rooms for discussions and questions.

4. Send out save-the-date notices as soon as a decision has been made to host a town hall or executive briefing.
5. Provide an opportunity for employees to submit questions.

A short online survey via the company’s intranet is the fastest way to this.

6. Select a venue with excellent sight lines.
For example, wider is better than deeper.

7. If budget is a concern, invite employees to “brown bag it.”
8. Use video to ensure consistency in messaging to dispersed locations.

A video by the CEO can be deployed to remote locations via the company intranet or through the distribution of DVDs, thumb drives, etc.

9. Create a safe environment to encourage participation.
This is not the time for partisan politics or scapegoating.

10. Prepare a summary of key questions and answers and distribute it to employees as soon as possible after the town hall or executive briefing.

Source: http://planyourmeetings.com/10-tips-for-planning-town-halls-executive-briefings/

Why An Intimate Wedding May Be For You

One of the biggest decisions a newly married-to-be couple must decide is what size wedding they want to have. The big wedding is always a consideration because of the all-out partying that goes on with so many guests invited and because Hollywood usually shows the massive extravagant wedding, so that’s what people normally think of. But what may occasionally get swept under the rug is the thought of having an intimate wedding. At 3 West Club, we’re here to help you with your wedding day in any way we can whether it’s big or small. So, here, we’d like to bring up some of the positives of hosting an intimate wedding.
  1. You Will Spend One of the Best Days of Your Life with the People Who Matter Most to You
    1. By only inviting close family and friends, you will be able to share this beautiful day with them for years to come over and over again. With a big wedding, a lot of couples end up spending their whole day feeling like they’re running a production where they’re having small talk with everyone and their cousin and having less of a wedding.
    2. The Savings!
      This is a big reason a lot of couples lean towards an intimate wedding. They’re better able to keep track of their expenses and avoid going over-budget to stay less stressed all while keeping the lavishness of their day intact. On top of that, intimate weddings are environment friendly without even trying because less waste is being produced by so many guests and the venue itself.
    3. Don’t Forget To Splurge!
      If you do decide to host an intimate wedding, you likely won’t have to decide between the centerpiece you have always wanted and the centerpiece that will keep you under your budget. What we’re trying to say is: an intimate wedding will let you go all-out on the details and things you have always dreamt of instead of constantly weighing what you can get if you don’t get that and what you can’t get because you got that.
  2. Intimacy Leads To Shorter Timelines
  3. Whether you’re just way too excited to get married that neither nothing nor nobody will make you wait any longer than you have to or you just hate the idea of planning a wedding out from A to Z, a smaller wedding will let you tie the knot in three months instead of a year.
  4. Spare the Awkwardness
  5. 1. You will avoid the uncomfortable task of meeting all these people you have not seen/may not see again for another 10-15 years during your wedding.Instead, with an intimate wedding you will be able to focus on having fun.
    2. There won’t be any awkwardness when trying to explain to the people who are outside your circle of family and friends why they didn’t make the cut of 30 guests. It’s much more difficult to explain to them why they didn’t make the cut of 200 guests. They will have their feelings spared knowing it was an intimate wedding and nothing outrageous.
  6. Go Off the Beaten Path
  7. By hosting an intimate wedding and not having to pay for 200 guests’ dinners, you and your new partner in life can play with the idea of honeymooning somewhere unique. You can go somewhere you may not have been able to ever go if you were to host a massive wedding. Greece? New Zealand? Prague? Finland? Tibet? The options are endless!
Hopefully we shed some light on the upsides to hosting an intimate wedding—but remember—what you do for your wedding day is entirely up to you, not us. Go ahead and have that big wedding you’ve always dreamt of, or take some of the ideas above into consideration. Whatever you decide, we’d be ecstatic to help you plan it!

Source: http://www.intimateweddings.com/blog/20-reasons-small-wedding/
Picture credit: http://www.ajiroan.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/small-intimate-wedding-ideas1.jpg

7 tips for next-level team-building events

Team-building activities can be an essential part of creating a stronger bond amongst co-workers and an effective way of boosting productivity. There’s no reason to think of team building as something that only boosts productivity—there’s much more to it! This means that the idea of team building can potentially be taken up a level, giving employees and employers something more.

There may be some hesitation as to what this will entail, but it’s not something that should worry anybody who is thinking of organizing team-building events. There are some very simple steps that you can take to ensure that your workers get more out of their team-building day than normal. Why not give them a read in order to see if there’s anything that you might not have thought about before?

How to go about taking team building further

Taking team building to the next level isn’t too difficult and can actually be broken down into seven different steps. Some tips may be more valuable than others, but you should aim to reach all of them so that you can be certain that your team-building activities are taken to the next level.

Ask your workers for ideas

When it comes to planning such events, there’s no doubt going to be some disgruntlement from certain employees. Some will prefer outdoor team-building activities and games, whereas others would prefer to stay away from that and pursue indoor activities. Instead of deciding on something yourself, take it to the next level by getting some input from workers.

Get your workers to take a more active role in organizing

As an extension of the previous tip, actually get the workers to help you in organizing something. Even though it might sound like just an excuse to get help in what could be a rather laborious task, it is, in fact, a sneaky way of taking team building to the next level. It will almost be like a challenge they are given without even realizing it as they have to work together to actually organise the day out.

Ask your workers to document the day

It’s all well and good to arrange a day of team-building events, but there is always the possibility that it could ultimately lead to nothing. If the participants think of it as just a “day off” they might risk losing/forgetting all the positive contributions that they make that day and fail to bring lessons back to the workplace. In order to combat this, have each of them write down their experience.

Make them step out of the comfort zone

One of these days should involve a task that isn’t in the regular itinerary for the workers…really try to enforce this. For example, if they are used to being stuck in a boring office all day, arrange a sports day or a sailing activity. If they are normally outdoors, then bring them in for a task of chocolate making, corporate cookery or even pottery sculpting.

Test their knowledge

This might sound a little harsh, but there’s nothing wrong with making sure your employees are in top form when it comes to general and specific knowledge. If you are serious about taking the idea of team building to the next level, then it’s only fair that you get some sort of result. Carefully construct a team-building quiz with questions aimed at getting the answers you want to show what they really know.

Test their strengths and weaknesses

Ordinarily, team-building days are quite generic and your employees will discover their strengths and where they need to improve by themselves. However, you should deliberately organize an activity for which you know they struggle already to see how they handle the situation. The way they react could help you see for yourself where they currently stand.

Conduct a survey

Similarly to having employees write about the day, it’s a good idea to conduct a survey afterwards, just so that you get an idea about what the employees really thought about the events and whether there is anything you can do to improve and take it even further.

There are numerous ways in which team-building activities for adults can be taken to the next level. Those in charge of organizing such days should give these ideas some food for thought as they could prove worthwhile in getting the most out of employees. It will mean that you will also be tested since you will have to provide more creative input.

Nobody can deny that events such as team-building days can help to boost productivity, but that doesn’t mean that it has to stop there. Companies should always aim to take things to the next level, no matter what. So why not go down this route when it comes to team building? Your employees are worth it and it could prove beneficial all around.

Source: http://planyourmeetings.com/7-tips-for-next-level-team-building-events/
Picture Credit: http://www.floridaescaperooms.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/teambuilding-main-1.jpg

5 Reasons Why Meeting Face-To-Face Is Best

In most situations, having a meeting with someone in-person is the most effective and efficient way to communicate and get work done. However, in today’s business environment where many businesses’ functions span time zones--and even nations--meeting in-person isn’t always doable. This is where we get into face-to-face meetings where apps like Skype and FaceTime are pivotal, because seeing someone as opposed to just hearing them can make a world of difference.

Everyone is familiar with the troubles and frustrations with telephone conference calls. Someone is doing something else while “on the call” or has the call on mute and doesn’t respond when called upon. And of course, the dreaded roll call to start off a call with the frustrating “Is Nancy here?” [Nancy is], “Is Alex here?” [Alex isn’t] etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

This is where face-to-face meetings come in.

1. You must “be at the meeting”
With face-to-face meetings, there is no way someone can multitask or put the call on mute because what they are doing/focused on can be easily seen by everyone else who is on the call. The saving grace here is that there is no roll call to be done, because everyone who is on the call can be seen immediately from the get-go.

2. Body language is rampant
Spring boarding off #1, each person’s body language is evident while in the meeting. As anyone will attest to, it is much easier to get your point across in nearly every situation if you can be seen. Humor comes across as funnier, seriousness and promptness are far better received, and friendliness is more apparent, because inflection can only go so far.

3. The material is obvious
What “material” is referencing here is the medium in which information is being passed through. Documents can be visually seen and clarified between parties and, depending on what app you choose to use, screen sharing can be extremely helpful in coordinating information and documents.

4. More participation
When on a conference call, like it or not, there is bound to be at least one person who is being quieter than they should be. This could end up leading to poor assumptions or decisions being made on a lack of information or insight that that one person may know. If that person would have spoken up, a whole different decision could have been made. Whether it be anxiety, unfamiliarity, or cautiousness that keeps that one person from speaking up over the phone, this lacking participation must be avoided at all costs. Face-to-face meetings almost force people to participate because they can see everyone else and adjust themselves to (what is hopefully) a welcoming group of coworkers. Now, no one can sit in the corner and be ignored.

5. Time savings
With fewer disruptions and more inclusion in terms of people and information, there is a greater ability to breeze through the meetings and, likely, a greater urgency to do so. This fifth point isn’t really its own reason but more of a final compilation of the previous four. Nevertheless, it’s worth explicitly noting as another pro to face-to-face meetings.

So when you’re looking to have your next in-person or face-to-face meeting, consider one of our spaces here at the 3 West Club to allow you to do so!

Ideas parlayed from: https://www.forbes.com/sites/ellevate/2015/02/20/why-face-to-face-meetings-are-so-important/#19c8b0f5aee9

Who are your meeting stakeholders and why are they so important?

In order to plan an effective meeting, you need to understand why it’s happening and what would make it successful. That’s where your meeting stakeholders come in.

Simply put, stakeholders are any group that is affected by the meeting. They tend to fall into two groups:

1. Internal stakeholders
2. External stakeholders

Internal stakeholders

Internal stakeholders are people who work within your organizational structure. They can be your events team, co-workers, your boss, your boss’ boss and/or the board of directors.

Internal stakeholders are the ones who can tell you about:

The meeting’s history
Its purpose
What it should achieve
Who it’s for
What’s worked in the past
What hasn’t worked in the past
What should be different this year
What success would look like

If the event is new and there’s no history or if they can’t articulate what success would look like, ask them:

Who are we trying to attract?
What will they get from this event that they can’t get anywhere else?
How do you want people to feel while they’re on-site with us?
What do you want them to do after this event is over?

That information should give you a good idea of what your stakeholders’ main goals for meeting are, which in turn will help you create S.M.A.R.T. objectives and calculate the ROI for your event.

External stakeholders

External stakeholders are people that you don’t work with, but who have some relationship to the event and can be positively or negatively affected by its outcomes. They can be your sponsors, exhibitors, vendors, paying attendees, association members, speakers and industry thought leaders, among others.

Historical data from surveys, testimonials, sales numbers and past marketing campaigns can help you identify what your external stakeholders like, dislike and what they hope to achieve by participating in your event. That information will influence:

The content of your meeting
Your marketing and communication strategy
Your sales strategy
The participant’s onsite experience

Not all stakeholders are created equal, however, that’s why you need to prioritize their goals and objectives.

Source: http://planyourmeetings.com/who-are-your-meeting-stakeholders-and-why-are-they-so-important/
Picture Credit: http://blackseatourism.net/new/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Stakeholders1.jpg

6 event planning mistakes that will destroy your budget

Many companies are especially budget conscious nowadays. Yet, many organizations continue to make event planning mistakes that explode their budgets.

Here are six common event planning mistakes that can negatively impact your budgets…and tips on how to avoid them.

1. Picking event dates out of the air and locking them in prematurely.

It’s hard to coordinate calendars and dates, especially when planning executive retreats and events for senior executives who are notoriously busy. For this reason, many executive assistants and internal event planners contact all of the participants and lock in their dates before ever reaching out to hotels, venues, facilitators and independent meeting planners.

This presents a number of challenges:

Some destinations work with a dynamic pricing model. Depending on demand, pricing can vary from week to week. So, never assume that high-, low- and swing-season pricing applies in every destination.
Local holidays, when demand for flights and hotel rooms is high, can send air and hotel rates through the roof.
Holidays in countries that send many tourists to a destination can cause airfares and hotel rates to soar. For example, demand for Dubai and Oman increases dramatically during U.K., Russian and German holidays.
Special events such as major trade shows, Formula 1 races, golf tournaments and even spring break can lead to tight availability of rooms and high hotel rates and airfares.

Solution: Contact event planners, facilitators and hotels early. Ask them to give you an idea of the best value dates. Then, present only those dates to participants.

2. Leaving planning until the last minute.

Leave your planning until the last minute and you have absolutely no wiggle room. If you’ve selected high-demand dates (see mistake No. 1), you’re stuck and your budget will reflect that. Even though this is painfully obvious, it’s a common mistake.

Solution: This one is easy. In the words of that old commercial, “Why wait for spring? Do it now.” Yet this mistake is so common it would be interesting to have some comments about the factors that contribute to it.

3. Failing to take advantage of low and swing seasons.

Some destinations are just as nice during low and swing season as they are in high season. The Caribbean is one example. The savings for booking outside of high season are significant.

Solution: Even if you just book a few weeks before or after high season, you can get all of the benefits at a fraction of the cost.

4. Selecting venues before determining the shape of the agenda or the activities you want to include.

It happens time and time again: Companies book rooms in the downtown core of a major city and then decide they want to include an adventure that is many miles away. Whether it’s dogsledding hundreds of miles north of Toronto or a desert or wilderness adventure, transportation costs can blow up a budget. Sitting on a bus for hours on end is also a frustrating experience for participants.

Solution: Postpone venue selection until you have a clear idea of the shape of your agenda. It is far better to wait until you have conferred with your event planner or facilitator and determined the activities that are of interest. Then, stay near where you intend to play.

5. Failing to include taxes and gratuities in your budget.

Taxes and gratuities can add up to 31 percent to a budget in some destinations—that’s a hefty hit! Even in the same country, tax treatment can vary from state to state, province to province and city to city.

Solution: It’s really important to use event planners who are familiar with a destination. If you are an event planner who is not familiar with a specific destination, always ask about taxes and tax treatment.

6. Paying late and watching your budget skyrocket due to currency fluctuations.

We live in times of uncertainty and that means that currency can fluctuate dramatically between the time you book your event and when it actually takes place.

Solution: It’s best to pay hotel, airfares and all other big ticket items up front so that you can guarantee the foreign exchange settlement rate.

source: http://planyourmeetings.com/6-event-planning-mistakes-that-will-destroy-your-budget/

9 Ways to Increase Media Interest In Your Event

Publicity can dramatically change any event, whether a team-building exercise, presentation or quarterly meeting. With media support, corporate training can easily be transformed into a social occasion. A company’s anniversary will become a big celebration for the local business community and a new product presentation will be an important industry event. Media can be responsible for tens of thousands of people talking about your business. Below are a few ways to increase media interest for your event.

1. Prepare your strategy before distribution

Before sending the first press release about an event, consider your overall strategy for working with the media. It is very important to understand which media editors will be interested. If it is a social project or a particularly large-scale project, then the news media will want to write about you. If the project is connected with the internal tasks of the company, influential industry magazines and blogs may be interested.

2. Style is your everything

Each publication writes in its own style: Some use loud headlines, only publish texts shorter than three paragraphs or insert professional jargon, which can be unclear for a wider audience. You can save an editor’s time by adapting your press release for mass media. It is not necessary to rewrite the text every time, rather make minor edits to get to a couple of versions for different sources. If in doubt, read a couple of the publication’s articles then re-evaluate your text. If it doesn’t feel out of place, send it.

3. Follow the hierarchy

Generally, the media falls into two categories: mass (tabloid) and professional. The rule of the food chain works for both categories. When sending material to mass media, first write to those with large readerships, then write to smaller ones. If your press release interests larger organizations, then lower-ranked websites and publishers may repost the materials with reference to the original source. You’ll save time and effort, plus secure the trust of the large mass media because uniqueness of the original publication will belong to them.

The situation is slightly different with professional publications. In this case it is important that the information is presented individually to each publication—never send the same text to multiple media outlets. The best way around this is to dispense information to a variety of sources. In one release you can discuss the event’s VIPs or speakers, in another add other event schedule highlights and in yet another, describe an interactive element.

4. Make plans and follow them on time

You will need to outline the approximate plan of action before sending the first press release about your event to mass media. How many qualitative press releases (containing real information) can you prepare before the event? How often are you planning to send them to the media and to which publications are they going to be sent initially?

Make a schedule of the press releases, list the planned topics and never confuse matters with post-event press releases. The news that dispatched a day or two after an event will have long been “spoiled” and only dilute the newsfeed. Present your story as something hot and actual. Only then will it be interesting to mass media and readers.

5. How many emails will be enough?

The most important question often occurs after long preparation: How do you write to mass media editorial offices? If you can’t find any individual editor contact details, simply write to a corporate email—this is usually found under “contact us” on the organization’s website. Social networks can also help: Journalists and top bloggers sometimes include their email addresses there.

But please don’t send a press release as a personal message on Facebook or LinkedIn. Public people appreciate their personal space—for work they use email, for chatting with friends and for operational issues they use instant messengers or social networks. Do you like receiving promotional mailings in WhatsApp? At best, the material will be sent to the recycle bin; at worst you will be blacklisted.

6. Forget about bulk emails

Learn to write personalized messages to reach journalists and editors, otherwise your messages may be blocked by mail spam filters. Don’t be lazy: Send press releases in separate messages rather than mass mailing 10 addresses. Ideally, it is worth writing personally to leading journalists or editors, addressing them by name in the greeting. If there are no such contacts, it is appropriate to send it to a general editorial email address.

Try to make your letter a little bit different to the hundreds of press releases that editors receive every day. Begin with a personal greeting or a simple explanation as to who you are and why you are reaching out to the publication. It is important that your letter stands out from the general stream and that editorial staff immediately understand that it is an interesting subject worth working on.

7. Don’t dilute your brand with plugs

A logo on each photo and a long list of partners at the end of a press release can become a stumbling block for publication. Most media clearly separate advertising and editorial content, therefore they will remove info about commercial partners or even ask you to pay to have the news published. But what if you have already promised partners that you will mention them in the publicity materials? Our advice is simple, make the event interesting for the media, regardless of brands. The more you push the media to mention your partner companies through press releases or at the event itself, the less likely they will be to want to share it. Take an organic approach: Let the catering be so good that visitors and journalists want to know who is responsible for the buffet reception, and let the sponsor provide gifts.

The same rule applies concerning photos with company logos. Even if such photographs are published in the media, “advertising blindness” will affect readers and the logo will remain unnoticed. In this case, bold colors and striking color combinations, simple symbols and fonts will create the strongest identity. Just remember, mobile operators have already discovered this and have created strong brand identities without even mentioning their own name in the branding.

8. Share backstage

The final photo report or video from an event does not always show the real picture. Go slightly further and show another side of the action: the preparation process, final rehearsal, first guests meeting, etc. Backstage is often perceived as something very personal, because you show what wasn’t seen by active participants at the event. In addition, these shots are valued by trade publications for which off-screen material is more important and more interesting than a traditional multimedia report.

9. Build relationships

Working with the media is a relationship. Start building that relationship right away. To start, simply show care and a serious attitude: Save an editor’s or journalist’s time by sending prepared and crafted material which corresponds to the style of the publication. Don’t try to include all the info about the event in a single press release. If additional info is needed, they will write or call to get details.

And, of course, keep a database of friendly media, including personal email addresses and phone numbers of editors and journalists that are open to you. They have to be first to receive the details of hot and fresh news about your projects. After all, the one who possesses information rules the world!

Source: http://planyourmeetings.com/9-ways-to-drive-media-interest-for-your-event/

5 ways to motivate your team with recognition-rich meetings

Like some of our favorite superheroes who wore masks to avoid the spotlight, some of your best in-house talent are doing great work behind the scenes. Recognizing their efforts out of the spotlight is one of the best ways to keep your team motivated, as they chase those business wins both big and small! Ultimately, it’s all about building a culture of recognition in the workplace.

The importance of employee recognition is indisputable, so it’s crucial to prioritize recognition in the workplace. One of the best places to start with: The humble meeting.

You’ve probably had so many meetings in your lifetime, that you’ve quickly lost count. It’s because meetings are so regular and ubiquitous that they’re perfect opportunities to pioneer a better, stronger culture. So you know it’s worth doing, how are you going to get there?

Here are five tips for building a culture of recognition in the workplace through your meetings.

1. Cook up an appreciation sandwich

It’s as effective as it sounds delicious! An appreciation sandwich aims to start and conclude the meeting with opportunities to show appreciation to the team.

A good way to begin is through establishing the agenda and recognizing your team’s collective efforts in the broader business mission. Take time to identify how everyone’s work has pushed the team and the company as a whole closer to their goals.
Ultimately, you’re putting everyone’s efforts in context of the business vision and bringing everyone onto the same page.
Conclude the meeting with an opportunity for individual employees to identify wins from fellow team members. These moments of appreciation don’t have to be long. Rather, effective recognition requires regularity.

2. Bring everyone onboard

Culture begins with everyone. First and foremost, your managers aren’t omniscient beings, so it’s near impossible for them to catch everything. They won’t always be there to witness Sally’s nearly seamless software configuration or Dave’s accounting magic at it’s best come tax time—and they can’t be expected to witness everything.

Recognition from fellow employees means it’s easier to celebrate all of the wins—no more forgotten wins slipping through the cracks. Furthermore, many people often find peer recognition in the workplace the most rewarding.
The end of your meeting is a great time to give a quick shout-out and pat on the back to those legends that have gone above and beyond.

One way of collecting those wins is through a quick pre-meeting survey, giving everyone the chance to nominate people who they’ve seen doing great things that week. Creating a physical “wins” board is also a great option for recognizing everyone’s efforts and it becomes a conversation starter around the office.

3. Follow up with an actionable summary

The secret to brilliant meetings isn’t just about what happens within those minutes at the table. A successful meeting involves the following.

Everyone walks in knowing the agenda and objectives of the meeting.

Everyone walks away with greater knowledge, understanding and a clear direction to meeting team objectives. Excitement levels are high following a productive meeting, your next best steps are mapped out and your team is onboard to put your game plan into action.

Within 24 hours of your meeting coming to an end, it’s crucial to send a follow up email summarizing key points raised in the meeting—the sooner, the better! An actionable summary highlights the current situation, next best steps and team wins to celebrate.

4. Celebrate curiosity and learning

Investing in someone is a testament to your belief in their potential. You’re on their team, recognizing the blood, sweat and tears going into their work, appreciating their efforts and equipping them with the tools they need.

Ultimately, encouraging learning and development goes hand in hand with a recognition-rich workplace, so take the time in each meeting to check in with your self-motivated learners. Who’s taken time out of their week to “upskill” or recently completed a new certification or course?

Through encouraging curiosity and recognizing wins you’re motivating your team to go above and beyond and chase those business wins!

5. Always, always, say thank you

“Thank you” is one of those phrases parents will hammer into our heads from the time we’re little, yet it’s often overlooked and underrated. Saying thanks is a no-brainer for nurturing a culture of recognition in the workplace.

The secret to saying thanks the right way: Be specific. Identify the specific ways key individuals have gone the extra mile in the past week or month and thank them for their work. Often, big change can start simply with small words of gratitude.

At the end of the day…

Great business begins with great people. You’ve got the team together, so showing them you care and are on the same page with the same mission is a big motivator. When you’ve got your dream team together doing great work, everyone’s a winner—make sure they feel that way! How are you pursuing a stronger culture of recognition in the workplace?

Source: http://planyourmeetings.com/5-ways-to-motivate-your-team-with-recognition-rich-meetings/
Picture Source: http://www.dianedavidson.me/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/happy_people.jpg

7 Ways to Stop Forgetting Stuff at the Hotel

For many planners, discovering new cities or re-visiting old favorites is one of the more appealing aspects of the job. Accidentally leaving personal items behind at the hotel however, is not – but it’s an all too common occurrence in the rush to check out. So how to fool-proof your departure no matter how short you are on time? Try these simple hacks to help you keep track of your stuff when traveling for work or pleasure – and make it back home with everything you left with:

Set up the office.
As soon as you roll into your room, resist the urge to collapse on the bed, remain in work-mode for a few more minutes and set up your office headquarters. Clear the desk of all hotel items, signs, stationary, clickers, menus, etc., and stick ‘em in a drawer. If the room is short on desk-space, supplement it by dragging over an end-table or coffee table to add surface space to your work area. Lay out (non-confidential) work files, pens, snacks, waters, etc., and you’re ready for action.

Build your bathroom base camp.
Next, do the same in the bathroom. Start by clearing the sink area of everything but the drinking glasses and repurpose them to hold makeup, spare change, toothbrushes, shavers, etc. Organizing items in drinking glasses prevents items from rolling off the sink or sitting in puddles of water – and seems to result in less shifting around of your toiletries by the housekeeping staff.

For clothes, think open plan.
Quit hiding your clothes, shoes and accessories in closets or drawers, or on the back of the bathroom door. Tidy as it may be, placing stuff out of sight also puts it out of mind, making items easy to overlook when you’re racing to catch a flight. Instead, keep everything in full view, so when it’s time to pack up, items will be easier to spot – and quicker to collect and stuff in your suitcase.

Make the bathroom into a walk-in closet.
Centralize and store everything but your work supplies and electronics in the bathroom. Hang clothes up on the shower-rod. Store shoes and luggage under the sink. Before showering, hang clothes temporarily on the back of the bathroom door to help knock out wrinkles without ironing. Another big reason to avoid hotel drawers, closets and luggage racks? Doing so may help reduce the risk of bringing bed bugs back home in your luggage and clothes.

Contain your chaos – to only 2 areas.
Are you one of those travelers who throws stuff all over the room and then panics when a co-worker drops by? Granted, most people like to spread out a bit when on the road, but make your life easier by limiting your chaos to just two areas: the desk and the bathroom. This way, if your client drops by unannounced, all you have to do is close the bathroom door to hide your clothes, tidy up the desk (or not, if you want to look extra industrious!), and graciously offer the boss a seat, without needing to clear space.

Hang on to your phone charger.
Phone chargers top the list of left-at-the-hotel items, with phones following not far behind. So, how to hang onto both? Plug in where you’re more likely to see them easily, for example on the desk where outlets are usually plentiful. Plug in, leave the charger and phone in one of your favorite pairs of shoes and place on the desk. When its time to leave the room, just slip your shoes on and drop the charger right into your bag. Another reason to keep the phone out of arm’s reach? You’ll fall asleep faster and rest better with fewer phone-related disruptions.

Pack up your circus tent in seconds.
No matter when you’re heading out, you’ll leave less behind if you pack up almost everything calmly and neatly the night before you leave, versus in a tizzy 5 minutes before heading to the airport. Leave only the absolute essentials unpacked, place them next to the sink in the bathroom, and leave your packed suitcase in the bathroom as well. In the morning, toss the unpacked essentials in the bag and make your getaway, quickly and stress-free.

Happy travels!

Source: http://blog.elitemeetings.com/2017/02/7-ways-to-stop-forgetting-stuff-at-the-hotel/

10 Spring Wedding Ideas for 2017

Spring is upon us. To get us in the mood for bright flowers and longer days, here are 10 wedding ideas for Spring.

1. Lighthearted Wedding Invite

Some wedding themes, such as the incredibly popular "woodland" event, can work with every season. What changes about these themes is the color palette and surrounding details. We love the "foxy" example above with its muted color palette and more playful design. Another all-year staple is the floral wedding invite. Again, during fall and winter you might see florals in darker palettes and more formal illustrations. For spring weddings, you should highlight the sunnier days ahead with a vibrant and juicy palette.

2. Practical Destination Locales

If you want to have a destination wedding in a desert or Southern climate, spring might be a better choice than summer to keep yourself from melting in your wedding dress. This Palm Springs wedding (above) showcases the beauty of an outdoor event in a desert climate. However, this setting in August would be seriously uncomfortable.

3. Pretty Wedding Cakes

It's time to leave the rich jewel tones of winter behind and embrace wedding cakes decorated with sweet florals and pastel shades. This last winter, wedding cakes trended towards dark and metallic, so one that both looks and feels lighter will highlight the mood of your spring event.

4. Bridal Separates

For those brides in northern destinations, spring doesn't necessarily mean guaranteed warm and sunny weather. Although you certainly won't need a faux fur shrug, you also might not want a strapless gown for your outdoor ceremony. We're in love with bridal separates, not just for their chic aesthetic, but also their practicality. Pair a blush tulle skirt with an ever-so-slightly retro sweater for the ultimate spring wedding sophistication.

5. Farm Wedding Perfection

Weddings at local farms can be so charming during summer and fall, but we think there's something really magical about hosting them in the spring. With the budding leaves on trees and green pastures popping up, it's a significant and meaningful backdrop for your new life together. Plus, cute animals.

6. Rainy Day Preparation

Spring weddings have one big issue: the unpredictability of weather. And the old adage about rain being good luck is of little comfort when your guests are getting drenched. Spring days can go from sunny to apocalyptic rain showers in moments. Make sure to be prepared in a very stylish way by providing umbrellas to your guests in case of a sudden sprinkle. You can also incorporate colorful umbrellas into your ceremony and reception decor, or even your exit!

7. Focus on Greenery

Greenery-centric arrangements have grown so much in popularity over the last few years. However, for spring weddings these centerpieces and bouquets are even more appropriate. Particularly in early spring, flowers may not be in full swing yet, but leaves are. We love elegant greenery hanging installations as a way to transform a blank space into a spring paradise .

8. Spring-Inspired Flowers

For late spring weddings, bring on the tulips! This quintessential spring flower is often the first bloom to pop up and can be readily found during this time of year in a multitude of colors. This garden wedding centerpiece with orange tulips and carrots is a whimsical nod to spring, whereas the elegant boxed centerpiece reflects the bursting of fragrant gardens after a cold winter.

9. Herb Favors

While not all of your guests might have the green thumb necessary to nurture delicate flowers, everyone can grow herbs. Give your guests herbal favors either in seed packets or already potted starts that double as your centerpieces and reception decor.

10. Playful Details

The best spring wedding ideas are those that involve a whole lot of fun! Shake off the formality of winter events by adding playful details to your spring wedding. Throw in a pinwheel or two. Hand out lollipops. Create a dynamic kids' table that will make all the grown-ups green with envy. Spring weddings are the perfect time of year to play with whimsy.

Source: ​http://www.mywedding.com/wedding-ideas/colors-themes/10-trending-spring-wedding-ideas/
Picture Credit: http://img.huffingtonpost.com/asset/,scalefit_600_noupscale/56e9b0981500002a000b2411.jpeg

5 Conversations to Have Before Getting Married

Maybe you're in premarital counseling right now, or maybe it's the last thing on your mind. Either way, you already know there are a few touchy issues engaged couples are "supposed" to talk about before making it official. Well, we asked a few seasoned couples therapists to tell it to us straight. They mapped out the tough talks to have with your soon-to-be spouse before heading down the aisle, so consider this your guide to counseling yourselves.

You should talk about: Kids

If it hasn't already come up, now's the time to discuss whether you want children. But here's the surprising thing: You shouldn't stop there. Our experts agreed that it's important to discuss where you each stand on the issues that'll crop up once you start trying to have kids and when the tykes are actually around. "Are you open to adoption if it's necessary?" asks Rebecca Hendrix, a licensed marriage and family therapist in New York. And once you have kids, "How should they be disciplined when they disobey?" asks Vivian Jacobs, a licensed marriage and family therapist in New York. Issues like these can become knock-down, drag-out fights later on, so it's better to discuss them now.

But it's okay to disagree on: How many kids you think you want right now. "Once a couple has their first kid, they'll have a better idea of how many children they really want," says Jaclyn Bronstein, a licensed mental health counselor in New York. Right now, the number isn't as important, Jacobs explains, "as long as you agree on a timetable -- how many years you want to wait before having children."

You should talk about: Money and your careers

One of the biggest things married couples fight about is finances, so talk now to skirt arguments later, Bronstein says. Decide whether you'll pool all your money or keep separate accounts, and determine which accounts you'll draw from for everyday expenses and for big investments. And if one of you is a spender and the other is a saver, choose amounts to set aside for the future and for personal spending that you'll both be satisfied with. "No one has the right answer to what your money strategy should be," Jacobs says. "You just have to live within your budget, figure out what works for you, and be reasonable and communicate." On the same note, talk about your career plans. Where do you want to be in five years? How do you see your 9-to-5 -- and your salary -- evolving over your lifetime? Getting both your expectations in line with reality will cut down on money-related arguments later, Jacobs says.

But it's okay to disagree on: How many hours you should be pulling at work right now. "If someone has a busy job and works 12- or 14-hour days, that might be a big issue at the beginning of a marriage," Bronstein says. "But maybe they agree that getting financially stable is more important in the long run." That's a trade-off that works, she says.

You should talk about: Religion and values

Our counselors all brought up faith and moral values -- they might not seem like a big deal now, but religion and morals play a bigger role in marriage than some couples expect. "For a lot of people, fights happen when the other person turns out to be more religious than they thought," says Bronstein. Adds Jacobs, "You might go into marriage not caring, but the problems start as the children arrive and you're deciding how to raise them." So talk about your faith, and how you see it affecting your shared life, right now.

But it's okay to disagree on: Issues with your in-laws. Those family matters are common hiccups in any marriage and they're survivable. For example, "You can agree that it's okay he goes to see his parents and it's okay that you don't come every time," Jacobs says. The crucial part is that neither of you feels like the in-laws get priority over you, she says.

You should talk about: How you'll handle fights

Arguments are inevitable, but our experts agreed that it's how couples handle them that determines whether they'll get through the fights. "Make sure you understand each other's way of managing conflict," Hendrix says. She suggests thinking back to a recent fight: What happened? "Did one person refuse to talk, while the other couldn't sleep without resolving the issue?" she asks. Whatever your argument style is, hash out what counts as acceptable fight behavior and what's off-limits. "Tweak how you handle arguments to accommodate each other. If she doesn't like to talk about it at 2 a.m., learn to pull back a little," Hendrix advises.

But it's okay to disagree on: The little things. "People are going to disagree about how to run the house, chores, who cleans the bathroom," Hendrix says. "But those are the kinds of things that people can, if they work on their communication style, work through."

You should talk about: Your deal breakers and your bucket lists

If there's anything else that you know will drive you nuts in a marriage, it's better to chat about it sooner rather than later. "Let your partner know that you won't be able to tolerate it if he's always flirtatious with other women or if she blows all the money at Atlantic City," says Jacobs. On the other hand, you should also be up front about the big life goals you're dying to accomplish. Aiming to live in another country or own your own business someday? "Make sure your partner knows about that dream and is open to it," Hendrix says.

But it's okay to disagree on: Your hobbies and pastimes. "If your partner isn't into one of your passions at all, you can continue to do it on your own," Hendrix says. The key is making sure that you're both okay with how much time you spend apart.

Source: ​https://www.theknot.com/content/things-to-talk-about-before-marriage
Picture: ​http://www.terranea.com/assets/images/masthead/mast-5.jpg

3 West Club
3 West 51st Street
New York, NY 10019

Picking the Right Wine for Your Business Dinner

Picking the right bottle of wine at a business lunch or dinner has become almost as stressful as buying the appropriate anniversary gift for your partner, especially if you are on a budget. That makes spending $4,000 on a bottle of the 1982 Petrus most likely out of the question.

But wine lists are as getting so big these days that if you dropped one on your foot you'd break your toe. Not to mention people's tastes are ever-changing and, well, you need to close this deal. So do some homework. Most restaurants have their wine lists online. Study it before you go. Then you have the opportunity to look up the wines online and see what will work with your budget. But if you are like most of us and barely have the time to read your children’s homework, never mind a wine list, then you have to just go for it when you get to the restaurant.

So what do you do?

Take a deep breath and order a round of cocktails or a bottle of bubbly to buy yourself some time. Now your guests have something to drink while you dissect the wine list.

Here are three simple things to consider when choosing your wine:

1. Avoid the easy way out.

“Stay away from favorite varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay,” says Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen, a.k.a. the World Wine Guys , who are wine, spirits, food and travel writers. Too many people know the prices of those wines these days and many of those bottles -- like Caymus, Silver Oak, and Cakebread -- have big markups on wine lists because they are crowd pleasers.

2. Be brave and go for the unknown.

That means stay away from regions like California, Bordeaux or Burgundy. If you need to stay in Europe, there are tons of delicious affordable whites like German Rieslings, Spanish Albarinos, and Italian Pinot Grigios, says Alyssa Rapp, founder and CEO of Bottlenotes, an interactive media company in the U.S. wine and craft beer industries. And if you need a red, Spanish Tempranillos are inexpensive and consistently impress as well, says Rapp.

But there's no need to stay in Europe. Almost every corner of the Earth is producing wine these days – from South Africa to Bulgaria to even Virginia here at home. So spin the globe in your head and just pick a wine in your price range. If its something no one has had, it is easier to taste and critique it together. Then it becomes conversational and there are no expectations.

3. Don't be afraid to ask for help.

"If you’re not looking to channel Portuguese world explorer Vasco da Gama, then use your sommelier,” says Jessica Certo, wine director at Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse. This is what they are paid to do.

Certo always suggests you hold the wine list in front of your sommelier and discreetly point to a price. Say that you are looking to stay in that particular range. The sommelier will immediately understand and then all you have to do is be open-minded and leave it to her. Certo loves it when people say, “This is my budget bring me something I never had.” Then the wine tasting becomes fun and adventurous. It becomes part of the discussion, and could arguably be translated into the way you do business. Even better, your guests will have learned something knew...and may even walk away with a new go-to wine that consistently reminds them of their dinner with you. The added bonus will be that the wine is a respectable price point.

So the further you stay away from the predictable wines on the list, the more room you have to find a great, inexpensive bottle that your guests will love.

That’s all good business.

Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/249718
Picture: ​https://static1.squarespace.com/static/50b3b799e4b01c11f0f37ec5/t/5803b017e6f2e133b164bfc7/1476636700725/wine.jpg?format=original

3 West Club
3 West 51st Street
New York, NY 10019

Most Popular Wedding Songs of 2016

According to Spotify, there are more than 6.7 million wedding-themed playlists around the world.

The streaming service examined all of them and created categories featuring the 50 most common first dance and wedding reception songs.

Out of those playlists, Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud,” is the most popular first dance song in the world, and Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” is top among reception songs. (At 683 million streams, “Thinking Out Loud” is actually the third-most-streamed track of all time on Spotify.)

10 Most Popular First Dance Songs:​
  1. “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran
  2. “At Last” by Etta James
  3. “You Are the Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne
  4. “All of Me” by John Legend
  5. “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri
  6. “Make You Feel My Love” by Adele
  7. “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz
  8. “Everything” by Michael Bublé
  9. “Better Together” by Jack Johnson
  10. “Amazed” by Lonestar​

Top 10 Wedding Reception Songs:
  1. “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey
  2. “I Gotta Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas
  3. “Marry You” by Bruno Mars
  4. “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson
  5. “Hey Ya!” by OutKast
  6. “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” by Beyoncé
  7. “Dancing Queen” by ABBA
  8. “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)” by Whitney Houston
  9. “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson
  10. “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison

What is your wedding playlist?

Source: https://www.buzzfeed.com/terripous/we-found-love-right-where-we-are?utm_term=.bv2b9eKmw#.qs9PoY9nQ​
Picture: http://www.bridalguide.com/sites/default/files/blog-images/real-brides-speak-out/rigo-claudia/first-dance/first-dance-glitering-lights.jpg​

3 West Club
3 West 51st Street
New York, NY 10019

10 Ways To Have More Productive Meetings

Who hasn’t struggled to stay awake through a three-hour meeting, or left a department-wide pow-wow wondering what the point was?

It’s amazing how many bad meetings we have to suffer through at work: Each month, people spend about 31 hours in unproductive meetings, and the U.S. spends a whopping $37 billion on salaries for hours spent in unnecessary meetings.

Here are 10 tips to ensure your meetings aren’t time-wasters.

State The Objective

How many times have you gone to a meeting with only a vague agenda and sat through a discussion with no end in sight? The most effective meetings are ones where the objectives are clear. A simple statement of what you hope to achieve can shave an average of 17 minutes off of your meeting. In my experience, a basic agenda, shared in advance with any relevant documents, keeps everyone on track.

Be Exclusive

When I get a meeting invite, I’ll usually ask (politely) if I actually need to be there. Often, office politics get in the way of who really needs to attend. Google caps attendees at 10 and Amazon has a “two pizza” rule (i.e., never have a meeting where you can’t feed the whole group with two pies). It all serves one purpose: only invite essential personnel, and you’ll find things stay on track.

Time It To The Second

I’ll often request 22-minute meetings. This idea comes from an Ignite talk by Nicole Steinbok, and may sound a little silly, but I’ve found it’s a hyper-effective way to keep everyone conscious of both starting and ending times. People tend to fill the amount of meeting time they’re given, so I generally get just as much done in 22 minutes as in a standard half-hour meeting.

Leave A Buffer

It’s amazing how often we’ll book back-to-back meetings without thinking about the logistics - the time it takes to walk from one office to the next, for instance, or to top up your coffee. Building in even five minutes between bookings (and there are plenty of calendar apps, like Calendly, that can do it automatically for you) will help avoid snowballing late starts for the rest of the day.

Ditch PowerPoint

At Amazon, Jeff Bezos banned PowerPoint outright. Too often, we’re stuck listening to a presenter read an entire slideshow, verbatim. Visuals can be a great tool, but if you’re using PowerPoint as a crutch, your meeting is going to feel like it’s on life support.

Change Your Scenery

A boardroom is usually the most sensible meeting space for a group, but when you’ve got a one-on-one booked, a walk-and-talk outside makes for a nice change of pace. Not only can it be an opportunity to get some privacy if you’ve got an open-concept office, but walking also helps creativity, according to a recent Stanford study. Plenty of big thinkers love walking meetings - in fact, they were Steve Jobs’ preferred method of conversation.

Provide Some Entertainment

Some people might hear “icebreaker” and groan, but a round-table question gets the conversation going. Or take it one step further and incorporate a team-building activity to break up a dull topic - the meeting we did with a short improv lesson had us all on the floor laughing and energized to tackle our agenda.

Unplug Your Laptops

Studies have found that students who use laptops have a harder time remembering what they learn in lectures and are less likely to understand complex ideas; the same goes for the office. When you’ve got half an eye on your email, you can’t be fully present. So unless you’re taking minutes or absolutely need your computer, turn it off.

Meet Face-to-Face

How many conference calls have you tuned out of? I’m guilty of it, too: letting my mind wander when I’m not physically in the room. One study found revealed that 65% of employees regularly do other work while a conference call is happening. (A full 47% have even gone to the washroom during a call). A good meeting is about connecting minds and ideas, and face-to-face is ultimately the best way to make that happen. That’s not always possible, but there’s really no substitute for face time.

Lead With Purpose

Great meetings happen when you have great leaders. It’s not always easy to be the one ensuring things are moving along, but someone has to be accountable for running meetings that don’t suck. Once you’ve set standards for efficient, effective and entertaining meetings, your team will follow - and meetings may start to be the best part of your workday.

How productive are your meetings?

Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/brianscudamore/2016/06/15/10-simple-ways-to-have-more-productive-meetings/#15e4da60706f
Picture: https://media.licdn.com/mpr/mpr/p/7/005/0ae/277/2a19223.jpg; https://probonoaustralia.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Women-leading-a-board-meeting-RS.jpg

3 West Club
3 West 51st Street
New York, NY 10019

What to Do If You Get Sick on Your Wedding Day

Of the disasters on the list of what you don’t want to happen on your wedding day, getting sick has to be pretty high up there. Most other mishaps are things you can find workarounds for, or even laugh about later. But falling ill on what is supposed to be the happiest day of your life means you will be feeling miserable and may even have to miss large parts of the reception that you spent months planning.

As much as getting sick may just feel like terrible luck, it’s something that can happen fairly easily. After all, the stress of coordinating the big day can weaken your immune system, and you are likely coming into contact with many different people as you finalize your special plans. While everyone’s immune system is different and we are definitely no substitute for a doctor, we do have some tips on how to help prevent becoming ill, as well as how to power through if you do.

To Prevent Getting Sick:
- Regularly take vitamin C in the week leading up to your wedding.
- Get plenty of sleep. Try meditation if your mind is going a mile a minute about everything that needs to be done.
- Eat healthy food, especially yogurt that’s low in sugar and has active cultures since that’s the kind of bacteria you do want!
- Wash your hands frequently, especially after handling something another person has touched.
- If you begin to feel a cold coming on, try zinc tablets to stop it before it starts. Just be sure to eat a full meal beforehand, as zinc can do a number on your stomach.

If You’re Already Sick:
- Load up on medication, but make sure to take non-drowsy formulas and don’t overlap on medicines that have acetaminophen. While it’s great at reducing fevers, it’s also easy to overdose on, which causes liver damage. Always follow the instructions carefully!
- If you lose your voice, avoid talking until it's time for the vows, and make sure the mic is on! People might just think you're choked up with emotion, but everyone will probably learn you were sick by the reception anyway.
- Ginger is a good natural cure for nausea and other stomach problems.
- If your wedding is on a hot day, avoid heat exhaustion or heat stroke (which can be very dangerous) by hydrating consistently. Speak up about not feeling well if your photographer is taking pictures outside.
- Use facial tissue with lotion in it in order to prevent your nose from turning red, and make sure your makeup artist gives you a touch-up kit.
- If you really need the extra rest, delay the ceremony a bit if you absolutely have to, and ask your officiant if they can shorten the service. You can also have your photographer start photos with your future spouse to give you some extra time.
Learn how to stay healthy while planning your wedding and ensure you'll feel your best on the big day.
Opening photo by Honey Honey Photography

Source: ​https://www.insideweddings.com/news/beauty/what-to-do-if-you-get-sick-on-your-wedding-day/3498/

3 West Club
3 West 51st Street
New York, NY 10019

2017 Meeting Trends

2017 Meeting Trends

a couple weeks back we blogged about some informative tips on how to increase your event sign-ups. this monday we are back with some 2017 meeting trends that will most likely occur throughout various companies. we highly recommend you follow these trends as well as any other meeting strategies that have worked out for your company the previous year. the 3 west club has several beautiful spaces available for you to host your company meetings and other events.

Making Teambuilding More Effective. As more millennials become meeting attendees, planners are looking for more active options for teambuilding events. Active elements can be incorporated into teambuilding events that focus on corporate social responsibility such as a few hours of beach cleanup, school refurbishment or bicycle-building contest where the finished products are donated.

Bleisure: Attendees Extend Their Stay for Enjoyment. One aspect of meetings that’s changed noticeably is the number of attendees extending their stay at the host property for leisure purposes. They come early or stay longer just to relax.

Maximum Impact from Property Space. Flexible space configurations are high in importance to planners when choosing a property, emphasizing the importance of multifunction space and the crucial role it plays in meeting planner’s decision making. It’s clear that they want to make use of as many spaces as possible at the host property for business sessions, as well as social events.

Importance of Technology at Every Stage of a Meeting. Onsite technology was the next crucial importance. A majority of planners’ state that a property’s website is where they get the most information when searching for a host property.

Food and Beverage Options. The importance of food and beverage options to planners remained constant year over year.

Collaboration and Creativity to Stay in Budget. Demand from leisure, individual business travelers and groups demonstrated they have more money to spend on meetings in 2017 but will spend it across more meetings, rather than more money to spend per meeting. These individuals shared that flexibility also plays a vital role for planners who often need to shift dates in one or two weeks in either direction.

Source: http://www.themeetingmagazines.com/news/2017-meeting-trends-forecast/

3 West Club
3 West 51st Street
New York, NY 10019

Food Trends to Look Out for in 201(7)

Food Trends to Look Out for in 201(7)

After doing some extensive research we have rounded up the food trends you should keep an eye out for in the near future. Some of these are going to shock you, while others you may have seen coming. 3 West Club’s Chef is an individual of the highest skills in culinary and he more than likely can accommodate one of these meals during your stay at the club’s hotel or one of your own planned events.

1. Vegetables Continue to Edge Out Meats

As more consumers look for healthy dining options, they pass over animal proteins in favor of fresh produce. This trend started several years ago, but its staying power has even impressed Wall Street. Restaurant customers want to enjoy their meals with more flavor and less guilt.

By ensuring a wide variety of vegetable alternatives to meat-based dishes, restaurants cater to more than just customer taste. They also market their commitment to healthier menu choices and sustainable food supply practices.

2. Franken-Creams

Photo By: @mumbaicravings

2016 was the year of the ice-cream hybrid – freak shakes, fairy floss and ice cream ramen, to name a few – and this looks set to continue into 2017, as people look for ever more Instagrammable desserts.

3. Seaweed

Photo By: weeknitemeals.files.wordpress.com

With the growing popularity of ramen in the West, expect to see more seaweeds on menus as well as hidden in dishes as an umami hit. In fact, sea vegetables in general will see a surge in popularity, especially in the health food industry, where the likes of kale may have had its day.

4. Produce Is the New Pasta

Photo By: marthastewart.com

As spiralizers turn out enticing pasta-like ribbons of beets, zucchini and asparagus, chefs are also folding vegetables into traditional pasta dough. Pureed carrots, tomatoes and spinach are perfect for rolling into fusilli, fettuccine and linguine. Vegetable lasagna will take on brand new looks and flavors.

5. Blackening food

Photo By: viraloc.com

Bear with us, this one is a little bit weird. We are noticing a trend of blackening food to create a change in taste and texture, often creating a savoury quality that can be a bit of an acquired taste. Blackening food is done in a variety of different ways depending on the kitchen and food type, but it seems that the trend has moved beyond the grill, with a range of foods incorporating the likes of activated charcoal to create unique flavours. Burgers, ice-cream, pasta, lemonade – there doesn’t seem to be a limit on what can be blackened.

6. Congee

Photo By: takpo.com

Here’s something to put into your schedule to hunt down next winter – congee. This rice porridge is super popular across Asia, with several countries creating unique variants on the original formula. Flavorings and additional ingredients are often added to spice things up a bit, making congee an intriguing addition to the breakfast scene. Congee has already caught on a bit down south (and if you look around Sunnybank you can find a few spots serving it up), but we reckon the heyday of congee is not far off.

7. Nikkei

Photo By: FineDiningLovers.com

Take the best of Japanese, then take the best of Peruvian cuisine – now combine them together with dedication, respect and ultimate technique, what do you have? Nikkei. Nikkei is probably one of the globe’s youngest cuisines, but it’s one that is sure to gain more traction in 2017.

Sources: https://www.finedininglovers.com/blog/news-trends/9-food-trends-2017/

3 West Club
3 West 51st Street
New York, NY 10019

The 4 Hottest Wedding Themes

The 4 Hottest Wedding Themes

this week we would like to repost these 4 smoking hot wedding themes from our friends at bridal guide. considering planning your wedding sometime in the near future? at the 3 west club we can integrate any of the below themes and ideas with our beautiful spaces. call us today and lets make it happen!


Homespun barn weddings, filled with branches, lanterns, and nature-inspired décor, are more popular than ever.


believe it or not The vintage wedding trend is still going strong! there's just something that feels so romantic about adding old-world items and antiques to your big day.

high drama

this section is pretty self explanatorily. very eye popping decor that truly give the wedding that once in a life time appereance.

pure romance

similarly, this theme pure romance is just as it implies. beauty that will melt all of our hearts.

Pictures Provided By: http://bridalguide.com/blogs/bridal-buzz/wedding-trends-pinterest-contest

3 West Club
3 West 51st Street
New York, NY 10019

How to Increase Your Event Sign Ups

How to Increase Your Event Sign-Ups

start off the year on a even more positive note with these tips on how to increase the quantity of sign-ups for all of your events. we would like to remind our readers that here at the 3 west club we have 7 different unique space rooms that can be accommodate to hold your event.

There are plenty of ways you can increase your signups by making some adjustments via your website. Believe it or not, most them don’t require any kind of technical or coding knowledge (which can become annoying to even those with the proper skill sets). Following these tips can make a huge difference in the number of hits you land and conversions you receive back.

When you break these actions down to their most basic ideas, it comes down to removing psychological barriers and offering better reasons to sign up. Keep those two ideas in mind whenever you’re working on a signup page:

Does this make it easier to sign up?
Does this give a better reason to sign up?If the answer is yes, then you’re likely going to see an increase in your conversions.


To get people to sign up you need to give them detailed answers. Specifically, to what, when, where and why. What your event is about? Where is the location of your event? What time is your event taking place? Why they can't miss it?

Second Email: Confirmation Email
A huge mistake many businesses do is not send a confirmation email when someone registers for an event. Why is this bad you may ask? Well a confirmation email can benefit both parties. The person who has registered for the event will have peace of mind knowing that their order/reservation went through. Additionally, you can add links to related content on your website (which will increase your visitors) or encourage them to connect with you on social media (grow your audience).

Third Email: Reminder Email
Another common mistake businesses commit? Forgetting to send a reminder email. Let’s be honest, we are all busy individuals who from time-to-time forget things. This action will make everyone’s lives easier. Send out a reminder email a week prior to the event to those registered. Don't forget to include the date and address of the event as well as any information that could be extremely helpful such as parking, catering, etc.

Sign Up Page

Your sign-up page is where you want people to sign up for your event, correct? Therefore, you need to make it stand out! Businesses can do this by using quality imagery and making sure the content is clear and concise, have bold call-to-actions and don't forget to make sure there is contact information on the page.

Social Media

Social Media is vital to every business. It is where clients, future clients, those possibly interested and many others will get to know more about your company. Here they can know what the company’s brand is, what the company follows and what is happening next within the company.

Create a Facebook event on your page, include all the information about your event and a link to the sign-up page, regularly post about the event and share links and images related to the event.
Ad Ad Ad. If you are looking to reach more people through Facebook try using Facebook's paid advertising which is more than likely to land you more hits.

Don't forget to post regular tweets about your event, always include a link to your sign-up page and if applicable throw in an image too!
Twitter also offers paid advertising if you would like to try and reach more people through the platform.

Like all the above, Instagram now offers paid advertising that is unavoidable if a user is scrolling through their feed. Instagram is strictly a picture and video social media outlet but you can still use it affectively to talk about your upcoming event.


If you think Blogs are old school, think again. With more people having access to the internet than ever, blogs are just as popular as social media and as they were when first created. Writing blogs related to the topic of your event is always helpful when attempting to spark interest to an event. Do make sure to mention your upcoming event at the bottom of the related blog and include a link to the sign-up page.

Using the ideas mentioned above will help you reach a bigger audience and make your attendee list grow. There are plenty of other ways to attract more people (i.e. – press releases, video marketing, ask for help promoting your event from other businesses, etc.
We wish you the best of luck on all of your future events!

Sources: http://www.thriveability.co.uk/blog/the-4-pillars-of-event-marketing-increase-event-sign-ups

3 West Club
3 West 51st Street
New York, NY 10019
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