Do You Kiss To Say Hello?

Posted on September 1, 2011 by 1 Comment

Understanding the customs and preferred etiquette of another culture is essential to successful business communications and event management. Throughout my career as an event planner I’ve had the opportunity to plan numerous international events. Understanding client and vendor needs and immersing yourself in their culture shows respect, fosters relationships and helps ensure a successful working experience. This is driven by details like greeting my hotel contact with a kiss from cheek to cheek in Athens, Greece or presenting a special gift to a client in Taipei, Taiwan.

Recently David Ko, EVP, Waggener Edstrom APAC and Chris Talago, EVP & GM, Waggener Edstrom EMEA visited the Waggener Edstrom Portland office. I was intrigued to learn more about the intricacies of the APAC & EMEA markets. As I was listening I reconfirmed my belief on the importance of being educated on different cultural practices and business etiquette throughout the world.

Top 10 Tips for Conducting Successful International Business & Events

1.      Be Mindful of Different Time Zones – Schedule meetings that work well for you and your client or vendor. Nobody wants to wake up at 2 a.m. to take a conference call. It’s also important to be aware of your turnaround time. Answering email on Friday means Europe and Asia will likely not get your reply until Monday.

2.      Understand Differences in Global Communication – People in the U.S. are more long winded and frilly in email communications compared to other countries, often throwing in a few smiley faces. Germany business professionals on the other hand are typically more concise and to the point. Greeting a new client or vendor in person can also be tricky. Do you shake hands, bow or kiss? What conversations are appropriate? For example, when in China, do not discuss Chinese/ Taiwanese relations unless you want to create an awkward situation.

 

3.      Pick up the Phone This will help ensure everyone is on the same page even when working on small projects. For example, while working on a project with the Hilton Amsterdam, I discovered they could not supply us with a podium. With one phone conversation I found out they call podiums “lecterns.”

4.      Utilize Your Resources – Waggener Edstrom has global offices and strategic partners around the world. Don’t hesitate to reach out. Visit the Waggener Edstrom Worldwide home page for more details.

5.      Meals – Know When, Where, What & How – In Europe meal times typically last longer and start later than in the U.S. In Barcelona, Spain, for example, lunch is typically served from 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. and dinner is served from 8 p.m. – 11 p.m. Research when your guests are accustomed to eating.   

In Asia, it’s important to know if your host will be informing you of a seating arrangement. Do you know who should eat first? Will you be expected to try everything that is presented to you? If you’re planning an event or business dinner, be sure to ask these types of questions to ensure you’re respecting your guest’s culture. Creating a menu with plenty of local and traditional food offerings will ensure everyone is comfortable.

Will they bring your bill once dinner is over? How much should you tip? Different countries have different tipping expectations and formalities in paying for dinners and events. In Europe and Asia, it is expected that you ask your waiter for your check. A tip can either be built into your bill or excluded altogether. Know before you go!

6.      Learn Key Words & Phrase – Hello, 你好 (nǐ hǎo), Bonjour, Guten Tag, 日は (konnichiwa), Hola!

Learning key words and phrases such as hello, thank you, you’re welcome and nice to meet you is a wonderful way to make a great first impression. For help with the correct pronunciations visit IMtranslator.net.

7.      Understand Regional Differences – Don’t assume all countries in a certain region have similar customs or business practices. Traditions, customs and business etiquette can vary significantly so do your research.

8.      Do Extend Your Stay – If you can, I highly recommend extending your stay a few days. Experience the city and culture, travel to neighboring cities and countries.

I don’t recommend touring prior to your event or business meeting. You never know what delays or incidents may prevent you from keeping your eye on the ball. Stay focused on your business goal and then travel.

 Travel, Travel, Travel – Get A Different Perspective & Think Globally!

9.      Give Gifts & Show AppreciationI always bring my international vendors or clients a gift of appreciation. This usually includes something local to where I live, such as a specialty gift from Made in Oregon or Moon Struck Chocolates. Equally important, I reiterate my appreciation for their hospitality and partnership in person and then again by email after my return.

10.      Stay In Touch – Connect with your clients and vendors on a regular basis. Why let an excellent relationship squander in the wind when it’s so easy to stay in touch using social media, email or even the old fashioned telephone. 

Check out the following websites to learn more:

Top 10 U.S. Event Markets & More

Posted on July 27, 2011 by Comments Off

I’m always curious about which cities are leading the pack when it comes to event markets. The March STR/McGraw Hill Construction Dodge Pipeline Report shows the total active U.S. hotel development pipeline comprises 3,095 total projects, with 325,407 total rooms being constructed in 2011. New York is leading the pack (always a favorite event location), constructing a massive 6,763 rooms which is surprisingly down by -36% compared to the year-over-year change. Orlando on the other hand currently has a total of 118,230 existing rooms but is experiencing a +108 increase year-over-year change with 2,636 rooms being constructed in 2011. This data is interesting to dissect as it shows which cities are continuing to grow and where the next up and coming event locations may be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consider Nashville & Philadelphia

New York, Orlando, Washington DC, Chicago and Atlanta are the usual suspects for popular event and convention locations so it’s not surprising they are leading the above list for top hotel rooms in construction. As these major cities continue to grow I was a bit surprised by the above results for Nashville and Philadelphia. I’ve always been interested in holding events in these cities so perhaps in 2011 and beyond they will make a bigger splash in the market.

Nashville, Tennessee

Experience the energy and excitement of Music City at one of my must visit hotels in Nashville, Tennessee, the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center. Located on the banks of the Cumberland River, the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center is minutes from the Airport and a short drive or riverboat cruise from downtown. Guests will be amazed by the hotels climate-controlled signature glass atriums, nine acres of indoor gardens, cascading waterfalls and indoor river complete with a Delta flatboat. Enjoy the hotel’s recently remodeled guest rooms and suites, a completely redesigned Cascades lobby, stylish and contemporary new restaurants, unique shopping experiences, a 20,000-square-foot spa and fitness center and 600,000 square feet of flexible convention, exhibition and pre-function meeting space. An event planners dream hotel!

Step outside the hotel and experience the great tunes of Nashville. Once you hear the music, I’ve been told you’ll never want to leave! Music City plays so many beats, attendees are sure to find one that moves them. Don’t miss out on the rich history, events and attractions Nashville has to offer for your next event.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Enjoy Philadelphia while staying at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel. The first skyscraper ever built in the City of Brotherly Love is home to Loews Philadelphia Hotel. With contemporary décor and gracious hospitality, Loews Philadelphia Hotel is one of Center City’s most inviting luxury hotels. Enjoy supremely comfortable rooms and memorable culinary delights. On property, SoleFood Restaurant provides a hip environment mixed with classic style. Known for create exciting seafood cuisine and delicious drinks the restaurant mixes traditional culinary techniques with fresh ingredients and modern presentations… yes, please!

Take advantage of everything Philadelphia has to offer! Whether you’re planning a major convention, tradeshow or workshop attendees can expect great memories and a good mix of business, education, history, and fun in one of American’s most walk-able cities.

What new cities do you think will make the list in 2012?

Elements for the Perfect Atmosphere

Posted on June 21, 2011 by Comments Off

A coworker recently forwarded me a Seattle Times article about how two architects turn spaces into places where diners want to spend time. A similar concept applies to event planners as we search for the perfect venue that exemplifies our clients’ brand, event theme and the overall look and feel they are looking for. Our goal is to provide an amiable space within budget that has the WOW factors our clients are looking for. We want guests to feel welcome and encouraged to experience events in a unique way. This can simply be done by selecting a venue that matches the event theme and branding. Other times it means transforming an ordinary space from drab to fab! Megan’s recent blog post, “What Does The Look & Feel Of Your Event Say About You,” touches on the importance of incorporating branding into events. I’m going to dive a little deeper into how the atmosphere of your event can affect success, important aspects to consider when selecting a venue, ideas on transforming a space to meet your needs but stay within budget and why service and reputation matter.

In the Seattle Times article, New York Times food writer, Frank Bruni, describes Seattle architects Jim Graham and Brett Baba’s design of the Walrus and the Carpenter restaurant as “a palpable conviviality that so many restaurants aim for but so few achieve. That kind of warmth and vibrancy often boil down to luck: to the animation of the crowd that gathers, the pitch of people’s voices.

Walrus and the Carpenter

Well it turns out creating this type of atmosphere is not luck at all! Indeed Jim Graham and Brett Baba’s think through each minutia detail as they designed blueprints for the Walrus. Similar to an architect, event planners consider many details when researching venues. We look for the ideal atmosphere to ensure our clients’ events will be successful. Whether it’s selecting a venue that used all recyclable materials in their building construction for a green event, or choosing a room with a beautiful chandelier that casts a classic shimmer around the room for a VIP reception, these details matter. They make an impression and set the overall feel guests will experience.

Selecting The Right Atmosphere For Your Event

When selecting a venue for a recent gentleman’s club themed event in New York, NY I envisioned dark wood, rich color, low lighting and background music playing classic tunes rather than the latest pop chart hits. During the search I came across The Campbell Apartment. It is located in historic Grand Central Terminal and is truly a spectacular one-of-a-kind fully refurbished 20’s era space. With breathtaking architectural details and extensive craftsman’s woodwork, The Campbell Apartment fit the gentleman’s club theme perfectly. The group was placed on the private mezzanine level overlooking the main bar which provided an ideal atmosphere and encouraged conversation. The dress code played into the gentleman’s club theme as guests enjoyed top shelf liquor and a selection of delicious food options. Many other venues were considered for this event but didn’t quite provide the unique atmosphere the group was looking for.

The Campbell Apartment

Did the atmosphere contribute to the success of the event? Absolutely! The client portrayed a VIP experience and a trendy gentleman’s feel which was clearly communicated. Guests left happy and the group was pleased with the results.  

Key
 

Staying Within Budget

Bringing in creativity to a space regardless of budget is the key to creating a successful event. Above I wrote about what I envisioned for the gentleman’s club space. Luckily I was able to find the perfect venue but even with the perfect venue it’s important to add unexpected elements such as chocolate gouache strawberries and a great giveaway item to create a lasting impression.

So what if you’ve found the perfect venue but it turns out to be over the group’s budget? Sometimes there are ways to work around this. Venues may have a less expensive space the group can use, there may be a less popular day of the week or time of year the event can be held, or lastly simplifying the food and beverage offerings can help. A simpler menu doesn’t have to be boring. You can opt to serve beer and wine only to bring down the tab but add a wine spritzer for some pizazz. If you can’t come up with a way to make the ideal venue work selecting another venue is your next best option. Many venues are willing to help a group reach their goals once they understand what the group is looking for. For example I was looking for rich colors, low lighting, great music and a true gentleman’s club feel. Venues are often willing to use/move existing furniture pieces such as lounge chairs, tables, etc. to your space to help create the right atmosphere. If they don’t have anything available renting a few furniture pieces or brining in a few key décor elements can help transform a space as well. 

Service & Reputation Matter

 When considering if a venue has the right atmosphere it’s equally important to consider the venues quality of service and reputation. Unique architecture and decor can quickly become insignificant if a venues service is subpar. A great way to ensure a venue has a good reputation is to read online reviews on websites such as ZAGAT and Trip Advisor and of course work with your trusted WE Event Services team who has a wealth of knowledge to share as we’ve likely planned similar events throughout the US and Europe.

A great example of how service can play a major role in creating the right atmosphere for your event is with a recent event the Megan Link and Kate Tuominen on the WE Event Services team planned. This particular client was looking for a sleek and modern venue to match their brand identity. When considering venues the WE Event Services planners kept this in mind but also focused on the quality of service that would be required to pull off a successful event on a short timeline of less than one week. The Four Seasons, a luxury brand, may not be the first hotel you think of as sleek and modern but they are top of mind for customer service which was a requirement for this event. The hotel was selected because they were able to provide the flexibility and exceptional service the group was looking for to ensure a successful event. As strategic planners we consider service as part of the overall look and feel for creating a successful atmosphere for your event.

Your Health Conscious Radar – At Events, Traveling and at Work

Posted on May 20, 2011 by 2 Comments

With today’s fast paced lifestyle it’s becoming harder and harder to make health conscious decisions. The average working professional is often found running to back to back meetings, traveling to tradeshows and events and often working from airports, hotels and at home. Yes, I’m likely talking about you. Do you have old name badges in your laptop bag from a previous event? Do you have airline miles on multiple airline carriers you will never use? Or perhaps you are continually checking your phone email to ensure you haven’t missed anything important? If yes, here are some helpful tips and reminders for planning successful and healthy events, traveling and working on the go or in the office.

 Meetings & Events: Are you ready to hit the buffet line? What about the 5 pounds you may gain after eating buffet food for a week?

As much as most people look forward to seeing what’s on the breakfast or lunch buffet, this all too familiar fixture at events can cause setbacks with normal healthy eating routines. It can also contribute to attendees feeling aloof, sluggish and being less productive. As meeting professionals the Event Services team is happy to order healthy options for your group to keep them energized. For example, instead of diving into cheese covered scrambled eggs, grilled hash browns and bacon for breakfast (yes I know this sounds amazing) how about enjoying hardy steal-cut oatmeal, a variety of whole-grain/high-fiber cereals, fresh fruit including blueberries (an antioxidant superfood), yogurt and fresh squeezed orange juice?

Superfood

Changing the way you order items whether at an event or even when out to dinner can help cut-back on your calorie intake and help you stay healthy on the go. For example ask the chef to prepare your vegetables steamed rather than sautéed to avoid added butter. When ordering salmon ask for it to be prepared with fresh lemon and herbs rather than covered in a cream sauce. When ordering lunch buffets on the last day of your event consider ordering a “make your own sandwich” buffet as it is a healthy and convenient way for attendees to grab a healthy meal before they have to catch their flight.

 The same goes for afternoon breaks. It’s tempting to order assorted fresh baked cookies and soda but how about providing a healthy, high fiber option such as fresh fruit smoothies, assorted nuts and granola bars, a hummus platter with vegetables or even mini fruit kabobs?

Cookies

One sticking point we haven’t covered yet is beverages. Now of course you have your soda and coffee drinkers. They know what they want and can’t live without it so by all means order it but keep in mind beverages like ice tea can be a great caffeinated alternative to soda and coffee. Add a lemon or even a touch of lemonade for a refreshing afternoon drink. Looking for the latest trend? How about a flavored water bar with fresh sliced fruit? The ultimate goal here is to provide healthy options resulting in a productive happy group.

Travel: Stay energized, organized and motivated!

Now that you are eating right and cutting back on calories let’s get you set-up for even more success on the road. Traveling for work can be fun in but it also has its pitfalls. You may get stuck in traffic on the way to the airport, miss your flight, be stuck sitting next to a crying baby or be forced to eat airplane food. Here are some tips to help avoid the pitfalls of traveling, stay refreshed and ensure a smooth ride.

  • Arrive Early – If you are cutting it close run!
  • Stay hydrated – requesting water especially when flying is important but inevitable you will want to enjoy another beverage. When you do try to remember to also order water as you’ll find if it’s there you will drink it.
  • Travel Docs – Make sure you can easily access to your travel documents (flight, hotel, registration confirmation, coworkers contact information, etc.).
  • Packing Checklist – If you haven’t already made a personalized packing list stop and make one now. You will never have to worry about whether you forgot to pack your passport, cellphone charger or cash for cabs ever again.  
  • Travel Pack – Don’t leave home without your travel pack!
    • Healthy snacks / meal for long flights
    • Gum
    • Airborne
    • Pain reliever
    • Earplugs
    • Head pillow
    • Eye mask (on long flights this is a lifesaver)
    • Water bottle – ask the airline stewardess to refill it for you
    • MP3 player w / earphones and charger
    • Travel socks
    • Cell phone charger
    • A good book
    • Extra sweatshirt or fleece (use as lower lumbar support or to keep you warm)
  • Sleep – It can be hard to catch your zzz’s on the road but be sure to prioritize sleep when you can.
  • Alarm Clock – Don’t forget to set your alarm clock. You may never receive your wake-up call!

Travel Pack

At Work: Sitting – The Most Dangerous Thing You’ll Do All Day

I could throw out all sorts of health work tips but instead I’m going to share one. The most helpful and health conscious tip I’ve ever received for work is to “make a stand at work.” No, not that kind of stand, but actually “stand” at your desk during work.

Recently I read an online health article about a study scientists at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana had conducted that analyzed the lifestyles of more than 17,000 men and women over about 13 years, and found that people who sit for most of the day are 54 percent more likely to die of heart attacks.

That’s right— 54 percent!

When we look at health risk factors we may commonly think of smoking vs. non-smoking, getting regular exercise verses being a couch potato, but sitting verses standing was never something I considered as a common risk factor.

In other words, it doesn’t matter how much you exercise or how well you eat. If you sit most of the day, your risk of leaving this world due to a heart attack —whether you’re a man or women—more than doubles.

Are you still sitting? Then you should know your office chair also:

1. Screws up your posture. If you’re hunched over a keyboard all day, this can eventually become your normal posture.

2. Makes you fatter. Researchers say this happens for two reasons. First, you burn 60 more calories an hour when standing versus sitting. Second, when you spend too much time sitting, your largest muscle group—the glutes —become lazy and quit firing which means you burn fewer calories.

3. Causes lower back pain. Weak glutes push your pelvis forward, putting stress on the spine. I know I definitely feel this.

So what can you do about it? Researchers recommend you re-think your overall fitness routine. We have a tendency to segment our lives—work, home, and downtime. Exercise typically falls into the last category, as we often squeeze it into our hectic schedules. But if you start thinking about exercise as a lifestyle rather than an activity, it can be easier to make healthy choices throughout the day.

Here are a few strategies to get you up on your feet more often:

Strategy #1: Take 1-2 breaks an hour. Grab a glass of water from the kitchen. Pop over to the cube next to you to say hi. Or simply stand and stretch for a minute.

Strategy #2: Stand during phone calls. It may seem like a small thing but small choices will help move you in the right direction.

Strategy #3: Don’t write long emails. If crafting an email will take longer than 15 minutes, go talk to the person instead. Or stand up and call them.

Strategy #4: Ask HR for a standup desk. Luckily most if not all WE employees should already have a standup desk. Australian researchers found that workers who log more than 6 hours of seat time a day are up to 68 percent more likely to be overweight. If you make the changes above and your waistline isn’t shrinking, a standup desk may be the answer. Make sure your screen is at arm’s length, and the top at eye level and you position your keyboard so your elbows are bent 90 degrees.

Stand

Take the Make a Stand Health Challenge!

Try to make a stand for 2 hours a day. My goal is to try and stand for 1 hour in the morning and 1 hour in the afternoon. To help motivate you to make this change, try talking with your coworkers to see if they want to join in the challenge. I have several coworkers standing around me which definitely spurs on my health conscious radar! Even more impressive a few of my coworkers even sit on medicine balls to help strengthen their core.

Best of luck on your health challenge, making a positive impact on the people around you and for the people you plan events for!

Fun & Unique Giveaway Ideas… that hopefully won’t end up in the trash

Posted on April 14, 2011 by 1 Comment

Earlier this week I blogged about how everyone loves getting free gifts. Now I’m providing a list of a few unique and fun giveaway ideas for your next event. Out of the free gifts you have received what have you kept and put to good use? A clock, stress ball, keychain, pens, note pads, a Frisbee? Or were these the giveaways items that ended up in the trash? When targeting your audience be sure to remember the goal is to build a connection to your brand and provide something original.

Do you have a great giveaway idea? We would love to hear from you! Having a hard time brainstorming a giveaway item for your next event? Post a comment. We are happy to help.

One of my personal favorites and perfect for the organizer in your life, a 15 in 1 flag and sticky note caddy.

Give your attendees something fun that they will hopefully keep and enjoy for years, a custom 9 panel puzzle cube. Whether they keep it on their desk, or give it to their kids, I bet this won’t end up in the trash.

Puzzle

Wine anyone? Attendees will feel appreciated and have a great lasting impression as they leave your event with a bottle of their favorite wine with custom wine label.

Wine

Dance the night away and give attendees the opportunity to relive the fun with a custom mixed cd.

CD

I look forward to receiving the below personalized calendar each year from a promotional vendor. The pictures feature your name in different landscapes. Below you see the name Katherine carved out in lily pads. This is one calendar that stays on my desk all year!

Calendar

Now I’m not sure if this is awesome or a little bit creepy, but if someone gave me one I would KEEP it, a personalize bobble head. You select your bobble head, body style and upload a few pictures. Voilà, you are now a bobble head! Set-up a photo station at your event and mail the finished gift to your guests. I bet they get a kick out of it!

Bobble Head

It’s not a fanny pack, it’s not a baseball cap… it’s a Cap-sac! Cap-sac offers a variety of fun colors sure to jazz up your next event!

Cap-Sac

Everyone needs a highlighter. Why not give a 5 color highlighter! Great for your avid to-do list takers, office managers, or organizing nut, etc. Can I get one?

Highlighter

Whether the goal is to make a short term or long term impact, connect with your target audience and have some fun. I never thought I would use a florescent pink travel bag I received at a tradeshow, but I do! Even though it has a gigantic company logo on it, it turns out it’s the perfect weekend travel bag. Do I love it and does it keep me connected to the event and brand, yes!

Everybody Loves Free Gifts

Posted on April 12, 2011 by Comments Off

The other day I opened my mailbox to a typical stack of bills and junk mail, one blending into the other. What jumped out? “Free Gift Time” at my favorite cosmetic counter, I must get one! The truth of the matter is in order to get the “free gift” you are required to spend $21.50. The question to ask; do I really need anything from the cosmetic counter or do I just really want the free gift? No matter what your answer is, “free gifts” seems irresistible to many of us because it’s the cosmetic shoppers’ Kryptonite. There’s a reason they keep luring us in. It works.

Free Gift

What is the true allure of free gifts? We were trained at an early age to love them as each morning we tried to get to the bottom of the cereal box to see what was hiding. As grownups, we continue to enjoy getting them at trade shows, sporting events and even when ordering items off infomercials. Free gifts and promotional items help create buzz, brand awareness and loyalty. In many cases the receiver gets an opportunity to try a new product they normally wouldn’t have. When getting something for “free,” how does it make you feel? Does your blood start pumping a bit faster? Do you feel like a valued customer who’s connected with the brand? You now have something special that not everyone has…better yet, it was free!

Giving free gifts can be a great way of connecting with attendees and promoting events. At a community fundraising walk registrants often receive a free shirt with encouraging words and supporting sponsorship logos printed on it. The shirt makes attendees feel that they are part of something bigger. They are proud to wear the shirt, even if it’s only for a day and yes, sometimes even if it’s Pepto pink. At a major convention attendees may receive a logoed laptop bag and flash drive loaded with attendee materials. After the event they have the meeting materials at their fingertips and have a trusty laptop bag to store their work items in. What’s the lasting impression? They were taken care of and feel positively about coming to the event next year.

When do you know if giving a free gift at your event is a good idea? It should achieve your organizational objectives and deliver results. For example, at a recent event at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, attendees received colored sunglasses with company logo. Attendees wore the sunglasses the day of the event and continued to wear them throughout the week. The events successful buzz continued to be shared leaving a lasting impression not only with those who attended but others in the community who were exposed to the glasses that were easily spotted everywhere. Next year, the organizers plan on another well attended successful event. When planning events and deciding whether “to give or not to give,” ask yourself 4 simple questions; How does the gift of choice relate to my company or product? How will the recipient use or interact with it? How many times will they use it? Is it original? With some careful planning, you could have the elusive buzz.

Looking for promotional gifts ideas for your next event, check out the below websites.

http://www.branders.com/

http://www.usimprints.com/

Promotional Items

A Win Win – Austin, Texas

Posted on March 9, 2011 by Comments Off

I’ve always heard about the fabulous Austin, Texas.  It’s known for being the “Live Music Capital of the World,” having the best BBQ, perfect weather and for being a community built on relaxed attitudes that has earned itself the slogan, “Keep Austin Weird.” Fortunately, I recently had the pleasure of visiting Austin during a site visit for an upcoming event taking place during South by Southwest, an interactive music and film festival, March 11-22.

 During my time in Austin, I visited a variety of restaurants, event venues and hotels. I had the pleasure of staying at The Driskill Hotel, an historic Austin landmark which was built in 1886.  The hotel is immaculate and offers stunning southern décor. I recommend The Driskill Hotel not only as a great place to stay, but also as a meeting and event venue. The meeting space is truly unique to Austin and the hotel is sure to provide the southern hospitality your attendees are seeking.

Just around the corner from The Driskill Hotel is likely Texas’ best known street, the seven block’s of 6th Street between Congress and Interstate 35. This is Austin’s entertainment center, filled with live entertainment, an active bar scene and several great restaurants. The street is lined with historic houses and commercial buildings dating from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Interested in listening to country, rock, jazz, blues, hip-hop, etc.? 6th Street is the place to be. Listen to music to your heart’s content every night of the week.

 

Are you hungry? There are several wonderful places to eat in the downtown area. One of my personal favorites is Stubb’s Bar-B-Que. Stubb’s offers true Texas style BBQ including beef brisket and cornbread. They have live music, private dining and famous Sunday Gospel Brunch. View Stubb’s upcoming live music listings and be sure to stop by during your next visit to Austin.

Another impressive restaurant I visited was La Condesa. La Condesa serves contemporary Mexican cuisine with traditional regional influences. It also offers unique meeting and dining experiences. Located down cave-like stairs you’ll find the Flour House. This room was built in the 1860s as part of a brewery and is a subterranean vault. It offers two separate spaces great for a small cocktail hour or dinner party for 20 people. The second unique space is Malverde, which accommodates 160-260 people. This space offers an exciting and creative energy unlike anything I have seen before. The space is hip but casual and has a long bar, with modern furnishings, indoor/outdoor seating, a DJ station and an abundance of overflowing greenery. I highly recommend both spaces but if you get the opportunity to go there please let me know about how wonderful the food is. Not having a meal at La Condesa was the only regret of my trip.

La Condesa upstairs

Last but not least … The Belmont, a classic American restaurant and bar. The Belmont is a great place for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. Their meeting space reflects a 1960’s Palm Springs vibe and can accommodate a variety of events such as concerts, dinners and receptions. Located on 6th street just a few blocks down from the main entertainment center, The Belmont is a must.

Will I visit Austin again? Yes, definitely! Next time I plan to go for vacation, listen to as much music as possible and try many more restaurants. Austin is a true Win Win for your next vacation, meeting or event!

Any favorite Austin adventures, restaurants and venues? The Event Services team would enjoy hearing from you.

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