• Tips to Beat The Ol' Winter Blues

    When the sun refuses to shine, check out these ways to stay motivated. 

     
    FROM THE Winter 2014 ISSUE
     

MAYBE IT’S THE LACK OF DAYLIGHT or the chill-you-to-the bone weather day afte rday after day, but sometimes winter can make it hard to function at a high level. We asked some experts how you can keep yourself, and your group, productive and engaged during the gray winter days.

Get Moving
Abundant studies show the benefits of physical activity include better health, energy, learning ability, cognitive function and happiness. Sit on an exercise ball or stand up at your desk. Keep hand weights at your desk and use them during phone meetings. -Scott Crabtree, chief happiness officer with Happy Brain Science

Get Busy
Gray skies and cool weather don’t have to be a postmeeting obstacle. During fall and winter months, groups can enjoy a variety of engaging indoor activities. For the sports enthusiasts, Rose City Futsal in northeast Portland has spaces available to rent for special events (rosecityfutsal.com), as does the Portland Rock Gym (portlandrockgym.com). For culinary enthusiasts, try cooking classes at Portland’s Culinary Workshop (portlandsculinaryworkshop.com), chocolate tasting with A Yen for Chocolate (ayenforchocolate.com), or a macaron class with Two Tarts Bakery (tartnation.wordpress.com). All of these activities are sure to leave everyone smiling, even in the gloom! -Monica Scott, Gather Event Planning and Consultation

Get Together 
The science of happiness indicates a primary factor in happiness, for most of us, is the quality of our relationships with other people. Staying connected keeps us happy. And data suggests that happiness leads to better productivity, engagement, creativity, health and success. Prioritize people. Pick up the phone instead of sending a long email. Meet in person instead of sending an instant message. Take time to get to know people as complete human beings, not just colleagues. Structure activities, such as bringing a personal photo to the meeting, can accelerate the process of relating to others. -Scott Crabtree, chief happiness officer with Happy Brain Science

Get Motivated
A study of 12,000 daily journal entries found that progress toward clear and meaningful goals was the strongest factor on quality inner work life. Yet, too many managers ignore progress, focusing only on the completion of goals. Start by ensuring that goals (yours or other people’s goals) are specific, clear, challenging and meaningful. Then focus on the progress toward those goals. Talking about, facilitating, and savoring progress brings energy and engagement. Focus not only on completing goals, but also on measuring and enjoying each step of progress. -Scott Crabtree, chief happiness officer with Happy Brain Science

Get Relaxed
Winter is a natural time for hibernation, so to keep energy high, work with nature instead of against it. Schedule regular time for curling up with a mug of cocoa and a good book, or add a long, hot bubble bath to your weekly routine. The downtime will enable you to gear up when you need to without losing steam. -Tina Gilbertson, LPC, author of Constructive Wallowing: How to Beat Bad Feelings by Letting Yourself Have Them (Viva Editions, 2014)

Experts share tips for getting the word out about your gala, festival or conference. 

 
If you attended the Emerald City Applause Awards on March 22, you were treated to a wonderful tribute to the meetings industry by the outrageously talented Melissa Jurcan, president of ILEA Seattle. If you didn’t, don’t worries—here are Melissa’s inspiring, entertaining and spot-on words of wisdom:
 
I am excited to have the opportunity for our chapter to bring our industry together tonight.
 
 
Guest safety has always been a top concern for meeting planners, but now, in addition to planning for “natural disasters” or “force majeure,” they have even more considerations, such as terrorist threats/activities, environmental impact, data security and privacy and guests’ overall well-being. Here are some things to consider when planning your next convention or conference.
 
First Things First