Long Beach, CA. – SoCal Meetings for Less

A few of the SoCal based HPN associates (Lexi Hennessy, Jennifer Gale & Julie Shkolnik) spent a day in Long Beach to see the convention center and city package.

For those that may be unfamiliar with Long Beach, it is located on the southern end of LA County, was home to the TED Conference for many years and is one of the busiest shipping ports in the US. Several cruise lines also sail from Long Beach. It is about 23 miles from LAX airport but is also serviced by John Wayne Airport in Orange County and it’s own Long Beach Airport which has Jet Blue as a discount carrier.

If you have clients looking at SoCal, but want rates under $200, or a smaller feel than a big city such as Los Angeles – consider Long Beach.
It is a very safe, walkable and compact downtown area with the Convention Center / Hyatt Regency at the center, and Westin, Hilton and Renaissance as a few other convention properties within walking distance. You can access the center from all hotels via pedestrian walkways. They can usually offer 800-900 rooms between 3 hotels and can go as high as 1,500 for citywide.

Susan Valen at the CVB was a very supportive and professional partner in helping us plan the visit. She arranged our site of the Convention Center with Kandy, who was also very engaged and eager to show us their product. The CVB and center work seamlessly together and we can use Susan at CVB as one contact until actual contracting.

The Long Beach Convention Center has 3 exhibit halls, two theaters, an arena and meeting space. http://www.longbeachcc.com/

Throughout our tour, all parts of the convention center were well maintained, clean and most foyer space was well furnished with sofa seating, chandeliers, and other warm touches – similar to a hotel lobby feel. The main entryway is flooded with natural light and faces Pike Place Mall, directly across the street.The center maintains a large inventory of furniture from Restoration Hardware, which is available at no extra cost. They do not have an F&B minimum for Center use, and 10% of F&B spend is applied toward rental fees. They are willing to work with us on other incentives to attract business.

Premier Food Services handles the F&B at the center and we were told that the food quality is far above a traditional convention center.

Pike Place Mall has a Cinemark theater, retail and outlet stores and is an outdoor mall, directly across from Convention Center.
There are many affordable restaurants nearby. Some are chains such as The Yard House, and others are gastropubs, breweries and local restaurants.
Long Beach Aquarium, a marina with seaside village / restaurants, and walking and bike paths are all within ¼ mile of the Conv Center area as well.

A little recap on hotels nearby:
Hyatt Regency Long Beach: Just completed reno, a more modern look, and closest to CC
Westin: Further away and in need of renovation
Hilton: Also recently renovated from top to bottom, with cool, contemporary colors and great space layout.
Renaissance: A good 2nd option to Hilton or Hyatt. Better maintained than Westin but lobby was cramped and there was a massive line of meeting attendees standing, and waiting for their buffet lunch.

Susan Valen was awesome to work with so we hope our recap may inspire some of you to pitch Long Beach as a destination to your clients.

conference in long beachJulie Shkolnik
Vice President, Global Accounts at HPN Global
LinkedIN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/julieshkolnik

Congratulations to Jil Dasher

Hey all, just a note of congratulations on a new title for her as she continues to do fantastic things on our full service side of the business.

We are moving her title from “Vice President, Meeting Services” to “Vice President and Managing Director, Meeting Services” to reflect her ever growing role in the overall management of that area of the company.

Jil continually expands her expertise and knowledge. She has gone from running programs for us to selling Meeting Services for the company to now overall management responsibility for that division. She is thoughtful and enthusiastic on everything she does. She truly and constantly represents the company at a world class level.

Great Job Jil ! – we are thankful to have you as a part of the company

Everybody give up some congrats for Jil !!!

The countdown has started!

We’re looking forward to seeing all of you next week at #HPN15!

Desi and Julie

Here are a few tidbits to help in your planning.

Download our mobile app if you haven’t already. The app will be updated throughout the conference, so you can be aware of any updates or changes. Also, make sure to check out the sponsor area of our app! Sponsors like Reno Tahoe’s Julie Greer make our event possible!

Click here for instructions to download.

Our entire event has a great focus on networking. If there is someone specific you’d like to meet with, message them thru app to set up an informal meeting.

Our dress code is HPN casual! New Orleans is hot and humid this time of year, we encourage you to dress comfortably! Please note, we have an offsite event on Thursday that is outside – we suggest comfortable shoes. The forecast may call for rain, so bringing an umbrella is suggested.

The 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina is occurring during our time in New Orleans, which includes a visit from President Obama. We don’t anticipate these events causing issues with our programming, but check our mobile app for any updates or changes.

Lastly, help keep the French Quarter safe. Download the French Quarter Task Force app to report criminal activity: www.fqtasforce.com

We have created an incredible agenda for you, and can’t wait to welcome you to the Big Easy!

Desi Whitney
Senior VP, Sourcing & Industry Relations
HPN Global
13825 N Northsight Blvd., Suite 201
Scottsdale AZ, 85260
Phone: 480.998.9770 Ext 236
Website | LinkedIn | Blog

Marriott Marquis Houston

Need space at the Marriott Marquis in Houston?  HPN Global is working on several groups for this hotel contact for volume deal.

HPN’s Tim Arnold did a site last week at the new Marriott Marquis in downtown Houston. Here is the feedback he provided.

“This will be an awesome hotel. It will have 1000 rooms, 100,000 sq ft of meeting space, and some amazing outdoor space. Meeting space will be on three floors, one floor a 40,000 sq ft ballroom, one floor with 23 breakout rooms, and one floor will have a 22,000 sq ft ballroom and about 10 breakouts. 

They will also have a lazy river in the shape of Texas, which will really be cool. The hotel is attached to the convention center, across Discovery Green from the Hilton Americas. Will be open late 2016, and will be a great option for all groups looking at Texas or a central rotation. I really wish Marriott would open something this size in Dallas. I was very impressed by the hotel. 

HPN Global is working on several groups for this hotel and the city of Houston if anyone has a client that is looking to book shoot us an email so we can strategies on a volume deal.

Contact us http://hpnglobal.com/contact-hpn-global/

Mobile Event App Case Study and Press Release

Bryan Bruce, VP of Digital Marketing at HPN Global, shares his experience working with QuickMobile and how he uses their mobile event app and analytics platform to communicate with event attendees, derive data that shows event ROI, and drive more value at HPN Global’s events.

Subject: Mobile Event App Case Study and Press Release

A short Q&A with QuickMobile on the value of mobile event apps.
QuickMobile provided me with the questions below.

QM:  Describe the agenda/event program guide you used for your previous events?

BB:  This is our fourth straight year using a quickmobile event application as a means to share agenda and event program.  We try to avoid printing at all cost.  Literally.

QM:  Why go mobile? (What motivated you to consider a mobile app?)

BB:  Our attendees are professional hospitality executives who travel a lot.  People who travel carry cell phones and we believe the best way to communicate with this segment is via mobile and social.

QM:  How does a mobile event app fit into your overall event strategy and marketing?

BB:  Technology is a big part of our company.  Event apps allow us to targeted and focused because we always have the ability to speak to our target audience.  We had more than 100% adoption of our mobile event app by our attendees (some who did not attend were given access to app, thus 100+% adoption) and of those who were in the app, we saw huge activity.  This means our people are engaged and when they are engaged they are most valuable to their purpose of working with HPN Global.

QM:  What types of features and technologies did you want to include in your mobile event app?
(What were critical?)

BB:  There are so many features that work in tandem with each other, but this year we saw gameification really accelerate activity in the app.  Once you build and app, you must get people in the app using it.  This is done with great design, functionality and layout, but it is also done by having great content and great communication to the attendees.

QM:  Did you need anything custom built (game, feature, etc.)?

BB:  We did not need anything customer built outside of some simple API integration with CVENT who we used for registration.

QM:  What does QuickMobile bring to the table that makes it the right solution providers for HPN?

BB:  When I worked with Marriott in Orlando, we would always say- everyone has a nice ballroom, or a great pool experience, tell me why were are different….In the event app space today there are a ton of providers, but none that I have seen or worked with that provide the real time service that Quickmobile provides us year in and year out.

QM:  How have you seen QuickMobile’s technology evolve over the years?

BB:  Having been with QM for a number of years now, we have watched them evolve a great deal.  From their first quickstart platform to a more mobile friendly dashboard provided today.  The system is the most user friendly and stable than it ever has.  Each year we have a decision to switch app providers, but the consistent progress QM makes each year keeps us from leaving.

QM:  How was this year’s app different from previous years?

BB:  Activity feed was the biggest difference in this years app and prior years….this year we were able to communicate in a facebook type stream called activity feed and this gave our associates more reason to go back to the app often and also provided tremendous impact for our sponsors by putting their message in the feed in key moments during the conference.

QM:  What type of response did you receive from attendees, sponsors, exhibitors, etc. about the app?

BB:  One of our marquis sponsors told us before the end of the first day that they want the top sponsorship offered in the app next year right now.  Needless to say, that made us feel very good.

QM:  How did the app impact this year’s event?

BB:  Aside from having the ability to communicate with our audiences and attendees via mobile gave us a very unique and powerful management opportunity.  We are able to better plan, make changes and in general be more fluid with having a mobile strategy that is properly executed from development through onsite management.

QM:  Do you have any stats from app usage that you are willing to share (adoption rate, page views, opens, etc.)

BB:  Yes, absolutely please feel free to pull data from our quickstart success from #HPN14

QM:  What are at least three key core benefits you received from using a mobile event app for this year’s event?

BB:  Fast communication, happy growing sponsorship base, real time updates.

QM:  If available, please describe an experience from an attendee, sponsor, exhibitor, etc. that illustrates the value of the mobile app?

BB:  We were doing a group photo shoot at the White House in DC…the time for the shoot was being adjusted to accommodate for rain shower in the forecast, between FB event, our QM app and our internal text channel, we were able to fast communicate in real time the changes in the schedule.  This allowed every single person who needed to be in the picture, in the picture.
Another- we had a sponsor tell him the entire show he had people approaching him after seeing his information in the app over and over.  This created conversations which lead to relationship building.  More return on attendance for our attendees.

A Meeting Planners Best Friend

“Mark has been an invaluable asset to my extended team! Planning 12-20 meetings a year, I know I can depend on Mark for a quick turnaround of comprehensive, well-negotiated bids from any city in the country. He is consistent in his ability to deliver quality bids and brings extensive knowledge of the properties to the table. He provides honest, useful insight to each bid and even seeks out partners in the industry if he doesn’t have the knowledge first-hand. He created a standardized contract for us to use, making it easy for us to compare all of our contracts across the board. I would happily recommend Mark to any of my colleagues.”
Michelle (Jentzer) Melsop, CMP, CEM
Manager of Conferences and Logistics at Society of Plastics Industry

Learn more about why Mark is called A Meeting Planners Best Friend.

HPN Global | Sales Management Career

At the AIME tradeshow in Melbourne. Jumped over to Sydney this morning to do the Harbour bridge climb. Possibly the coolest thing I have ever done while traveling. Right up there with having a private dinner with Tulcy Patel Jones on the Great Wall of China, or driving an antique Jaguar through Monte Carlo and France with Mary Z Pennino
If you ever get to this side of the world, I could not recommend this any higher.
Reason number 12,887 why I love this company and the lifestyle it allows me to lead.

Learn more about opportunities with our great company

HPN Global Reviews | Live the Life you Love!

For my hotel partners: As you watch the clock this Friday afternoon, I want you to know that I’m done with my week. Really I was done yesterday, but I’ve been playing defense. I played hide and seek with my kid until 10 this morning and I’m going to have happy hour with my wife around 4. I don’t have a boss, a quota, standup, covering for people that suck… none of it. I have the freedom to make as much money as I possibly can. It will never cap. As long as I have my laptop and phone, I can work from anywhere in the world, and I do. This is the greatest business model in our business and the model that HPN Global follows is so much better than anything else out there. All that said, we are actively seeking new recruits this year and if you have even the slightest interest in learning more, I’ll share my screen with you and show you exactly what this world looks like in real time, start to finish, the whole enchilada (process, money, etc). PM me if you’d like to chat, there is no harm in having a conversation.

Learn more about HPN Global

A New Year’s Message from Bill Kilburg

Wow, what a fun ride 2014 was! Here at HPN, we had another great year of record bookings and RFP activity, great new associates and friends, and too much fun — as if that’s even possible! Thanks to everyone who contributed to our success.

As we head into 2015, I want to take a step back and review those basic founding ideas of the company and our culture. Take a look even if you’ve seen them before… It’s a great way to set us all on the right path for our combined success in the new year.

Love you all and let’s go blow the doors off 2015!

The HPN Philosophy

Family first – For most of us, our family and loved ones are why we do this. They are the reason we get up in the morning and go do what we do. Time with them is the most precious thing we have.

Have FUN – Have fun every day. If you enjoy what you are doing, it pretty rapidly ceases to be work. It’s pretty cool to do something every day that you truly enjoy! A lot of people go through life without ever having that opportunity. We are in the best business in the world! Mandi G. is my personal hero on this front!

Be nice to people – It’s a basic fact: People are nice to people who are nice to them. We are in the service business, and people buy from people they like!

Be passionate and enthusiastic – Both are absolutely infectious! I put on a positive attitude on every day first thing in the morning like clothes, and every day is the best day of my life! Be passionate and enthusiastic about what you do and success will certainly follow.

Life is all about relationships – Relationships, relationships, relationships! At the end of the day, nothing else matters but the connections we make with other people — people we work with, people we love, people we do business with.

Change is our friend – It’s another fact: Everything changes. No matter what you think is the status quo, it is going to change, and increasingly rapidly. The people that can assimilate, appreciate, and perhaps even lead change are the ones who are successful. Those who hate change end up working at the post office.

Do what you say you are going to do – The business world (including our competition) is full of people who say, “Yeah, I can handle that,” and then drop the ball or don’t follow through. Nothing is worse in business than relying on somebody to get something done and then having it not happen, especially in the service environment. Do what you say you are going to do every time! Success will follow!

Let go of negativity – Stuff is going to go wrong. Somebody is going to make you mad. Let go of it and move on. Harboring ongoing negativity hurts you, not them. I’m by no means saying to put up with bad behavior, but get over it and realize life is too short. The past is the past; the only things we can affect are in the future.

Thanks again to everybody. Here’s to a fantastic 2015!

Love you all! ☺


2015 HPN Presidents Club winners

These 10 people have won an all-expense paid trip for two (April 27-May 1 ) to the gorgeous new Hyatt Andaz in Maui!

  • Amy  Walkowiak
  • Noel  Kalata
  • Joel Kaye
  • Jason Linscott
  • Beth Longnaker
  • Casey Kruer
  • Mark Dallman
  • Mendi Brown
  • Cheryl Cipriano
  • Kristin  Vines

Congratulations to all! See you at the beach, toes in the sand and a drink in the hand!

The game for 2015 starts NOW!
– Bill Kilburg