Tuesday, March 31, 2009

April Fools' Day

An explanation of the origins of April Fools' Day was provided by Joseph Boskin, a professor of history at Boston University. He explained that the practice began during the reign of Constantine, when a group of court jesters and fools told the Roman emperor that they could do a better job of running the empire. Constantine, amused, allowed a jester named Kugel to be king for one day. Kugel passed an edict calling for absurdity on that day, and the custom became an annual event.
So please be as absurd as you like today!

Join Planning Factory International for a worthy cause and have some fun, food and a great silent auction on Saturday, April 18th at the Delaware HIV Consortium's 2009 WOW event.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Is Your Computer Safe?

Check out this link for more info on the most current computer doomsday ... and how to scan your computer to see if you have it.


Tibet is Reopening ... but what does that mean?

According to the AP, China is allowing Tibet to reopen for tourism next week.

But what does that really mean? I'm not really one to point out how bad things are (I'm a glass half full girl), but in this global economic climate, does reopening Tibet really mean anything? Will people go just because it's been closed for the past year, in a case of wanting what they couldn't have? Or, will people stay the course on their "stay-cation" fad, and Tibet's reopening will fall by the wayside as something that should probably have been important, but because of the times, became irrelevant? And... is that what China is hoping for? Are they hoping that they'll get the good PR boost from reopening Tibet, but that no one will go because everyone's so frightened by the economy?

Does anyone even care?

~ L

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

We are all off to the FRESH event tonight.

FRESH! 2009
ISES Greater Philadelphia Chapter Industry Showcase

What's FRESH in the Event Industry for 2009

Date : Wednesday, March 25th, 2009
Time: 5:00pm until 9:00pm
Location: Philadelphia Cruise Ship Terminal
5100 S. Broad St, Phila, PA 19112

Friday, March 20, 2009

Mixology 101

Merriam-Webster's dictionary dates mixology to 1948 and defines it as: "the art or skill of preparing mixed drinks" . A great treat for Special Event guests is to create a specialty drink themed to the event. Your mixologist behind the bar can then offer the recipe and knowledge in their product to supply information, direction, and to execute the final product to the patron. Mixologists, like Sommeliers, have a higher level of education (often legitimate through accredited schools and programs) in the science behind the manufacturing and consumption of these products. They have a proven commitment to further the profession through advancement of innovation and technology. Guests love to be taught something new and a fresh new drink with a printed recipe that they can take and make at home afterward is a welcome indulgence.

It's official! Spring arrived at 7:44 AM today. Can summer be far away? Actually Summer arrives at 5:45 on June 21, 2009. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Build Your Team

Patrick Lencioni’s New York Times best-seller, The FIVE DYSFUNCTIONS of a TEAM addresses the five obstacles that prevent even the best teams from succeeding. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team:

  1. Absence of Trust

  2. Fear of Conflict

  3. Lack of Commitment

  4. Avoidance of Accountability

  5. Inattention to Results

A Night at Vita Nova...

Last week several PFI team members gathered at the University of Delaware's fine dining establishment - Vita Nova. We ventured down to Newark to enjoy a lovely dinner prepared by the students of the HRIM program - specifically our fantastic intern, Kristina!

We had a wonderful time and a delicious meal prepared entirely by the HRIM students. Although I was taking photos like an obnoxious tourist, probably driving Kristina nuts, I really got some great shots. Check them out!

Two of us were late to dinner - sorry! - and Kristina didn't let it phase her. Here are two shots of her waiting for us at the front door - towel over arm, no doubt!

Susan & Cher enjoying a little wine that the evening's Sommelier brought over.

Ed & Dana enjoying the evening.

Danala, Katala & Lizskee posing for a photo before our appetizers arrive.

I meant to take photos of each course, but the food was so good, I got distracted! Here's the one shot I got of a vichyssoise appetizer. Delish!

Here's Kristina serving our main entrees. Look how professional she is!

Here's Dana, a former HRIM student, showing the table how to test the temperature of your meat without touching it or using a meat thermometer. You simply put various finger combinations together and touch that fatty part of your thumb/palm.

For more details, please contact Dana directly - I'm not doing her meat lesson justice!

We decided to take one last shot before heading home. Thanks to Kristina & the HRIM team for a wonderful evening!

For more information on Vita Nova, check out their website.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

PFI Nicknames

Here's a little insight to our internal PFI nicknames for one another...

  • Cherskee
  • Cherala


  • Susanala
  • "SS"


  • Katala
  • Kateskee
  • "Cheryl"


  • Lindsala
  • Lindskee
  • "Meryl"


  • Danala
  • Danskee
  • "Dinner"


  • Lizala
  • Lizskee

  • Antonoroni
  • Antonala


  • Edala
  • Edskee
  • "MacGyver"

  • Chooch
  • Choochala
  • Choochskee

  • Kristinala
  • Kristinskee

Did I miss any???


off to another site inspection--this one won't be 3 hours, though!

This is Jackson the pet of a friend and client and he is in the running for cutest pet of the week. Please vote for Jackson!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Good Luck to everyone this
St. Patrick's Day
and may all your wishes come true!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Tapping into the Trend

With Big Water companies quivering about the fate of their high-profit product lines (aka bottled water), the tap trend is certainly taking off. White-tableclothed restaurants are starting to get in on the tap-is-best mantra. So drink up–from the tap and save your hard earned bucks for something more vital than water you can get for free. Maybe it’s because in the wake the financial crisis it seems even more weird to pay for anything you can get for free (especially water) or maybe it’s because environmentalists and public health advocates have helped to spread the word, but for whatever the reason, sales are slipping for the bottled water industry. In the US, where bottled water consumption is higher than in any other country, supermarket sales are at their slowest rate since bottled water became popular a decade ago.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Is a Wedding in Any Other Venue Still a Wedding?

If you're a hopeless romantic, then there's the place for you to get married: Juliet's balcony in Verona, Italy!

"But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Juliet is the sun."

Friday the 13th

Happy Friday the 13th!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Eat your veggies

Three Bumps or Four?
Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating. Peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom are firmer and better for cooking.

TOP 5 favorite linens of all time...

How To Make Green Beer for St. Patty's Day

St. Patty's Day is Coming! And for all of our frat boy readership (and those planners that love to get carried away with a color theme!) .... voila! the recipe for .... *wait for it!* ....


you want it. you know you're going to go home tonight and make it. just try not to! :)

Check out this Press Release - US Travel Industry meets with President Obama

Check out this press release that the US Travel Association released yesterday.

The participants in the meeting were:

Roger Dow, President & CEO, U.S. Travel Association

Jonathan M. Tisch, Chairman and CEO, Loews Hotels;

Chairman Emeritus, U.S. Travel Association

Jim Abrahamson, President, the Americas, IHG

Jim Atchison, President and COO, Busch Entertainment Corp.

Jeff Clarke, CEO and President, Travelport

Howard Frank, Vice Chairman and COO, Carnival Corporation & plc

Barney Harford, President and CEO, Orbitz Worldwide

W. Stephen Maritz, Chairman and CEO, Maritz Holdings Inc.

Bill Marriott, Chairman and CEO, Marriott International, Inc.

Jay Rasulo, Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts

Colin Reed, Chairman and CEO, Gaylord Entertainment

Frits van Paasschen, President, CEO and Director, Starwood Hotels and Resorts

Tom Williams, Chairman and CEO, Universal Parks and Resorts

As I keep saying... just keep meeting... just keep meeting... just keep meeting!

PFI Phrase of the Week...

"Oh Carla!"

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Green Still Goes

Clients still want eco-friendly events according to a recent online poll from Special Events. Nearly two-thirds of respondents say their clients are asking for the same level or more of green elements in their events this year as last. Forty-five percent say their clients are asking for even more green elements this year than last.

Twitter Clip

Check out this Twitter Clip from Jim Spellos of Meeting U. He explains how meeting planners at last month's MPI Meet Different Conference kept connected via Twitter!

An Excellent Note from the CEO of the Krissam Group ... I Second It!

Speak up and out for our industry

Our colleagues in the industry, led by the U.S. Travel Association, have done a fabulous job of quickly spreading the word, backed by solid facts, that meetings are vital to the overall success of the economy. This grassroots campaign is designed to educate the public and most importantly, our Government officials.
These industry efforts are helping to counter the dangerous political rhetoric and media attention that is attempting to scare corporate America away from travel – at the expense of working Americans. One in eight Americans is employed by the travel industry and they are the ones most hurt as events across the country are cancelled.
We must all use our voices to stand strong for the meetings industry.

First, turn to the new official website of this campaign at www.meetingsmeanbusiness.com. This all-encompassing site is an excellent resource for campaign updates, press releases, key data on travel industry statistics, the Value of Meetings data and the Industry Guidelines for Meetings & Events.

Take immediate action by going to
http://www.meetingsmeanbusiness.com/take-action where you can:

1. Send a letter to your members of Congress. It is easy to do. You’ll find a draft of an e-mail letter you can use or edit as you see fit. The website will send your letter directly to your Representative and Senators. In a matter of minutes, your voice will be heard!

2. Sign the Petition to Keep America Meeting

3. Follow one of the other suggestions on how to spread the word!

Please do not delay in signing the petition and contacting your legislators and please help our industry to get the word out by passing this message on to your family members, colleagues or friends. Every day we don’t do something costs all of us.
Thank you in advance for your support on this important matter. The more we join together, the louder and more effective our voice will be.
Chris White, Chairman & CEO of Krisam Group & Global Events Partners
Jim Schultenover, President of Krisam Group

I totally agree with this email that was sent out. I couldn't have put it better myself!
~ Liz

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sexy Restaurants Sell

From the Big Fat Marketing Blog
Folks are still making money in this recession. Hooters did $1 billion in sales and was up 2% according to last night’s Nightline. And apparently sexy sells: copy-cat restaurants like Twin Peaks and Bone Daddy’s have popped up (no pun intended) in Texas.

Oh No! Delaware Gets More Red-light Cameras

Oh no! This is not good news for a PFI Staff that is always on the move!!!!

So beware, more red-light cameras are coming to Delaware. Ten additional cameras are set to be installed on state highways this year. The state already has 20 red-light cameras and the Delaware Department of Transportation said it is handing out thousands of tickets each year. The fine for running a red-light is $112.

We have been caught our fair share of times by these silly little cameras. The concern is for our clients and being on time for our meetings, so Innocence is bliss! Keep your eyes open-Stay safe!!

Technology Savvy PFI

As I sat at my desk today and watched as PFI sat quietly typing away, I realized that we were all having mini conversations with the help of the wonderful software known as Skype. Then, it dawned on me that the minimized tabs on my computer screen were labeled "Facebook", "Twitter", "Blogger", "LinkedIn", and our Planning Factory website page. Now, how technology savvy is that?

Planning Factory International has updated our office to run on the latest and greatest websites so that we can constantly network with other companies, as well as, market ourselves to people and companies so that we may fulfill their event planning needs. In order to keep up with the industry today, it is imperative to keep up with the latest trends so that your company can be discovered even in simple areas, such as the border of a facebook page. Every little bit helps!

Search Planning Factory International on Facebook and make sure to continue following our Blog, who knows we might be sending out E-mail blasts or Text Messages next!

Candy Named for Real People?

As a chocoholic, I was always a little curious about how what I was eating got its name:

"Baby Ruth

Likewise, there are a couple of different tales as to where the Baby Ruth name came from. As you've probably noticed, it sounds suspiciously like the name of a certain famous baseball player.

But the Curtiss Candy Company claims they never intended it that way, that the bar was named for Ruth Cleveland. Ruth was born between her dad's two terms as president and the nation was indeed crazy for her. But the Baby Ruth bar came out in 1921, and Ruth Cleveland died in 1904 at the age of 12. Ruth-mania had definitely subsided by the time the Baby Ruth bar came out.

Snopes says that the rumor that the bar was named for a baby is bunk. It seems more likely that the company was capitalizing on Ruth's name without having to pay him for the honor. They say that Ruth wasn't even well-known in 1921 and it would have been silly to name a candy bar after an obscure slugger, but Ruth had been playing the major and minor leagues since 1914 and by 1921, he had already thrown a shutout in a World Series game, established himself as a power hitter, been involved in a highly-publicized salary feud, recorded a batting average that wouldn't be broken until 2001, and had been traded from the Red Sox to the Yankees.

But I'll let you decide - was the Baby Ruth named for Ruth Cleveland or George Herman "Babe" Ruth?"

Go here for the rest of the article with more weird stories about what candies are really named after!

Yum ... I'm hungry!

Monday, March 9, 2009

EventView Report Confirms Events Play Increasingly Crucial Role in the Marketing Mix

Another good article from a fellow Tweeter! Maybe I won't abandon Twitter as a complete waste of time after all!

I'm glad to see that there's at least a little science out there that isn't being skewed against the meetings and events industry! I know that we're valuable. It's time that everyone else acknowledged it!

Wedding Insurance?

I was tweeting up a storm today and noticed this article on wedding insurance (tweeted by TotallyFormal! Thanks!). What do you think? Needed? Necessary? Or just another way for insurance companies to get us to pay them for things that will never happen? But then, we've never really experienced an economy like this before (at least I haven't). Businesses that were stable and reliable last year are shutting their doors unexpectedly this year ... maybe it is needed after all?

Definitely food for thought ... let me know what kind of thoughts you're munching on ...
~ Liz

Friday, March 6, 2009


PFI is off to New York City for a weekend of ISES REC...

Are you going?

Post a comment or tweet and let us know - we'd love to meet up!

Safe travels to everyone!


A Fabric Car (as seen in Pink Inc. NEWS & IDEAS vol3)

You know fabric is hot when BMW creates a fabric concept car! It's true - BMW has created a concept car called the GINA Light Visionary Model. Here's how it works: seamless, plastic-coated Lycra is stretched over a metal frame with moving parts that allow the car to have shape-shifting capabilities - and the shape of the vehicle can be changed without tearing or loosening the fabric. And the steering wheel, gauges and head-rest all move into place after you sit in the car! Check it out in action: HERE

Are you Interesting?

I read this today on the Cytower blog for events professiomnls http://cytower.blogspot.com/ and I want to pass it on. It was provoked by Scott Ginsberg's Hello my name is BLOG, and a post about "30 Ways To Become The Most Interesting Person You Know." It suggests making a list of the traits of the people you feel are most interesting:

1.Make People Laugh. Almost every person on my list is hilarious. Each has a different style - some are wacky, others sarcastic, and still more are just plain quirky - but they always find ways to put a smile on someone's face. Are you making people laugh? What can you do to inject your own brand of humor into life?
2.Radiate happiness. Good vibes are contagious and the most interesting people I know spread happiness to everyone they cross. This can be frustrating for the realists out there (myself included) who know life isn't all ponies and rainbows. But the world is full of barriers and limits already. Why not focus on lifting people up with positivity?
3.Get fired up. One of the reasons we like dogs so much is that they're always excited to see us when we get home. After a long day at the office, what's better than being greeted as if your arrival is the most exciting thing on the planet? Super-interesting people are always excited and approach life with purpose and vigor. Drink your Red Bull and get cracking!
4.Just be interested. The most interesting people I know are the most interested people I know. They don't worry about scoring cool points, they just focus on learning all about you. Get out there and ask people questions. Follow-up. Actually care about the answers. When we engage someone and get interested in his or her life, we can make an impression that lasts a lifetime.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Tell us what you want to hear...

PFI is always opinionated... full of ideas... and raring to go.

Do you have any topics you'd like discussed?

Send us a comment... shoot over an email... and we'll get writing!

Totally Crazy Video Email!

The video email of craziness ... out, out, OUT of CONTROL! :)

We just met with our friends from Delaware Today and we will once again be working with them on Best of Delaware 2009. The event will be at the Chase Center on the Riverfront on July 30th.

Look for your ballot to vote Planning Factory International as Best of Delaware Event Planning Service!

this office is CRAZY!

PFI is testing new video email technology ... and it's getting a little CRAZY in here! we'll have to figure out a way to post the video when it's done ..... so far i've seen kate trot around the office, linds mention something about a bird, and a LOT of giggling.

i love this office! :)
~ Liz

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Stop Congress from banning companies from hosting events and conferences!!!

Stop Congress from banning companies from hosting events and conferences!

Please take a moment to read below. It is critically important to the entire meetings industry. Remember this all trickles down to so many other industries as well. There are so many jobs at stake! I just took action on this issue and thought you might find it interesting.

If you don’t agree, please don’t shoot this messenger.

Stop Congress from banning companies from hosting events and conferences! Sen. Kerry has introduced legislation that would ban all 421 firms including the nation's largest banks that received money from the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) from hosting, sponsoring or paying for conferences, holiday parties and entertainment events.

Click on this URL to take action now

If your email program does not recognize the URL as a link, copy the entire URL and paste it into your Web browser.

Please note: This article and link was pulled from the HSMAI discussion board on Linked-In.

Ameritage Bistro will feature Sean Reilly performing music of Frank Sinatra tonight.

9th St & Orange St Wilmington, DE 19801 (302) 427-2300

On The Road Again!

Planning Factory started the morning with some great news....

We got a new account for a Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center's Open House in May!

Planning Factory team members are on the road (again)!
  • Kate & Liz are attending a planning meeting for an Entrepreneurial Business Conference
  • Cher & Lindsay are presenting to a packaging company to help develop their events marketing initiatives

The rest of the team is holding down the fort back in Wilmington! Stay tuned for an update on these great meetings later this week!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

If you seal an envelope and then realize you forgot to include something inside, just place your sealed envelope in the freezer for an hour or two. Viola! It unseals easily.

Check out this article...

Check out this article/post on today's USA Today Blog:


Letfeat03 Some meetings are vital to doing business

Eileen McDargh - Dana Point, Calif.

Cancelling expensive trips to exotic locations as a reward for work well-done is one thing. Cancelling meetings that bring people together for training, sharing of best practices, networking and meeting in person is akin to throwing the baby out with the bathwater ("Posh trips for jobs well-done are fading away," Cover story, Money, Friday).

(Souvenir: Insurance agency owner Bob McAfee and his wife, Barbara, kept this weather vane from one of his incentive trips, which have declined./ David Ahntholz for USA TODAY)

Organizations cannot afford to allow employees to huddle in tiny corners, receive no stimulation and talk only via an online social network.

Because some meetings have been labeled "boondoggles" in news reports, companies are canceling important gatherings. Ramifications are huge for the hospitality, airline and conference industries.

The leaders of associations and companies will have to find a way for people to gather, and bring in pertinent resources and activities, so employees can feel more committed and positive about the future.

Flower Show!

While "off" for our snow day, PFI was still on the hunt for the latest and greatest, newest and most faboo!

Here are a few pictures from the show! Hit up Liz's facebook for more!

Flowery shoes! Yes please!

Odd witchy hats of flowers over water bottles? A little different .. but I still like it ... go figure ...

Monday, March 2, 2009

It's officially over...

my crabcake obsession has run its course. FYI.
PFI takes a snow day! YAY!! Although I do wish we were in the office so we could all make snow angels together and of course have a huge snowball fight around 4:00pm when it's "punchy time!"

Maybe i'll post the calendar for tomorrow morning..... (WATCH-OUT)!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

PFI visits Vita Nova!!!

Reservations have been made...and it is official! PFI will be taking a field trip to enjoy a fun-filled evening of laughing out loud at Kristina. Their delicious four course meal will take place at the the University of Delaware's five-star, student run restaurant, Vita Nova! Currently, I am PFI's intern (Love it!) and a student in the Hospitality Program at UD. Vita Nova is a large part of our program and I am very excited to show PFI just a little part of what I do outside of the office with them. It's not all fun though...I am actually anticipating this night! Even though I shouldn't be nervous because they are all such wonderful people, I am anticipating my professor hulk-eyeing me as I wait on them to make sure my every move is up to his five-star standards (so no making me laugh Kate!! j/k)...Nonetheless, it will be a fun night to share with them and I hope PFI enjoys the Vita Nova experience!

Interested in learning more about Vita Nova? http://www.hrim.udel.edu/vitanova/index.asp