Nothing lightens up a moment — or breaks the ice — like a baby. Tina Boudreau of Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, once had attendees turn in pictures of themselves as babies; then she made the photos into a puzzle. The pieces were mixed up and handed out between small pre-assigned groups and had to be assembled, and then identified as to who they were. As she said, “We laughed the entire time!”
Need a Read?
For new people on your staff or attendees who are not seasoned travelers — or just for fun — check out The Air Travelers Survival Guide: The Plane Truth from 35,000 Feet by A. Frank Steward (2002, Impact Publications). Part autobiography, part how-to, the book is packed with tales of Steward's 13 years as a flight attendant (for example, being in the sky the day the Berlin Wall fell and holding a spontaneous on-board party) as well as some great advice for first-time flyers. He covers what to pack in your overnight bag, how to upgrade, and how to minimize jet lag. The Survival Guide gives travelers a fun read and a fresh perspective. The book lists for $14.95.
There's something special about Sarasota: The bay is a crystalline blue-green, and the beaches are almost like powder. Now downtown is worth considering as a group destination, following the November opening of the new 266-room Ritz-Carlton, which has more than 18,000 square feet of meeting space. Part city hotel, part resort destination, the property overlooks a marina and has a beautiful pool and garden area, yet is within walking distance of boutiques, galleries, and restaurants. Plans call for a 15,000-square-foot Ritz-Carlton Spa and a private beach club to open next fall.
Remember when all you had to convert dollars to yen was your calculator? Not any more. Check out these currency converter sites:
The Universal Currency Converter (www.xe.com/ucc/) bills itself as the most popular tool on the Web, and we found it to be exceptionally user-friendly.
The Travel Expenses Calculator (www.xe.net/tec/) acts more as a portal, with click-through to other currency services.
FXConverter (www.oanda.com/convert/classic) is a multilingual converter with rates for 164 currencies.
Yahoo (http://finance.yahoo.com/m3?uub/agent.dll?qscr=curc&&zz=1004972182100) and Expedia (www.expedia.com/p) offer converters.