Try This

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.

New Sensation

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.

Book Mark

Converting Currency

Remember when all you had to convert dollars to yen was your calculator? Not any more. Check out these currency converter sites: