Try This

Looking for a new way to break the ice? We used this exercise at a recent strategy meeting and had attendees howling: As people around the table take turns introducing themselves, ask them to come up with their “stage names” — the first name being the name of their first-ever pet, and the last name being the last name of their maternal grandmother. You'll be amazed — and amused — by what you hear.
Source: Barbara Scofidio, aka Frisky Ferrante

Need a Read?

What caught our eye about The Complete Idiot's Guide to Meeting and Event Planning by Robin E. Craven and Lynn Johnson Golabowski (Alpha Books, 2001) — aside from the title — is an endorsement on the cover by Joan Eisenstodt, one of the most well-known names in meeting planner circles. The book covers all the basics, ranging from contracts and negotiations to food and beverage. Most useful are all the little boxes of fast facts and definitions. (Do you know the best online site to order nametags, or the difference between a DMC and an MMC?). Plus there is an appendix full of worksheets and checklists. The book lists for $19.95 and is available through your local bookstore.

New Sensation

Blockbuster co-founder John Melk invested more than $50 million and five years to build Musha Cay, his private island resort in the Bahamas. And for a $325,000 per week all-inclusive rate, it can now be yours for an exclusive weeklong customer or incentive getaway. Located in the Exuma Island chain about 40 minutes from Nassau, Musha Cay's five villas can accommodate as many as 20 guests. Visitors arrive by private plane on the is land's own airstrip, and they have their choice of staying in an English Colonial-style manor or in beachside villas, and they have a staff of 30 at their disposal. This is as good as it gets.

Book Mark

Need an award yesterday? is the most comprehensive site that we've seen, with everything from classic plaques to crystal octagons. Most customers receive a proof of their order within a couple of days, and items are shipped within a week. But the coolest part of the site is the V-Awards, which lets you choose from 600 designs, enter your own text, change the typefaces, add clip art, and preview your creation before you send it via e-mail. Talk about instant motivation!