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September 2018
Dear friends,

To say I have been on the move is an understatement!  I've been travelling the globe since April to leave a lasting impression about AZA on those I encounter and engage.  It has always been our mission to be involved in participating in giving back to the meeting and incentive community by being members of associations such as SITE, FICP, and IRF.  Giving back to our industry in various forms of contribution is one of the most rewarding experiences. I started my travels in Toronto on a sales mission with Experience Scottsdale to see many friends in the Northeast.  Fortunately, it wasn’t too cold for us desert folks.  I continued that month with travelling to New York City, New Jersey and Boston for a series of Destination Links Hospitality Lunch and Learn events which consist of presenting to 25 buyers per day about the destinations we represent.  It was a great opportunity for AZA to have such a captive audience within a three day time period.
 
In May, I was off to one of my favorite annual events (this was my 18th year!), the IRF Golf Invitational, where AZA Event's always sponsors a golf hole. This year, it was in the Mayan Rivera at the The Grand at Moon Palace and attracted more than 600 buyers and suppliers. It offers incredible first-class education coupled with remarkable networking events. 
 
As one of the newest Hosts Global members representing Arizona, AZA Events was fortunate enough to travel transatlantic to Belfast, Ireland for the annual Hosts Global Client Forum. What a truly remarkable city that is rich in history. To learn about how Northern Ireland suffered greatly in the Troubles, and in the 1970s and 1980s was one of the world's most dangerous areas, was eye opening.  Today, Belfast is considered one of the safest cities in the United Kingdom.  Another great reason why AZA loves being affiliated with Hosts Global is that every year they hold a Best Practices meeting, which took place in Houston in July.  It’s for all members to ensure their DMCs continue to be the best of the best. It is intended for alliance members to learn from one another through educational tracks involving sales, operations, & creative services plus a great deal of dialogue exchange during the general sessions on GDPR, Emergency Preparedness and future trends.
 
Whew! Tired Yet? I was! But not before being excited about what August had to bring. I was fortunate enough to once again exhibit with Experience Scottsdale at IncentiveWorks in Toronto, as well as sponsor SITE Canada Golf Tournament.  This year we celebrated 17 years of exhibiting with our friends from Scottsdale.  Both events were a huge success that attracted so many clients to come to our booth or see them on the golf course.  Maybe it was the margaritas that brought people to our booth?  It was announced that next year IncentiveWorks is re-branding under the name Canadian Meetings + Events Expo. 
 
Then finally, the last leg of travel wrapped up last week at annual SITE Classic, at the breathtaking Montage Palmetto Bluff, South Carolina.  For all you meeting planners out there, this is one place that you definitely do not want miss considering for an incentive or meeting up to 260 guests.  It is a special place nestled into the heart of 22,000 acre plantation that is rich in Southern history.  The resort has a main Inn that was built two years ago along with the original cottages that sit around the lagoon and cascading trees.  It is truly full of charm and character. The SITE Classic committee knocked this event out of the park with their keen attention to detail with education, VA CSR programs, and all of the networking events.  Looking forward to seeing our friends in Baha Mar next year.
 
Where will our travels take us next? Wait for our next newsletter. to find out!

Best,

Lori James
President & Owner

Let's Eat!

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Incentive You Can Feel

The tangibles and intangibles that make all the difference

Tips to Creating The Ultimate Incentive Trip
Our friends at SITE Global are Incentive travel experts!  According to SITE, "[Incentive Trips are] all about the feeling of making it, feeling special, [and] blown away by all you’ve experienced...leaving wanting to do everything possible to make it on the next trip!" Here are the key elements to creating that Incentive Trip Feeling:
  • Personalized communications in the lead up to the trip
  • High level of customer service at all touch points
  • If the budget permits, include partners – an experience shared is an experience remembered
  • Invest time in creating the most unique experiences. How do you make those must-see parts of any destination come alive and feel special?
  • Find opportunities to connect with the locals. If CSR is appropriate to the destination, give them the opportunity to give back to the local community. If not, find the heart of that destination and bring it to life.
  • Take a moment to recognise successes. Participants have worked hard to get there after all.
  • Make sure you have your company’s CEO or Directors on the trip – there is nothing like building loyalty and a connection with the company than experiencing all these wonderful things together.
  • Give participants some down time. The balance of a trip is so important and you need to let them sit back and take it all in!
  • Host and make participants feel special.
  • Follow up after the trip; a small token from the trip will keep those memories alive!                                    Click here to read the full article

Love It!

Who, what and where - these are staff picks of the moment.
 

First Look

Whether it's new, repurposed, or revitalized, here's a look at what's noteworthy. For more information on any of the below, please don't hesitate to contact your destination expert.
AZA Events, Inc.

SCOTTSDALE |
Headquarters
480-951-4526
16700 N. Thompson Peak Pkwy Suite 250
Scottsdale, Arizona 85260

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619-272-8358
1111 6th Ave. Suite 307
San Diego, California 92101 - By Appointment Only

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