hilton boston back bay

hilton boston back bay

I was in Boston last week for the PCMA annual meeting, Convening Leaders. I did something that I almost never do anymore – I stayed in a hotel and didn’t see any of the meeting space! All of the sessions were in the Hynes Convention Center and the Sheraton. I was in and out of sessions so much that I forgot to peek at the Hilton’s offerings! So this site report is based on sleeping rooms only, like I was a regular guest and not a crazy event planner!

If you are traveling to Boston for a meeting at the Hynes, the Hilton Boston Back Bay is a convenient alternative. While it’s not attached to the center via skywalks and the mall like many of the other hotels that are nearby (and were part of the official PCMA block), it’s actually closer to the Hynes than other hotels, such as the Westin and Marriott.

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friday favorites – best event ideas of the week

This week for my Friday Favorites, I wanted to showcase my favorite ideas from The Special Event conference last week in Nashville. TSE had two tabletop competitions. While TSE had it’s own judging, I wanted to share my top picks as well.

#5 – Sherlock Holmes Centerpiece

Sherlock Holmes centerpiece

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weddings at the bridgeview yacht club – long island, ny

This may come as a surprise to some of you, but I’m a Long Island girl. It’s often a surprise to my colleagues because I have no accent (I survived growing up on Long Island without one!). Plus I haven’t lived on Long Island since I graduated high school. But I still have a special place in my heart for the island – and I like to keep up with wedding venues and locations.

I wanted to share some beautiful photos from recent weddings at the Bridgeview Yacht Club. The venue is in Island Park, on the south shore of Nassau County, only a town or two over from where I grew up. It’s a gorgeous venue, right on the water and very popular with brides (plus sweet sixteens and other events). In fall 2012, Island Park (and most of southern Long Island) were hit really hard by Superstorm Sandy. The Bridgeview Yacht Club was not spared, but as you can tell from these photos, it has rebounded beautifully.

weddings at the bridgeview yacht club, long island, ny

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gaylord opryland in nashville – meeting rooms and resort

gaylord opryland in nashville

Last week I had a brief trip to Nashville for a conference. I stayed two nights at the Gaylord Opryland. You can read my thoughts on the sleeping rooms here. Since I was there for a conference I got to see a lot of the meeting space.

The Gaylord Opryland is a resort and convention center. The convention center is part of the main building – there is no need to go outside (which is good, because it was too cold to leave).

The convention center is huge – 600,000 square feet of meeting space, most of it in huge ballrooms. I would say that overall, the space was rather functional. There wasn’t anything particularly exciting about it – the hallways and pre-function space had a subtle plantation feel, but otherwise it felt very similar to the Hyatt Regency Orlando (formerly the Peabody) – just massively large!

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gaylord opryland in nashville – sleeping rooms and lobby

gaylord opryland in nashville

Last week I got to go to Nashville for a conference (attending, not planning). When I originally registered I thought, January seems like an okay time to go to Nashville. Well turns out this conference coincided with the Polar Vortex and it was NINE DEGREES when I stepped off of the plane in Nashville. Nine!

The good news was that I was staying at the Gaylord Opryland Resort, which is basically a mini city, not a bad place to be if it’s way too cold to venture outside. The bad news is that since it was so cold I didn’t leave the hotel at all, so I didn’t really get a chance to see Nashville at all. Oh well, I’ll just have to go back!

I am going to divide my review of the Gaylord into at least two parts – today I’m going to focus on the sleeping rooms.

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giveaway: win a pair of stiloguard heel protectors

giveaway: stiloguard heel protectors via Amanda Jayne's Event Blog

Do you wear stilettos? Have you ever tried to wear stilettos on grass or sand? Do you know what happens? You sink in! You can get grass or mud on your shoes, even ruining them! Worse still, you can potentially twist your ankle or otherwise hurt yourself. Stiloguard solves that problem – you just pop them on your heels and you are good to go!

This video sums it up:

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taking my own advice – adding easy little touches while entertaining at home

I'm no Dina Manzo but here are some ideas anyone can use while entertaining at home

It’s a lot of pressure to have a blog on events and entertaining. While I like to think that I’m primarily sharing my wisdom and great ideas, I also feel like I have to take my own advice. But the good news is that my advice isn’t so hard to take. I try to make most of my ideas and features as accessible as possible. Maybe this is because of my background in nonprofit planning – you can do anything with an unlimited budget, but doing more with less (or barely anything at all, in the case of some nonprofits!) is so much more impressive. So too are my entertaining tips. I don’t imagine my readers are incredibly wealthy socialites with infinite time and resources to plan Dina Manzo-level dinner parties (but if I’m wrong and you are a wealthy socialite with infinite time and resources, feel free to contact me here and I’d love to help you!). I imagine my readers are regular people with crazy, busy schedules and not a lot of time or resources, just like me.

But back to the pressure. December was pretty hectic for us. We moved into our new house (our first house!) right before Thanksgiving, then a month later we hosted Christmas dinner for my side of the family, then a grown-up New Year’s Eve party for a few friends, and then hosted a housewarming party last weekend for many of our local friends. Among the guests at all three were some regular readers of the blog (meaning, my mom and my dear friends Anna and Melissa).

So despite how hectic everything was, I managed to infuse a little bit of fun into these parties, so I thought I’d share some photos (and prove that I’m not all talk!).

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