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The Human Element: San Francisco’s 2020 RSA Conference

The RSA Conference is coming back to the AMA in San Francisco, and the theme this year is the Human Element. Humanity is the most powerful and comprehensive force in fighting cyber threats, and the RSA offers a unique opportunity to learn about advancements in the field with experts hailing from nearly every corner of the world. This meeting of the minds is an indispensable experience for professionals looking to become vanguards in forging new standards for cyber safety.


This year’s events are expansive, covering crypto and blockchain to anti fraud and machine learning. The extensive list of keynote speakers and featured topics cover everything needed to bring IT security to a new frontier.  The list of events is so large that it’s impossible to visit them all, but every activity is invaluable and there are focused networking opportunities to share knowledge.


Although the seminars and speakers are a highlight, this is a conference and the attendees’ voices are just as important. Being present in the field and bolstering securities hands on puts the working professional in a powerful position to share a unique perspective. The networking events are placed throughout the day with varying focuses to maximize participation. As an example, there’s the “Welcome Reception” which serves as an opportunity to mingle with peers at the start of the expo, enjoying drinks and light food. Taking it further, there’s a “Women’s Networking Reception” celebrating the achievements and contributions of women in technology, and these are just two examples of many.

Our AMA Conference Centers are easily able to accommodate these momentous events. We offer spaciousness with generous square footage and vaulted ceilings without sacrificing comfort. The executive style seating and complimentary beverage service are just a few of the amenities we employ to ensure our venue caters to your needs. Contact us to book the AMA for your next event.

Ahhh…The Benefits of Relaxation!

Stress is a fact of life in the modern-day workplace. Although some stress may encourage growth and development and may challenge employees to perform to the best of their abilities, constant stress can have a very negative effect on a person’s health. There are quite a few conditions that have a strong link to stress, such as heart disease, asthma, obesity, diabetes, depression, and headaches. It’s important to build rest and relaxation into our lives and patterns – not just on National Relaxation Day, but every day.

Enjoy three excellent TED Talks which provide some suggestions and practical methods to increase relaxation and lower stress:

How To Relax

In his talk, Bryan Russell recommends that his listeners consider how to increase relaxation rather than struggle to decrease stress. He provides a foundation for his point of view by explaining how the sympathetic and parasympathetic body systems work and contending that the sympathetic system, which is the resting state, can be stimulated. Russell provides some suggestions about how to relax and be at rest.

How To Stay Calm

When You Know You’ll be Stressed Daniel Levitin shares in this talk about some very practical tips about how to live in a way that helps to decrease stress in daily life. His talk focuses in on some steps can be taken in advance in order to mitigate stressful situations that may arise.

All It Takes Is Ten Mindful Minutes

In this discussion, Andy Puddicombe shares about the benefits of meditation and how it helps us be present, center our minds, and decrease stress.

Contact us today to see how AMA Executive Conference Centers can take the stress out of your planning your next meeting in Atlanta, Washington DC, New York City and San Francisco.

3 TED Talks on Goal Setting and Achievement

It seems we’ve been doing things all wrong. When setting goals, we’ve been molded into focusing on the goal, gaining rewards for good behavior. No matter what the goal is we’re trying to attain, it seems to be a universal model we’ve adapted; focus, carrots, sticks. While this approach may work in a couple different scenarios, in the overall scheme of things, they don’t work at all. The whole point of setting a goal is to achieve results. The following TED Talks give insight to unique perspectives on just how to do so.

Denver Broncos running back, Reggie Rivers, gives unusual advice in his Ted Talk: If You Want To Achieve Your Goals, Don’t Focus On Them. Since childhood, it’s been engraved in our minds to set your goals and focus on them. According to Rivers, it wasn’t until he chose to focus on his behavior, instead of his goals, that he started to see results. This 18-minute talk is both charming and hilarious. Rivers will have you rethinking how you approach your goals.

Behavior is the key element in achieving our goals. If we want to see change, we must become the change we want to see. Author, motivational speaker and marketing consultant Simon Sinek, gives us insight on a very simple switch we can make that can achieve tremendous results. In his Ted Talk: How Great Leaders Inspire Action, Sinek shows us that by considering our “why” more importantly than the “what,” we will tap directly into the part of our brain that controls our behavior.

The focus now turns to achieving supreme performance in behavior. We’ve all seen the “carrot on a stick” approach. Sure, offering rewards for improved performance can seem like it would be optimal. Dan Pink, career analyst, illustrates perfectly why this method doesn’t work in his Ted Talk: The Puzzle of Motivation. In his talk, Pink tells about a study of people from MIT showing that the higher the incentive, the worse they performed. Pink says, “Reward narrows focus and restrict possibility.”

AMA Executive Conference Centers are focused on creating environments that will help your meeting and conference goals to be achieved. To learn more about our Centers in Atlanta, New York, Washington DC and San Francisco, contact us.

Celebrating M&M’s in New York City’s Times Square

What better way to celebrate National M&M’s Day this week than at M&M World in Times Square! Candy lovers of all ages delight in this colorful, chocolate wonderland located in the heart of Times Square, and adjacent to our New York AMA Executive Conference Center. The three-story building offers unique and memorable experiences, making it a must-see part of your New York City visit.

Personalize Your M&Ms

One of the most fun things to do at M&M World is personalize your own M&Ms using the personalized printer. Visitors start by choosing from 15 colors and one mix blend. Next, they select two images and create two custom messages for their personalized candy. Among the clip art images available for use are: “I Love NY,” the Statue of Liberty, and professional New York sports team logos.

The M&M Wall of Chocolate 

What’s better than a wall filled with M&Ms? How about a two-story wall of chocolate? Pick your favorite flavor or color from the massive wall, filled with thousands of colorful milk, peanut, and specialty M&M Candies. Unsure of which color to choose? Use the Color Mood Analyzer to find the right color for your current mood.

Start Spreading the News

If you love New York, then you’ll love the M&M World experience in Times Square. Shop M&M merchandise and capture a picture with your favorite M&M character. M&M World is open 9 am until Midnight—plenty of time to get a true chocolate fix before, during or after your AMA Center visit.

Candy’s Sweet Economic Impact

According to the National Confectioner’s Association, the candy industry is valued at $35 billion and provides more than 50,000 jobs. The association adds that many of the major candy companies in America are family-owned.

Celebrate M&M’s…Every Day

If you’re not visiting New York City in time to catch the candy’s national holiday, don’t worry…you can stop by M&M World and the AMA Executive Conference Center to celebrate all year long! We offer a unique network of meeting and conference venues located in New York City, Washington D.C., Atlanta and San Francisco. For more information about meeting at an AMA Executive Conference Center connect with us online.

Tricks & Treats: 5 Tips for Taking Your Meeting From Spooky To Spectacular

Just because meetings are a part of today’s business world doesn’t mean they have to be spooky. With a little pre-planning, you can take your next meeting from spooky to spectacular by following these 5 helpful tips:

Beware of the Clock

Meetings take a lot of time out of a person’s day. In fact, middle managers spend 35% of their time in meetings and upper management spend as much as 50% of their time in meetings. Conquer this meeting monster by having a clearly set agenda and by starting—and ending—on time.

Bring Participants Out of the Shadows

Statistics show that 1 in 5 people are prone to dozing in meetings. As more and more of us push ourselves while sleep-deprived, sitting through a meeting with a speaker is a recipe for a nap. Engage participants by adding humor and activities. Be sure to have water, coffee, and tea along with healthy snacks. Participants will feel energized and they stand a better chance of remembering what they learned by actively participating rather than just showing up.

Be Alert to Double, Double, Toil, and Trouble

In order for meetings to be productive, it is important to stick to the agenda items. Participants who choose to try to use the time to complain or go off-topic not only prolong the meeting but frustrate other participants. Consider designating a “parking lot” for ideas and concerns to come back to in order to keep the meeting on task.

Sweet Success

Meetings don’t have to be monstrous—they are a great time to collect important team members and to discuss and plan for success. Celebrating recent victories and sharing good news is a sweet way to start—or end—a meeting.

Frightfully Good Follow-Up

You’ve invested time and effort to conduct a meeting with positive results. Following-up with participants regarding key action items and a short meeting synopsis keeps the momentum rolling and communication flowing.

If you’re planning your next meeting for Atlanta, New York, San Francisco, or Washington, D.C., consider the professional setting of AMA Executive Conference Centers. Make your next meeting spectacular! Contact us today for details on how our Centers are uniquely tailored for meetings and conference events. 

3 TED Talks With an Interesting Take on Grammar

Good grammar is key to professional communication. A solid command of the rules allows you to share your ideas effectively. But for many people, grammar can be tricky and a bit mundane. That’s why we’ve gathered a few of our favorite TED talks on the subject. They each bring a fresh perspective to what can otherwise be a pretty dry topic.

The Tricky Semicolon

Oh, the dreaded semicolon. If you often wonder how and when to use this bit of punctuation, this quick video from Emma Bryce is for you. It’s part of a TED-Ed series that transforms ideas into animated lessons. The video lays out everything you need to know about the semicolon in a fun and creative way. Understanding how to use this tool can help you connect your ideas more powerfully.

Inside the World of a Copy Editor

For something completely different, check out Mary Norris’ quirky take on her experiences as a copy editor for the New Yorker. This may not be a step-by-step lesson on grammar, but it is an insightful look at how to tackle grammatical issues while maintaining the voice of the writing. It’ll get you thinking about how grammar influences the reader’s perception. Making a choice that’s not grammatically correct may do a better job of getting your meaning across.

But Really, What’s the Point?

How much does good grammar really matter? In this video, Andreea Calude poses this very question. The TED-Ed lesson takes viewers on a journey through the history of written language, explaining the cultural background of grammar rules. It explores the fascinating differences between written and spoken language. Mary Norris’ talk posits that the rules can be bent in certain situations. This video compliments that idea nicely.

Who knew grammar could be so interesting? We always enjoy how TED talks put a spin on things. It makes for a thought-provoking learning experience, no matter the topic.

2019 Feast of San Gennaro in New York City

Each September in New York City, the streets of Little Italy play host to one of the largest and longest-running street festivals in town. Attracting well over a million visitors each year, the Feast of San Gennaro began as a small observance but has grown into an 11-day long celebration of Italian-American heritage that includes live music, fun, and plenty of food.

The areas around Mulberry Street began to fill with immigrants, largely from Sicily and Naples, as far back as the 1880’s. The first celebration honoring the patron saint of Naples in what is now known as Little Italy took place in 1926 as a small block party that lasted just one day. The saint’s statue was carried through the streets as a symbol of devotion, and this Grand Procession stills takes place as part of the modern festival.

This year’s Feast of San Gennaro will occur from September 12th through the 22nd and includes a lengthy lineup of activities. The Grand Procession starts at 2:00 p.m. on September 12th, and will feature floats, music, and special celebrity guests. A cannoli eating contest featuring an endless avalanche of Caffe Palermo cannoli will take place on September 13th. Throughout the festival, live music will be performed nightly at the Grand Stage on Mott Street.

The street fair has no admission, and vendors line the streets with crafts, games, and food stalls. Browse the wares a bit before deciding what to eat, as options are plentiful. Sausage and pepper sandwiches, calamari, fried clams, zeppoles, pizza—there is almost too much to choose from. If you somehow don’t manage to find your favorites or get your fill, Little Italy offers some of the best Italian restaurants in town. Try Rubirosa on Mulberry, Emporio on Mott, or Lombardi’s on Spring, to name a few.

The festival spans many blocks along Mulberry Street from Canal all the way to Houston. Between Mott and Baxter, it spills onto Grand and Hester as well. Crowds are higher during the weekends, so weeknights are a great option if you can swing it. Street closures and crowds tend to snarl traffic, so it may be easiest to take the subway into the area. Nearby stations include Prince, Spring, and Canal Streets.

Our New York AMA Executive Conference Center  is the largest conference center in New York City. Let us host your next business meeting, conference, or executive event at one of our AMA Centers in New York, Atlanta, San Francisco and Washington DC. Contact us to let us know how we can assist you.

3 Top Fall Attractions in New York

New York City is home to more than 8.6+ million people. That size of a population makes it a space where there is a lot to do no matter what time of year it is. The entire city is home to a variety of great fall time activities. Whether you’re interested in pumpkin patches, sipping apple cider, taking a hayride, going Trick-Or-Treat, hosting a Thanksgiving dinner, or selecting yourselves a living Christmas tree, New York City has something to offer everyone throughout the Fall season.

Here are a few of our top fall attractions in New York:

Hudson Valley Wine & Food Festival

The Hudson Valley Wine & Food Festival runs September 7th & 8th at the Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck, New York and admissions run from $7 to $35. This fall festival includes plenty of tastings from wineries, distilleries, and ciders that come to showcase at the event. Choose your sampling and then decide which ones you would like to purchase. Gourmet food and food trucks will finish off your experience. Click here to visit them online for more information. 

NYC Oktoberfest

NYC natives love attending the annual NYC Oktoberfest – also enjoyed by regional visitors and tourists alike. Attendees enjoy over 50 different food vendors and can shop at over 100 different merchandisers. This event is free and takes place from Lexington Avenue to 42nd-57th streets in New York City on October 5, 2019. Click here to visit them online for more information.

Bayswater Fall Festival

The Bayswater Fall Festival takes place right outside of New York City. It’s a perfect destination, should you be looking to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city for a day in the quiet that comes with the Bayswater area. Attendees at this Queens, New York festival can expect to enjoy a festival for all ages that includes hayrides, pumpkin patches, arts-and-crafts, and other family-friendly activities. Click here to visit them online for more information. 

AMA Executive Conference Centers has a Center located in New York City – right in the heart of Times Square. We also have Centers throughout the U.S. and are here to help make planning additional fall activities easy for your company. Whether you want to host an executive meeting, retreat, conference, product launch or corporate reception, our four locations are available for multiple dates throughout 2019 and into 2020. Center locations include Atlanta, New York City, Washington DC Area, and San Francisco.

Click here to contact us and let’s start planning your next corporate event!

Get Ready for Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco

AMA Executive Conference Centers is pleased to once again welcome Oracle OpenWorld to San Francisco’s Moscone Center from September 16-19th, 2019. Oracle OpenWorld will bring together an exciting group of decision-makers and influencers focused on leveraging digital technologies and the cloud to further their business goals.

What To Expect At OpenWorld

OpenWorld is sure to draw industry experts from finance, operations, supply chain, human resources, sales, marketing, consumer service, and IT – all focused on driving transformation with cloud technologies.

While attending OpenWorld, you can expect the following:

  • 2,000 unique sessions;
  • 250 exhibitors; and
  • Speakers from more than 90 countries, including CEOs, physicists, and authors.

With this variety of speakers, sessions, and exhibitors, there is no doubt that OpenWorld will provide amazing learning opportunities and unlimited chances to connect with peers and industry leaders.

In addition to numerous educational opportunities, OpenWorld makes sure to add some fun into the experience. Attendees can check out the movie night at Oracle Park, with exclusive access to the field and the largest video board in California. They can also have a chance to focus on their health with FitFest.19 at Oracle Park. Both Tuesday and Wednesday morning, conference attendees will be able to get in exercise with a view of the San Francisco Bay.

If the above wasn’t enough, CloudFest.19 will allow attendees to enjoy an evening of inspiration and celebration with the entertainment headliner, John Mayer.

How AMA Conference Centers Helps

With all the activity around OpenWorld, our AMA San Francisco Conference Center is happy to provide a nearby, quiet location for the auxiliary meeting needs for OpenWorld attending companies and professionals. Just minutes from the Moscone Center, you can choose from any of the 13 spacious and comfortable meeting rooms, some of which can accommodate groups of up to 100 participants. Our spaces are filling quickly in advance of Oracle OpenWorld, so be sure to contact us now!

Top Tips For Productive Brainstorming

Meetings are a great way to get ideas flowing, and brainstorm together for new and innovative ideas…but how do you ensure productivity? Trying to get everyone on the same page can be difficult, especially when everyone is trying to tap into their creative side.

Though there is no foolproof way to guarantee a productive brainstorm session, here are some tips that might help get things started on the right track, and help you maximize your time together:

Lay Out Aims Early On

Believe it or not, articulating your ideas even before the meeting can really help. It gets everyone in the right frame of mind and sets out expectations early on. A lot of brainstorming sessions tend to be on the fly, and while spontaneity can generate results, why not do some advanced planning.

Before you send out the calendar meeting invite, think about what you really want. Is it just to get some initial ideas, or do you want more concrete actionable steps? Explain this to your invitees in the appointment, so that everyone knows what is expected of them beforehand, and they have some time to prepare.

Ask Everyone To Bring A Few Ideas

On a similar note of advanced notice, ask everyone to come into the meeting with some suggestions or initial thoughts. The key here is to create an inviting, and welcome environment so that everyone is comfortable to share. When you ask for this, make sure to mention that no idea is unwelcome – this will help speed up the ‘sharing’ process a little bit.

With expectations set out beforehand, this gives meeting attendees a clear agenda about what needs to be discussed and gives them time to develop their suggestions for a more organized brainstorm session.

Go Off-Site Every Once In A While

Sometimes, the office can stifle creativity. Everyone is burnt out from their meetings, responsibilities, and tasks…and they just cannot seem to get in the right mindset. If you find that is happening often, it might be a signal that it is time to switch it up.

Go outside for a walk and talk, or for a change of pace all together bring your team meeting to an AMA Executive Conference Center. Sometimes conversations in new environments yield great insight and solutions – why not give it a try?

To learn more about productive meetings and what AMA Executive Conference Centers in Atlanta, New York City, San Francisco and Washington DC have to offer, contact us today.