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Three Ways to Manage Your Stress During the Holidays

Holidays are made fun with lively music and decor, opportunities to visit friends and families, and, of course, time off from work. But let’s face it, winter holidays can also be extremely stressful, more than any other time of year.

So how can you take charge of your workday and ease the pressure of this time of year? Here are a few strategies to help you enjoy the year right up to the end, frazzle-free.

Stay Organized By Bookending Your Days:

If you want to reduce your stress load during the holidays, you need to plan ahead. One of the best ways to do that is to take 5-10 minutes at the beginning and end of the day to write down what you plan to achieve for the day, and assess whether or not you achieved it.

When you first wake up, don’t check your phone, social media, or the news. Instead spend a few minutes clarifying your top 3-5 tasks for the day, and writing them down. At night, before you go to sleep, review how things went and think ahead for the next day. Stay ahead of the ever-growing task list in November and December.

Say No and Focus On What You REALLY Want:

With the holidays around the corner, your ‘to do’ list is bound to get longer, and often others are bound to try to lighten their load by putting their tasks on your list. Saying “no” is a must during this time of year, but you might feel uncomfortable doing so. You don’t want to appear rude or burn any bridges. How can you create healthy boundaries?

First, focus on what really matters to you. Write down your priorities so that you have them in tangible form. When people ask you to take on responsibilities that do not align with your number one goals, respectfully decline them without beating around the bush, delaying, or otherwise indicating that you are “considering it.”

Be firm, be respectful, don’t be afraid to say no twice if you must, without getting irritated. People will eventually get the message.

Reduce Interruptions:

Except for when it is necessary for work purposes, get into the habit of keeping your phone off and out of reach. Give yourself permission to work in new environments if you need to put some physical space between yourself and potential interrupters, and let your colleagues, friends, and family know what times you are available to them, and when you need time to focus on your tasks.

The holidays can be stressful, but they needn’t be, not if you stay conscientious of the way you manage your time, energy, and interactions with others. And when you reduce your stress level you will better be able to better enjoy celebrating with the people you care about.

AMA Executive Conference Centers offer some of the industry’s best executive meeting and conference venues. We work to help companies and corporate planners across the U.S. facilitate meetings with the best possible outcomes. Contact us today to see how we can help in planning your next meeting in AtlantaNew York, the Washington DC area or San Francisco. No matter what the season, we’re here to help.

Top 4 TED Talks on Collaboration for the Meeting & Event Professionals

There is strength in numbers. Amazing things happen when we work together and this is especially true with meeting and event professionals. The following TED Talks are some of the best conversations on the topic of collaboration – enjoy!

How to Manage for Collective Creativity

Linda Hill, the co-author of “Collective Genius” and a Harvard professor, discusses the tactics used by very successful companies in this TED talk on collaboration. She  opens up about her research into how these businesses tapped their own resources to benefit the most from collaboration and everyone’s input, not just the designated creative ones of the company.

What Happened When I Open-Sourced My Brain Cancer

This TED talk really spotlights the power of collaboration. When faced with a very difficult medical situation, Salvatore Iaconesi made the decision not to stand by and watch. He would not allow himself to be passive, but instead turned to the world and the power of people to overcome a dismal diagnosis.

The Case For Collaborative Consumption

A recognized expert and researcher of collaborative behaviors and trust-mechanics, Rachel Botsman explains that humans are wired to share. The way we live, work and play are changing. These once crazy ideas of sharing and collaborating are now gaining momentum. Enjoy watching Rachel’s TED talk on technology-enabled collaboration and their effect on us.

A Conservative’s Plea: Let’s Work Together

This TED talk discusses ways we can make a difference in a segregated world. It goes into detail on what each of us can do individually to make an impact together. Arthur Brooks breaks down the walls between liberals and conservatives. He shares his ideas that will stop the battle of the sides and usher in the collaboration. Arthur Brooks is the President of the American Enterprise Institute, and an active social scientist.

Meeting planners and professionals have the opportunity to work collaboratively each day. This includes working alongside other professionals as they are planning a big meeting or brainstorming with their own clients. These TED talks share incredible ideas on how to improve this partnership and how to tap this underrated resource. Remember: there is strength in numbers!

The Benefits Of A Digital Detox For Meeting Professionals

Considering the benefits of a digital detox?
Phones, tablets, computers, television…there’s no denying these screens play a big part of our daily lives. We check our smart devices when we’re killing time, texting with friends, even ordering food. While these tools can be useful for socializing and networking, is there such a thing as “too much” screen time? It can be a struggle to cut ourselves off completely, especially those like meeting professionals with jobs in the business world. The good news is that you don’t have to quit cold turkey: taking even a small digital detox can have great benefits for your health!

A Fresh Perspective

A digital detox allows us to stop worrying about keeping up our online persona and to focus on how we come across offline. It’s a good time to examine your priorities without being distracted by a screen. You may set a new fitness goal for yourself, or finally get around to cleaning your house. You may find that your mood will improve as well: some research shows that prolonged time on social media can increase the odds of depression.

Improved Focus

You’re a very busy person, and you’ve learned that multitasking is the best way to get things done. With the constant stream of information coming in from emails, social media, and other digital distractions, we can find ourselves a bit bogged down and our productivity suffers as a result. Cutting yourself off from the screen will help you be able to do your job more efficiently.

Improved Sleep

If you’re responding to business emails late into the night, your sleep is probably suffering as a result. Continuous exposure to blue light can lead to insomnia or waking up groggy and irritable. For a better night’s sleep, it is recommended to avoid all screens at least two hours before you go to sleep. You can’t work well without proper rest!

A digital detox is a great way to relieve stress and give your brain a rest in a hectic, digital world. Click here to contact our AMA Conference Center team today for more tips about improving success through meetings, conferences, retreats, focus groups and more.

Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone to Achieve Success

The fear of stepping out into the unknown is limiting the majority from realizing success in various aspects of their lives. You need to understand that it is impossible to achieve your dreams without overcoming the fears within, and taking risks. Most people are okay with their comfort zone, which hinders them from achieving success.

Here are some tips for meeting and event professionals who wish to step out of their comfort zone, in pursuit of success:

Begin with Baby Steps

Jumping out of your comfort zone in pursuit of your dream as an event professional is not a good idea. If you want to minimize the chances of failure, you need to exercise some caution when taking risks. Event and meeting professionals who start off with baby steps as they try to get out of their comfort zone have shown a higher rate of achieving success.

The desire to rise in your career fast is sometimes overwhelming, and it may force some individuals to return to their comfort zone when they fail to realize what they are pursuing. If you wish to reach your career goals with a solid foundation, consider stepping out of your comfort zone by taking baby steps at the initial stages.

View Failure As A Teacher

“Experience is the best teacher” goes the adage, but you can also learn a lot through failure. Organizing meetings and events is not a simple task, and the successful completion of activities is not a guarantee. If things fail to turn out as you expect after a specific meeting, take time to consider what you need to adjust, and any missing details you need to examine. Viewing failure as a teacher is a great approach to success for meeting and event professionals.

Embrace Discomfort

Professionals in the meeting industry interact with various professionals from time to time, and engaging particular individuals for the first time is a challenge at times. It is okay to feel uncomfortable when networking or working with new people on projects, but if you want to grow as an event professional, you need to get comfortable with discomfort.

Withstanding the discomfort of being around new faces for the first time for a longer time than usual, and embracing the challenge by practicing some more, will make you feel less uncomfortable. The short-term activity of embracing discomfort will eventually have you realizing success as a meeting and event professional.

Streamline Your Workflow and Planning Projects With Trello

The devil is in the details when it comes to meeting and event planning. No matter the size of your event, everyone involved needs to be on the same page at all times. Trello is the web-based tool we think is a hidden gem in our industry – one that you need to keep projects organized and on schedule.

How Trello Works

Trello functions like a digital whiteboard to share lists and tasks with your team members. Create a board for each project, then populate it with lists to complete each step of your workflow. The tasks on each list are called cards.  Your collaborators can add comments, checklists, due dates, files, weblinks, or more to these cards. Through labels and color coding, your lists will create clear and straight forward steps to achieve project goals.

By using Trello, all your notes, versions, and attachments are centralized in one place for easy access. Trello works with multiple operating systems and seamlessly transitions across devices through the app. Trello even integrates tools you might already be using, like Dropbox and Google Docs.

Latest Features

Trello Team Playbooks
Team Playbooks are ‘ready to go’ board templates. Whether you are marketing an event, planning a wedding, or tracking your personal productivity, Trello has a helpful board set up for you. Use Team Playbooks to take the guess work out of creating your first project with the program.

Get the most out of Trello by integrating with Slack, Google Drive, and much more. Unleash the power of custom fields, calendars, or even BlueJeans Meetings by customizing the Trello with Power-Ups.

Trello Users

While many large companies – including Google and National Geographic – use Trello, the application is scalable to any size event or team. Whether you’re planning a major corporate convention or the regular weekly team meeting, jump into using Trello to organize your workflow. Contact us to learn more about how you can use Trello to plan your next event.

At AMA Executive Conference Centers, we are passionate about helping event and meeting planners maximize their time and improve their work-life harmony. Click here for more information about our executive meeting services and conference centers in Atlanta, New York City, San Francisco and Washington DC.

Top Meetings and Event Newsletters Delivered Right To Your Inbox

We know the importance of keeping up with the rapid evolution of the meetings and event industry. That’s why we’ve created this list of top publications that can be delivered right to your email inbox. Keep up with the latest news, trends, and tips, and stories by subscribing to these industry-specific newsletters:

This daily newsletter, from the Northstar Meetings Group, will deliver the latest news, research, and technology trends straight to your email. 55,000 plus subscribers rely on MeetingNews to keep them up-to-date on the latest industry topics. Click here to subscribe.

Successful Meetings Tip of the Day
Successful Meetings’ How-To Tip of the Day is a daily publication that will provide you with one daily business tip to help you grow in your profession and inspire you to succeed. Click here to subscribe.

Smart Meetings Magazine
This weekly newsletter is the winner of two email publication awards– the 2015 Best Niche eNewsletter and the 2016 Maggie Award for Best Web eNewsletter. The publication provides you with current industry news every week.

M&C Wellness Tip
While out there planning and organizing meetings and events, don’t forget to take your health into consideration. M&C Wellness Tip of the Week newsletter delivers health tips and advice to keep ‘you and your attendees’ healthy! Click here to subscribe.

M&C Hot Ideas
With M&C’s Hot Idea of the Day newsletter, you’ll have access to hot and fresh new ideas for your next meeting. Click here to subscribe.

Crain’s Business Alerts Newsletter
Business newsletters aren’t often as tailored to your needs as Crain’s are. Their newsletter subscription page lets you customize your subscriptions, choosing from ten Crain’s business alerts newsletters, and up to 25 separate industries you’d like to hear about. Click here to subscribe.

PCMA News Junkie
The PCMA organization aims to educate and inform the meetings and events industry. Their knowledgeable newsletters are a great source for helping you excel in your position. Seven newsletters (daily to weekly to monthly) provide the most relevant news, advice, and stories in the industry. Click here to subscribe.

Remain informed, inspired, and ahead with these top-rated industry newsletters. For more insights and industry resources, connect with AMA Executive Conference Centers at one of four of our convenient locations: Atlanta, New York City, Washington DC and San Francisco. 

Special Spring Offers at AMA Executive Conference Centers


Book Now: $500 per day for meeting space for any Atlanta Center conference or meeting being held in March and/or May 2019. Includes: basic meeting package for up to 16 people.*

Click here to learn more about our AMA Atlanta Conference Center.


Limited Time Offer: Take 20% off package rates for meetings held in March 2019. Plus, if you hold a March meeting, receive 10% off package rates for meetings held April through December 2019.*

Click here to learn more about our AMA San Francisco Conference Center.


March Renovation Special: Check out our newly renovated space and get 40% off meeting package rates for your March 2019 meetings. Promotion applicable to meeting package rates only and apply only to meetings held at the AMA DC area Conference Center.*

Click here to learn more about AMA Washington D.C. Conference Center.

*Offers are subject to space availability and certain restrictions apply:

Offer applicable to AMA Center in Atlanta: $500 per day for meeting space for any meetings being held in February, March and/or May 2019. Includes: Basic meeting package for up to 16 people. Restrictions: Meeting room size up to 812 square feet.

Offer applicable to AMA Center San Francisco only: 20% off valid for meeting packages only for meetings held in February 2019 or March 2019. Additional meetings booked receive 10% off package rates for meetings held April 2019 through December 27, 2019.

For AMA DC Area Center: 40% off applicable to meeting package rates only and only applicable to meetings held at AMA National Landing (DC area) only.

For Atlanta, Washington DC, and San Francisco: discounts not valid on previously booked business and not applicable to catering or additional A/V services or equipment. Not to be combined with any other offers or discounts.