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Insightful TED Talks on Decision Making

We make decisions every day. From the clothes we put on in the morning to the side of the bed we crawl into at night, our days are fraught with decisions. Sometimes, making a choice can be simple, for example, choosing which shoes to wear, or whether to stop for gas on the way to work. Other decisions can be much more complex and daunting. The three TED Talks below offer some unique and refreshing ideas to help put your decision-making process into perspective!

Why We Ignore Obvious Problems – And How To Act On Them

Michele Wucker, an author and policy analyst is an expert on economic policy and crisis anticipation. In her TED Talk, she offers an eye-opening analysis that explores decision making and avoidance through the lens of the 2008 economic crisis. With her explanation of “Black Swan” versus “Gray Rhino” approaches to complex problems, Wucker offers incisive analysis of our very human fear of seemingly overwhelming problems, and suggests solutions through vulnerability, safety nets, and information sharing.

Three Ways To Make Better Decisions – By Thinking Like A Computer

Tom Griffiths is a computational cognitive scientist, so it is no surprise that he suggests we approach decision making by using the same process as a computer. In his TED Talk, Griffiths provides a breakdown of the “computer science of human decisions” for anything from choosing a restaurant for dinner to buying a house. The process, he says, still boils down to numbers. Using the computer science approach, Griffiths doesn’t guarantee that all decisions will be correct, but it does encourage us to take the chance of making the decision regardless, and to forgive ourselves for the inevitable wrong decision.

How Can Groups Make Good Decisions

In their TED Talk, Mariano Sigman and Dan Ariely, experts in psychology, cognitive science, and behavior, explore the process of consensus and decision-making in large groups of people. Through a series of experiments, Sigman and Ariely discovered that group decisions concerning information and even moral decisions were more accurate and reflected a greater consensus when large groups of people were broken down into smaller discussion groups. They conclude that good group decisions require two things: deliberation and differing opinions.

Productive decision making is desirable in all professions. These TED talks will encourage the event professional or meeting specialist to seek greater heights and bigger accomplishments. They will inspire you to learn, reflect and grow in your profession.

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Fall Foodie Favorites In Atlanta

It’s the coziest time of the year again! The leaves are changing colors and summer fare is shifting into hearty autumn meals. Pull on a sweater, grab a scarf, and get ready for these Top 5 Fall Foodie Favorites in Atlanta:

Porch Light Latin Kitchen
Gathering around the porch light is a time honored tradition on chilly autumn nights. Chef Andre Gomez brings the feeling of a firefly evening to hungry diners with an array of Puerto Rican inspired cuisine. A scratch kitchen, Porch Light uses freshly made local ingredients. The Cumin Spiced Saint Louis Ribs are a must try, best paired with Rum Glazed Sweet Plantains. Family friendly atmosphere, foodie worthy eats.

Kimball House
Kimball House offers an array of ‘food and drinks that reflect the seasons, farms, and personalities of the people preparing them.’ The welcoming ambiance is reminiscent of an Old English Pub. Fresh vegetables decorate the many salad options available, highlighting festive fall produce. For the 21 and over crowd, seasonal cocktails and absinthe are available. The Kimball House features a Raw Bar Happy Hour every Monday through Friday from 5:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M.

O4WP Pizza
Home of the famous Grandma Pie, O4WP is the coziest, neighborhood pizzeria in Atlanta. New Jersey native, Anthony Spina, boasts a philosophy of cheesy, satisfying simplicity. Local ingredients and handcrafted, rectangular pizza pies are sure to please the entire family. For an added treat, try a round of Fried Meatballs.

Bread & Butterfly
This cute cafe boasts a Parisian inspired decor. Serving bistro style fare from breakfast to dinner, Bread & Butterfly perfects the art of culinary simplicity. Stop in for an autumn brunch, with fresh brewed espresso, avocado on toast, and a stack of pancakes.

Wrecking Bar Brewpub
Celebrate harvest time with freshly farmed ingredients from the nearby Wrecking Bar and sip on one of 15 beers on tap. The Wrecking Bar Brewpub utilizes a seven barrel brewing system in crafting a rotating selection of lagers, stouts, and porters. Did we mention the bar sits in the cellar of a Victorian mansion? A haunting treat for your palette awaits, just in time for fall!

AMA Executive Conference Centers is here for your business meetings and corporate conferences in Atlanta. Our AMA Atlanta Center is just minutes from the Midtown arts and cultural district, as well as Piedmont Park. Host planning meetings, board retreats, focus groups, or corporate events at our center, conveniently located in midtown Atlanta’s Proscenium Office Building. With rooms perfect for meetings for up to 120 people, rental of our Atlanta area Center includes equipment and staff to help your meeting go off without a hitch. To find out more about how AMA can help make your next meeting in Washington DC, Atlanta, San Francisco or New York City a success, contact us today.

The Best Ways to Experience NYC’s Central Park this Fall

Fall time in the northeastern United States is welcoming, cozy, and full of beauty. New York City is no exception, with brilliant weather, beautiful scenery, and a plethora of things to do. And as one of the city’s premiere gems, Central Park is the ideal place to catch some of the fall time fun.

Central Park Fun Facts

During the mid-1800s, New York City citizens created a plan to establish public grounds within the city that would rival any other across the world. The project was finalized, passed, and began in 1853 when the city acquired more than 700 acres of land for the job.

Central Park opened to the public in 1859 but continued expanding until 1863. As the first landscaped public park in the country, it is also one of the largest and most beautiful; consisting of an astounding 843 acres. More than 42 million people visit its attractions, events, and general splendor each year. Whether it’s winter, spring, summer or fall, Central Park is the place to be in NYC.

Must-See Happenings at Central Park this Fall

Places to Take in the Foliage
With all that acreage and beautiful landscape, Central Park is the perfect place to see the amazing colors and foliage that autumn provides. A few places in particular might be ideal places for finding inspiration, taking a little hike, or planning an event. Try checking out magnificent Belvedere Castleor take a stroll down 38-acres of lush woodlands and majestic nature at The Ramble.

Bring Your Furry Friend Along
Thousands of people walk their dogs in Central Park every day, but when autumn comes around, the dogs come out in droves. Bring your furry friends with you to the park to get in on games, connecting, contests, and more when you attend the My Dog Loves Central Park Fair in late-October.

Visit the Zoo
The Central Park Zoo is open year-round, but fall time is one of the best times of the year to go. Not only is the foliage spectacular, but it’s the perfect weather for walking around and seeing more active animals. Whether you’re there with your family or planning an event for your company, the zoo can offer beauty, fun, and some education.

Get in the Halloween Spirit
Central Park becomes a fall time wonderland around Halloween and if you’re looking for the perfect spooky-cool event, try taking advantage of the Halloween Pumpkin Flotilla. A few days before Halloween, you can take part in festivities like pumpkin carving, costume parades and contests, and the Flotilla. People from all over the world come to see the Pumpkin Flotilla, where pumpkin after pumpkin floats across the water and lights up the sky. An ‘Instagram-worthy’ event to attend!

Take a Tour
If you’re unsure of where to go to see the best fall foliage or simply want to see it all, try taking a tour. There is a variety of Central Park guided tours that can work with both large and small groups. It’s the ideal season for these guided tours and each fall tour is designed to show you the very best parts of the park, though personalized tours can be provided.

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.

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.

Tips for Building Better Relationships With Your Co-Workers

In business as in life, it’s impossible to make it alone. This is even truer if you frequently work on team projects or team coordinated meetings and events. Having good relationships with others ultimately makes you happier, more productive, and can help you get ahead in your career. Use these simple (yet effective) tips below to improve your interpersonal relationships and get along better with your coworkers!

Be Friendly and Courteous

When trying to improve your office relationships, start with the simple steps. Say hello or smile at others when you walk down the hallway. Simple exchanges like these can show your coworkers that you are a warm and kind person, which is the ideal foundation to build a friendship on.

Learn to Communicate Effectively

There are two parts to effective communication: sharing your thoughts clearly and respectfully and listening actively. When talking to someone else, try to be polite, get your point across succinctly, and, most importantly, think about what you’re going to say before you open your mouth. Practice active listening techniques like being attentive, asking open-ended questions, and staying engaged in the conversation.

Show Gratitude

Another way to strengthen your relationships with your other coworkers is by showing your gratitude. If someone helps you, no matter how large or small the task, show your appreciation for them and their work. Say ‘thank you’ and compliment the people you work with when they do a good job.

Stay Away From Gossip

Though gossiping about other coworkers can be a fast way to connect with others, it will only hurt your relationships in the long term. Instead of gossiping about someone in the group, speak to them directly about the problem you are experiencing. Talking about the issue behind their back will only make the problem worse and will make you look less trustworthy. Confront your issues kindly and openly so you and your coworkers can all move forward and improve.

AMA Executive Conference Centers are experts at planning professional meetings and gatherings. Visit an AMA Center in one of four convenient locations: Atlanta, New York City, Washington DC and San Francisco. For more great resources and ideas for your upcoming meetings contact us at AMA Executive Conference Centers!