Smart Meeting West National fostered new ties, fond memories

What do you call three days of fresh food concepts, team spirit, cardio drumming and the most productive one-on-one appointments on the planet? Smart Meeting West National, that’s what. The last event of the series for 2017 landed Sept. 10 at the beautiful Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point, California. What followed was a cathartic experience unlike any other.


Day 1: Connections Spark

The event began on a sunny day in Dana Point, in Orange County. Attendees were welcomed with a custom shoe -fitting, courtesy of Road Runner Sports. Planners found the perfect shoes based on size and several other measurements. The tour of stunning Monarch Beach Resort included a family-feud style game. The friendly competition instantly sparked connections.

Night brought a magical dinner on the lawn in the still-warm air. An ice sculpture butterfly, live music, a seafood bar, craft cocktails and a playful photo booth truck set the mood. As the sun set, planners selected their complimentary Maui Jim sunglasses and clinked glasses by the champagne cart.

Day 2: Games Unify

After a hearty breakfast buffet, attendees were inspired by mindfulness tips from keynote speaker and cancer survivor Scott Greenberg. He delivered a message that planners know all too well: Although it might be difficult, change is often necessary. Then the clocks began ticking as one-on-one appointments officially commenced. Both planners and suppliers delighted in short, sweet discussions.

For lunch, the group was treated to a healthy gourmet take on vegetables, quinoa and chicken or white fish. But no one could have predicted the entertainment that followed. The Passing Zone, a juggler-comedian duo that had been runner-up on America’s Got Talent, entered the stage. The crowd laughed throughout the humorous, unbelievable show. It’s safe to say that most of the audience had never seen two men juggling chainsaws in pink tutus before.

The energy remained high throughout the afternoon. After a quick transition (and clothing change) the group made their way outside for the team-building activity, led by Destination Concepts. Attendees were exposed to another new thing—flugflag. Teams were assigned and tasked with creating a customized plane (made of craft materials) to spring off their launch-pad. The winners accurately predicted where the plane would land on the paper runway. Each group also was asked to select a theme—which got the creative passions flowing.

Dinner at Casa Romantica offered soft music and lobster on an ocean terrace surrounded by glorious rose bushes, Spanish architectural design and soothing ocean sounds. Wine-tasting became a game in which attendees had to blindly guess which wine was the most expensive (and compare that decision with which one they actually liked best). A sand fortune-teller brought the focus back to a productive future.

Day 3: Farewell Cements New Bonds

Day 3 began with a bang—literally for those who participated in Monarch Beach Resort’s Cardio drumming class. Others opted for outdoor yoga, a peaceful way to welcome the sun rise and upcoming day.

The keynote speaker was our very own author, trainer and executive coach, Steve Sisgold. Attendees were awed by the extensive value of mind-body intelligence that at times can be easily overlooked. That focus flowed into the afternoon’s appointments, where more ideas for transformative meeting venues were shared. Even the break was designed to actively refresh. Massages, aerial yoga (done on a hammock), fresh paninis and a make-your-own trail mix station awaited on the lawn. Everyone left with new connections, ideas for future events and lots of fond memories.

Be sure to attend our next event, Smart Meeting Southwest, on Nov. 9 at Globe Life Park, in Arlington, Texas. Register here.