Choose Chicago chooses GMS as exclusive DMC

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Choose Chicago, Chicago’s Convention and Visitors Bureau, invited GMS to take part in the bureau’s inaugural sales mission to Asia.

Acknowledging the significance of this emerging market, GMS seized the opportunity to take part in the sales mission to China, that took place from January 27 to February 4, 2013, with the hope of encouraging more travel to Chicago through stronger partnerships with key operators in the region.

“This sales mission provides an unprecedented opportunity for GMS to be among the first businesses to leverage those relationships,” GMS CEO Hanson Ansary said in an interview. GMS will be joining Choose Chicago on their very first sales mission to China—a trip that coincides with the world-famous Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Asian tour.

China is the fastest-growing travel market on the planet. Last year, Chicago and Illinois welcomed about 107,000 visitors from the People’s Republic of China and Hong Kong. Our guests from the East stayed an average of eight nights. (Eight just happens to be considered a very lucky number in China.) They spent nearly $6,000 per person, which produced an economic impact of about $642 million.

An impressive 35% of those Chinese tourists were visiting the United States for the first time. This statistic represents a significant opportunity for GMS to assist this rapidly developing segment of Chinese outbound travelers. Even with its excellent representation in China and Asia at large, GMS recognizes the importance of establishing more direct relationships in the region.

Asked about Asia’s growing needs for U.S.-based destination management services, Ansary said, “We are increasingly shifting our business focus to Asia, where we see tremendous opportunities for our industry and our company. Many of our clients are coming from Asia, and their preferred destination for many of their upcoming incentive programs and corporate meetings is Chicago.”

Do not Overlook the Value of a DMC

Too often we hear businesses tell us that they will be arranging their own event details this year. While we try to explain why that it is not in their best interest, they do not always come around. But eventually they do. That is because the know-how, industry relationships, and efficiency just isn’t there. It doesn’t take long for that to become painfully evident, and our clients always return, relieved to have their travel and meeting arrangements handled by professionals.

Group Travel is Our Expertise

We’ve been coordinating and managing corporate events, meetings, and custom trips for 15 years. Through that time, we’ve honed our skills, know-how, destination knowledge, and instincts. These include our ability to negotiate and lock down discounted rates; identify local activities within each destination; book groups for flights, charters, and cruises; manage staff and vendors; navigate security, health, and monetary requirements; and much more.

We Know Where Savings are Hiding

Over the years, we’ve also learned how to obtain the greatest value for our clients’ trips. Not a single vendor is going to disclose every available discount. It takes years of experience to know what prices are attainable through negotiation. Hotel contracts are usually fair, but we can spot language that exposes our clients to hidden fees and liabilities. Attrition and cancellation policies, force majeure clauses, and hotel performance clauses are just a few of the pitfalls that we look out for.

We Have Connections

Oftentimes, every moving part of a group event does not fit perfectly together. Priorities change, weather is unpredictable, and human error will occur—particularly when the coordinators are inexperienced. When this happens, we rely on the strength of our connections in the hospitality and travel industries to circumvent any gross fines while fixing the problem at hand. It’s an approach to problem-solving that in-house HR professionals simply can’t match.

We will Save You Time

Some companies take a myopic approach to the cost-benefit analysis of hiring a destination management company. They might only consider the dollar figures, while they ignore what strategies, relationships, and resources are additionally required to manage a successful event. Often, companies don’t consider their employees’ core competencies: Rather than learning how to coordinate an event on the fly, what skills could these employees be using that they already possess?

As your company ventures into 2013, surely saving money and getting the most out of your employees are top priorities. While it might be tempting to apply a do-it-yourself strategy to event planning and corporate travel, we suggest you take a closer look at the hidden costs of striking out on your own. In the end, an experienced event planning and destination management company will save you time and money while creating unforgettable experiences.

It is the Most Christmassy Town in the World

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You probably do not need to be reminded that the holiday season is in full swing. There is no shortage of potential destinations for celebrating your familys holiday traditions, but the most important thing is that you are with family and loved ones.

If, however, you were wondering what the most Christmassy town in the world is, we’ve found it: Santa Claus, Indiana, where it’s Christmas 365 days a year.

The story of how this tiny town in Indiana came to be named Santa Claus is a good one:

In the early 1800’s, pioneers settled a small town in the gently rolling hills of Southern Indiana, originally naming it Santa Fe (pronounced “fee”). In the 1850’s the town’s application for a post office was denied, because another town with the same name already had a post office. On Christmas Eve, as services concluded in the small log church, the townspeople decided to stay and hold their final town meeting of the year. The only order of business, selecting a new name for the town, was not going very well. Suddenly a gust of wind blew open the door to the church, and sleigh bells were heard in the distance. “Santa Claus!” exclaimed the excited children, providing the inspiration for the town’s new name. On May 21, 1856, the U.S. Post Office Department approved a post office in the newly-renamed town of Santa Claus, Indiana.

So should you ever find yourself in, say, July humming “Jingle Bells” and wondering where to go for a quick fix of Christmas spirit, you now know that you can find it year-round in southwest Indiana. Here are just a few Yuletide highlights that you’ll find in Santa Claus, Indiana.

Santa’s Candy Castle

The first building in Santa Claus Town was Santa’s Candy Castle, a red brick building that looked as though it had been lifted from the pages of a fairytale. It was sponsored by The Curtiss Candy Company, creators of the Baby Ruth and Butterfinger candy bars, who were famous for their larger-than-life advertising campaigns. Santa’s Candy Castle was dedicated amidst tremendous fanfare on the cold, snowy day of December 22, 1935.

With broadcast television still years away, the formal dedication ceremony was broadcast live by radio station WGBF of Evansville. Thousands attended the dedication including national business leaders, politicians, and most importantly, many very excited young children. The grand affair marked the opening of Santa Claus, Indiana’s first tourist attraction and the first themed attraction in the United States.

The bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941 shocked the nation, and tourism to Santa’s Candy Castle sharply declined. Formally closed in the 70s, Santa’s Candy Castle wasn’t reopened until 2006 after a family purchased it and began restorations. Those restorations still continue today, but Santa’s Candy Castle remains free and open to the public, just as it was in 1935. Inside, you’ll find plenty of candy, chocolate, and gifts.

Learn more at www.santascandycastle.com.

Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari

Santa Claus Land, today known as Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari, opened on August 3, 1946. Free to the public, the park had a Santa, toys, dining, and rides, including The Freedom Train, which still runs today. By the 1980’s, the theme park had added many more rides for children and their parents, plus two entirely new sections: Halloween and Fourth of July. With more holidays than just Christmas represented, the name of the park was officially changed to Holiday World. In 1993, the Splashin’ Safari water park was added.

Holiday World is known for its three wooden roller coasters: The Raven, The Legend, and The Voyage (ranked as the best roller coaster in the world by the Golden Ticket Awards). Some of the more popular rides at Splashin’ Safari today include Giraffica, Wildebeest (the world’s second-largest water coaster), and Mammoth (the world’s longest water coaster at 1,763 feet long).

Learn more at www.holidayworld.com.

More activities and lodging options in Santa Claus, Indiana:

Green Travel Practices, Tips, and Considerations

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Travel can be rewarding, educational, and inspirational. And it is always really fun. But with all that comes responsibility. While it can be easy to think of the world as one giant amusement park, it is not. One persons destination is another persons home.

At GMS, it’s our duty to be sure that we’re leading the charge in green travel practices. We identify eco-friendly options and local cultural norms for our clients to consider whenever we can. Below are the major components of any travel program, along with a few environmentally conscious points your company can reference the next time it ventures out of town.

Transportation

  • If possible, get everyone on a bus or train on your way there.
  • Carpool when you have to.
  • Use public transportation when you can.
  • Reduce idling and be conservative with the AC.
  • Check the fuel efficiency of the vehicle.

Hotels

  • See if they use high-efficiency lighting.
  • Is the building LEED-certified?
  • Does the staff practice water-saving procedures?
  • Check for energy-saving appliances.
  • Every hotel should have a recycling program.

Venues

  • Do they provide reusable dishware?
  • Every venue should have a recycling program.
  • Avoid water bottles—see if they offer alternatives.
  • Is the venue location easy to access by public transport?
  • See if they have programs in place for excess food, whether it is donated or composted.

We at GMS are always working with our partners to reduce our carbon footprint. Having enjoyed so many natural treasures across the world with our clients, we feel extremely lucky. We are truly indebted to our planet and the locals who make every trip unique.

In addition to considering our impact on the environment, GMS always chooses to patronize local businesses when possible. Buying local allows our clients to partake in a region’s culture while also ensuring that those local businesses are supported—so that we can visit them next time!

Global Management Services Reaches for the Stars!

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Los Angeles, CA. Global Management Services, Inc. (GMS), the leader in destination and event management services in North America, was recognized by Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp. as one of the top 10 performing companies in 2012.

Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp. identified Global Management Services, Inc. as a valued client and GMS was, therefore, invited to attend the “Reach for the Stars” weekend in Los Angeles with a VIP access to the glamor-filled American Music Awards. The 2012 AMA aired live on November 18th from Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. The AMA honors and showcases the contemporary music scene. The show featured over 15 performances and award presentations across all music categories.

In announcing the recognition by Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp., GMS president Hanson Ansary said in an interview “We are very honored to be recognized by D&B Credibility Corp. and we value our partnership with that organization.” GMS is a recognized innovator in management philosophies and a leader in the hospitality industry.

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Download our free destination management eBook!

We hope you have enjoyed reading about our clients latest travels across the world through our new blog. It has been a lot of fun for us to relive these adventures – so fun that we have compiled some of these travel stories into a beautiful new eBook!

To download the eBook, simply fill out the form in the upper-right corner of the home page. You’ll also be subscribed to our biweekly e-newsletter, which will keep you up to date with our latest travels and tips. But if you just want the eBook, no worries–it’s easy to unsubscribe!

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So please join us as we salsa in Miami, cruise the Hudson in New York, tear up the desert in Vegas, mingle at a speakeasy in Chicago, and explore underground tunnels in Vietnam!

Click here for the homepage, where you can get your free eBook!

 

GMS to lend a hand to clients affected by Sandy

For Immediate Release

November 1, 2012

Global Management Services, Inc. announced today that in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, it has taken concrete measures to address its clients emergency needs on the East Coast. The company issued a press release indicating that it has dispatched a few experienced emergency management personnel to New York to meet with each and every one of its clients there to ensure that they are safe; and to address the clients’ specific and urgent needs, if any. In issuing the press release, the company president Hanson Ansary said in an interview “our primary objective is always the safety of our clients and their wellbeing in face of such natural disasters as Sandy. We will,” he continued, “endeavor to do whatever is required of us to make sure our clients are taken care of and are not in need of any emergency support.”

For nearly fifteen years, corporate event planners looking for a reliable event management company have found a partner in GMS. As an international event planning company with insider access to destinations all over the world, GMS handles the logistics of large-scale events including transportation, accommodation, venue selection, meals, and entertainment options down to the finest detail. No matter the scale or destination, “our deepest pleasure has always been delivering experiences that our clients will be talking about for years,” according to a company spokesman.

“Under the circumstances,” said Ansary, “our primary goal is now to lend a hand to our clients on the East Coast as we have done in previous natural calamities.” As one of the leading international event planning companies, at any given point in time, GMS has programs under way in many location in the world including a few on the East Coast of the United States at the moment.

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Our Four Favorite Tours in Quebec City

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Few of our clients have ever been to Quebec City, which is surprising, given its thriving culture, natural beauty, and rich history (Founded in 1608, it is the oldest city in North America, where the French first settled on this continent). For those who need an introduction to the capital of the Province of Québec, we recommend embarking on at least one guided tour.

Here’s a list of our four favorite tours in Quebec City:

The City Tour

This casual introductory tour of Old Québec helps newcomers get their bearings in the historic heart of French Canada. The city’s old-world atmosphere is lined with narrow streets, steep hills, and a number of historical treasures on the banks of the St. Lawrence River.

Highlights

  • Old Québec
  • Place-Royale
  • Plains of Abraham
  • Place d’Armes
  • Chateau Frontenac
  • Ramparts of Québec City

The Carriage Tour

For those who prefer to take in the sights while sitting back in a horse-drawn carriage, this tour is for you. This traditional means of transportation is the perfect way to get lost in the history of Québec City.

Highlights

  • Parliament Hill
  • Fontaine de Tourny
  • Armoury
  • Parc des Champs de Bataille
  • Jardin Jeanne d’Arc
  • Martelo towers
  • The Sacrifice Cross

The Québec River Cruise

Gliding along the St. Lawrence River is the best way to take in both the architectural and natural beauty of Cap Diamant, the cape that forms Québec City.

Highlights

  • Orléans Island
  • Montmorency Falls
  • Cap Diamant
  • Château Frontenac
  • Île d’Orléans Bridge

The Shopping Tour

Whether looking for a souvenir, a gift, or just some new clothes, this tour is for you. It all takes place at Les Galeries de la Capitale, a 1,500,000 sq-ft shopping mall with 280 stores and 35 restaurants. It goes without saying that there’s something for everyone, including an indoor amusement park with a rollercoaster and skating rink for the kids.

Highlights

  • Mega-Parc
  • 280 stores
  • 35 restaurants

Winter in Québec

And for the hardy, there is always Québec’s famed winter festival. Celebrate winter in one of the coldest cities in North America with all the trimmings of bash to be remembered all the way through next spring!

Our Five Favorite Buildings in Downtown Chicago

Chicago is world-renowned for its architecture. In fact, Chicago is home to the first skyscraper ever built. Ever since, the city that we are proud to call home has been a hotbed of innovative design. Just walking to our offices is its own architecture tour. So we’ve compiled our top-five favorite buildings in downtown. (Spoiler Alert: Neither Willis nor Hancock made the list.)

Marina CityMarina_City

Architect: Bertrand Goldberg

Address: 300 N. State Street

 

 

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Architect: Frank Gehry

Address: 201 E. Randolph Street

 

carbon-carbide1Carbide & Carbon Building

Architects: Daniel and Hubert Burnham

Address: 230 N. Michigan Avenue

 

 

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Architects: Joachim G. Giaver and Frederick P. Dinkelberg

Address: 35 E. Wacker Drive

 

Chicago_Federal_CenterKluczynski Federal Building

Architect: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Address: 230 South Dearborn Street

Sausalito, Alcatraz, and the USS Hornet in San Francisco

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Every year, a multinational consumer goods company invites executives from its Brazilian client-companies to a new destination. While the location always changes, the cities all share one thing in common; they are hotbeds of education and innovation.

This year, the Brazilians made the trip to San Francisco. The educational portion of the trip revolved around two major institutions: Google and Stanford. The Brazilians toured the busy Google offices in Mountain View before visiting Stanford, where they took in two days’ worth of industry-relevant speakers and sessions.

There were, however, still some exciting times to be had in San Francisco. Here are a few highlights:

Art in Sausalito

They say that Sausalito is why they built the Golden Gate Bridge. An easy drive from San Francisco, the bayside city is famous for its thriving art scene. Whether you’re looking to invest in premium works of art or just pick up some funky local creations to remember your trip by, Sausalito has it.

Dinner at Alcatraz

From the beautiful island of Sausalito, we chartered a ferry to the notorious prison-island of Alcatraz. We toured the grounds of The Rock, visited the cells of famous inmates such as Al Capone, and were eventually led to the prison’s hospital. While a prison hospital is not the first place you’d expect to have a nice dinner, this former inmate treating room was transformed into a first-class dining room.

History onboard the USS Hornet

We had our final gala dinner aboard the USS Hornet, a decommissioned aircraft carrier. Having participated in World War II and the Apollo 11 space mission, the legendary aircraft carrier is now also a museum. We explored the ship’s many decks, and got up close to the classic propeller aircraft, jets, and helicopters throughout.

Especially intriguing for international visitors, San Francisco is a microcosm of the United States. It offers art, history, dining, and entertainment, in addition to some of the most forward-thinking companies and universities in the world. Our Brazilian friends enjoyed themselves immensely, and many wondered why they’d never visited this vibrant City by the Bay before.