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Winning The Battle: How Careful Planning & Mutual Respect Delivered Successful Live Martial Arts Tournament During Pandemic

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When Truth Entertainment owners Greg and Toby Ruth rescheduled the 2020 Battle of Atlanta World Karate Championships for the second time due to Covid-19 concerns, the duo knew their prestigious event was facing a fierce adversary.Typically held in June, the 52nd annual Battle of Atlanta, which has been home to some of the greatest fighters the martial arts world has ever known (think Chuck Norris, Jean Claude Van Damme, Joe Lewis and others who have graced its halls), had already been pushed to July. As summer approached and Covid-19 showed no signs of backing down, Greg and Toby made the decision to move their event to September 2020  -- Labor Day weekend – remaining at the original Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel venue.Even after the North American Sports Karate Association (NASKA)World Tour Board of Directors made the decision to cancel its 2020 season in August, Greg and Toby pressed on. Teamwork Makes the Dream Work The Ruths and their incredible team worked tirelessly to commun…

October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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By Courtnie Hicks, Director of Account Management, Connections Housing


Breast Cancer Awareness Month is the annual international health campaign organized by a number of breast cancer charities with one goal in mind – to raise awareness of the disease and funds for ongoing research into the cause, treatments and a cure.2020 has certainly been a strong reminder that we’re all in this together.While many of us are working remotely, the Connections Housing team is coming together virtually to show our support of this very important cause.Pictured here, some members from our West Coast team: (top to bottom): Amy Blankenship, Rosa Gaitan, Lourdes Canduela, Crystal Blake, Sarah Atkinson, Abby Archer, Shawn Woodrich, Kim Ragusa, Dawn Davis, Stephanie Gasca, Marie Tasker, Courtnie Hicks, Anna Vivas-Wicha and Robert Colvin.  There are so many great organizations out there working tirelessly for a cure all year long.  If you’d like to do more or get involved, Charity Navigator has curated a list…

Staying Strong On the Sidelines: Physical & Mental Fitness Tips For Meetings/Events Industry Members

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By Jonathan Misiewicz, Vice President of National Accounts, Connections Housing


Let’s face it, we’re all used to working in a very fast-paced environment. Now, in place of daily deadlines, back-to-back meetings, overflowing email boxes and a seemingly insurmountable to-do list, our industry has been sidelined by coronavirus and the uncertainty in its wake. A temporary set-back to be sure, but it’s left us all waiting - biding our time while looking for signs that business is returning.Mindset ManagementThe key thing to remember is that this return is out of our control.We should turn our focus, instead, to what we can control.Use this down time wisely --zeroing in on those mental and physical aspects of our lives that took a back seat while we were always on the go --and working to strengthen them so that we are ready and at the top of our game when the time comes to get back to work at full throttle. I’m making a conscious effort to focus on healthy living these days and thought I thou…

Making The Decision To Travel: A Resource Guide

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 By Edie Gupton, Travel Services Manager, Connections Housing
As more destinations, hotels and venues reopen, more people are asking if it is safe to travel.  While there’s little question that the travel/hospitality industry is going above and beyond to implement safety protocols to keep guests safe, the answer is not a simple yes or no. Rather, the decision to travel is one we all must make for ourselves right now -- based on our individual circumstances, health concerns and comfort levels.  The good news is that there are several resources you can use to help make an informed decision.  Among them:Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)The CDC website travel pageis a wealth of information –offering everything from a practical list of things to consider before you travel,  helpful FAQs,  travel health notices and post trip safety tips. In addition, the CDC also provides a one-stop resource list with links to all state & territorial health department websites.World Heal…

Back In The Game: Key Takeaways From Our First Live Events Since Covid-19 Shutdown

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 By Tom Bell, Leader of Sports Programs, Connections Housing

Here at Connections Housing, we’re back in the game – managing housing needs for our first live events since the Covid-19 lockdowns began in March 2020.Among them, a series of national baseball tournaments we recently completed for travel teams in age brackets ranging from 15 to 18 for our client, a premier provider of amateur baseball events. The client hosts high quality travel team tournaments and individual showcases throughout the country. Its database and scouting reports, as well as player rankings, have been proven to be a valuable resource for all College Coaches and MLB scouts.Some quick stats.These tournaments:-Ran from late June through July-Ranged in size from 70 to 320 teams-Attracted players, families, scouts, coaches, friends, and fans- Housing needs ranged from team room blocks, special requests, individual reservations, relocations, cancellations and moreKey Takeaways While outdoor events certainly offer differ…

Why Meeting Planners Need Housing Partners

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By Alicia Perez-Arrieta, CMP, Director, Client Management, Connections Housing Before joining Connections Housing, I was a meeting planner for more than 25 years. Throughout my career I worked with groups of all sizes and never once used a housing company for my events. Knowing what I know now I can’t believe it. My life could have been so much easier!
Meeting planners have so much to worry about – from planning a program to making sure the buses are waiting outside. When you partner with a housing provider, you’re adding yet another level of service to your client offerings. Consider:
It’s Complicated.From contracts to those ever-present room poachers and pirates, housing is a multi-faceted part of any event. Your housing partner’s expertise in this channel allows them to really drill down to cover every part of the housing equation so you can focus on other things. We monitor your room blocks and booking patterns. We make sure concessions are built into your contract. We have insights …