Colorado offers 26 ski areas and resorts, 12 national parks and monuments, and several natural hot springs for the relaxation seeker in you! Below are some outstanding deals from Breck, Keystone, Southwest Airlines, Winter Park and more.
Southwest Airlines Skis Fly Free: Book your flight with Southwest Airlines and your skis or snowboard fly free to Colorado.
Winter Park Ski Free: Book one night lodging (two night minimum stay) and receive a free adult lift ticket. Stay more nights, get more free tickets. Valid November 17 through December 25, 2010. 800-979-9874
Denver Twice the Fun for the Price of One: The brand new Four Seasons in Denver is offering a package where your companion stays free, which includes a two-night stay, and the second night is complimentary. Dine together in the hotel’s restaurants or make a Spa date, and your companion’s charges are on the Four Seasons. www.fourseasons.com/denver
Keystone Condo Giveaway: With every purchase of a lift ticket, night of lodging, Ski & Ride School lesson and $20 or more at an on-mountain restaurant, you’ll get an exclusive Keystone Scratch Ticket for a chance to win unlimited use of a 2-bedroom condo and other instant prizes like hotel stays, lift tickets, skis, Ski & Ride School lessons and more. Valid November 5 through December 19, 2010. www.keystonecondogiveaway.com
Boulder Ski Escape: The Boulder Ski Escape Package, in conjunction with Eldora Mountain Resort, includes discounted Boulder hotel rooms and lift tickets. Prices start at $67.50 per person, per night. www.boulderskiescape.com
Telluride $89 Stay and Ski: Enjoy three days of skiing the legendary terrain of Telluride Ski Resort, and stay for five nights. Prices start at $89 per person, per night. 800.355.8743 www.visittelluride.com/places-to-stay/packages
Breckenridge Ski Free, Stay Free: Four people can stay four nights in a two-bedroom condo and ski three days during Breckenridge’s early celebration of the holidays. Prices start at $70 per person, per night. Valid November 29 through December 19, 2010. 877-593-5260 www.gobreck.com
Written by: Shadeed Eleazer
Sources: Colorado.com and related sources
Caption: Nothing says “Mandatory Corporate Meeting” like South Florida!
South Florida is heating up as a hotspot this winter with the buzz surrounding the NBA season, the resurgence of the NFL’s Miami Dolphins and the fact that it is traditionally a winter escape for those of us who prefer the heat over the cold.
Treat your clients to the best that the beach has to offer by considering using the Acqualina Resorts as a primary meeting location this winter.
The Acqualina boasts four meeting rooms with an oceanfront view. Meeting organizers can host up to 40 attendees and Event planners have the option to host up to 130 guests with custom tent arrangements.
Meeting rooms are equipped with the following:
*Individual temperature control
*Full audio/video services
*Wireless Internet access
Treat your business partners and clients to at the Costa Grill, a gourmet beach and bar restaurant.
The resort also featured II Mulino New York, highly regarded for its excellent Italian cuisine.
Beautiful Miami Oceanfront View not included with this floor diagram
For weekend conferences, treat your guests to the Bass Museum of Art, Miami’s Design District, South Beach, Miami Seaquarium and much, much more!
I’m always looking for the best locations to host meetings, conferences, and social events. The Acqualina’s combination of close proximity to the best of South Florida combined with world-class business amenities makes this a win-win for me. If you receive a meeting invite held at the Acqualina, the answer is always: I accept!
With the release of Office 365, organizations will now have the ability to leverage the next generation of Microsoft Office suite of applications and collaboration services server platforms in a cost effective platform which will benefit smaller organizations and large organizations with small IT departments.
What do I get with Office 365?
Microsoft Office Professional Plus for the desktop, SharePoint Online, Lync Online,and Microsoft Exchange Online
My organization has BPOS. Does it make sense to purchase Office 365?
Yes. Office 365 is viewed as an enhancement of the services that BPOS customers have purchased.
Existing BPOS customers now will be offered a Transition to Office 365 upgrade path after
Office 365 is available. If you purchase BPOS from now until the release of Office 365, it is recommended that you utilize the new system requirements to ensure a smooth transition.
When can my organization purchase the Office 365 service?
Office 365 will be available in 2011.
Written by: Shadeed Eleazer
The world’s number 1 productivity suite, Microsoft Office has been updated and released for Mac users.
Office for Mac 2011 offers the new Template Gallery which will allow consistency in document production and enables easy selection of templates via an enhanced view of graphics, layouts, and fonts.
PowerPoint 2011 users will have the ability to broadcast their slide show over the World Wide Web.
Other features and add-ins include Excel Web App, which allows access to Excel files from any location
Office Ribbon, Visual Basic to allow programming across Mac and PC platforms.
Sounds great Shadeed. What’s it gonna cost me?
Home and Business = $200
The Home and Student version, or SKU = $120
Academic = $100
Mac users, will the new features of Office for Mac 2011 convince you to make a purchase. Will you remain with OpenOffice for Mac? Leave comments below -or- join me in discussing on Twitter
Written by: Shadeed Eleazer
All screenshots were provided by: Microsoft.com
Manhattan’s Carlton Hotel is delivering gridiron fans a new NFL “Touchdown Package” promotion throughout the fall.
How it Works
Carlton guests will enjoy two nights in a standard room, two tickets to a Giants or Jets game in section 300 or better and a private luxury sedan complete with chauffeur from the hotel to the Meadowlands.
When is this available?
It is available from now (today) until January 2, 2011.
Sounds Great! How much will it cost?
Pricing begins at $455 per sports fan, plus taxes.
Written by: Shadeed Eleazer
Have you considered Sundance Resort for your winter getaway? The House that Robert Redford built is offering a “Ski Free” promotion for all guest of the lodge.
What does this mean?
Guests receive two free passes per day which include both day and night skiing.
Is this offer valid during Sundance Film Festival?
No. January 20th-30th is excluded from this promotion.
What other offers is Sundance promoting?
25% off a 4 night or greater stay from 12/10 – 4/2. Also known as the Early Bird special. Book by: November 15th.
I’m a Beginner. Help!
Sundance’s PSIA Certified Ski School offers specialized workshops and a ski school.
What Suites Are Available?
Mountain Suites are comprised of a master bedroom with queen size bed, a living room, kitchen and dining room. Many Mountain suites offer queen size sofa sleeper or sleeping loft, and either a stone fireplace or wood stove. (45 total)
Sundance Suites are open bay style w/ queen size bed, spacious private bath, a kitchenette and dining area, and either a stone fireplace or wood stove.
Studio Suites are equipped with a queen-size bed, many with stone fireplaces. (20 total)
Mountain Facts (Mount Timpanogos)
Altitude 6,100 Base elevation
8,250 Summit elevation
2,150 Vertical drop (655 meters)
# Lifts 1 quad
2 triple chairs
Runs 45 runs, 20% beginner, 40% intermediate, 40% expert
Skiable Acres 450 acres
Average Snowfall 300” per year (8 meters)
Ski Season Open December 10, 2010
Ski Season Close April 5, 2011
Cross Country 15 kilometers of groomed trails for skating and classic skiing
Ski season is right upon us. Choose wisely!
Written by: Shadeed Eleazer
Source: Sundance Resort
I was a featured speaker at the first SharePoint Saturday Federal event held at Booz Allen in Northern VA.
My topic was Enhancing End User Productivity Leveraging a End User Certification…
Received great feedback from a few great professionals in the SharePoint community.
Check out my SPSDC Federal Recap
There are very few things as a speaker that are more discouraging than low attendance for your workshop, seminar, demo, or presentation. Fact: every speaker paid or otherwise makes a sacrifice. That sacrifice is what bonds us speakers together. Consider the hours spent preparing your topic, traveling by plane, train, or automobile to the event, the nerves that appear in your gut as you are preparing for your session, and the courage it takes to stand in front of total strangers and claim to be an authority on a subject.
What I have outlined below are my tips for making the most out of a low turnout. I have used these strategies over and over again. You may never sell-out an entire stadium like Anthony Robbins or deliver a demo that is newsworthy like Steve Jobs but if you follow these tips, your audience will gain value from attending your sessions.
Bring Your Audience into the Presentation
Smaller audiences mean that you have a chance to include them into your topic.
* Have the audience introduce themselves and their personal scenario relating to your session. Remember or write down their names. Use their scenarios as case studies. As an attendee of your session, I will pay attention 100% if you include me. When you were in High School in a boring class, didn’t you always perk up when the teacher mentioned your name?? Same concept.
While in the midst of the session, keep the following mental cues on the forefront:
* Does this slide relate to a specific person in the room?
* What is the common denominator of each person in my group?
* How can I relate this topic on a human level? Do I have a personal experience that I can share?
Create On-Demand Viewing
We live in an era where searchability = relevance or as I like to call it “The On-Demand Generation”.
The reason people do not attend your sessions could range from lacking a compelling title, inconsistent to nonexistent promotion of your event, or lack of social proof within your industry.
This is OK. If 2 people show up to your event, you need to still deliver a stellar presentation because you now have the tools and technology to deliver for an online audience.
A few low cost On-Demand Strategies
* Screencapture your SlideDeck.
* Record your session using a webcam
* Use microblogging via Twitter to field questions for online audience
For sessions where I have entertained less than 5 people, I will go as far as taking a photo with each and every person, combine that with photos of the better slides within the presentation and re-package that as a Photo Slideshow of that presentation, which is additional On-Demand Content.
This is a low-cost yet advanced strategy that I don’t see enough speakers utilize, especially in Information Tech speaking circles. Sure, its great to promote your blog or social networks during your session but you have a golden opportunity to create a VIP club due to the exclusive setting that having a small group provides. You should (at a minimum) encourage business card exchange at the end of the session.
This is one reason why having attendees introduce themselves is such a huge benefit. If I have mentioned you and your scenario throughout my session, we have built a rapport during that time.
As an attendee, I will feel that it easier to approach the podium after your session and connect with you offline. I also highly recommend having a sign-up sheet that is passed around for signature during the middle of the session.
Why pass around the signature sheet during the middle?
As a speaker, your job is to answer the question “Why am I here?” for each and every attendee during the first 10 minutes of your talk. It is your time to quickly break the ice and establish rapport with your audience. Below
* Conference call follow-up with your attendees delivered within 2 weeks of session
* “Special” webcast themed around your session. Mention your attendees by name & example within this webcast and you’ll gain a friend for life
* Bonus material for those who attended
The average person fears public speaking more than death. The average speaker fears lonely audiences is death. Follow these strategies and the 2 people who attend your session will have a valuable, personalized experience.
What are your thoughts on low audience attendance as a speaker? Share your stories in the comments section below or follow me on Twitter to discuss this topic
What are your thoughts on the Windows Phone 7? For those of you new to the smartphones of the future, is it enough to entice you make the purchase? Will the IPhone and Droid users of today transition over? One thing is for certain, the demo of the new features and functionality was one of Microsoft’s best demos as the software giant is learning to sell the sizzle that will entice current users to get excited about the product launch.
Leave comments about your views on the new Windows Phone 7.
I was on-hand on Saturday October 9th to cover the 3rd Annual Heels 2 Wheels Bike Ride.
What is Heels 2 Wheels?
A charity event that features a women-only motorcycle bike ride that takes place each year in support of Breast Cancer research.
Tony Deville was on-site for the entire day offering Breast Cancer ribbon tattoos for only $20.00
CNN did some filming at the event and Born 2 Ride Magazine also supported the event.
Overall, I enjoyed the event. I had some interesting conversation with bikers from the area, a few breast cancer survivors, and got the chance to check out some very nice bikes at the Harley Davidson store.
What charities do you look to support each year? Do you need a listing of charities in your area? If so, leave comments and I’ll post a directory in your area.
Rock N Roll TV is a Maryland based 1 hour music video television show that airs videos and exclusive interviews from bands ranging from blues to heavy metal. Currently over 300 episodes have aired of the show and it currently is on stations all over the US. View the online community
Written by Shadeed Eleazer
October 8th marked the 1st Executive Insights event in what could become the catalyst for content delivery geared toward the Executive-level for organizations looking to invest in SharePoint.
What is Executive Insights?
A invitation-only breakfast roundtable for key decision makers and executives that was held at the Tysons Corner Ritz-Carlton Hotel.
The event came to fruition because of the challenge of securing long term buy-in at the Executive level when deploying or integrating technologies into the SharePoint platform.
There are many factors that lead to this result centering mostly around the fact that many Execs generally have limited education and insight on the benefits vs. the time and materials needed to deliver success for a SharePoint implementation when compared to other roles and responsibilities within a SharePoint delivery. The purpose of this event was to bring those issues to the forefront via straightforward discussion of SharePoint deployments via case studies from sectors varying from the military to healthcare implementations.
Arpan Shah: Elevating Business Value with Microsoft Work Management Solution
Marie-Michelle Strah, PhD: Case Study: Business Process Re-Engineering and Improved Healthcare Outcomes
Joe Snyder, Case Study: Delivering QA Process Improvement and Savings
Matt Fritts, MPH – Case Study: Healing a Case of Ineffective Process, Document and Project Management
Bill English: Top 10 Best Practices to Ensure SharePoint Success (Screencast Recording)
Dux Raymond Sy, PMP: Panel Discussion featuring all speakers
Key Take-aways from Executive Insights
This event displays the maturity and continued growth of the SharePoint industry by delivering events w/ content that is targeted towards specific sectors of the SharePoint community
The Decision maker’s perspective is vital to the success and long-term adoption of SharePoint
The success of this event indicates that there is a demand for events needs to be an increase of events targeted towards managers
The format of case studies filled with facts/analysis vs. product demonstration proved to be an effective delivery format for the Managers in attendance.
What was your overall impression of Executive Insights?
How will this event enhance communication between technical and managerial teams within your organization?
Social Media follow-up
Twitter has quickly become the most effective means of follow-up for SharePoint professionals.
Below are the Twitter profiles of all attendees referenced under the #eidc hashtag
Written by: Shadeed Eleazer
Create your own video slideshow at animoto.com.