Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

Things to do in Charlotte, NC: TSB City of the Month

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

Charlotte is a fast growing city with much to enjoy for people of all ages. While most visitors head to ‘The Queen City’ between the spring and fall, there’s still plenty to do during the winter months; and right now during the holidays is no exception.

Holiday Happenings in Charlotte

Just 15 miles west of Charlotte is the small town of McAdenville (population 700). For the past 50 years, McAdenville, otherwise known as “Christmastown USA” has kept the Charlotte area merry and bright with its amazing light display that drawls more than 600,000 visitors each year and has even garnered the attention of TIME Magazine. There’s only one way through town so you can’t miss anything. Locals say the lights are best experienced on foot.

An animatronic orchestra of computerized bears, the Leonard Bearstein Symphony Orchestra, is one of Charlotte’s favorite Christmas attractions. The “Bearstein Bears” complete with singers play favorite holiday classics at Founders Hall for free daily throughout December.

200177110-001Things to Do in Charlotte

One of the city’s oldest cultural institutions is the Mint Museum. The historic building used to house the United States Mint – hence the name – but today its two-campus set-up houses both an impressive art collection and a popular craft and design museum.

North Carolina is regarded as the “Birthplace of Aviation,” and the Charlotte region is steeped in flight history. Located on the grounds of Charlotte/Douglas International Airport, the Carolinas Aviation Museum has a collection of over 50 aircraft and a large collection of smaller historic items related to aviation in the North and South Carolina.

The museum even recently added the body of US Airways flight 1549, the famed “Miracle on the Hudson” plane.

For the theme park enthusiast, you’ll be thrilled to know that Charlotte is home to Carowinds. This theme park actually crosses the borer between NC and SC, so you can be in two states at once. And, if it’s a water park you are looking for, Charlotte is also home to a Great Wolf Lodge, doubling as a great hotel option for your visit, too.

The first actually documented gold found in the United States occurred in the nearby Reed Gold Mine in Midland, NC. There’s no charge to tour the mine or see the museum and it is $3 to pan for gold.

Food for the Soul in Charlotte

Charlotte’s unique blend of business and southern hospitality seem to be the right ingredient for culinary success in the city. You can find just about anything in Charlotte to please even the most discerning palettes. Here are a few dining recommendations for your visit to Charlotte.

Mert’s Heart & Soul serves southern cuisine that is as authentic as it comes. All I can say is “Yum”. Mert’s has the best fried chicken, shrimp & grits, fried catfish around. Be sure to stop by for all the fixins.

The North Carolina Barbecue Society created a BBQ Trail all the way to Tennessee featuring 24 historic barbecue pits. I’m not sure whether to file this under “things to do” or “where to eat” but either way it would be deliciously fun.

Soul Gastrolounge is a hip and delicious choice for dinner. It stands in the top ten of Zagat’s best restaurants in Charlotte list. And, you can even catch a glimpse of the restaurant as it’s a backdrop spot in the new TV series, The Novice.

Be sure to make dinner reservations early enough in the evening so you’ll be able to get downtown for the Bobcats game at the Charlotte Bobcats Arena. The new team brings a lot of new excitement to the area.

We’ll round out the week with a few hotel recommendations for when you visit Charlotte whether on business, pleasure, for romance or with family.

 
 

 

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Travel Sticky Situation: Tips for Traveling with your Boss

Friday, October 18th, 2013

Businesswoman talking on cell phoneIt’s bound to happen. If you advance far enough in your career, you will likely take a business trip or two that includes your boss or even your boss’s boss. So what’s the protocol for traveling with your superiors? Here are a few tips to keep things smooth sailing when on the road with “el Jefe”.

Take Care of Yourself. If you are a woman traveling amongst men, don’t assume that the social courtesies made toward a woman on a date apply in business. Be prepared to hail your own taxi, pay the bills and the tips, carry your own luggage and open your own doors. Chivalry is not dead but it should not be expected on a business trip. And regardless of whether you are a man or woman, take responsibility for your travel arrangements, ground transportation, and meals to confidently get you through your trip. Unless your boss suggests meeting for breakfast, order room service or go down to the hotel restaurant and eat your cereal solo. (It’s a good idea to carry a few breakfast bars.)

Assume Nothing. If there’s any question over who is responsible for what on the logistics planning or agenda during the trip, don’t assume the answer, ask and be sure of your responsibilities. Some bosses expect their junior executives to take care of everything from arranging transportation, setting up meetings, and securing reservations for dinner. Other bosses prefer to take the lead and expect you to keep up.

Carry Cash. Stop by the ATM machine before you leave and make sure to carry cash (small bills) for easy tipping. Traveling internationally? Check the exchange rate before you leave. It may be best to grab the local currency from an ATM in your destination. Be sure that you do before you try to get in a taxi or take the train. Many taxis outside of New York City and Chicago are not credit card friendly. Don’t forget to get receipts! If you want to be reimbursed for those tips and cash-related business expenses then save those receipts for the end-of-trip expense report.

UPIMRF-00019855-001Pack Like a Pro. You don’t want to be the one responsible when presentation materials or a cable turns up missing. In fact, impress them all and make sure you have an extra phone charger, socket adapter (for international usage), and connectivity cables just in case someone needs one. Personally, make sure you have a belt, panty hose (ladies), socks, band-aids, and an extra shirt.

Work on the Plane.  I look forward to a few hours of focused work time on the airplane. When you are in route to a meeting, it’s not the time to watch the latest flick being offered on the plane.

If your boss opens her laptop on transport, follow suit. Perhaps you can relax on the return after a job well done.

Do Your Destination Homework. If you are traveling to a new destination, don’t expect others to get you from A to B or choose the restaurants for dinner.  With just a little bit of research, you can become a pseudo-expert on the fastest way to get to and from appointments, great restaurants that will impress your bosses, and even off-hours diversions.

 

Do you have any great business travel tips to share? Let us know in the comments below!

 
 

 

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Finding Leisure Time During Business Travel

Friday, October 4th, 2013

Cities like Las Vegas and Miami have plenty of business amenities that make them great meeting spots, but a business trip to any meeting destination can be easily turned into a mini-vacation.

A survey conducted by Hilton Worldwide revealed that 84 percent of millennials are likely to extend their business trips to explore cities nearby, so the experts of Hotels.com identified some attractive destinations within an hour drive or flight from some of the country’s top meeting cities.

Businessman walking in ocean tideDallas
Dallas is home to the fourth busiest airport in the U.S. and a major business hub, but close to the metropolitan area travelers can find towns like Denton, a great cultural destination. Denton’s artsy events, such as its Arts & Jazz Festival lures thousands of tourists year-round.

Travelers with more spare time can fly to Austin, a top food destination that has been steadily rising in popularity. Feast on juicy brisket at the famous Franklin BBQ or catch a show at Mohawk.

Orlando
The Orange County Convention Center in Orlando boasts the second largest amount of event space in the U.S. Travelers visiting in October can drive to Daytona Beach to see thousands of bikers descending upon the city during Biketoberfest.

Beachgoers can also enjoy Florida’s sunny weather by flying to Fort Lauderdale. This city is an ideal relaxing location with more than 300 miles of navigable waterways and over 100 marinas.

Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.’s historic landmarks draw flocks tourists each year, but they also offer a setting like no other for conferences and events. Business travelers can take advantage of the region’s food scene by driving to Baltimore, which is known for some of the best seafood on the East Coast.

Travelers who want to take the weekend to unwind can fly to Virginia Beach and visit the city’s 35 miles of coastline beaches.

Regardless of where the meeting is, there’s always time to explore and satisfy your wanderlust after completing your business trip.

 

 
 

 

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