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Publisher's Letter Winter 2015

By Michele Nichols


A YEAR AGO, WE HAD AN IDEA. The Unique Venues team was having our regular meeting in our Collaboration Room and someone started the brainstorming session with two very important words: “What If…” “What if we devoted one of our magazines to recognizing the best of the best? What if we gave out a few of these awards at our Annual Marketing Conference?” It got us thinking—what if we were the very first in our industry to recognize the best of the best on an annual basis?

The idea was new and exciting, but really it was already a philosophy Unique Venues was born on and has continued to live by each and every day in our 29-year history. We have been pioneers helping to carve out this niche of the meetings and events industry, so it’s only natural we’d want to continue to give attention to these very purposeful spaces.

As pioneers, we continue to explore and invent and create new opportunities for the college and university campuses, museums, zoos and cruise ships and other special venues that are often forgotten by the mainstream industry. And in the process we set out to create goals to achieve what other industry models have accomplished.

There are a lot of “Best Of” issues in the traditional hotel industry, but ours has something unique that the others don’t promote. In addition to shedding light on the best of our industry in 25 varied categories, our awards also aim to help planners understand why these venues were chosen and how they work to make meetings and events stand out just as much as they do. By sharing the best, we help advance our industry which, in turn, makes all of us better.

It’s our call to keep moving forward and never settling in exposing the great attributes of these special event venues. By doing so, we can only hope the next event planner that comes across this issue will say, “What if we booked our next event here?”