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Heads Up! A Couple of Bright Lights on the Horizon!

Before I share with you news of an exciting new meeting and event property I believe you should keep an eye on, I’d like to quickly summarize recent exciting news from Apple regarding Artificial Intelligence [AI] …

Last week, Apple unveiled its new Apple Intelligence system [a clever twist on the acronym AI, BTW] which promises to make life a little easier for conference planners and attendees. Through a deal with OpenAI, ChatGPT will now be available on Apple smart devices. While I believe the most immediate impacts will benefit association planners and attendees, those planning attending command-performance corporate meetings and events will benefit, too. In either case, there are some really cool features that promise to keep everyone involved up-to-date and well-informed on all conference related information.

Consider …

  • A planner can now ask, “When is my CEO’s flight supposed to land?” and immediately flight details will be researched, aggregated and cross-referenced for accuracy within milliseconds.
  • Another new feature is an event e-ticket design which includes an event guide, maps and floorplans, nearby restaurant recommendations, venue-related info, and more.
  • For attendees listening to and reading in a non-native language, a new app uses AI for speech recognition and translation.
  • And for those who dread writing event-related copy or correspondence, the new system includes Writing Tools which will proofread, rewrite and summarize tech text. This summarization is available on the Notes and Phone app and allows users to record, transcribe, and identify key information. Bingo, a ton of time saved!
  • There is also a feature that prioritizes messages and notifications in iMessage; stacks them in order of importance; and consolidates longer messages into the most salient points.
  • On a fundamental level, there will be live updates for third-party apps like Uber, as well as alerts for impending bad weather.

No doubt, these new features will pressure existing event companies to double-down on maximally leveraging AI for the optimal user experience. And for planners and attendees, the promise of mitigating some of the usual event-related stress and confusion can only be sweet music to everyone’s ears!

WOWdorf Astoria Costa Rica Punta Cacique

While traveling recently, I had the opportunity to do a hard hat tour of the soon-to-come Waldorf Astoria Costa Rica Punta Cacique in the gorgeous Guanacaste province of the Central American country.

Despite being in late-middle phase of construction, I was very impressed by the location, the exclusivity, focus on luxury, and the possibilities for corporate meetings and events, as well as incentives.

With a targeted opening this coming November, here’s a rundown of what promises to become one of the premier jewels in Hilton’s luxury portfolio:

  • 10,000sf of indoor and outdoor meeting and event spaces perfect for hosting small to large groups
  • 190 accommodations [standard, deluxe and suites], all ocean-facing
  • A sprawling Holistic Wellness Center, consisting of a full-service Fitness Center featuring today’s leading-edge workout equipment; Movement Studio, Lap and Thermal Pools; and outdoor yoga spaces.
  • A luxurious cenote-inspired spa with 11 planned treatment rooms — eight standard indoor rooms and three outdoor rooms reminiscent of a treehouse. [A cenote is a natural pit or sinkhole created when a limestone bedrock collapses, exposing groundwater. The term originated in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico and is in keeping with Costa Rica’s reputation as one of the world’s eco-gems.]
  • A signature 3-meal restaurant and bar.
  • A Beach Club with watersports, including swimming, paddleboarding and boating
  • 41 planned private residences

Perhaps what struck me the most was the property’s location on a dramatic cliffside peninsula of Cacique canton in the increasingly popular Guanacaste Province. You’ll enjoy spectacular panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and the Bay of Papagayo, creating a rich sense of elegance and exclusivity. Many eco-friendly specialties have been integrated, including special corridors to protect wildlife in the area and the exclusive use of electric cars to lessen environmental impact. Again, a typical Costa Rican touch.

Located approximately 10 miles [25 minutes] from Liberia International Airport [Code: LIR], Waldorf Astoria Costa Rica Punta Cacique is within an hour’s drive of many of the area’s most popular environmental destinations and activities. There are also nearly 150 restaurants within five miles.

Yes, you will pay for this level of luxury with group rates likely starting north of $1,200 per night++. But if you’re seeking a hot, new property that will have your attendees or incentive winners buzzing, you can’t do better. Truly, this property is a mix of Guanacaste’s aesthetic and natural beauty and the unparalleled luxury of the Waldorf brand. It is already a leading candidate for two programs dynami is currently planning.

Cheers and … Pura Vida!

Kenneth Jones