Unusual Conference Venues

Many companies understand the importance of conferences for their staff. Conferences are a chance to network, share ideas and to learn, but boy are they boring. Yes, your staff gets loads of new ideas and meet lots of interesting and useful people, but given the choice they would rather not attend again next year. Fortunately, the people who run conferences are starting to wake up to this fact and beginning to try to make conferences less tedious. This has led to some great new conference events being held. If you are a business about to hold an in-house conference you can learn a lot from this new trend.

So the question is 'Where can I hold a conference?'. Basically as long as they've got the license and you've got the cold hard cash, then you can hold a conference just about anywhere you like. As the legend of Kevin Costner understands 'If you build it, they will come' and yes, you can host a conference at a baseball diamond!

Museums and art galleries. Being surrounded by creative exploits really stimulates the mind. Therefore a great venue for a conference has to be a gallery or science museum. Our favorite is the Vancouver Museum of Anthropology – mingling amidst ancient totem poles is quite the experience. Another great museum venue is the Science Museum in London, that even offers a IMAX cinema or a motion theater as two of the 8 conference halls it has available.

Marinas, Aquariums and Planetariums are also great places for conferences, most have lecture theaters for the presentations, with plenty of divers during conference breaks. In some Aquariums such as the one in Barcelona you can enjoy a spectacular conference dinner completely surrounded by fish. Although sitting down to the fish course does make you pause.

Blackpool Tower – yup sounds strange but come on, it's also pretty exciting and sort of kitsch!

In the mountains. Being amid inspirational landscape opens the mind to fresh and new ideas. Check out the Fairmont Springs hotel in Banff, you are literally a step away from heaven.

Want to impress, rent a castle! You can do it for weddings and you can absolutely do it for your conference!

Observatories – enjoy a daytime conference and finish with watching the stars – there's a metaphor in there somewhere!

Middle of the Rainforest? Lots of nature retreats host conferences and events. Bali anyone?

The zoo – yes it has happened, one crazy and obviously very talented events planner held an event at a tiger exhibition.

Like we said, you get the right equipment, shelter, catering and speakers and people will come. If you have an event dream – make it happen. Your conference will be memorable and people will definitely want to come back next year. Where you hold a conference says a lot about you and your industry. Conferences are designed to stimulate people's creativity and make them come away full of ideas. An inspirational venue is everything, so think outside the box.

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Learning To Speak Mandarin – The Road Ahead

When we talk about studying Chinese what we mean by that, in 2010, is really studying Mandarin, also known as standard Mandarin. Compared to Cantonese, which is the second most spoken out of around 50 languages ​​in contemporary China, Mandarin is far larger. Cantonese is pretty much confined to Taiwan and Hong Kong. Mandarin on the other hand is also spoken in both these areas, and the entirety of the rest of the country. This did not come about as an accident. 100 years ago there were more languages ​​and Standard Mandarin was not known as standard. The Mandarin of today is an amalgamation of different dialects but is mostly made up of the old Beijing one. The reason that it is so common today is that it has been artificially promoted by the central government for obvious reasons: one modern nation needs one common mode of communication.

When we talk about Mandarin language studies people often say that they are rather tricky. They are not a walk in the park, but it is my sincere belief that people make it out to be a much more difficult task than it is in reality. The thing we need to remember is that Mandarin is very different from languages ​​that have been derived from Latin or the Germanic branch of European languages. But once those differences have been deal with, learning the rest of the language is much less tricky than it would seem when you are just setting out on that particular journey. These initial bumps in the road can be categorized into two distinct groups; the difficulties of writing Chinese Mandarin and the difficulties of speaking Chinese Mandarin. I write difficulties but in reality it is less about difficulty and more about differences.

The first of these two categories, written Chinese, is mostly hard because there is no alphabet. Instead you need to memorize a great deal of pictures, aka characters. The key to success in this matter lies in not thinking of them as pictures when you try to commit them to memory but rather thinking of them in terms of their underlying structure. The two golden nuggets of information that you need to become familiar with is the building blocks that make up the vast majority of characters, called radical, and the way that these radicals are written, the stroke order. Once you have these two concepts firmly logged in your head you will begin to see the characters as a process of writing and not as a finished product. The picture is complicated but the way that it is formed is as easy as pie. It is a bit like riding a bike really – once you get up and going you will cover a lot of ground very quickly and you will never loose that initial effort you put in while learning the first couple of hundred or so the right way.

The second of the categories, spoken Chinese Mandarin, is mostly different in terms of pronunciation. The grammar really is not that hard. Chinese Mandarin pronunciation, however, is. It is hard because as we know Mandarin lacks an alphabet. Instead of being made up of letters that make a sound when put together we have pictures which give little or no indication regarding how the words sound when spoken. To muddle things up even more the Mandarin language is not only dependent on syllables, it also involves modulation of the pitch. This is what is more commonly known as tones, and it makes Mandarin a tonal language.

However, both the difficulties with getting to grips with Characters and their radicals and stroke order, and the trick to wrapping your tongue around tonal modulation while speaking, can easily be dealt with in a small class size. Learning Mandarin without the individual attention of a teacher is very hard, but once you have someone to correct your pronunciation and show you what you are doing wrong when writing, you are on the home stretch, speeding ahead to proficiency in the language that holds the key to the greatest paradigm shift of our century – the rise of China as economic and political super power.

How Many Times Have You Had A Jewelry Dilemma

Which necklace style is appropriate with this outfit? Should I use a long necklace or a short necklace will be better suited? The following list describes the most common necklace lengths and how to use them.

Collar – 12-13 inches in length

Collars are usually made up of two or more strands and lie snugly on the middle of the neck. Collars are an ideal complement to elegant V-neck, boat neck or off the shoulder fashions.

Choker – 14-16 inches in length

A choker is despite the most classic and versatile of all the single strand lengths and is designed to lie around the base of the neck. It is appropriate with everything from casual to formal eveningwear, and completes any neckline imaginable. Is the perfect length to add subtle elegance to your workday paired with a button-down shirt, yet just as stylish with a cocktail dress. This is a good necklace length for a child. This way the necklace has "growth room".

Princess – 17-19 inches in length

The princess length necklace is best suited for crew and high necklines. It also fulfills low plunging necklines. This is an excellent choice if you are not certain which strand length is most appropriate and is the perfect necklace length for a pendant.

Matinee – 20-24 inches in length

The matinee necklace is the right choice for casual or business dressing. It looks best with high necklines and adds sophistication to a professional look. The matinee length is also very well suited for fancier wear such as long sundresses and formal gowns. The extra length of the matinee necklace gives the wearer a sense of luxury and confidence. It certainly may dress up an outfit.

Opera – 28-34 inches in length

The opera necklace offers many attractive options. Can be worn as a single strand, it is refined and perfect for high or crew necklines. Can be doubled upon itself and serves as a versatile two-strand choker. It can be knotted at the neckline or above the bust to create a stylish vintage look. Traditionally, opera length necklaces are worn with eveningwear, although can be used to accessorize more casual attires.

Rope or Lariat – Over 45 inches in length

The rope necklace is very elegant and dangerously sexy. It can be made with several clasps placed in strategic locations, enabling it to be broken down into different necklace and bracelet combinations, or doubled and even tripled to create a stunning multi-strand choker. This versatile length may also be tied in a knot for a charming modern look. Ropes can also be knotted and slung over the shoulder to accentuate the beauty of a backless dress. Lariats are at last 48 inches long, with the ends left unattached for knotting or wrapping around the neck.

Now that you know all about necklaces lengths make sure you include all of them in your wardrobe so you do not have to worry about not having the right one when you need it.

Australian Outback Vacations In Nullarbor

If you want to experience the ultimate in road trips, look no further than the Nullarbor Plain. Nullarbor is derived from two Latin words meaning "no trees" and this is a very accurate description of the area. Although arid and barren, there is not only incredible beauty in this land, but also lots to see. Covering 77,000 square miles, Nullabor is one of the largest semi arid Karst deserts in the world. The gateway to the desert is the Nullarbor Roadhouse, a motel and service station located next to the historic Nullarbor Homestead. North of here are the Murrawijinie Caves which can be toured with National Parks officers. The desert is home to a large network of caves which are dramatically cut into the rocks, and are often multiple kilometers wide.

East of the roadhouse is the Head of Bight, a popular whale watching spot. Here southern right whales can be viewed from May to the end of October as they congregate in groups of up to one hundred individuals. Boardwalks take visitors to lookouts where they can see the whales and also enjoy the breathtaking view of the cliffs that drop from the Nullabor Plain into the ocean below. Another area that should be a stop on all itineraries is the Nullarbor Bunda Cliffs, a series of lookouts that stretch for over two hundred kilometers.

Along the way, try a stop in Iron Knob, and trace the town's importance in the steel industry at the Mining Museum. More than just a place to stop for services, Nundroo offers excellent fishing, surfing, and local history. If you are interested in Aboriginal culture, stop at the Ceduna Aboriginal Arts and Culture Center, where you'll find authentic art and gifts, and the Language Center that is working to preserve the many varied Aboriginal languages.