Black + Blum's genius lunch box contains two pots for separating food, a versatile "spork," plus a convenient carrying strap. Cost: $22; available in black, orange or lime. (877) 360-9222; black-blum.com
Time crunched with too many speakers? Here's the plan:
1. Introduce all presenters (we'll use four in this example) to the group and section off the room into four small groups.
2. Assign each speaker to begin with one of the groups, and give each an allotted amount of time.
3. When time is complete, announce that it's time to rotate to another group. Repeat the process until all four speakers have presented to all four groups.
"Inexperienced presenters are less intimidated by the smaller groups and feel more comfortable as they rotate," says Mary Lou Williams, president of the Montevallo (Ala.) Chamber of Commerce (montevallocc.org), who recommended the idea. "This is a technique used successfully in classroom environments, and it works just as well in a conference setting."
LiveShare, a free mobile and web application that lets anyone take pictures at events and share them in one live photo stream, is a great option for times when hiring a photographer isn't feasible. Have staff download the app ahead of time and the moment they take pictures using the app, the photos are uploaded for all to enjoy. liveshare.com
Get Your Game On
To perk up bored attendees, transform any space into a supercharged sporting event with portable stadium seating and a few energetic touches. San Diego-based Harris Goldman Productions (harrisgoldman.com) recently did this for a group of 1,000 attendees to add better views and thematic momentum to an annual event. Consider extras -- cheerleaders, a BMX bicycle stunt show (bmxpromo.com), a sports anchor desk manned by company executives and branded pennants -- to further boost the team theme.
If you change your folder labels as often as your boss changes his/her mind, try LabelOnce Erasable Office Labels to keep folders looking professional and your recycling bin from filling up. Cost: $6.49 to $8.49. (800) 600-9817; organize.com
A name badge, plus an agenda, plus a room key, equals one hardworking meeting accessory. Lisa Sabin, director of catering at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The Arch, worked with USA-Plasticcards.com to produce customized room keys imprinted with an agenda for a recent event. The recyclable keys also were worn on lanyards as name badges. Prices vary. (877) 810-5858; USA-Plasticcards.com
Herman Miller sets the standard for impeccably designed, ahhhh-inducing ergonomic desk chairs. The new SAYL model, half the price of other models from the designer, takes inspiration from suspension bridges with its curved, frameless back design. The chair is available in multiple color combinations. Price, from $399. (888) 443-4357; hermanmiller.com
To avoid the staid, cookie-cutter look that comes with typical rental furnishings, try using an event rental firm specializing in vintage furniture and décor. The resulting look -- mismatched furniture paired with funky accessories -- adds an unexpected layer of style and personality. For example, Fullerton, Calif.-based Found Vintage Rentals (foundrentals.com) recently outfitted an old garage with mismatched upholstered seating for a classroom-style corporate event, pictured.
Strike a Pose
Even if you're stuck in a hotel in the middle of nowhere, you can still practice your downward dog by streaming one of YogaGlo.com's 1,000 yoga classes via TV or laptop. The sessions can be selected according to your preference for teacher, class length or type of yoga. Cost, $18 a month for unlimited use. (310) 800-4601; yogaglo.com
First it was the cupcake, then it was the macaroon, now it's...the marshmallow? Quite possibly, given it's ability to mean many things to many people: the sweet spot in a cup of hot chocolate, the oozy glue holding together a s'more and, when dressed up right, a dessert that's just fabulous on it's own. Sugar Poofs fall into the latter category, with imaginative flavors including White Russian, orange honey and key lime. A pack of 10 costs $12, plus shipping and handling. (407) 413-0100; sugarpoof.com
Snazzy New Tableware
Amazing grace. Modern Grace is Villeroy & Boch's new line of premium bone porcelain tableware for hotels and restaurants. Included in the 26-piece line are a 12 ½-inch gourmet plate and a special 9 ½ x 8 ½-inch soup bowl. Ask your hotel or catering contact if they stock it; for purchase details, contact Villeroy & Boch.
Stylish Luggage Tags
Global gifting. These one-of-a-kind tags will give a worldly touch to any gift -- thank-you, recognition, holiday or pillow -- that you might be tasked with organizing. Crafted of recycled manila stock, vintage stamps and maps, along with hemp cord ties, a set of 20 costs $18. etsy.com