25 Hottest Ideas, Gifts and Gizmos of the Year

25 Hottest Ideas 2015 opener

Need a hot idea? M&C has been providing sparks of inspiration to meeting professionals for decades. From unique VIP gifts, stylish travel gear, new gadgets, décor and more, you'll find what you need at mcmag.com/Hot-Ideas. (Sign up for our daily Hot Ideas email at bit.ly/1HtLnbL.) Following are the year's most popular posts.

 1. Water in Your Pocket 
The unique tablet-sized shape of Janet Helm's water bottles lets them slide easily into pockets for handy hydration. Cost: From $10; customization is available.

 2. Snazzy Passport Holder
Travel blog The Cool Hunter has a beautifully curated online store. Among the standouts is the six-slot Designer Passport Wallet, available in seven colors to help you glide past a phalanx of customs officials in high style. Cost: $60.

 3. The Welcome Snack Gets Personal 
The Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort lets incoming guests make their own trail mix and cheese plate to enjoy during their stay. Along with a made-to-order juice bar, the interactive snack station offers wheels of domestic and imported cheeses; various honeys, mustards, compotes, breads and crackers; whole fruits; and a spread of nuts, candies, seeds and pretzels.

 4. Can You Stand Being This Organized? 
These cute travel pouches from designer Jennifer Jansch keep the contents of your travel bag -- blow dryer, lingerie, shoes, laundry -- separate and easy to find. Cost: $48 for a set of four.

 5. Fun Ways to Survive 2016 
The New York City-based event planning company Sequence Events has sent out "Event Survival Kit" packages to colleagues and clients to stay top-of-mind for the new year. The package includes a variety of items, and a decal on the box explains what each is for in delightfully pithy terms. Among the contents:

Pedometer: "To prove that event planning is a suitable substitution for the gym."

Bottle of Relax Riesling: "The antidote to a stressful day is liquid medication. Apply liberally."

Scented candle: "When burning the candle at both ends, remember the sweet smell of success."

Creativity sand: "Hit a creative block? Take 10 and go straight to the sandbox."

Event countdown clock:
 "In case of impending event, every minute counts."

Corporate jargon flashcards: "Pick a card, any card, and instantaneously sound like you know what you're talking about."

 6. This Travel Bag Keeps You on a Roll 
The clever Rolo Adventures roll-up travel bag has four compartments that can hold several days' worth of clothing and other necessities in one tidy bundle. Sling over shoulder, tuck under arm and proceed with new-found zest! Cost: $49.95.


7. For the Discerning 'Krispies Treats' Connoisseur 
Finely tuned palates will appreciate Rice Krispies treat-inspired mini desserts from Treathouse. These exquisite edibles can be tastefully customized with images and flavors such as bubble gum, a poignant reminder of the urgent mysteries of childhood. Kosher, gluten-free, dairy-free and nut-free options are available. Cost on request.

 8. Instagram for Events 
Eventstagram runs a real-time slide show of photos tagged with your chosen hashtag, allowing rapt attendees to see their Twitter and Instagram photos as they're posted. Cost: Plans vary from free to $2,000 and up for custom programs.

 9. The Impossibly Popular Virtual Graffiti Wall 
Warning: It might prove daunting to pry your attendees away from Interactive Entertainment Group's Virtual Graffiti Wall -- an oversized interactive green screen -- which lets guests embellish digital photos and images with special effects, custom backgrounds and more. Cost: From $2,500 for four hours and up (not including setup and delivery).

 10. Cute, Lovable, Clever Carryall 
The Eyepockit from Just Solutions! is an ingenious hybrid carryall that is part eyeglass case, wallet, cell-phone holder and purse -- and light enough to wear all day on the show floor without weighing wearers down. Cost: $24.99; available in six finishes.

 11. Get a Charge Out of Sanitizing Your Phone 
Trust us, you don't want to know what germs might be lurking on your phone. Phonesoap's Smartphone Sanitizer disinfects cellphones while they are charging. Cost: $59.95.

 12. Design Your Own Photo Backdrop
Minted's customizable photo backdrops are like giant greeting cards guests can pose in front of; just choose the background design, write your own message and gird yourself for the unending flashing of smartphone cameras. Cost: $230 each.

 13. Pack These Practical, Versatile Fashions
For long flights and even longer travel days, Kit and Ace makes cozy clothing with smart details, like the hidden cell phone and credit-card pocket on the Harmon Pant ($148), and the Kit Wrap ($198), which can be worn two ways.

 14. Food Carts for All Tastes
Abigail Kirsch Catering has introduced a line of 14 rolling food carts that offer themed noshes like cereal, sushi, beer and pizza. Gather them in a circle and keep hunger at bay.

 15. Recipe for a Glowing Event
Take some LED Orb Lights from Save-On-Crafts, admire their silver mercury-glass finish, and place as centerpieces or dangle from branches using included hangers. Dazzle to taste. Cost: $19.99 each.

 16. A Cure for Your Clothes' Jet Lag
Just spritz some of The Laundress' Fabric Fresh spray on your travel clothes to perk them up for another day of wear. Cost: $8 for the 2-ounce travel size.

 17. This High-End Carry-On Is a Fabulous Reward
Top achievers will go gaga for the Quartermaster by Ebby Rane, an ultimate incentive award and travel essential. This elegant carry-on bag comes with 10 "carryall" pouches for hyper-organized packing, and spinner wheels for easy mobility. Available in black, green and white. Cost: $995.

 18. Wire Tangles Be Gone!
For stages and other public spaces that need to appear neat and tidy, ingenious items like Zen Collection's Cord Corral Cable and Cord Organizer keep electrical wires tamed and hidden, the way you wish your cowlick would stay. Cost: $114.99; available in four colors.

 19. No Noise is Good Noise
Marpac's Dohm-DS, the "official sound conditioner" of the National Sleep Foundation, emits white noise to drown out annoying hotel (or home) noise. Cost: $59.99.

 20. Tough Love for Delinquent Handbags
If your handbag willfully refuses to let you find anything within its hectic confines, steel yourself and introduce it to the HDE handbag organizer, with multiple compartments and pockets for keeping all of your on-site necessities (and then some) within easy reach. Show that bag of yours who's boss! Cost: $10.99; available in eight colors.

 21. In the Laptop of Luxury
The beautifully streamlined leather and canvas Mod Laptop 2 case from the folks at This Is Ground stylishly holds a laptop or tablet and associated accessories; it's available in multiple sizes and finishes. Cost: From $399.

 22. This Handbag Is Not a Steal
The Citysafe CS100 anti-theft travel handbag has a slew of safety features, including steel wire woven into the straps, splashguard fabric, RFID-safe blocking material and security hooks for hanging. Cost: $90.


 23. Hark! The Spaghetti Cone!
For an ingenious way to serve spaghetti at events, dish the strands into cardboard cones. It makes twirling a breeze, and the cones can be carried in one hand. Cones sold by Friteshop.com will do the trick. Contact for pricing.


 24. Sweet or Salty VIP Gift Packs
Bushel and Pack's gorgeously packaged favors and gifts range from a small jar of house-made finishing salt with salt holder and spoon (about $16 each) to a Big Sweet Box ($150), a crate of hand-picked sweet treats. Your VIP will be pleased.

 25. Shower-Proof Bag
With handy suction cups and a waterproof design, the Vessel bag is made to go in the shower with you. Cost: $10.