2015 Meeting Trends

2015 Meeting Trends

Successful Meetings magazine has long been a trusted source of valuable information for business executives managing meetings, conventions and events. For more than six decades, the meeting industry’s leading publication has offered thought-provoking articles on effective off-site programs, including destination features, planning tips, expert interviews and industry trends. Polling the industry’s most respected professionals, the Successful Meetings 2015 Trends survey gathered unprecedented insight on the year’s emerging trends.

Below, El Chorro’s experienced Group & Event Management team highlight their top 3 trends for 2015.

  1. Participants > Attendees
  2. Engagement. It’s all about engagement. Laser pointers and PowerPoint presentations have been trumped by more visually enticing, and mentally stimulating, delivery styles. More than 70 percent of respondents to the Successful Meetings 2015 Trends survey identified creating a “compelling meeting experience for attendees” as their top priority for the year.

    Take your meeting to the next level by recruiting meeting-goers as active participants with collaborative tools. Of the Successful Meetings recommendations, our favorites include online communities, scrolling Twitter walls and audience polling. When executed properly, these tools encourage contributions before, during and after events.

  3. There’s an App for That
  4. An indispensable tool for every business professional, smartphones are also a valuable asset for meeting and event organizers and hosts. Aside from providing 24/7 access to email and business calls, allowing hardworking employees to venture away from their computers to conventions and events, smartphones also offer a variety of apps to enhance the attendee experience.

    While smartphones have long been used for onsite social media networking and engagement, Savvy event planners are now using the mobile devices for everything from group alerts and targeted announcements to replacing paper event programs, agendas, attendee lists and other event resources. Bizzabo‘s smart, all-in-one design handles the full event process from nuts to soup. That’s right, ticketing, marketing emails, networking, event app, CRM and event website all in one well-rounded tool.

  5. Value over Cost
  6. While more companies are gaining confidence in the economy’s return, there has only been moderate growth in meeting budgets. 40 percent of respondents to the Successful Meetings 2015 Trends survey expect meeting budgets to remain flat in 2015. Regardless of budgets, value is the bottom line for meeting and event planners.

    Event professionals are relying on increased efficiency, creativity and innovative solutions to deliver unique, high-value outings, without adding dollars to the bottom line. Recent trends include replacing decorative centerpieces with more functional options, like appetizer or dessert towers, and opting for virtual resources instead of printed collateral.

Wedding Wednesday
Spring Wedding

Wedding Wednesday: Jeff & Kacey’s Spring Wedding WeddingWednesday-May2015-inset

From the classic feel to the subtle pops of southwestern flair, we loved every moment of Jeff & Kacey’s spring El Chorro wedding! Jeff & Kacey incorporated light blues and greens with bright pops of color making their big day as vibrant and beautiful as themselves. Check out all of the photos from their El Chorro wedding from Pinkerton Photography below!

Pinkerton Photography Blog

Wedding Planner: A Day to Cherish Weddings
Linens: La Tavola
Floral: Petal Pusher
DJ: Citron Sound
Gelato Cart: Frost

El Chorro Happy Hour

El Chorro Happy Hour

Always welcomed and rarely missed, happy hour is a constant bright spot on the busy schedules of many. Whether you’ve survived an exceptionally taxing day at the office or are simply catching up with friends, happy hour is the perfect end to your day. Understanding the importance of happy hour, El Chorro offers a selection of deals on our signature sips daily from 4 to 6 p.m. and food specials Monday through Saturday from 4 to 6 p.m.

Enjoy $3 glasses of house wine and domestic bottled beer or $5 El Chorro Margaritas and well drinks. Hungry? El Chorro favorites like Crispy Fried Shrimp, Grilled Street Tacos, El Chorro Beef Sliders or our famous Sticky Buns, all available for $5.

To top it off, we were named one of the Top 100 Best Outdoor Dining Restaurants in America by OpenTable, so feel free to relax and unwind on our patio, and take in the beauty of the Camelback and Mummy mountains set against an awe-inspiring Arizona sunset. For more details on happy hour, view our menu here.

Can’t wait for your next happy hour at El Chorro? Try your hand at our simple to make, yet refreshing, El Chorro Margarita.

El Chorro Margarita

El Chorro Margarita.

1 ½ ounces Monte Alban Reposado Tequila
¾ ounces fresh lime juice
¾ ounces triple sec and sprite

In cocktail shaker, add ice and all ingredients
Shake well
Serve over ice, garnish with lemon wedge

Wedding Wednesday
Dining Under The Stars

Wedding-Wed-rainy-day-inset-We didn’t let a little rain stand in our way of a picture perfect outdoor reception for Ellen & Reed’s El Chorro wedding! We love these photos captured by Jennifer Bowen Photography! Read all about their beautiful outdoor reception at El Chorro!

Read Full Post on Jennifer Bowen Photography Blog

Wedding Wednesday
Clementine & Lemons

From Amy & Jordan Photography…Clementine-Lemons-inset-2015 Clementine and Lemons is a wedding set in an uber-romantic and colorful citrus grove. Lush arbors of greenery, hanging birdcage chandeliers, and pops of bright-colored florals all around. Pairing the lemons, kumquats, clementines, and grapefruits with the vibrant coral charm peonies, blushing brides, peach juliet roses, and pink geraldine roses amped up the color scheme in a major way. The reception tables are a unique spin on the typical farm table by adding a custom-made white-washed table topper with added natural and warm elements in the place settings, paired with bright and clean china and napkins, and lemon place holders with name flags. For a sweet ending to the gorgeous wedding, a large iron tree was adorned with vines, greenery, and hand-painted macaroon favors. A collection of mini cakes were design to accentuate the floral designs and amp up the romance and decadence in the grove.

Read full post on Amy & Jordan’s Blog

El Chorro’s Green Efforts

recycled-jeans-insetIn restoring the lodge’s rustic charm, 21st century ideals were embraced through the reuse of existing resources and sustainable practices. The renovation team was diligent in maintaining the original building and worked within the original footprint to increase sustainability in the building design and operations.

As part of the renovation of the historic facilities, El Chorro incorporated a number of green-building features, including a solar-energy water heating system and solar electric panels that reduces the restaurant’s energy use by more than 50 percent. It also features eco-friendly insulation made of recycled blue jeans. More than 75 percent of the materials used in the redesign were salvaged from the original restaurant, including 80+ of the original plants.

El Chorro became the first restaurant in Arizona to earn the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED) Gold Certification. The designation is the only universally recognized green-building pedigree, with the Gold Certification being the second-highest level attainable.

Wedding Wednesday
Intimate El Chorro Wedding

Kelly & Kevin’s Intimate El Chorro Wedding

From Round Lens Photography… Oh what a beautiful wedding…the couple, the location and all of the amazing details thought out and put together by this couple! Kevin and Kelly exchanged vows at the beautiful El Chorro in Paradise Valley, Arizona.

El Chorro has always been one of my favorite spots for brunch and dinner…I mean they serve sticky buns as an appetizer for every meal and each patio table has its personal heater. This desert setting is at the base of Camelback Mountain with intimate pathways surrounded by gardens, trees, patios and fireplaces. Kelly and Kevin selected the perfect mix of vintage, heirloom, and homemade details to compliment the decor of El Chorro.

Read Full Post on the Round Lens Photography Blog

Food & Wine Pairings

Food & Wine Pairings

Nothing can make or break a great meal like a wine accompaniment. From salad to salmon, a great wine pairing can enhance flavors and enlighten the senses, creating a spectacular gastronomic affair. As you can imagine, the wrong food and wine pairing can bring out a different experience that detracts from the flavors and ingredients of the dish. Our seasoned culinary team at El Chorro strives to create the finest culinary experience with superb food and wine pairings from our vast wine list and seasonal menu, and have provided some suggestions for guests in our Paradise Valley restaurant.


We couldn’t agree more with Food Republic’s recommendation of pairing fish with rich or dry white wines. Chardonnays, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio are always great options. In the mood for a mixture of seafood? Our team recommends the CADE Sauvignon Blanc or PlumpJack Chardonnay to complement El Chorro’s Seafood Pasta. Salmon with soy ginger sauce? Pair it with the ZD Chardonnay or a nice red, like the Etude “Lyric” Pinot Noir.


When dining on steak, your options are plentiful, generally skewed between a medium or bold red. So, how do you narrow it down? While savoring El Chorro’s Niman Ranch Prime NY Steak, we recommend Shea Estate Pinot Noir or Twomey Merlot. With El Chorro’s Rocky Mountain Lamb Chops with port demi, we suggest the Numanthia, “Termes” Toro.

From the Garden

Salads are often a challenge for wine pairings, but the key is to match the intensity of the wine with the intensity of the dish. For any of the salads on El Chorro’s menu like the Kale Salad, Duncan Farms Beet Salad or El Chorro Chicken Cobb, we propose a light Pinot Grigio, like the Zonin Pinot Grigio or the Brancott Pinot Grigio for a low calorie option. Veggie lovers will love the Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc or Heitz Cellar Chardonnay with El Chorro’s Polenta & Vegetable Napoleon.

Wedding Wednesday
Style Me Pretty

Style Me Pretty Blogger Bride A Dash of Details’ Arizona Engagement


From Style Me Pretty… Ali here from A Dash of Details continuing the fun with my blogger bride series. I’m so excited about today’s post because I not only get to introduce you to my soon-to-be hubby, but also our amazing wedding photographer, Elyse Hall. The first thing when planning your engagement session is to determine the location. When it comes to engagement pictures, location dictates almost everything about the shoot – from the feel and vibe, outfits and message to the sentiments the couple are trying to convey…


Read Full article on Style Me Pretty

Wedding Wednesday
Pink & Purple

Glitzy and Glamorous Wedding in Pink & Purple

We’re so excited to share Ashley & Pete’s glamorous El Chorro wedding captured by Amy & Jordan Photography! Check out their feature on Wedding Chicks!

From Wedding Chicks Blog… Glitz and glamour made this modern elegant wedding in pink a grand slam! The beautiful hues of pinks and purples mixed with the crisp and clean details designed by Outstanding Occasions are sure to leave you breathless…