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Month: October 2018

When people hear the words Dia de Los Muertos, meaning Day of the Dead, they often think of it as being the Mexican version of Halloween. The two are in fact entirely separate holidays. Whereas Halloween is often dark, focusing on goblins, ghouls, costumes for adults and trick-or-treating for children.  Día de Los Muertos is a two-day vibrant celebration honoring family members who have passed.

How it began

The celebration began thousands of years ago with the Aztecs, the Toltecs and the Nahua’s. They believed that grieving for those who had died was disrespectful. Thus the Day of the Dead was born and they decided to celebrate the dead instead of grieving them. This Mexican holiday gradually grew into what it is today. It has become more widespread, now celebrated in countries such as Guatemala, Brazil, Spain, and the United States.

Día de Los Muertos takes place on November 1st to November 2nd. On the 1st it is believed that children who have passed can come back and be with their families. Whereas on the 2nd is when the deceased adults come back to visit.

The traditions

One of the traditions is the building of Ofrendas or altars. They are created in homes or at the families graves. But these altars do not serve the purpose of worship, but to encourage the visits by the souls. The altars help guide the deceased to visit the living. Each altar contains four elements representing earth, wind, fire, and water. Earth is generally some type of food items, such as Pan de Muerto, or Day of the Dead bread. The Wind element is Papel Picado. Papel Picado is colorful and decorative papers usually hung as banners for decoration.  The Fire element is candles situated in the form of a cross on the altar so the spirits can find their way. Lastly, water is often placed in a pitcher.

The Ofrendas are also decorated with marigolds, photos of the family member, monarch butterflies and Calaveras de Azucar.  Calaveras meaning skull is popular during Dia de Los Muertos and is made from sugar. The deceased’s name is often written on the forehead in icing.  In 2008 the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared the holiday as being part of “cultural heritage,” adding it to the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

A Day of the Dead parade did not exist until the 2015 James Bond film, Spectre. It showcased a parade filled with people dressed in various elegant and colorful outfits, donning skull masks and makeup. Ever since 2016 Mexico City has held the parade. At this parade is where you will find a colorful display of floats, giant puppets, and dancers, which attracts thousands of viewers every year.

Sources:

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/destinations/north-america/mexico/top-ten-day-of-dead-mexico/https://insider.si.edu/2016/10/5-facts-dia-de-los-muertos-day-dead/https://theculturetrip.com/north-america/mexico/articles/day-of-the-dead-in-mexico-10-traditions-customs/https://www.tripsavvy.com/foods-for-day-of-the-dead-1588709

Tis the Season for all the craze over pumpkin flavors. October hits and everyone runs for their favorite pumpkin flavored everything. The Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL) can be blamed for the start of the pumpkin craze.  It has since blossomed beyond hot drinks. Which brings us to the ultimate question, why is there such a huge Pumpkin Spice obsession?

Where it began

It began in 2003 when Starbucks product manager Peter Dukes and his team were delegated to come up with a seasonal fall drink.  Their first ideas were for a “pumpkin pie” flavored latte.  Needless to say, it didn’t go over so well.  Even so, it was included in the Starbucks test runs. After testing other several flavors, the “pumpkin pie latte” became the winner. This is when the real work began. The team was to create the perfect blend of pumpkin pie and coffee, then to give it a catchy name. Once the two were officially decided on, the first step towards Pumpkin Spice obsession began!

Pumpkin Spice is a Success

During the fall of 2003 the latte was introduced in Starbucks stores in both Vancouver and Washington, D.C.  Within no time it proved to be a complete success. It wasn’t though until the fall of 2004 that the Pumpkin Spice latte became available throughout the country. From that moment its popularity expanded rapidly!  In 2014 the famed latte got its own Twitter account, and now also has its own Instagram. Their follower count combined amounts to over 145,000.

While the enthusiasm for the PSL grew, other companies began to join in with creating their own versions of the popular latte.  Starbucks competitors and local coffee shop shops in town wanted to be included with their own creation of the famous latte.  Now it’s not just Pumpkin Spice in drink form anymore. It’s turned into something more, to the point that nearly everything has become inundated by the Pumpkin!

Why is it so popular?

But what is it really that makes it so popular? According to trendologist Kara Nielsen, it is the fact that it is only available for a certain period of time.  Since you can’t have this delicious flavor in March, the excitement builds while you wait for fall for local retailers to launch their pumpkin flavors. As well as that when something proves to be successful, it makes others want to try and duplicate it. When the fall season begins to make its approach, stores all over break out their Pumpkin Spice products. These range from cereals, snack foods, cough drops, alcohol, hummus and even dog shampoo! It’s now also a hair color, varying in shades of red.

There is a multitude of theories as to why people are so fascinated with the seasonal flavor. Is it the fact that it’s available for only a limited time? Is it the smell, bringing back memories of fall’s gone by? Or is it the spicy sweetness? Ultimately there is no one right answer; the attraction varies from person to person.  The PSL has gained such comedic meme levels by being titled as “basic”.   Even with  it continues to fill stores nationwide each year with eager customers.

 

Sources:

https://www.cookinglight.com/news/how-did-pumpkin-spice-become-popular-why-do-people-hate-love-ithttps://www.forbes.com/sites/tompopomaronis/2017/09/08/the-world-has-an-obsession-with-pumpkin-spice-and-businesses-know-it/#1a08531dc225https://www.bustle.com/p/the-history-of-the-pumpkin-spice-latte-how-it-came-to-embody-all-things-fall-10222074https://www.huffpost.com/entry/when-exactly-did-pumpkin-spice-lattes-become-basic_n_59c2bad2e4b06f93538c072d

It’s all just a bunch of Hocus Pocus, or is it? Around 2,000 years ago, on October 31st, the Celts celebrated with a festival called Samhain (pronounced Sow-in). This festival was a celebration of the end of the sunny summer season and the start of the gloomy, cold winter. They would light bonfires and wear outfits of skins and skulls from animals.  Also, they believed that on the 31st those who had passed on were able to return to earth for one night.  These outfits and bonfires would aid them in connecting with the dead.

When the Roman Empire took over the Celtic land, their festivals became combined with the Celts. All Saints Day and All Souls Day were two Catholic festival days that honored the dead.  All Souls Day, celebrated on November 2nd, consisted of nearly the same rituals as Samhain.  All Saints Day, celebrated on November 1st, also went by the names of All-hallows and All-hallowmas. It is because of these names that All-Hallows Eve, which gradually became known as Halloween, was celebrated on the 31st. The night before All-hallows.

Halloween in America

Halloween in America as it is known today started a little differently.  Mainly due to religious factors. It wasn’t until the late 19th century that it grew more widespread.  It became more celebrated by many children and adults over the years. This was because of the multitude of immigrants that came to America during that time.

The roots of American Halloween were taken from the Celts, predominantly the dressing up in costumes. At first, people dressed as different saints.  This gradually progressed into frightening costumes that were intended to scare people. The connecting with the dead grew into trying to predict the future.  Other activities include people bobbing for apples to find out who their spouse would be and looking into mirrors to try and see their future.

Trick-or-treating originated from when people would go around and ask for “soul cakes.” They would threaten that if they didn’t receive the “treat” they asked for, they would play a “trick” on the person. Candy eventually replaced the “soul cakes” as the given treat.  It is said the spending for Halloween is expected to reach $9 billion this year.  With 175 million Americans spending an average of $86.79 per person to participate.  95% on candy and 68% on a costume.

The Jack-O-Lantern

Jack-O-Lanterns also evolved from Celtic folklore. There is a tale about a man named “Stingy Jack”. He asked the Devil to have a drink with him but then refused to pay. He tricked the Devil and made him promise that he would not take Jack’s soul. Later when Jack died, God refused to allow him into heaven, and because of his trickery, the Devil refused to let him into hell. He banished Jack to wander the earth during the night with only a piece of lit coal. Jack put the coal into a turnip that had been carved out to give off the light, thus creating the first Jack-O-Lantern.

In Europe, people used various fruits and vegetables and carved frightening expressions into them.  They believed these scary carvings would keep at bay the ghost of Stingy Jack and any other evil entities that would attempt to darken their doorways. In America, Pumpkins became the fruit of choice for carving.

More Halloween fun facts:

In 2013 Stephen Clarke carved a Jack-O-Lantern in 16.47 seconds.
In 2010 Scott Cully carved the largest Jack-O-Lantern from a pumpkin that weighed 1,810.5 lb.
According to a survey done by the National Retail Federation it is estimated that in 2018 people will spend an average of $87, amounting in $9 billion in all; the most money being spent on candy.
A Full Moon on Halloween is not a common occurrence, the last one was in 2001, and the next will be in 2020.
The Top 10 Halloween Candies in America are Skittles, M&M’s, Snickers, Reese’s Cups, Starburst, Candy Corn, Hot Tamales, Hershey’s, Tootsie Pops and Jolly Ranchers.

Sources:

https://www.history.com/topics/halloween/history-of-halloween

https://www.history.com/topics/halloween/jack-olantern-history

http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/fastest-time-to-carve-one-pumpkin

http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/largest-jack-olantern/

https://www.candystore.com/blog/facts-trivia/halloween-candy-map-popular/

https://nrf.com/resources/consumer-research-and-data/holiday-spending/halloween-headquarters

Boss’s Day was created as a day for employees to thank their bosses for being so kind throughout the year. It is generally observed on October 16. Some people question the validity of this type of day, while others enjoy celebrating it.

The story of how this day was started began by a woman named Patricia Bays Haroski. She was a secretary for her father at State Farm Insurance in Illinois. She wanted a day to celebrate her dad as her boss and not only as her dad. In 1962 the Governor of Illinois, Otto Kerner, registered and officially proclaimed the day, “National Boss’s Day.” It was another 17 years until Hallmark decided to capitalize on this “holiday” and began offering a card for sale in 1979.

How many of you celebrate boss’s day in your office?

If you and your teammates want to participate in this day, you are probably brainstorming ideas and unique ways to celebrate. Some members of your team may not be able to contribute considerably monetarily. So we’ve compiled a list of inexpensive ideas of things you can do. If you choose to recognize your boss on this day, here are fun, yet affordable things you can do to show your appreciation.

Check out our ideas!

1. Have a potluck. A potluck is when each person in the office brings a dish to share with everyone on the team. With each team member bringing one dish to share, it turns out to be a fun party with lots of delicious flavors to feast on.  Host a Culinary team building program and make it a fun competition!

2. Bring breakfast. A dozen donuts from your local donut bakery is probably less than $10. This is a great way to show your boss how much you appreciate them with only a small contribution from each employee. For just a few dollars, everyone can enjoy a special treat and kick the day off eating breakfast together.

3. Flowers are an excellent gift for your female managers. A lot of women genuinely enjoy receiving flowers. Flowers are given to recipients for numerous reasons including love, apologies, sympathy, and kindness. A simple bouquet of flowers could express your gratitude to your boss, and she can keep them on her desk for the rest of the week as a reminder of how amazing her team is.

4. Create a handmade team card. If you are not able to spend any money, a handcrafted gift like a card is a thoughtful idea. Each team member can use their creative side to decorate and express their gratitude to their boss on a large card.

5. Decorate his or her workspace. If your boss is the type that likes surprises, then decorating their workspace would be the perfect gift. Imagine when they walk into the office in the morning, thinking its a regular day and see streamers, balloons and fun decor in their office.

6. Give a Gift Card to their favorite restaurant or store. If you want to treat your boss to a nice dinner, a gift card would be an ideal gift. With only a small contribution by each employee, you could surprise your boss with a gift card to treat themselves after hours.

Therefore, if you appreciate your boss and think they are doing a fantastic job, don’t forget them on October 16. This is a perfect opportunity to prove you are hands down the best employee on bosses day.

Source: https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/us/boss-day

Social media is everywhere and has expanded the means for communication personally and in business. You can connect with family, friends and classmates socially or prospective clients and current customers on a professional level.

Businesses use social media to build their brands and increase visibility in the marketplace. Social media websites and applications allow its users to create and share content. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are just a few examples of the platforms that will enable you to create content that is informative sending a message or idea to its readers.

At Best Corporate Events we know the importance of social media. And if you are not following our pages already, here is a good reminder of our account names and why you will want follow us!

Follow Best on Social Media

Facebook

Did you know Facebook adds 500,000 new users every day and six new profiles every second? There are approximately 2.5 billion active monthly users! It is said that 68% of Americans are on Facebook. The average user spends 35 minutes on Facebook a day. Check out our page at @BestCorporateEvents. Here is where we share pictures of our day to day events, new ideas to motivate your team and client reviews. Like and comment on our posts, so we know what you like to see. You might see your group event pictures posted on there next! Share our post with your friends and let them know how much you enjoyed your team building program with Best Corporate Events. Each Facebook users has an average of 155 friends, so like our page and be one of closest friends.

Instagram

There are 800 million Monthly Active Users on Instagram. Wow! Over 95 million photos are uploaded each day. Follow our profile @bestcorporateevents for fun behind the scene look at what’s happening at our corporate office. Instagram is where we might share our production team loading up the truck for its next large event or maybe a boomerang video of what we are doing to celebrate a birthday in the office. There are 4.2 billion Instagram Likes per day, and more than 40 billion photos have been shared. Get signed up and follow us.

LinkedIn

Are you on LinkedIn? LinkedIn has 500 million members! Be sure to follow Best Corporate Events and our CEO, Scott Flynn. The average CEO has 930 LinkedIn connections, and Scott can’t wait to connect with you. On LinkedIn is where you will find articles about team building, the latest conference, convention and hotel news, and industry updates.

Twitter

On Twitter, your username is called your “handle.” The Best Corporate Events handle is @BestCorpEvents. Since opening our account just a couple of years ago, we’ve tweeted 685 times. Our Tweets include fun articles, informative travel stories and sometimes just funny daily memes on holidays, seasonal happenings and more. There are said to be a total of 1.3 billion accounts, so follow our mind right away and don’t miss all the fun.

So whether you are an active user on social media or creating your first account today, search for Best Corporate Events and get all the latest news on team building.

Source: Sprout Social & Avasam

Check out more fun social media stats here!

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    Programs can be delivered anywhere in North America.

      If you have immediate questions, please contact us at:

      Phone: 800.849.8326
      Email: Sales@BestCorporateEvents.com

      What is a Keynote Speaker?

      Keynote Speaker is an often-misunderstood term associated with simply a motivational speaker, breakout speaker, industry expert, etc. Most professional speakers are not actual trained Keynote Speakers, who are specialists, therefore in much lower supply, and in higher demand.

      Keynote Speakers are experienced, professional communicators who engage an audience, capturing the essence of a client’s meeting. They are able to highlight it to their audience while simultaneously delivering their own key concepts and proprietary content in an entertaining and impactful way. Most companies understand that this specialization is very much worth the time (around an hour) and the investment.

      In order to capture the perfect essence, a Keynote Speaker spends the necessary time researching a client’s industry, their issues, and their audience to craft a customized presentation into a unique and distinctive moment specifically for the client’s event.

      As a top Keynote Speaker, Tom Leu strategically uses compelling storytelling, humor, powerful visuals, audio and video clips, and audience participation elements to weave an impactful message into your event in a fun and memorable way. Tom can also pair his Keynote with Best Corporate Events programming, laying a foundation and setting a tone that best prepares participants for maximum engagement in the forthcoming team events that day.