Summer grilling is here and life is opening up again, it’s time for gathering together with friends and family, having backyard BBQ’s and enjoying special occasions which we all missed so much!
Memorial Day is just around the corner and so is Father’s Day and if you’re planning on doing any cookouts, I hope you add this intensely flavored mustard, garlic herb paste to just about whatever you’re planning on grilling.
Fresh herbs are the key to this delicious herb paste which can be made in a jiffy using a food processor and don’t be afraid to double or triple this recipe, I promise it will amp up your grilling game!
I used a mix of basil, parsley, thyme, and rosemary. Each herb carries its own intense flavor which pairs nicely with grilled foods but feel free to create your own combo that you might prefer.
There are several different types of massage that a licensed practitioner can give, and they include:
Deep Tissue Massage– This massage technique uses slower and more forceful strokes to target deep layers of muscle tissue. This type of massage is perfect for anyone who has had an injury or is experiencing disc problems with the lower back area including the sciatic nerve. This type of massage will make you worn out at the end like you had an intense weight training session.
Swedish Massage– A Swedish massage is not for people who live in Sweden. This is a gentle type of massage compared to Deep Tissue and the strokes are longer using deep circular movements and tapping. This type of massage helps you feel relaxed and energized.
Trigger Point Massage– Trigger points are those areas of your body with really tight muscle fibers. These are specific areas where your practitioner can target and they can incorporate Deep Tissue Massage, as well.
Reflexology– This is also known as Zone Therapy and is similar to Acupuncture but without the needles. This is the application of using pressure to specific areas of your hands and feet. You can feel pain when this is applied, but it is meant to relieve stress and pressure that is built up in other areas of your body.
The human body experiences stress every day and most people associate that with mental or emotional stress.
Did you know that sitting down for a prolonged period of time, causes stress on your lower back, gluteus maximus, and hamstrings?
Think about how long people sit every day whether it be for work or pleasure like gaming or going onto social media.
The human body was not meant to be sitting on our posterior for most of our lives.
Our bodies are meant to be moving. Bodies in motion.
You are much more likely to develop Degenerative Disc Disease, Spinal Arthritis, and problems with your Sciatica if you do not make changes to the way you live and work.
Try getting up and stretching after about 20 minutes of sitting down either at work or home.
Stretching is critically important for your body especially the older you get.
Massage is just one more way to improve your life and overall health without using “Big Pharma” drugs which have all kinds of side effects.
COVID-19 has pretty much-ruined everything; this we already know. But some traditions remain intact, and that includes the delicious tradition of King Cake.
Traditionally served in the month of January, bakeries around Louisiana are pumping out the traditional pastry to offer a sweet bite of better times. In my own backyard of Dallas, PJ’s, a New Orleans-based coffee shop hopping across the Texas-Lousiana border, is offering an exciting new twist on the foodie favorite: King Cake Lattes. Per Eater Dallas, the limited-time drink includes “PJ’s espresso dolce roast, steamed milk with vanilla and cinnamon, and topped with a generous dollop of whipped cream dusted in purple sugar.”
Frankly, everyone here at Sprudge is obsessed. Much like Hamentashen, the King Cake is one of those sweet treats that comes but once a year, whose arrival is hungrily awaited. Find a way to add coffee to it—or it to coffee—and you’ve really got our attention.
But we understand not everyone can pop out to their nearest cafe for a King Cake Latte. So if you can’t get to a PJ’s, or want to make your very own version, Sprudge co-founder and noted King Cake enthusiast Jordan Michelman has whipped us up a play-at-home recipe.
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Traditional Louisiana-style King Cake calls for a very simple icing, what’s sometimes called “English icing” made of powdered sugar, milk, and lemon. As with all things King Cake there is endless variation and riffing—there is even an un-iced purist version, made using puff pastry and almond filling (they make an excellent one at Poupart Bakery). The inclusion of butter or even cream cheese to the icing recipe is not uncommon, although others feel the only appropriate place for cream cheese is inside the King Cake itself.
Very fine icing will fall apart immediately atop liquid, which is why the King Cake Latte needs to be floated with stouter stuff. After much trial and error, I suggest making a simple Diplomat Cream (aka Creme Patissiere), a sort of whipped cream vanilla pudding hybrid that holds up on top of a mug, and makes a sturdy precipice for the critical addition of gold, green, and purple sprinkles.
First, make a simple custard. Heat milk in a saucepan, then cream sugar and egg yolks together in a separate bowl, adding flour as you go. Combine the two into the saucepan, remove from heat, and stir until smooth. There are a billion recipes for this—I outlined the St. John version up above but use whatever style you like.
Then make whipped cream. Whatever your preferred method is here is fine—I like cream, vanilla, and icing sugar in an electric mixer, but everyone has their own way, and also store-bought is fine.
Combine the custard and the whipped cream together once everything is room temp. Store in the fridge for half an hour to let it cool and set up.
Then make your coffee. King Cake is a sweet treat, and your coffee should be too for this drink, although of course, the level of sweetness is up to you. Dissolving a teaspoon of brown sugar and powdered cinnamon into brewed not-too-light roasted coffee is a fine move—the house or espresso blend at your favorite indie roaster should work great, but let me specifically recommend this notes of King Cake blend now offered by Mug Drugs. To this, you might also add pre-sweetened alternative milk if that’s your preference, or otherwise sweeten up some cold brew. But don’t skip the cinnamon—this is a really important part of the King Cake flavor profile.
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Pour your sweet and cinnamony coffee into a vessel of your choosing, then top with a dollop of the Diplomat Cream, enough to cover the brew. The King Cake Latte isn’t a latte, exclusively; it’s more like a King Cake Coffee, and the coffee portion itself can be a latte, or cold brew with stuff added, or brewed coffee with stuff added, and the Diplomat Cream will blend with the liquid as you’re drinking with, further latte-fying the proceedings. The name—King Cake Latte—is more about evoking a feeling than any sort of specific drink requirement. Whatever you’re into is ultimately what’s correct, in this recipe as with all things in life.
Now it’s time for sprinkles. The traditional Mardi Gras colors each have their own unique meaning: purple for justice, green for faith, gold for power. It’s common to represent all three evenly, but if you’re in need of a little more faith or justice this year, the Lord won’t mind.
Sprinkle your sprinkles atop the Diplomat Cream, and sip your way through it to the sweet cinnamony beverage below. What a wonderful treat.
Here’s an elegant yet quick and easy starter that would fit perfectly into just about any menu: Carpaccio di salmone affumicato, or Smoked Salmon Carpaccio.
Classic carpaccio, of course, is made with thinly sliced beef. But the term carpaccio has evolved into a kind of passepartout for any number of dishes featuring thin slices of meat or fish, typically dressed with a light vinaigrette and perhaps some aromatic herbs. In this incarnation, thin slices of smoked salmon are dressed simply with an emulsion of oil and lemon, to which I like to add just a pinch of finely minced parsley. If you like, you can gussy up your carpaccio with all sorts of garnishes: a few capers, shaved fennel, arugula, even pomegranate seeds. Whatever strikes your fancy, really.
Smoked Salmon Carpaccio is simple itself to make, but it makes quite the impression, so it’s apt for a special occasion. To me, it’s an ideal way to begin a cenone di san Silvestro, or New Year’s Eve dinner on a simple but elegant note. That means less time in the kitchen, and more time sipping champagne and enjoying the evening with your loved ones. I call that a win-win.
Arrange thin slices of smoked salmon on a plate (if you like, over a bed of tender greens as pictured).
Then, whisk together all the dressing ingredients together until you have a smooth emulsion. Spoon this over the salmon slices.
Allow the salmon to macerate for just 5 minutes or so before serving, topped with one more garnishes if you like. Some crusty bread to go with is always welcome.
Notes on Smoked Salmon Carpaccio
As we’ve pointed out on this blog, the original carpaccio, as invented by Giuseppe Cipriani for his renowned Venice bar, was made with sliced beef fillets, pounded paper-thin then dressed with a creamy mayonnaise-based sauce. The charm of using smoked salmon, of course, is that you can buy it pre-sliced, which eliminates an awful lot of work. And the resulting contrast of orange and green, while not true to Carpaccio’s style of contrasting reds and whites, is lovely to behold all the same.
The choice of smoked salmon is up to you, but I particularly like Nova Scotia, the kind used for lox and bagels, as it’s only lightly smoked. For a more decisive smokiness, you could opt for Scottish smoked salmon. Personally, I find sockeye salmon’s darker color and fishier flavor less appealing as a carpaccio, but if you like it don’t let me stop you.
And obviously, you want to best quality olive oil you can manage to find, although I would opt for a lighter one, perhaps one from Liguria. Those very fruity and green olive oils, as wonderful as they are, could overwhelm the flavor of the fish.
And speaking of which, go light on the lemon juice. You want just enough to brighten the olive oil but no more. Since lemons vary in size and acidity, you may want to start with a few drops and add more to dressing until you’re pleased with the results. Also true for the salt. It may come as a surprise that you’d need any, but a small pinch, just enough to enhance the other flavors without drawing attention to itself, is what you want.
As mentioned above, the basic recipe for Smoked Salmon Carpaccio lends itself to a huge variety of garnishes. I’m partial to either laying my carpaccio on a bed of tender greens or else topping it with arugula leaves, which pairs particularly nicely with smoked salmon, I think. But the list given in the ingredients list is really just examples. Let your imagination run wild!
Besides its usual role as a starter, Smoked Salmon Carpaccio can double as a light pescatarian main course as well.
You can plate the salmon well ahead, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you’re almost ready to serve. The dressing, too, can be made ahead. Let the salmon come back to room temperature, then nap it with the dressing and top with any garnishes. What I wouldn’t do, however, is dress the salmon too far ahead of time as the dressing will become overwhelming if the salmon is left to macerate too long.
The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is clear when it comes to the right to earn a living. It has been ruled by a federal judge as early as 2012, that the right to earn a living is protected under the “Immunities & Privileges’ clause in the 14th Amendment.
Aside from Constitutional Law, Page is forcing privately owned businesses to comply with whatever he deems necessary to “protect” the public from the big bad Covid 19, Coronavirus that is lurking under ever bed and wreaking havoc through neighborhoods across the United States.
The Italian Mafia could never get away with the type of Racketeering & Extortion, that Saint Louis County Sam Page is exhorting.
Page has been the subject of two recent scandals that have made local media headlines, just to eventually fade away.
The first is regarding a special app called Signal that can be downloaded to your phone and not only can you text and receive encrypted messages, but the app also automatically deletes text messages.
Why on earth would Sam Page need to send and receive secretive messages that can automatically be deleted, and from whom?
Former Governor of Missouri Eric Greitens, who resigned in disgrace after numerous charges of corruption in 2018, also had the app, Signal on his cell phone.
The second recent scandal involving Sam Page is information obtained that a medical firm partly owned by Page received millions in government funds under the PPP act to help small businesses, and get this, $5000 of those funds were directed to Page’s political campaign via a PAC(Political Action Committee).
Page is using restaurants to collect personal information on all those who dine in, and is using the excuse of “contact tracing” to implement it.
When you hear of “contact tracing” think of government surveillance program or spy program.
Contact tracing is just another word for neighborhood snitches.
Many people in the West are not familiar with the East German Stasi.
The Stasi in many ways made Hitler’s SS look like choir boys.
The Stasi, from 1950 to 1989, had the most advanced and invasive program for spying on its citizens down to the local level, and in many cases using bribes and bounties to pay fellow citizens for snitching on each other.
It was elaborate and advanced especially for a nation that was not apart of Western economies.
Sam Page is doing something similar and although he is using the terms “contact tracing” and says this is to keep people safe, a much more nefarious agenda is at work.
Page is a “reputed” member of the Masonic Lodge of Creve Coeur, MO.
Those of you who are not familiar with Freemasonry, let me school you.
Freemasonry is a satanic cult and has been around for more than 300 years and their goals are to destroy the Catholic Church and also to set up a One World Socialist Republic.
Freemasonry has been behind two of the greatest revolutions in human history.
The French Revolution and the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia in 1917.
It is hard to see how most restaurant owners would comply and take down personal information on their customers and then hand it over to Page or the County Health Department.
There are so many violations of privacy laws by what Page is trying to do and these restaurants would be opening themselves up to all sorts of litigation.
January 4th, 2021 is the day that indoor dining resumes in Saint Louis County.
It will be interesting to see how many business owners comply with Sam Page’s latest abuse of power.
Again, the Italian Mafia could never get away with the level of Racketeering & Extortion that Saint Louis County Executive Sam Page is getting away with when it comes to privately owned businesses and will continue to do so until he is stopped.
Our planet is in a constant state of “fear”. You hear it continually like a broken record on national and local media. Social media is no different. It is as if there is nothing else going on in the world other than Covid 19. The fear pornographers are out in force and are trying to create reality for you based upon their own narrative.
Don’t let them!
Chronic fear can have long-term effects on your emotional, mental, and physical health.
Your emotional health is intricately linked to your immune system. Your immune system is a collection of billions of cells, and some target organs that have the primary job of keeping you healthy and fighting off disease. Your immune system cells travel throughout your body and defend it against antigens, such as viruses. Unrelenting cortisol, your primary stress hormone, suppresses your immune system by reducing the number of its virus-fighting cells.
Some of the best ways to reduce your cortisol levels are drinking black tea and taking an incredible herb called Ashwagandha Root Extract. Both of these bring down your cortisol levels and have a relaxative effect on the brain. Prolonged high cortisol levels is consistent with weight gain, low testosterone levels, diabetes, heart disease, and many other health issues. Ashwagandha Root is also great for adrenal gland burn out.
To make matters worse, ‘low-grade cortisol baths’ seem to be the biggest immune system culprit of all. These ‘baths’ are smaller influxes of cortisol all day long, primarily due to a stress dominated thought process. It is estimated that we have 60,000-80,000 thoughts a day, primarily repetitive, and primarily negative. When added to the concept that your brain, in many ways, doesn’t know the difference between what you vividly imagine (or worry about) and what is real, you can see the damage your panic may be wreaking on your risk of contracting a circulating virus
The number one way to strengthen not only your immune system but also your mental health is from high intensity cardio and weight training. High intensity cardio for me is getting on an Eliptical and going no more than 20 minutes doing intermittent sprinting. Winds sprints are one of the best ways to burn fat. Walking or running on a tread mill for more than ten minutes is not only bad for your knees, but, does nothing to burn fat. Take a look at the body of a sprinter compared to that of a long distance runner. You can see that the sprinter has nothing but muscle on their frame and the long distance runner looks like a malnourished child in the 3rd world. High intensity weight training by far, exceeds everything when it comes to turbo charging your immune system. The older you get, the more weight training you need. Why? When we age, our bones become weaker, and we need to pack on more muscle to support those bones. The most efficient way to pack on muscle is high intensity weight training. Some may have their own definition of high intensity weight training, but for me, it is using weights in a slow, controlled manner and pushing yourself to failure with a short rest period in between each set. This helps me burn fat and also increase my metabolic rate. High intensity weight training is also the number one way to increase your testosterone levels which is key to overall good health especially for men over 40. These types of exercises also increase your serotonin levels which is important for healthy moods and brain function. If you are concerned about Covid 19, this is the absolute best way to combat that virus or any other disease.
Another way to help you cope with fear and panic is doing deep breathing exercises. I like doing these exercises when I am on the floor with my legs straight up next to my bed. Since most people sit all day, the blood flow is being cut off to your lower body. By raising your legs while on your back, straight up, the blood flow is coming back into your upper body and this is great for your heart as well your lower body. It also helps tremendously if you have any sort of back problems. Try doing this at least once a day for 10 to 15 minutes and doing your deep breathing exercises while in that position.
Finally, if Covid 19 has you down, even though the death rate is less than .05 percent, here are a few more great ideas for you.
Vitamin D Is the Key to Good Health – Covid 19, aka, “the Rona”, is a virus developed in a lab designed to mimic the flu and is a targeted virus. Who are the targets? The targets are those with low levels of Vitamin D. This is why very few young people are getting the Rona since they typically have high levels of Vitamin D. Regardless, the reason people get sick more in the winter time is? Because we have less sunlight. And you know what sunlight gives us? Yep! Vitamin D. You need to supplement with Vitamin D3 especially if you are over 40 and in particular during the winter months. Don’t be afraid to jack up your amounts of D3 to 40,000IU’s especially if you have the Rona or something worse like cancer.
Liposomal C – Use as much as you want. This type of vitamin C is without a doubt, the most absorbable C out there. Go nuts with C!
Become a CHAGA Gangster – Chaga mushrooms are freaking awesome. There were reports that both China and Russia were stock piling CHAGA back in March. These mushrooms are not only good if you have the Rona, or don’t want to get it, but they are also incredible for anyone that has cancer. These are not your typical mushrooms. Unless you get them in powdered form or supplements, they are very hard. They are not meant to be chewed. Steam hot water and pour over them in a tea cup and also add some black tea and you have a one-two punch combination.
Brahmi Powder – This herb is one that I have been taking because of a series of strokes that I had in 2019. This is another awesome herb! It is great for anyone who is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress, Grief, Depression, High Anxiety, or all of the above. Brahmi aids in brain repair, is a memory enhancer, and studies have shown that it also helps people with Autism. Brahmi is rich in antioxidants, amino acids, magnesium, and potassium. It is also considered an anti-anxiety herb.
These are tips that you can use right now to help you deal with all of the chronic fear being pushed upon us all on a daily basis.
These tips are the true way to good mental, emotional, and physical health and unlike Big Pharma drugs and vaccines, No Side Effects.
News headlines are still full of articles and information on the CoronaVirus(Covid 19). It seems as if this is the only virus out there that people need to be informed about.
Any type of virus, like Corona, which is an upper respiratory illness, can be serious especially if it involves the lungs.
Keeping your home or office free of germs should be important to anyone who doesn’t want to be sick.
Time is not only money, but it is also something you only have a finite amount of during any given day. Who wants to be spending that finite resource in bed with a cold, the flu, or something else, like Coronavirus.
Job layoffs continue across America. Isn’t it time that you were serious about creating another source of income?
So, one of the first things that you can do at home is when you come in from the outside, is to put your shoes in a cardboard box near the door where you came in from. That is something very simple you can do to prevent the spread of germs in your home. Remember, your shoes are on all outside surfaces including in grocery stores, gas stations, and public restrooms. It would be also a good idea to clean the top and bottom of your shoes at least twice a week with some natural botanical household cleaners that we will discuss later.
Your kitchen and bathrooms are by far the two places that will have the most germs because of what we do in those places. An exterminator told me once that bugs, including German roaches, ride into your home and in particular your kitchen, from the grocery store. They can attach themselves to your clothing or shopping bags and most people do not even notice them. Bugs contain germs and are most often found in these two rooms.
The Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) has a list of household cleaners that they say can kill Coronavirus.
One of those products is Pine Sol. Pine Sol has been around a long time. Interesting, however, is that the EPA, on the same site that they approve Pine Sol as a destroyer of Coronavirus, also state that Toluene, which is contained in Pine Sol, is harmful to the human body, including if you inhale it.
You want your family to live in a safe environment. Stop spending money on harmful household cleaners and disinfectants. You want a disinfectant that contains thymol. Thymol is derived from the herb Thyme.
Toluene is a solvent and neurotoxin. It is used as a gasoline additive and is also used in making paint and paint thinners. Toluene is also a known carcinogen.
Pine Sol and cleaners like it, also contain, ammonium chloride. Ammonium chloride has several side effects including headache, shortness of breath, nausea, and cough, just to name of few.
Then there is bleach. Another household cleaner that many of us grew up on.
Many people are of the mindset that bleach is safe. Bleach is very irritating and corrosive to the skin, lungs, and eyes. As well, it has been known to burn human tissue internally or externally. On top of this- it may cause skin rash, extreme headaches, migraines, muscle weakness, abdominal discomfort, esophageal perforation, nausea and vomiting. In addition, it can damage the nervous system. People that have a respiratory problem should avoid the use of bleach because it can worsen especially people suffering from asthma and allergies.
Coronavirus is an upper respiratory virus which also affects the lungs, so using a household cleaner with bleach, will only make matters worse, if in fact, you have the virus. Other symptoms may occur such as stinging sensation in the eyes and nose, coughing and breath shortness. Bleach fumes can accumulate and linger in poorly-ventilated homes. Indoor air becomes polluted with toxins, endangering the health of all those who breathe it in.
The EPA has also listed, earlier this year, household cleaners that contain Thymol.
Thymol is getting a lot of attention for different reasons. What is thymol? Thymol is an ingredient derived from the herb Thyme, which most people have heard of if they do any sort of cooking. It is also a component of the botanical essential thyme oil.
Thymol is an anti microbial, anti fungal, anti mycotic, anti inflammatory, and also an anti oxidant.
In 2007, a study was done in Croatia to find out the affects of thymol and essential thyme oil against molds from damp places. Here are the findings from that study. Essential thyme oil possesses a wide range spectrum of fungicidal activity. The vaporous phase of the oil exhibited long lasting suppressive activity on molds in damp dwellings. They went on to say that thymol was three times as strong as the essential oil of thyme in its fungicidal activity. Their final conclusion was that both thymol and essential thyme oil can be used for disinfection of moldy walls in dwellings and in low concentration.
A study in 2016 was conducted in the treatment of a cough in upper respiratory infections like Coronavirus using thymol, essential thyme oil and primrose oil. The conclusion of the study was that the natural extracts from these herbs were comparable to the synthetic drug Ambroxol and no side effects with these natural herbs.
So, does it make any sense to use the household cleaners that have been around for decades that we now know has these harmful chemicals and possibly more? Call me crazy but, if the directions on Pine Sol and Bleach tell you to wear a mask and gloves, why would you be cleaning your homes with it?
There are other inexpensive alternatives. For under $20.00 you can purchase a household cleaner that contains Thymol. The one that I have used for over 2 years is
Sol U Guard from Melaleuca. Sol U Guard also contains citric acid which is also anti microbial and anti fungal. Sol U Guard just happens to be one of the best selling products for Melaleuca because of the Coronavirus.
Everything you need to know on how to keep your home germ free doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive.
Germs will always be here and germs aren’t necessarily a bad thing. Like comedian George Carlin once said, your immune system needs to germs to practice on. That’s true.
It doesn’t however, make much sense in buying the cheaper household cleaners like Pine Sol or Bleach to detoxify your home, when in fact, it will be doing just the opposite.
We are now months into the Pandemic, and our state has slowly opened things up, and we are now able to go out to eat, shop, or visit our local outdoor markets. However, I do my best to keep my ventures out to a minimum, always wear my mask in public, and do my best to social distance. The one thing that has kept me sane the past few months has been cooking. Going into the kitchen and testing out new recipes every week has been very relaxing, enjoyable, and delicious! Since we are in the heat of summer, we have been grilling out much more than usual to keep the kitchen cool. When we fire up the grill, we usually try to cook our entire meal outdoors, including vegetable sides, and either an appetizer or grilled fruit for dessert.
I have always been a big fan of poultry, chicken in particular, and in fact, I could eat it daily and not get tired of it. When grilling chicken, I like to marinade it a few hours before cooking it to help tenderize it and add extra flavor. This easy marinade uses my Calabrian chili pepper pesto and fresh limes, garlic, and olive oil. The limes help to tenderize the chicken and add brightness, while the chili pepper pesto adds a gentle heat. I order from Calabrian chili pesto from Amazon.com and always have a few jars in my pantry. You could use chicken breasts in place of chicken thighs, however I find that the thighs work really well with this marinade.
In the pandemic, every moment matters—and Indy is making moves.
It might be human nature to freeze in the face of crisis. But the only way for businesses to navigate through sudden upheaval is with speed and agility. Quick, data-driven decision making must lead the way for all aspects of associations—from meeting planners grappling with the transition to a virtual event, to membership teams struggling to keep members engaged.
Consider what’s known as the SODA loop. The acronym stands for scan (the circumstances), orient (to the changes), decide (on an effective response), and act fast to implement it. In crises, businesses that successfully tighten that loop will come out on top when the dust settles. Here are some tips for how to make it happen.
ORGANIZE A COMMITTEE OF EXPERTS.
When the pandemic began impacting events in March, the Indy Convention Center evaluated the situation and moved swiftly to adapt. It changed air filtration systems and sanitization protocols, revamped the floor plan for greater capacity, and invested more than $7 million in overall improvements.
“Indy was built to host major events. It’s what we do,” explains Roberta Tisdul, the director of convention services for Visit Indy. “After years of hosting Final Fours, large-scale conventions, and a Super Bowl, we have perfected the local organizing committee concept. By including leaders representing the full spectrum of the hospitality industry, we are able to form a united front.”
Adapting that organizing committee model, the team created the Indy Tourism Recovery Task Force, which provided a platform to orchestrate unified city-wide safety and hospitality guidelines.
BUILD AND ADAPT INFRASTRUCTURE.
The ability to react swiftly in changing times is easier when a business already has some infrastructure in place to prepare for eventualities. But crisis can also be an opportunity to build upon or even set up new infrastructures that guide the business into a changed future.
Indy found itself well prepared when circumstances called to pivot to new space restrictions mandated by the city as well as an increase of hybrid and virtual meeting requests. First, the city had the space: The Indiana Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium, connected by an enclosed skywalk, combine for nearly 750,000 square feet of exhibit space, more than 80 breakout rooms, and three ballrooms. But the Indiana Convention Center also worked quickly to revise floor plans with built-in six-foot physical distancing measures. These new protocols allowed Indy to host more than 40,000 attendees across 18 events amid eased restrictions in August.
“Each of these meeting groups proactively worked with Visit Indy, the Indiana Convention Center, hotels, and the Marion County Health Department to have their health and safety plan approved,” Tisdul explains. “That’s the team mentality here in Indy.”
For hybrid meetings, and the need to connect virtual attendees with the destination, Indy has developed video content that can be customized for breaks—from zen time lapses to mixologist recipes to virtual workouts.
Internet bandwidth has also become essential to hosting large-scale streaming events. And the Indiana Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium offers 21 gigabits per second of bandwidth, more than 2,000 Wi-Fi access points between both venues, and free Wi-Fi available in public areas.
COMMUNICATE AND COLLABORATE.
A strong team can harness its effective collaboration and communication strategies to weather a crisis from a unified position.
“We’ve always known the hospitality community in Indy is one team, yet this pandemic solidified it,” Tisdul says. “From hotels, to A/V companies, to the city—we’re all working to find solutions to the evolving challenges. Indy was one of the first cities to resume hosting large meetings, and to do that safely required a vast amount of collaboration.”
But the midst of an emergency is not an ideal time to put that team framework into place; rather, teamwork should be a goal organizations strive to build every day.
“Quick decision-making is really indicative of the people and processes you have in place even before a crisis strikes,” Tisdul says. “Combine a productive, positive, and progressive attitude with a proven track record in hosting large events and you have a team that is ready to weather this storm and come out stronger than ever.”
Visit Indy proudly serves as the official sales and marketing organization for USA Today’s “#1 Convention City in the U.S.” Learn more at VisitIndy.com.