Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Luxury Hotels and Resorts and Where To Find Them

We all like to be pampered now and again, but your holidays are the only time where you can properly relax and unwind from the busy stresses of everyday life - so make sure you plan it right!

There is an abundance of Luxury Hotels all over the world but many aren't too family-friendly. Trying to get that balance between taking advantage of all the benefits of a luxury resort, yet having the privacy of your own luxury villa can be hard to get right - but there are options out there. Luxury Resorts in the Far East are a perfect option for those seeking a villa-style holiday, as most of their hotels are luxury villa properties where you can have the privacy of your own villa but at the same time feel part of the hotel too.

Family-friendly luxury hotel Soneva Kiri, part of the Six Senses Group, is an ideal retreat for those families looking for the ultimate escape where every family member is catered for. Set on its own lush tropical island just off the east coast of Thailand, Soneva Kiri offers its guests unparralled levels of excellence. With 29 oversized pool villas, which are set along the stunning beachfront or hillside, each one has an exceptional view out to sea. With 3 restaurants, spa, swimming pool, motorised and non-motorised watersports, tennis and fitness centre there is lots on offer; and for those younger ones, there's a revolutionary childrens club, The Den, which hangs over the forest canopy, with professional supervision giving an opportunity of relaxation for parents!

However, you don't have to go that far a-field to enjoy a luxury villa holiday. The Mediterranean is easy to get to (especially good for families) and generally the weather is very fine throughout the summer months. If you opt for a villa with childcare, a chef and a host included, you're well into the realms of Luxury Holiday. And as for Luxury Resorts, these too can be found in France - Moliets is a Luxury Resort with plenty of sporting activities and watersports on offer, as well as great food and lovely scenery.

Kuoni, Only Exclusive Travel and Scott Dunn, are all luxury tour operators specialising in Luxury Hotels and Luxury Villa Holidays. There are some great offers for Soneva Kiri, one of them being stay 7 nights but pay 5. Another travel company who offer Luxury Resorts and Luxury Hotels is Tripadvisor, the ideal website where you can read reviews by other holiday goers.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

What Is MS Access?

It has several components including:

• Tables
• Queries
• Forms
• Reports
• Macros
• Modules

What is MS Access used for?

It is primarily used to store large amounts of data and make it easily accessible by way of sorting, filtering and totalling using queries. The information can then be presented to the user by way of forms (for modification) and reports (for viewing and printing).

How sophisticated is MS Access?

It has often been touted as the database system for departmental solutions. The nature of MS Access means that it is quick and easy to store, organise and retrieve data and therefore suited to a departmental environment. However, due to the changes made in versions 2007 and 2010, It is now starting to punch its weight as a serious database solution with increased storage and seamless ODBC connectivity.

Where does VBA fit in?

Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language that underpins MS Access. It has been developed for the entire Microsoft Office suite but is most prevalent in Access and Excel. It used for automation within an application but doesn't actually have to be learnt to create excellent quality projects.

Versions of Access

The first version was released in 1992. It was called Access 1.0. since then multiple versions of Access have been released. Here are the most notable ones:

• Access 97
• Access 2000
• Access 2003
• Access 2007
• Access 2010

The original file type was in the .mdb format. This was changed to the Accdb format in Access 2007 so that more complex data could be handled. Access 2007 was also the first time that the ribbon was introduced into Access and tables could be stored in Sharepoint.

In 2010 Access acquired the ability to operate as a web application by way of being stored as a project in Sharepoint. This concept is known as Access Services and means that one database can actually support a client based file and a web based file.


Using ODBC Access can seamlessly connect to a multitude of documents from Excel files all the way through to basic text files. Access can also link to other Access tables and databases thus ensuring the size of an Access database can be increased by using an archiving system.

To summarise

Access is a brilliant departmental solution with ever increasing data handling capabilities. It is easy to learn and at the forefront of these modern web-application times we live in.

Seafood Distribution Software and How It Can Help Your Business

Expert Author Jeffrey Ferris

The seafood industry is definitely for early risers, as there is much work to get done in order to prepare for the day. The fishermen are out during the early morning hours trying to catch as much as they can to sell at the daily fish market, the distributors and buyers are at the docks waiting for the boats to arrive with their catch, and the restaurant and grocery store workers or owners are trying to purchase what they need in order to serve their customers. At least that's how the industry works for some... Having the proper seafood distribution software can really help your business thrive while reducing man-hours!

Of course there are many chefs who like to personally pick out and inspect their seafood items before buying, but there are also many who would prefer to simply log into their computer, view the item online, and purchase it that way! Once a customer becomes established with a distributor, they tend to know the quality of their customer service and delivered food items. If they are satisfied, then they are more apt to order online since it is more convenient for them and they have a good rapport with the distributor.

A quality seafood distribution software system can help reduce a company's customer service expenses by not needing to hire a huge phone support department that can handle customer orders all day long. Employees add a big expense to any business, especially with having to provide benefits, vacation days, holidays, and other common perks. The internet is king today, and the company who does not have a strong presence online with a superb ordering system is at a great disadvantage.

For the average buyer, being able to go to a seafood distributor's website at 2:00 a.m., view selections, and choose products to purchase is a huge benefit! Being able to work when they want to work, instead of only the hours that customer ordering support is offered, can bring relief and a sense of personal freedom. They can also take their time in selecting just the right products that they might need, and can also visually verify the order before submitting it to the company.

Customer service and ordering are just two areas that a good seafood distribution software system can tackle for a company, but they are not the only two. There are many accounting and inventory functions that it can handle that involve repetitive and detailed work, and require a great deal of accuracy. No one wants to get afoul of the IRS or other government agency because of a simple miscalculation or other error!

There are many companies still in this industry that do things by hand and work very much without a net... They keep life very low tech, and try not to involve themselves with computers and software. However, the company that wants to grow and expand their customer base will definitely be in the forefront when it comes to finding and working with a seafood distribution software system! Doing the right research and making sure the software does everything needed and does not include functions that are not needed is a good start for a company just beginning to search available options.

Music for Corporate Entertainment

For many years I have supplied music for and played in bands that provide music for corporate entertainment. Clients have included Audi, The Evening Standard, Sainsburys, P.C. World, Safeways, Large corporate clients at Henley and Ascot, I.T.V. and H.M. Treasury. Because of this experience I felt it would be relevant in putting down some pointers in helping clients choose the right kind of music for their particular corporate entertainment.

Interestingly enough, most corporate hospitality entertainment work tends to require music as an ingredient to a larger recipe. What I mean by this is a great deal of corporate events are offering a multi service package. Typically an organization may be putting on an evenings entertainment to thank its workforce for a particularly successful year. They may be offering music, food, comedy, a close up magician, a casino and a caricaturist. The corporate client organizing needs to decide what part the music has to play in the days/evenings entertainment.

Questions he or she needs to ask are:

Is the music specifically for entertainment or is the music for background listening?

Do we need one style of music early on in the proceedings and then a change of style later in the days/ evenings entertainment?

Do you expect the corporate clients to be networking and discussing business or are they just there for a good time?

What overall atmosphere do you want to project with the event?

Is there going to be a change of location for the music as the entertainment event unfolds?

Different styles of music bands lend themselves to different corporate hospitality situations. Below are a number of typical corporate hospitality events with music suggestions for suitable music entertainment.

Corporate entertainment model 1.

Evening reception with dinner and speeches.

In a situation such as this you will typically need music from the outset as part of the meet and greet of the corporate evening. A four-piece swing or Latin group is ideal with a larger ensemble for particularly large gatherings. A professional outfit can pitch the music at just the right decibel level so your guests can talk and enjoy the entertainment without it encroaching on conversations. The musicians would typically be dressed in Lounge Suits or Tuxedos (or the female equivalent) to mirror what the guests are wearing themselves. The music portrays an atmosphere of sophistication, which again hopefully reflects the evenings overall ambience.

It is rare for corporate clients to want to dance especially as clients there relationship is business not pleasure! In most cases it is more important that the band is flexible in when it is needed over the course of the evening i.e. At the top of the night for the reception, a smaller version of the band (The pianist maybe for the dinner), stopping for speeches and then after the speeches to play until other entertainment is put on for the corporate clients. In this situation give the band a clear idea of how you expect the evening to go. What to wear, when they will be needed, when they need to get their instruments in the building and be set up, when breaks will be required, let them know if it is convenient or not to feed them and then finally how they can leave when finished so as not to disrupt the rest of the entertainment.

Corporate entertainment model 2.

Company Party.

Still corporate entertainment, still corporate hospitality but a totally different set of requirements for the music. Ask yourself these questions: Are your work force the type of workforce who will want to dance at some point in the proceedings? If they are, then a professional band with flexibility is essential. My experience is that people of all ages will join together to dance to music from the sixties and seventies. Whatever background music you require earlier in the day/evening be it Latin, Swing, Rat Pack or Lounge, if you are hoping to provide entertainment that will get people dancing remember this fact. Sixties and Seventies. For some inexplicable reason this is the music that gets people up on their feet.

When choosing your music ask the band if they can cover this part of the corporate entertainment requirement. Get samples of their music if need be. There is nothing worse than an ill equipped band struggling through alien repertoire. However good the band is, if they do not play the right repertoire, the right style of music then the corporate entertainment will fall on deaf ears.

Let me at this point provide a caveat. Your workforce work together They are not always going to be the best of friends however professional their relationships are at work. Answer truthfully, will they really want to dance together or is it asking too much? I would say that in all the years of providing music for this kind of corporate entertainment / hospitality , as long as the music is right, the workforce tended to dance 30 or 40% of the time. It could be said that a workforce who will enjoy each others company in this way is a reflection on the talent of senior management to create a happy team!

Corporate entertainment model 3.

Company Fun Day.

These come in two types. The type to entertain your own workforce or the type to entertain prospective clients. Both types of corporate entertainment require music that is fun. This means that the music must be perceived as fun and the band must be perceived as fun. In both cases Jolly Dixieland Jazz or the summer sounds of Latin music are most suitable.

Ask yourself these questions: does the band need to be mobile? Meaning do you want the music to move around the site at various points in the proceedings? If so then the jolly jazz route is most suitable. A good professional outfit of four or five players can play acoustically and move around a site as directed.

If the band can be static and close to electrical power then either Jolly Jazz or Latin Music is suitable.

Is the event outdoors or indoors and do you have provision for bad weather? This is England, never trust to luck, assume the worst! Any band that needs power cannot play in the rain for health and safety reasons. At the first hint of inclement weather a band will have to breakdown their equipment. Build this situation into your corporate entertainment music decisions.

How do you want the band to dress? It is a fun day after all! In the past I and my musicians have dressed as Elvis, Cavemen, Circus Clowns, in fact all manner of characters in the name of corporate entertainment and corporate hospitality. Good bands will have suitable outfits for most situations but don`t hesitate in providing something off the wall for a special event. Most professional players have a strange urge to jump into such costumes at the earliest possibility! As someone who has played at a nudist camp and for a toga party, both dressed accordingly, take my word for it!

To draw this article together let me say this. Choose the right kind of music for the event. Brief the band accordingly but make sure you have a professional and flexible outfit, things can change over the course of the event and you want to make sure the band are both co-operative and able to fulfill your needs. Don`t hesitate to ask the band for any special requirements you have. Do it in plenty of time so they have time to prepare.

The corporate entertainment and hospitality you offer to your guests reflects directly onto your company. The music and musicians must be the type who are aware of this. Dont go for second best just to save a small amount of money. You need a well prepared, well dressed band who are both polite and charming to your guests. They need to play the right kind of music for the event in order to help make the day or evenings corporate entertainment a resounding success!