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What’s new at the 2014 NADA/ATD Convention & Expo

23 Jan

Every year, we try to bring our attendees and exhibitors something fresh and exciting, and this year is no different. Take a look at the new things we have in store for 2014:

  1.  Afternoon Delight: Dessert and Coffee bar, compliments of NADA  Monday, Jan 27th 1 -2:30whatsnewpm on the Expo Floor in the Neighborhood Eateries.
  2. Social Connection Zone– Genius Bar, Tech Clinicians and daily mini Tech Session
  3. Best in Show Exhibitor Contest – The booths with the best booth design; creativity and branding will take home this first time award.
  4. Scan-n-Go registration kiosks – scan your confirmation code (print out or right from your mobile device) and get your registration materials quickly and easy!
  5. Award Winning Lifestyle Experience with department store partner, Saks Fifth Avenue.
  6. 64 workshop topics and 174 workshop session with 50 new presenters!

Which one are you looking forward to?

Award-Winning Lifestyle and Wellness Experience Returns to NADA Convention & Expo in New Orleans

29 Oct

The NADAccelerateYoujustlogoA Convention’s award-winning Lifestyle Experience is back for 2014 offering both men and women numerous activities to relax their minds, bodies and souls while walking through the Expo floor in New Orleans.

The four Lifestyle Experience pavilions encompass Beauty and Fashion; Lifetime; Mind, Body and Spirit; and Relax.

Highlights for 2014 include a professional portrait studio, a golf clinic and putting green, psychics and tarot card readers, yoga, health screenings, manicures and hair care, massage therapists, an oxygen bar, aromatherapy, jewelry making and more.

“The NADA convention has taken the lifestyle and wellness concept to the next level with four specialty zones,” said Melissa Wolpert, director of convention services and operations for NADA. “Attendees can take a quick break from the action throughout the day. The activities last about 10 to 15 minutes.”

NADA has partnered with Saks Fifth Avenue to offer skin care and makeup consultation from Lancôme, clothing accessory bars for men and women, Hermes fragrance bar and fashion show.

“The Lifestyle Experience pavilions are not just for spouses,” Wolpert added. “There’s something for everyone.”

Saks Fifth Avenue will also host in-store events, including a private champagne-jazz breakfast and shopping events. (Saks Fifth Avenue, located at 301 Canal St., is walking distance from most NADA hotels. A shuttle bus also runs from the convention center.)
Lifestyle Experience dates and hours:

Saturday, Jan. 25  (8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.)
— Sunday, Jan. 26  (8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.)
— Monday, Jan. 27  (8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.)

Considered the “Automotive Industry Event of the Year,” the convention includes dealer-manufacturer franchise meetings, educational workshops, hundreds of exhibits on the expo floor and numerous networking events.

The 2013 NADA convention’s Lifestyle Experience pavilions in Orlando, Fla., were recognized by BizBash as one of the most innovative events held by both corporations and trade associations this year. BizBash is an industry magazine and online resource for event planners.

The 2014 NADA convention runs Jan. 24-27. For more information about the Lifestyle Experience venues, click here.

Dealers and their managers who register in advance by Jan. 16 will receive a $75 discount from the on-site rate. To register, visit


From yoga and fitness to fashion and jazz, here’s a schedule of lifestyle events held at specific times during the NADA convention in New Orleans:

Laughter Yoga
Saturday, Jan. 25
10 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Laughter yoga combines unconditional laughter with yogic breathing (Pranayama). Laughter is simulated as a body exercise in a group with eye contact and childlike playfulness that offers physiological and psychological benefits. LOCATION: Mind, Body & Spirit (Hall G)

The Best of Saks Fifth Avenue
Saturday, Jan. 25
11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

girlaccelerateA fashion show will present the latest “looks” for men and women, and includes a prize drawing for a $250 Saks Fifth Avenue gift card. (Must be present to win.) LOCATION: Beauty & Fashion Pavilion’s Lifestyle Theatre (Hall G)

Work/Life Balance Presentation
— Saturday,
Jan. 25 (11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.)
— Sunday Jan. 26 (11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.)

How organized are you? With today’s busy lifestyle, it’s a challenge to stay organized. Take a quiz from the “Occasional Wife” and learn the top-10 ways to create a better work-life balance and stay organized. LOCATION: Mind, Body & Spirit (Hall G)

“Wardrobing” … Saks Style
, Jan. 26
2 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Hear from style experts how to take your “look” from day to evening and from home to on the “go.” Learn about fabrics that travel well and packing techniques. A $250 Saks Fifth Avenue gift card will be raffled. (Must be present to win.) LOCATION: Beauty & Fashion Pavilion (Hall G)

Champagne Jazz Breakfast and Exclusive Shopping Event
Sunday, Jan. 26
11 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Attend a private continental champagne brunch and register to win a $250 Saks Fifth Avenue gift card. To make a reservation, call (504) 524-2220 Ext. 5228. Space is limited.
LOCATION: Saks Fifth Avenue, 301 Canal St.

Hula Hooping
— Sunday, Jan. 26 (10 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.)

— Monday, Jan. 27 (10 a.m., 2p.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.)

The Hula Hoop has evolved, and hooping is a new fitness trend sweeping the country. The circle is the infinite symbol of health, fitness, playfulness and joy. LOCATION: Mind, Body & Spirit (Hall G)

Jazz, Cocktails and Shopping Event
Monday, Jan. 27
4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Cocktails will be served at Three at Saks in the men’s complex, which includes live jazz from local musicians. Register to win a $250 Saks Fifth Avenue gift card. LOCATION: Saks Fifth Avenue, 301 Canal St.

Hotel Spotlight: Hyatt Regency New Orleans

16 Oct

hyattregencyroomNADA and ATD attendees can experience the Crescent City like never before at the revitalized Hyatt Regency New Orleans. As an integral part of the city’s downtown area for over 30 years, the hotel was one of the most visual representations of Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath.

For more than six years, locals and visitors eagerly awaited the re-opening of one of the Big Easy’s most important hotels. The New Orleans AAA Four Diamond hotel re-opened its doors in the fall of 2011 as one of the city’s premier hotels.


doughnut station


Chocoholics Dessert Bar

For jazz lovers the hotel’s restaurant features the Jazz: Live at Hyatt series featuring a sultry jazz and cabaret performance by local songstress Anaïs St. John. Along with the show you can enjoy a prime rib and seafood buffet. If you’re not up for dinner you can still enjoy dessert with the Chocoholics Dessert Bar – an all-you-can-eat buffet of sweets!

To register and book this property for the NADA/ATD Convention & Expo visit and

New Orleans 101: The Neighborhoods

4 Sep

New Orleans neighborhoods are where the culture and creativity of the Crescent City come to life. From the historic French Quarter to the elegant Garden District to the music-filled Marigny- there is great food, music and more to be found all across the city.

Here we highlight a hStreetandful of New Orleans’ most popular neighborhoods and provide information that will help you explore the different flavors of the city and all they have to offer.


Downtown and Warehouse District

 In New Orleans, the Central Business District (CBD) is the city’s downtown. The boundaries for the CBD roughly fall at Canal Street to Poydras and from Claiborne Avenue to Tchoupitoulas Street. Due to its close proximity to the French Quarter many of the city’s hotels reside within the CBD. The neighborhood is also home to some of New Orleans favorite cocktail bars and many fabulous restaurants.

Faubourg Marigny & Bywater

Nestled just down river (east) from the French Quarter are two of New Orleans’ most distinct and well-kept secrets: the Faubourg Marigny and Bywater neighborhoods. Both neighborhoods are only minutes away from the French Quarter, yet, are tucked back into their own diverse communities, combining old-time New Orleans culture with a hip, contemporary bohemianism.

French Quarter

The original settlement of New Orleans, called Vieux Carré, French Quarter or simply The Quarter, is the oldest neighborhood in the city. Established by the French in 1718, the location was, and is still, a valuable site for trade due to its strategic position along the Mississippi River.

So much of what makes New Orleans unique is captured in the melting pot atmosphere of the French Quarter – from the raucous party atmosphere of Bourbon Street to the bohemian elegance of Royal. It’s a neighborhood full of surprises and magic.

Garden District

Tradition, opulence and beauty can all be used to describe New Orleans’ historic Garden District. With its well-preserved collection of antebellum mansions, pristine gardens and southern charm, the Garden DisFacadewScootertrict certainly stands out as one of the country’s most lovely neighborhoods, and a popular destination for visitors. General boundaries for this famous neighborhood are St. Charles Avenue to Magazine Street and from Jackson Avenue to Louisiana Avenue.


Long before the neighborhood had its own popular HBO series, the Tremé was already heralded as a vital American landmark for African-American and Creole culture. Many consider the Tremé to be the cultural heart of New Orleans, and the neighborhood’s contributions to the American arts can be witnessed in disciplines from dance to music to architectural design. The Tremé celebrates its rich history and heritage with museums, tours and landmarks dedicated to preserving one of the United States oldest African-American and free people of color neighborhoods.

New Orleans 101: The Food

30 Jul


If you end up at some boring chain restaurant eating bland hamburgers while you’re in New Orleans, you’ll never forgive yourself. Avoid such shame by familiarizing yourself with the dishes below — and be well prepared to savor forkfuls of the culture, tradition and recipe perfection that have earned New Orleans its culinary legacy.

A trip to New Orleans is not complete without a steamy helping of gumbo.Treat yourself to a culinary carnival created by a mix of West European,African,Caribbean and Native American Indian influences.Classic gumbo recipes call for okra simmered for hours in a stock made as rich as possible,starting with a roux and the“trinity” — onions,celery and bell peppers. Served over rice,variations include seafood gumbo with shrimp, oysters and crabmeat, or chicken gumbo with andouille sausage.
Sometimes called a “French doughnut,”these decadent treats were brought to Louisiana by the Acadians. Abeignetisa square piece of dough that,upon being deep fried,forms a slightly doughy yet slightly crispy pillow and is covered with powdered sugar.There are other savory versions, with fillings such as crawfish or shrimp,also seen on New Orleans menus.

This spiced,heavily smoked pork sausage is a key flavor in main dishes served all over the city.Originally brought to Louisiana by French colonists, today’s Cajun andouille is the best-known variety in the United States — and the spiciest. The sausage is seasoned with salt, cracked black pepper and garlic and is smoked over pecan wood and sugar cane for up to eight hours.

While filled with classically Italian flavors such as salami, ham, provolone and the piquant olive spread that gives it its distinctive taste, this famous sandwich was born in New Orleans. Restaurants all over the city have their own
versions, but for a taste of the original, visit Central Grocery, which invented the sandwich in 1903.

Crawfish Etouffee
A local favorite, crawfish étouffée could be called gumbo’s spiced-up, savory cousin. Stemming from the French word for “smothered,” this thicker Cajun creation employs hot spices, including cayenne pepper, a mélange of onion and green pepper and hints of garlic.  With loads of fresh crawfish, this tantalizing Southern treat is typically enjoyed over rice.

Shrimp Creole
As time-honored as shrimping is to Louisiana, this coveted culinary delight offers fresh peeled shrimp, chopped onion, green pepper, green onion and chopped tomato. Satisfy your Southern spice craving while keeping the calorie factor low— this tomato-based favorite is said to be a healthy, light and flavorful Creole dish.



There are many variations of this classic New Orleans sandwich, as well as a few different stories about its origins. A couple of commonalities across all interpretations: long, submarine-style bread and an affordable price. Po-boys usually are piled high with a deli meat such as roast beef and topped in debris (a tasty version of gravy). They are also filled with fried seafood such as shrimp, catfish or crawfish mixed with a specialty white sauce that is a more flavorful version of tarter sauce.

Oyster Rockefeller
Oysters Rockefeller can be ordered all over the city, but the New Orleans institution Antoine’s holds the title of creator, serving the original dish since 1899.
Though the exact recipe remains a secret, chefs describe the dish as a combination of oysters, capers, parsley and parmesan cheese topped with a rich white sauce of butter, flour and milk.

Red Beans and Rice
This Creole classic is a staple on menus across the city, and many restaurants feature it on Mondays — that’s because New Orleanians traditionally made the dish with leftover pork from Sunday dinner. Try a modern version at the Napoleon House and the Gumbo Shop, which serve red beans and rice with smoked sausage.

Bananas Foster
This distinctive dessert — made with bananas, ice cream, dark rum, sugar and spices — was famously invented at Brennan’s Restaurant right here in New Orleans. The flamed treat remains Brennan’s most popular item, requiring 35,000 pounds of bananas each year!


Bananas Foster

A meal in itself, this simple yet flavorful classic New Orleans stew consists of sausage, vegetables and a variety of seafood. The final touch — adding raw long-grain rice to absorb flavors from the stock — is what sets this one-pot wonder apart from similar ethnic dishes. Variations include chicken or turkey jambalaya.


To get more information on New Orleans visit