Top 5 best places to celebrate New Year’s Eve

We’re only two days away from the new year! As we say goodbye to 2015, let’s take a look at some of the best places to celebrate New Year’s Eve across the world.

1. Chicago

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Photo credit: nbcchicago.com

We’ll always be partial to our hometown, but Chicago is definitely upping it’s New Year’s Eve game this year with its Chi-Town Rising event along the Riverfront downtown! There’s big lineup of celebrity guests and musical acts set to perform, including the rock band Chicago! There’s also a countdown to midnight planned and big fireworks display too.  Talk about a great way to ring in the new year in the Windy City!

2. London

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Photo credit: visitlondon.com

Across the pond? Ring the new year to the chiming of Big Ben at midnight! Hundreds of thousands gather every year along the River Thames for a light show and firework display! The fun continues on New Year’s Day with a HUGE parade across town.

3. Sydney

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Photo credit: abc.net.au

Be one of the first in the world to welcome 2016 in Sydney, Australia. Sydney puts on the largest firework display in the world for it’s NYE celebrations, as well as a big waterfront show. More than a million people come out each year to see it!

4. Rio de Janiero

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Photo credit: cabanacopa.com

Rio de Janiero hosts the LARGEST NYE party in the world. More than two million people come to celebrate the new year with live musical and dance performances and a mesmerizing fireworks display.

5. New York City

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Photo credit: walksofnewyork.com

C’mon, you didn’t really think we’d make a NYE checklist without the Big Apple, did you? The annual Times Square event is one of the biggest in the world. Everyone should bring in the new year here at least once!

YOUR TURN: Are we missing a great spot to celebrate NYE? Let us know in the comments!

The Top 5 Places You Need to Visit During the Holidays

The holidays are traditionally the time of year when most people spend time with family. But instead of packing everyone in the SUV on a road trip to grandma’s house next year, consider these 5 great holiday travel destinations instead:

1. Key West, FL

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Photo credit: Ralph De Palma Photography

Escape the cold December weather and head to Key West, there’s plenty of holiday fun to be had! Be sure to check out the annual lighted boat parade, the Holly Jolly Trolley or catch a performance of The Nutcracker!

 

2. New York, New York

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Photo credit: anthonyquintano.com

Kevin had the right idea in Home Alone 2. Staying at The Plaza. Seeing the holiday tree at Rockefeller Center. Taking in some holiday music at Carnegie Hall. New York is the perfect place to get in the holiday spirit!

3. Puerto Rico

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Photo credit: panoramio.com

Another trip for the cold adverse traveler. Be warned though, Puerto Rico really knows how to celebrate; holiday festivities in Puerto Rico start in late November and can continue until mid-January!

4. Nuremburg, Germany

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Photo credit: wikimedia.org

What better place to visit than the home of the original Christkindlmarkt? You can get lost in all the market has to offer for days!

5. Chicago

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Photo credit: wooderice.com

We may be biased because Percipia is located in Chicago, but The Windy City is our favorite place to spend the holidays! There’s plenty of indoor and outdoor ice skating rinks, The Joffrey Ballet’s performance of The Nutcracker, ZooLights at the Lincoln Park Zoo, and America’s very own Christkindlmarkt. (Check out our blog post on Chicago’s Christkindlmarkt here)

Christkindlmarket

One of the best things about December in Chicago is going to the Christkindlmarket.

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Photo credit: chicagogenie.com

Christkindlmarket is an annual Christmas market held in Daley Plaza every year around the holidays.

The market features all kinds of Christmas-themed vendors and attractions, from baked goods to holiday ornaments and dance groups to bass brands…and of course, Santa!

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Photo credit: knox.armymwr.com

Christkindmarket is inspired by Christkindlesmarkt, a German holiday market dating back to the 1500s!

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Photo credit: ReneS, flickr.com

Christkindlmarket first came to Chicago in 1996, thanks to the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest.

Now in its 19th year, the market brings in more than a million people annually!

 

There’s still plenty of time to check Christkindlmarket out! It runs until Dec. 24. For more information, check out it’s website here.

3 Reasons to Visit PERCIPIA at TribalNet 2015!

We’re only 3 DAYS away from one our our favorite conferences we look forward to every year: TribalNet!

So in honor of our anticipation for the event, we’re giving you three reasons to visit Percipia at TribalNet next week!

1) S.T.A.R.
We’re beyond excited to show off S.T.A.R. It’s our newest product, and, simply put, it’s a easy-to-use solution-based software that makes property management simple. You can learn all about S.T.A.R. here.

2) Meet the team
We have a great team of hospitality technology experts coming to Austin for TribalNet. Our team boasts a cumulative 30 years in industry experience!

3) Experience our products in action
We can tell you all about how great our products are, but trust us, you’ll want to see them in action! We’ll be showcasing S.T.A.R., Latitude and our other great products at booth #5, so stop by and check them our for yourself!

BONUS item:
4) Visit us and win!
We’re also giving away a $100 Amazon gift card at our booth. Visit us at the conference to find out how you can win!

For more information on TribalNet, read our last blog post here!

Welcome to the team, Cari!

Please welcome our newest employee, Cari C. to the team!

It is always nerve-racking coming into a new company and trying to break the ice. Ensuring that new employees feel comfortable is crucial to building a positive transition within a company. We thought it would be fun to ask Cari a few questions to get to know her a little better.

Q: What is your official work title?
A: Systems Support Specialist

Q: Can you tell us more about your professional experience/history?
A: Immediately after finishing High School I began working in Webhosting Tech Support, wherein I advanced from Jr. Linux Admin, to Dedicated-Server Support, to Datacenter Ops, to midrange Linux Admin, to where I am now. I also practiced pro-bono English Instruction/Tutoring, freelance Graphic Design, and Child Care for Executives.

Q: What do you like to do outside of work?
A: Staying creative, making video games, comics, visual art. I also tend a small community garden I started (called The Hero of Thyme), and like to practice RC Aviation. I’d eventually like to obtain a Private Pilot’s license.

Q: What are your greatest travel experience?
A: I moved to Argentina to live with my boyfriend (whom I recently married).

Q: Favorite movie?
A: Howl’s Moving Castle

Q: Guilty pleasure music artist?
A: The Pillows

Q: What is something that inspires you?
A: Other peoples’ success stories and seeing the fruits of their labors. Being able to admire the superb craftsmanship of someone’s project is encouraging evidence that anyone could make something impressive if they’re dedicated to the task. It’s easy to get discouraged by your own failures, but knowing by example that it’s possible to make something work can help oneself to get back in the game.

Q: What would you say your professional goal would be now that you are employed at Percipia?
A: Making use of both my IT background and my creative drive, with tasks such as software development.

Meet Kris!

Please welcome Kris W. to our Chicago team!

You may have seen Kris’s face around and on our social media already: he’s been working part-time for Percipia this summer, but now he’s sticking around, so we thought it’d be fun to ask him some questions to get to know him a little better!

Q: What is your official work title?
A: Inside Sales Representative

Q: Can you tell us more about your professional experience/ history?
A: I was accepted into a top 10 U.S. internship program for Northwestern Mutual as a life and disability insurance agent after my first year of college. From there, I left to pursue my dream of playing on the PGA Tour and competed professionally in golf tournaments up and down the East Coast of the U.S.

Q: What do you like to do outside of work?
A: I love to be outdoors. You can always find me playing golf, working out, running, at a concert or just out trying new restaurants!

Q: What are your greatest travel experience?
A: I’ve been to at least 5 islands in the Caribbean and I would have to say my favorite place I’ve been is Jamaica. Never been to Europe or Asia, but I will definitely try to get there ASAP.

Q: Favorite movie?
A: Can’t pick one…Wedding Crashers, The Big Lebowski, Forrest Gump

Q: Guilty pleasure music artist?
A: John

Q: What is something that inspires you?
A: My fear of mediocrity, I’ve always been someone who wants more and will stop at nothing to achieve that.

Q: What would you say your professional goal would be now that you are employed at Percipia?
A: To corner the Chicago hotel and hotel development market. I want Percipia’s name in every hotel.

Welcome to the team, Kris! We’re excited to have you!

80th Annual NFL Draft

We are less than a week away from the 2015 NFL Draft. This year the event will be hosted in Chicago at Grant Park, Congress Plaza, and the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. The NFL as well as Chicago organizers say the event will be a major production that will turn parts of downtown Chicago into professional football’s second biggest event of the year.

Photo Credit: NFL

The 900,000-square foot Draft Town, across the street from the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago’s Grant Park and Congress Plaza, is a free admission “Town” for fans to come and partake in competitions, meet players, enjoy food, drink and music and buy NFL merchandise.

Photo Credit: Show Me Chicago

Although many spectators are excited for the event, Chicagoans dread for the day when street closings and transportation reroutes take over the city. The city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) announced a series of road closures for the Draft. Traffic around Grant Park and Roosevelt University will be diverted to make way for Draft events April 30 to May 2. OEMC officials encourage residents to allow extra time, expect delays and consider alternate routes to avoid the impact of the event.

Draft Town times and Dates:

Thursday, April 30: 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Friday, May 1: 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Saturday, May 2: 10 p.m. – 7 p.m. (concert at 8 p.m.)

Free Concert

A free concert featuring American Idol winner and platinum-selling songwriter PHILLIP PHILLIPS will provide a grand finale to the three-day Draft celebration in Chicago’s Grant Park on Saturday, May 2 at 8 p.m.

If you are attending the 80th annual NFL Draft leave a comment below or tweet us @Percipia1 and let us know how the event went.

Welcome Sahal to the Team!

Please help us welcome Sahal Ansari to our Chicago team!

It is always nerve-racking coming into a new company and trying to break the ice. Ensuring that new employees feel comfortable is crucial to building a positive transition within a company. We thought it would be fun to ask Sahal a few questions to get to know him a little better.

Let’s get started!

Q: What is your official work title?

A: My official work title is System Support Specialist.

Q: Can you tell us more about your professional experience/ history?

A: I’ve worked at lot of different jobs in the past including as a conversational English teacher in Shenzhen, China, as a Product Demonstrator at various grocery stores, and as a Social Services Assistant at a nursing home.

I spent spring semester 2012 in Beijing, China and helped a few of my friends poke holes in the Great Firewall. After I returned to the states, I built a website to help people get around censorship. I’ve been working on it since

Q: What do you like to do outside of work?

A: I love to travel, listen to music, bike, and watch tv.

Q: What are your greatest travel experience?

A: I took a road trip with my roommate a few years ago to the east coast.  We met some cool people at a New York hostel and traveled with them to other cities.

I was in Thailand during last year’s protests against the Prime Minster. We were trying to get on a domestic flight out of Bangkok on the first day of the protests. After a fun night, having only slept a few hours, we left our hostel for the airport with five hours to spare.  We waved down a few taxies until one finally agreed to get us to the airport.  Although the highway entrances were blocked by protesters we still got to the airport quickly. Unfortunately, the driver charged us triple and we sat bored at the airport for four hours while Bangkok’s citizens exercised their democratic freedoms.
The most difficult thing I’ve done physically is climb Tiger Leaping Gorge in Lijiang, Yunnan, China.  Through all the twenty-eight bends, I didn’t see one tiger…
Now on to the more personal questions.

Q: Favorite movie?

A: I really like bad Kung Fu movies with bad subtitles.

Q: Guilty pleasure music artist?

A: Rae Sremmurd

Q: What is something that inspires you?

A: I am inspired by everyone out there that tries hard to achieve their dreams.

Q: What would you say your professional goal would be now that you are employed at Percipia?

A: I want to learn a lot about supporting Percipia’s software.

Well there you have it! We are so happy to have Sahal join the team and contribute to the success of Percipia.

You can send Sahal some fan mail by tweeting @Percipia1