No matter your level of experience, there’s always room to make your events better. Given everyday scheduling conflicts, work commitments and budgetary constraints, it’s tough for veteran event profs to find time for their own career training. For novice planners or volunteers, these challenges are more daunting. Imagine planning annual conventions and conferences with housing, meals, transportation and entertainment for thousands of attendees with little to no training or hands-on experience (scary stuff!). With that in mind, seasoned meeting professionals offer up advice to beginner planners to make their day go a bit easier.
1. Talk to your chef before, during and after the event.
Given attendees’ awareness of food allergies, religious diets and a slew of other health restrictions, it’s critical to know who (and what) is cooking in the kitchen. Tell the chef exactly what you need, want and don’t want on your menus. Afterward, let the catering staff know how the F&B worked, for better or worse.
2. Know thy neighbor.
When reserving meeting rooms, ask who’ll be sharing ballrooms and nearby breakout spaces. “We had an auction going on next door to us once that we were not aware of beforehand,” says Jane Turrill, executive and military assistant and conference planner for the Evangelical Church Alliance. “It was loud, and we had to ask them to tone it down.”
3. Photos don’t lie, but they can be misleading.
If you’re based in Washington, D.C., but are looking to book in Washington State, you may not have the funds to do a cross-country site visit. Don’t let a splashy website mislead you into making bad choices. Find a church member or someone else you trust based closer to the destination to scout potential hotels and venues, and then report back to you on the best options.
4. The more details in your RFP, the better.
The more information you can give a hotel about your group’s needs (i.e. guest rooms, meeting spaces, meals, parking requirements, etc.), the less back and forth you’ll have to endure when finalizing your contract.
The planners behind the Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly were blown away by the amenities in Columbus, Ohio.
Leadership guru Michael Hyatt has learned the hard way how to manage his time while nourishing his soul.
MPI President and CEO Paul Van Deventer reflects on losing a keynote speaker at the last minute and what planners can do should they face a similar situation.
Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders will deliver a keynote speech sure to inspire attendees at Connect Faith 2018 in Ontario, California.
When Latricia Chisholm and Garney Davis, Jr. met on a flight to Connect Faith in 2014, they knew it was only the beginning for them.
Barna Group's Bill Denzel explores how the current state of faith in America could affect the faith-based events industry.
AV experts break down the seemingly complex audiovisual world, sharing knowledge that event professionals from all levels of experience can use.
These three simple tips for accommodating dietary restrictions aren't as complicated or expensive as you think.
Five pros open up about race and culture within and beyond meeting room walls.
Burnout is a common problem within the events industry, but it is possible to put on a successful event without crossing into exhaustion.
Rebekah Lyons may be recognized most often as a writer, but she's a woman who wears many hats. Here's why we think she wears them exceptionally well.
We're sharing highlights of Barna Group's extensive study on the beliefs and lifestyles of Millennial Jews, which was released this week.
When negotiating contracts, back yourself with data to prove your event’s worth to a potential venue and include language that mitigates risk.