The 4 Rs of Meetings

In the meeting planning industry there are four Rs that apply to every aspect of your events from the pre-planning to the final outcomes.

  1. Relationships – Act on the relationships that are a part of your network.
  2. Relevancy –  Reassess the resources, energy and attention spent on the experience to measure their relevancy.
  3. Reflection – Take the time to engage in personal and organizational reflection.
  4. Readjustment – Ask yourself these questions to increase effectiveness:   1.  What have I learned about myself that I would be wise to carry forward?  2.  What have we learned about our work together that we would be wise to carry forward?

I believe these four principles are vital in our meeting planning efforts.

 

7 Post Event Tips

I read a great article by Ashely Muntan, in the Rejuvenate Magazine this week titled “The Post-Event Syndrome”, you can read the full article here.  I have just finished several events at Ridgecrest Conference Center so I found the following items particularly helpful in getting back to the office and getting back to business as usual.  I hope you will find these helpful as you are getting back from your events too.

1. Anticipate re-entry. A roller coaster feeling is inevitable in the event industry and post-program blues can be avoided with proactive disciplines. Mentally prepare yourself for your return, prioritize your to-do list and do not force yourself to tackle all of it in one day. Pace yourself back into a normal routine.

2. Look to your friends and family to facilitate the transition back to daily life. Often family and friends are neglected when planner schedules get busy, and it is important to devote some time to them upon a large event’s completion.

3. Don’t forget: It’s OK to feel excited and pleased with an event’s success. Take the time to reward yourself for a job well done. You have worked long hours pre-event and on-site, and it’s important to give yourself some attention to stay healthy.  Indulge in a relaxing activity, whether that’s an afternoon at the spa or movie theater or going on a long bike ride.

4. Manage the re-entry. Pre-blocking your schedule prior to your departure and managing your time post-event will allow you to find balance and tackle the to-do list at a normal pace.

5. Look forward to going through re-entry again. Managing re-entry and accepting that it’s not easy to get back into a more normal, slower routine can be difficult, but with the right self-discipline, it can be done. Think of re-entry as a reward, not a burden, for your hard work and great event success.

6.  Clean out your email inbox.  Chances are you let emails pile up in the weeks leading up to the event, only responding to the most crucial and time-sensitive messages.

7.  Send thank-you notes.  Since we don’t do it alone, hand-written notes to everyone on your team are necessary and greatly appreciated.

What other tips do you have for getting back into the swing of things?

Bright Ideas, Socia Media Usage and 7 Ways To Promote Your Next Meeting

Here at MinistryServingMinistry, we are constantly on the lookout for content we believe may be helpful to our readers. Each month we update the Resources page on our website with current material. Below is a list of what we’ve added in May:

Marketing/Promotion

Social Media Usage by Meeting Planners– Are you the only one who feels crazed every minute of the day as you try to fit social media into your life…

Bright Ideas – Faith-based meetings are changing. In many ways, they reflect the way Sunday morning worship services are…

Site Selection

Choose the Right Site– Choose a site that has adequate space and facilities for your meeting…

Contracts

Defensive Contract Negotiations – Risk management tips and strategies help your organization avoid disputes and losses…

Retreats/Meetings

The Big News About Meetings – Here’s a inside look at the big numbers from the new Convention Industry Council economic significance study—plus seven ways for associations to promote their meetings…

Meeting Planners

The Rule of Reciprocity – As event planners, there is much you can teach your clients, but there are things you can learn from them too…

GSA Story Highlights Importance of ROI – I am perplexed about why a “Meeting Planning 101” tool was not applied to the General Services Administration program…

We hope you find these helpful and remember we have many more than might interest you  in the Meeting Planner Resources section of the blog.

 

Resources – April Update

Here is what we’ve added in April by category:

Site Selection

Managing Your Room Block – As the economy improves, rates are rising, and it’s becoming more strategic to tightly manage your room block, mitigate attrition and…

Negotiations:  Convention Center Contracts – Know what you want before you begin the negotiating process and stick to it.

 

Retreats/Meetings

25 Cost Saving Tips – tips for getting the best deal for your next meeting…

Ageism and Association Meetings – the way we communicate before, during, and after our meetings is evolving in new and sometimes uncomfortable ways…

Meeting Planners

5 Stories that Defined 2011– 2011 was a rough and tumble year, one with more than its share of excitement and innovation…

2012: The Year of Integration – If 2012 goes as well as it might for meetings and events, the year will be remembered as the moment when integration became the industry’s new watchword…

I hope you find these helpful and remember we have many more than might interest you  in the Meeting Planner Resources section of the blog.

7 Tips For Getting The Most From A Site Visit

How many of you have purchased a car without driving it, or a house without looking at it? My guess is not very many answered yes to either question. I once bought a house without my wife actually seeing it until we moved in. Even though we had been married almost 25 years at the time, I was still pretty nervous until she said it was ok!

Making a major purchase without checking it out can be very risky. The same is true for booking a location for your retreat or conference without first visiting the venue. While time, distance and/or cost can sometimes prevent you from making a site visit, the possible negative impact of not making a site inspection can be far costlier.

Once you decide to make a site visit, here are 7 tips to help you maximize your time:

  1. Communicate, communicate, communicate – Prior to your site visit don’t just talk about dates and rates. Take the time to make sure your contact understands your group and what your meeting goals and objectives are. Share details about previous meetings, what worked and what didn’t. Then, watch and see how they address your needs during the site visit.
  2. Make a list – Prior to you visit, make a list of everything you would like to see while on site and share it with your facility contact. This is a good way of maximizing everyone’s time.
  3. Deal with the hard stuff up front – Don’t wait until the end of the site visit to talk about things like set-up fees, attrition, Internet costs, parking, resort fees and any other “hidden” fees that will drive up the cost over and above the quoted room rates. It could be that sweet deal you’re getting on the sleeping rooms is not such a great deal after all.
  4. Make sure the space fits – If you have any doubts about the space being able to work for your event, don’t be afraid to ask to have a room set to your specifications. Seeing is believing!
  5. Pay attention to the details – How is the information flow leading up to your site visit? How are you handle during the site visit? How’s the follow up? All of these are critical questions and will give you some good insight into how you’re group will be treated during your event. If you find they are dropping the ball leading up to your event, chances are pretty good they’ll do the same when your group is actually there.
  6. Take pictures – Site visits typically fly by and you could end forgetting at least half of what you see, especially if you’re visiting more than one location. Don’t be afraid to stop and take pictures or video along the way. It’s the best way of remembering when it’s time to sit down and make your decision.
  7. Stealth visit – If yours is a large event, you may want to consider making an unannounced visit prior to your site visit. This can be a great way of experiencing the facility the way your attendees will.

What other site visit tips have worked for you? Care to share?

5 Helpful Articles For Meeting Planners

We realize how valuable time is for everyone. That’s why we’ve pulled together 5 articles we feel could be helpful. Hopefully at least one will resonate with you.

Why Do We Start Conferences With General Sessions? – General sessions should be designed for the audience, not the leaders or organization. This article lists 8 purposes for a general session.

Debrief Your Way To Success – As many planners know, a pre-conference meeting before an event is a must. But what about a post-con, not only with your venue but with your organization?

How To Use Your Meeting Space To Create An Ownership Experience – Meeting professionals can learn a lot about creating an ownership experience and designing learning spaces from Apple’s stores.

Technology Primer: QR Codes – Ever thought about using QR codes for your next event? Curious about just what are QR codes? Here’s a good intro article…

What is Pinterest and How Can You Use it for Marketing your Business (or event/retreat)? – Pinterest is the newest member of today’s most popular social media websites, but instead of using written content as substance, it uses images and video. It allows users to “pin” images and video to a virtual bulletin board they create. They can be photos they took and uploaded, images found on other websites, videos they find online or videos they have created themselves.

10 Most Read Posts – 1st Quarter 2012

Hard to believe, but the first 3 months of 2012 are in the books! Time really does fly when you’re having fun and it’s been a busy, fun last 3 months here at MinistryServingMinistry. Traffic on the site is up. Hopefully this means you are finding articles helpful to you in your work or personal life.

We know many of you are relatively new to our blog. With that in mind, here is a list of 10 most read posts this past quarter:

4 Ways We Promise To Show A Little Love – At Ridgecrest we recognize how challenging and stressful it can be for the person planning their group’s meeting or retreat. Therefore we want to do everything we can to make planning an event with us a great, positive experience. To help make this happen, here are 4 ways we promise to show our event planners a little love.

What’s A Hollow Square? – As in any industry, hotels and conference centers sometimes have a language all their own. Here’s a little help in translating…

3 Steps To More Productive Brainstorming – Brainstorming with your planning team is a great way to ensure you provide an event your attendees will find engaging and worthwhile.  Here are 3 steps to take that will go a long way to making your next session more productive.

8 Ideas For Promoting Your Church Retreat –  If you don’t also spend time on strategically promoting your retreat, you may end up with a great retreat that no one attends. With that in mind, here are 8 ideas for helping to promote your upcoming church retreat.

5 Things To Do AFTER Your Meeting Is Over –  As many veteran planners can attest, the end of the meeting means you still have some work to do. Work that will definitely help you in planning future meetings and/or retreats.

Ridgecrest Recipies – Rutland Chicken – Enjoy and then let us know what you think!

Creating A Standout Women’s Retreat – A podcast interview with Chris Adams and Betsy Langmade, 2 of LifeWay’s long-time women’s leaders sharing what they’ve learned about planning women’s events.

Meeting Planner Survival Kit – Many planners need to be prepared to address last minute needs and emergencies. Here is a starter list of items you need to have in your meeting planner survival kit to be prepared at your next event.

5 Tips For Programming Effective Youth Camps – Brian Mills serves as student pastor Long Hollow Baptist Church and is passionate about reaching young people for Christ. Here are his thoughts on how to program your youth camp for maximum spiritual impact.

5 Tips For Relieving Meeting Planner Stress – Since stress is inevitable when you’re the planner, the key to handling it is to take a positive approach. Here are 5 tips that can help you deal with the stress associated with planning and running your event.

As always, thanks for checking out our blog!

 

 

Organizing The Unorganized

Don’t you just love lists?  How about when everything has a place and that place is orderly?  I know many people like this and many who would laugh at me for even suggesting such a thing.  I know some people who will take the time to get organized ever so often just to end up right back where they were to begin with.  Being organized takes a special commitment and involves getting into a routine.  Here are a few thoughts to help you get started on being, and staying organized.

  • Avoid Procrastination:  Once you’ve gotten organized by establishing a place for everything, make sure you put it there.  Don’t set things aside for later. Whether its papers at the office or dishes at home, take the few extra seconds to put things in their place when your done with them every time.
  • Make It a Habit:  It takes 21 days to establish a habit so you need to commit.  Make sure you’re in the organized life for the long haul.  You may have some days of chaos where you feel yourself slipping off track but that’s ok.  It happens to all of us.  Just make sure you get back on track quickly.
  • Reward Yourself:  Who doesn’t like to be rewarded for a job well done?  If you’ve been living an unorganized life, organizing it for the long haul is a big deal.  Set up some rewards for yourself.  Every month you succeed you can use the time you’ve saved by being organized (and you should have some) to do something fun just for you!

Do you have anything that has helped you stay organized that might help someone else?

 

 

 

Should You Be Using Pinterest To Promote Your Event?

If you’re like me, you have probably been reading and hearing a lot about Pinterest lately. Over the past 6 months it has been the fastest growing social media site…EVER! Given these stats, I felt like I had to check it out.

So, what is Pinterest? The short version is it’s a visually appealing platform, easy to use and offers life-style oriented content. Technically you have to be invited to join, but it’s not a big deal. Chances are pretty good that some of your Facebook or Twitter friends are already members and they can shoot you an email invite. Once you receive your invite you can log in and be creating your own pin boards in no time.

To help you decide if this is something you should doing with your events, here are 3 links we think you may find helpful:

How To Effectively Use Pinterest For Events – A picture paints a thousand words and events can tell an engaging story on Pinterest. Here are 5 tips to help you get started…

Pinterest For Conference, Wedding & Event Planners – Contains a list of 12 ways for event planners to use Pinterest. Interestingly enough, the first 2 deal with using Pinterest to brainstorm ideas for new events and conference topics.

Conference & Event Showcasing Via Online Pinboards – This link is to an open discussion group on LinkedIn dedicated to sharing how to use Pinterest to promote conferences and events.

Should you be using Pinterest to help promote your event? If you’re desire to create engagement with your audience in a visually compelling way, the short answer is YES. Pinterest can be a great way to build a community around your event.

The more I look into it, the more I’m convinced we will be promoting our events at Ridgecrest on Pinterest. What about you?

 

4 Ways We Promise To Show A Little Love

Earlier this year, CareerCast.com came out with their list of the most stressful jobs for 2012 (read here). Not surprisingly, soldier, fireman and police officer were all in the top 5.  What I definitely did not expect to see was event coordinator/planner at #6. After reading the article we responded by posting 5 stress relieving tips for meeting planners (read here), along with how to put together a meeting planner survival kit (read here). Hopefully you found at least one of these posts helpful!

At Ridgecrest we recognize how challenging and stressful it can be for the person planning their group’s meeting or retreat. Therefore we want to do everything we can to make planning an event with us a great, positive experience. To help make this happen, here are 4 ways we promise to show our event planners a little love:

  • Take the time to really listen – We know you’re busy and trying to juggle a boat load of details and a myriad of distractions. Whenever we talk, you will have our undivided attention as we discuss your meeting needs.
  • Be a problem solver- Let us know what problems you had with your last event and we’ll work closely with you to solve them. We want to help make you the hero!
  • We’ll offer suggestions/alternatives – We handle hundreds of meetings every year. This gives us the opportunity to see a lot of great and not so great event ideas. We’ll be sure to share ideas we think could positively impact your event and our feelings won’t be hurt if you choose not to take us up on a suggestion.
  • We’ll always say “thank you” – Your ministry is important to us and we’ll never take your business for granted!

As a meeting planner, how else can we show you a little love?