Christian Meeting Planning Resources – October Update

Here is what we’ve added in October by category

Marketing/Promotion

Site Selection

Retreats/Meetings

Meeting Planners

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.

Christian Meeting Planning Resources – September Update

Here is what we’ve added in September by category

Marketing/Promotion

Did you know you could livestream your event on Twitter? Me neither. http://www.eventmanagerblog.com/twitter/livestream-event

20 simple ways to measure event marketing success. http://www.eventmanagerblog.com/marketing/measure

A few tips on planning your event…before you start marketing. http://www.markjcarter.com/2012/03/event-planning-before-marketing/#more-610

Blog writing extraordinaires give their secret tips in this post. http://thinktraffic.net/traffic-building-tips

Retreats/Meetings

How to create networking without actually networking. http://www.eventmanagerblog.com/guest-post/conference-networking
 Need decor ideas for your event? Did you ever think about decorating the ceiling? http://www.bizbash.com/6-eye-catching-ceiling-decor-ideas/gallery/87765
Slightly over the top but 100% eye-catching decorating ideas for any fancy get together http://www.bizbash.com/25-best-ideas-from-social-events/gallery/85110

Meeting Planners

What to do before and during a video conference? http://www.persuasive-speechesnow.com/virtual-meeting.html

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.

Why Make Team-Building A Part Of Your Retreat

What do you think of when you see the words team building?  My mind immediately goes to a trust fall…that’s the olde standby activity in most organizations.

I recently read a story about an NFL coach surprising his players with a bowling trip.  He used this time to build camaraderie between his players.  They’re a literal team.  The offensive line has to block for the quarterback.  The line backer has to support the defensive line.  You can see how those pieces come together.

Most organizations are not football teams but need similar team-building exercises.  Why?  Here are four reasons.

  1. Gets you out of your comfort zone. I’ve worked in big organizations and little organizations. When we’ve done a large group team-building exercise, I was forced to work with people inside the organization I didn’t know. This can be a great thing as it can lead to other collaborative ideas.
  2. Relationship building. This can relate to the first reason, because even in the same department, you may not know the person working in the cubicle next door.
  3. Allows you to see your co-workers in a different light. We always put up our work fronts. We probably don’t know it, but these fronts come up when we go to church or conferences. These team-building exercises allow these fronts to come down.
  4. Sometimes you need a reason to get out of the office. When I worked in a big organization, our department always took some time once a quarter to get out of the office. We went bowling or to the batting cages. Not much of a big deal, but it was great to laugh and get rid of that extra stress.

Do you find including team-building exercises as part of your event are important?  Why?  And what are some team-building exercises that you’ve used?

About the Author:  I am currently an artist manager for Michael Smith and Associates.  I work with promoters and event planners to coordinate their concerts that feature our acts.  I’ve been in the CCM business since I was in 8th grade having worked at a Christian bookstore and then Word Entertainment.  I’m also a drummer and attend ClearView Baptist Church in Franklin, TN.  My wife, Caron, and I have one daughter, Molly Cate.  Most importantly, I’m an Apple fan. Follow me on Twitter: @KyleBJohnson

3 Ways Technology Can Help You Plan Your Next Retreat

Recently I came across an article online entitled, “11 Meetings Technology Trends to Watch for in 2011“. The article was written by Corbin Ball and covered what he felt would be the major meeting and tradeshow technology trends to watch for in 2011.

While Ball’s focus was primarily on large corporate meetings and tradeshows, I believe some of what he brought out in his post can also benefit those folks who plan any size Christian meeting, event or retreat. With that in mind, here are 3 technology trends I believe could help you as you plan your events this year.

  • Web-based software – In the past, meeting planning software was cost-prohibitive for small events and retreats. Now there are web-based options (free, or low cost) that can be of tremendous help to event and retreat planners. One option to check out would be http://wufoo.com/events/. The site provides easy to build HTML forms that can be used for registration, collection of payments, share info with attendees, etc. As we also plan events, this is a site we’re definitely looking into.
  • Mobile apps for meetings – In a previous post, I wrote about the coming smart phone revolution (read here) and how it would impact meetings and conferences. Analysts estimate that by the end of 2011, the majority of cell phones used in the U.S. will be smart phones. Smart phone technology is increasingly being used for networking, exhibit layout, pocket programs, sermon notes, real-time surveys and more. Here’s a link to a new website that’s come online to help planners track all of these options.
  • Social media is becoming main stream– Analysts believe in 2011 we’ll see more usage of Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn for event marketing. Expect the emphasis to evolve from just letting people know about the event, to building attendee engagement before, during and after the event. Twitter, with the use of hashtags, is probably the best platform to use, for now, if you’re trying to build engagement with your audience.

As you think about how to incorporate technology into your events and event planning, don’t try to force it. Look for ways where the use of technology will make it easier for you to plan the retreat and/or enhance the overall event experience for your attendees.

Are you currently utilizing technology to help take your event to the next level? If so, what is it that’s working for you? Would you mind sharing your successes with our readers?