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!



7 Hotel Terms You Should Know

While we would always encourage you to look first at Christian retreat and conference centers in your area, there may be times when you will be booking a hotel for your meeting. Like most other industries, hotels have a language all their own.

With that in mind, here are 7 hotel terms you should know:

  • Back of the house – The areas of the hotel that are generally off limits to guests. These areas include kitchens, housekeeping, laundry, maintenance, service elevators, etc.
  • BEO – Banquet Event Order – The document created for every event on-site involving a meeting setup or catering. Read these BEO’s very carefully before signing as they contain all the details (setup, menus, catering  pricing, guarantees, etc.) for your event. Hotel staff will be working from the BEO’s as they service your event. Be sure that any verbal changes are added to the BEO’s. Otherwise they will could fall between the cracks.
  • CSM – Convention Services Manager – Typically once you have signed your room contract, you will be handed over from sales to operations. In doing so, the CSM becomes your primary contact and many meetings live or die based on the relationship between the meeting planner and their CSM.
  • MOD – Manager on Duty – Since the hotel general manager cannot be there 24/7, every hotel should have a designated manager on duty. This is the person with overall responsibility for the hotel in the GM’s absence.
  • Rack rate – The highest published rate the hotel will charge for a sleeping room.
  • Run of house – Typically when booking a block of rooms, the hotel will usually call it run of house. This gives the hotel maximum flexibility when selling rooms to your group. They can simply sell whatever rooms are available. Should you want, or require, more definition in exactly what room types will be in your room block, be sure to get that spelled out in your room contract.
  • Walk – This refers to what happens when a hotel is oversold and there are no rooms available. Unlike airlines, who will typically ask for volunteers when a flight is oversold, hotels do not ask for volunteers. Instead, when the guest shows up at the front desk they are informed there is not a room available. The guest is then “walked” to another hotel, hopefully nearby. Standard procedure for hotels is to honor all guaranteed reservations by paying the costs for the guest to stay at another hotel. Be sure to inquire about the hotel’s walk policy before signing your contract. If necessary you could then try and negotiate more favorable treatment for your attendees.

Obviously this is not an all-inclusive list. Are there any hotel terms we’ve missed that you think would be important to know?

Hotel Terms to Know

Recently I was talking with some meeting planners about how confusing “hotel lingo” can be. I agree, the terms we all use in our work may not be recognizable in others.

Here are a few definitions you should know.

Request For Proposal (RFP): An RFP is not a contract.  RFPs are considered an invitation for an offer to be made and potentially a contract issued.

Banquet Event Order (BEO): BEOs are the internal document generated to communicate to the hotel staff what the requirements of your meeting are.  BEOs will list your meeting set up, food and beverage, audiovisual and any other specifics about your meeting.

Cutoff Date: The cutoff date is the date the hotel releases your room block back to the general inventory.

Indemnification: To indemnify means to guarantee against any loss or damage that another might suffer.  These clauses in contracts are used to protect both parties against the negligent acts.

Force Majeure: Irresistible Force – the purpose of a force majeure clause is to protect both parties in the event that a part of the contract cannot be performed due to unavoidable causes which are outside of either parties control.

Attrition: Hotels set a value to your contract.  An amout of money they expect your business to generate.  “Attrition” occurs when a meeting is held but fails to reach expectations, either in number of rooms or the food and beverage revenue to the hotel.