Help! How Do I Do This?

At Ridgecrest and Glorieta we are privileged to host hundreds of groups each year. While most of the larger events are planned by experienced meeting planners, many of the smaller events are not. Typically they are planned by a lay person who volunteers. Or, in some cases, makes the mistake of leaving the room at the wrong time! Has that ever happened to you?

Either way, the person charged with planning the event doesn’t have much experience and that can be pretty intimidating. Here at MinistryServingMinistry, our desire is to try and help relieve a little of that stress.

With that in mind, I asked two of our event coordinators at Ridgecrest (Lindsay and Stephanie) to share with us five tips for the first time meeting planner. Here’s what they had to say:

  • Do a site visit – If at all possible, go visit the place where you will be holding your event or retreat. There is simply no substitute for actually walking the ground where you’ll be meeting. This one thing will go a long way in eliminating much of the stress for a first time planner.
  • Be prepared for the unexpected – A pretty good rule of thumb for just about any event is that not everything will go exactly as planned. What happens if it rains/snows? What if something happens to one of your speakers? Just a couple of the questions you need to think about during your planning.
  • Know your attendees and their expectations – Remember, you’re not planning this event/retreat for you. It’s for those you want to attend. Make sure you have a good idea of what they need and expect to come away with.
  • Give yourself plenty of time to plan the event/retreat – Too often first time planners will underestimate the time it takes to plan a successful event/retreat. We suggest at least 6-12 months.
  • Utilize the property’s event coordinator – They are the professionals. Don’t be afraid to ask them for help!

Would love to get some additional help from our readers. What tips would you give a first time retreat planner?