Event planners face hundreds of challenges on each program, so imagine someone else’s innovative solution to some common challenges. ConventionPlanit.com collected more than 175 event planning tips from meeting and event planners as part of its Stellar Tip Contest. ConventionPlanit.com is a commission-free search directory available to meeting professionals.
The following highlights a few tips offered by colleagues in the profession:
Event Planning Tip: Reduce Room Attrition Fees
A day or so before your event, find out if your hotel is booked. If so, you can use that to get them to waive any attrition fees you may have incurred. This worked for me at Bellagio. -- Submitted by: Sandra Corzine, with ADP Insurance Services, Florham Park, New Jersey.
Event Planning Tip: Arrive 1 Hour Early for Site Visits
Show up at least one hour before your scheduled site inspection, unannounced. In that time, walk around, try to interact with staff like you are a guest (ask directions, ask "difficult questions" as if you were not a seasoned traveler), look in the restaurants -- eat there if you have time, ask for recommendations for a local restaurant (just to see the responsiveness). I've actually called off an inspection when the property didn't come close to my standards for the meeting being placed -- saved my time and did the sales manager the courtesy of saving his, too. In the time I saved, did a spur-of-the-moment inspection of another hotel and ended up booking it! -- Submitted by: Robert Abbott Director-Corp. Marketing & Communications, with Mueller Co., Decatur, Illinois.
Event Planning Tip: Use a Tree Stanchion for Lanyards
As any planner or registrar knows, string/lanyard badges can get tangled easily and create quite a mess in the registration area. After going to a store one day, I noticed a necklace stanchion in the jewelry section. I found and bought a few "tree stanchions" on the Internet and now use them at all of our conferences. I barely ever have to fight with knots. Plus, they make the registration area look even more professional and organized. You can even place a sign on top of them! -- Submitted by: Christopher Gossett Conference Coordinator, with Investment Company Institute, Washington, District of Columbia.
Event Planning Tip: Reserve Last Rows to Fill Front Rows
Want to fill those empty tables at the front of a banquet?
Nothing looks worse than empty tables in front of your stage on banquet night, especially when you have a guest speaker. When I want to make sure the tables in front of my stage are full I put reserved signs on the last two rows of tables in the ballroom which forces people to look at tables closer to the stage. Once those front tables are filled I pull the reserved signs and fill the tables in the back of the room too. It really works great! -- Submitted by: Dan Lough Project Coordinator, with United Transportation Union, Cleveland, Ohio.
Event Planning Tip: Use a Fishing Tackle Box for a Supply Kit
Purchase a fishing tackle box and put any miscellaneous items you would need for your meeting (pens, stapler/staples, paperclips, box cutter, scissors, velcro, batteries, sewing kit, emergency kit etc.) and emergency kit. Everything is organized and in one spot to help save time when needed. Make sure you have a list of contents and restock the tackle box when you return home before you find yourself at the next meeting and something is missing. -- Submitted by: Julie Garrison with Association Management Ltd (city and state not listed).
Tips content reprinted with permission from ConventionPlanit.com, which offers event planners an opportunity to submit their own ideas and possibly receive $100 if their tip is selected.