If you're interested in acquiring some quick tips for your event planning toolbox, you've come to the right place. Event planners face hundreds of challenges in their career and what better way to learn than from a seasoned professional who's devised an innovative solution to some of the most 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 your profession:
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 out beautifully for an event at the well-known Bellagio. Submitted by: Sandra Corzine, with ADP Insurance Services, Florham Park, New Jersey.
Arrive an Hour Early for a Site Visit
Show up at least one hour before your scheduled site inspection, and make your visit unannounced. Spend that hour walking around and try to interact with staff members as though you were a guest and ask a lot of questions. Ask for directions and ask "difficult questions" as though you were a novice traveler. Look at the restaurant and, time allowing, eat in one. If you find things are not up to snuff, you'll save yourself (and the sales manager) a lot of time and embarrassment. With the time you've saved get on the stick and do a spur-of-the-moment inspection of another hotel and book that one. Submitted by: Robert Abbott Director-Corp. Marketing & Communications, with Mueller Co., Decatur, Illinois.
Use a Tree Stanchion for Lanyards
As any planner or registrar knows, those string, lanyard badges can get tangled easily and make a mess of the registration area. A simple solution is to purchase a necklace stanchion, either online or at a local store. Some event planners will place a sign on top of them. Submitted by: Christopher Gossett Conference Coordinator, with Investment Company Institute, Washington, DC.
Reserve the Last Rows to Fill the Front Rows
Nothing looks worse than empty tables in front of a stage (or staging area) on banquet night, especially when there's a guest speaker. One solution is to put reserved signs on the last two rows of tables in the ballroom which forces people closer to the stage. Once the front tables are filled you can pull the reserved signs and fill the tables in the back. Submitted by: Dan Lough Project Coordinator, with United Transportation Union, Cleveland, Ohio.
Purchase a fishing tackle box and put miscellaneous items you might need such as pens, stapler, staples, paperclips, a box cutter, scissors, velcro, batteries, a sewing kit, and a first-aid emergency kit. This way everything is organized in one place and will save you time because you won't be running in different directions looking for things. Make sure you have a list of your tackle box contents and restock it when as soon as you return home so you're prepared for your next meeting. Submitted by: Julie Garrison with Association Management Ltd (city and state not listed).