Meeting Planning Made Easy
by OSAE Member Lauren Levy, professional meeting planner
Believe it or not, the holidays are around the corner. I recently read that Cracker Barrel restaurants have their Christmas decorations out. Can you believe it? I certainly can’t! Especially since, as I write this, it is only August (sigh).
However, knowing retailers are starting to prep for the holidays got me thinking. Maybe we all need to start thinking about the holidays AND planning our association/work holiday parties. And, as the saying goes, the early bird catches the worm. So, how can I help you catch the worm?
When I help others plan their events, the very first thing I ask is, “What is your budget?” Once a budget is set, I typically ask these follow-up questions:
- How many guests are invited?
- If it’s a work-related program, are spouses/dates included?
- Where would you like to have it? Is there a particular part of the city that appeals to you?
- What do you envision the event will look like - a formal dinner, casual or something different?
Based on the above, we would have a great framework to proceed. However, if someone tells me they want to do something different than what they have done in the past but are unsure what their vision is, we brainstorm further. Some options I might suggest: a party at a bowling alley or maybe at an arcade. Arcades with games popular from the 1980s, think PacMan, are popping up all over. Maybe they want to try an Escape Room party that encourages a lot of teamwork. This might be a great idea for small offices that want to create more synergy among their staff. Or, perhaps they want something very new and or different - like an ax-throwing party. Where I reside in central Ohio, I’m aware of many establishments that offer these kinds of fun programming. And, guess what, many of these places also offer food. If they don’t but you like this idea, one easy way to add food is to hire a food truck. The possibilities are endless.
Once the above questions have been answered, it’s best to start calling places within your community. After all, the early bird will get their choice of dates and locations. And, be sure to ask, wherever you decide to host your event, if they will provide you with a discount for planning your event this far in advance. Good luck and have fun!! Meeting planning, no matter the event, can be made easy!
About the author:
Lauren Levy, MBA is a meeting planner based in central Ohio. A new consultant to OSAE’s membership, Levy has planned events for groups of all sizes. To brainstorm ideas, she can be reached at Events4Ohio@gmail.comm.