I asked an alumni of the Hospitality and Event Management program to detail how her events had changed. Here’s her response regarding an event she did shortly after graduation. She has since gone on to develop larger programs and secure a great place for herself in the business and hospitality industries. Her opening statement says it all!
Thank you, Dawn!
In previous years I just went through the motions and followed instructions given to me by the hotel staff. This year I felt like I was the one in control (somewhat). I still have a long way to go, but it was definitely a different air.
- Preparing an emergency plan and working with our own Risk Management Department to get the appropriate paperwork on insurance issues (never knew I should).
- Working with all of the presenters or shareholders of the meeting, to have meetings on the progress of the meeting and the contents of the program. This was a chore – we live in silos around here, but I wanted to make sure that everyone was an owner in the event and it was very clear to everyone how the meeting was going to flow. Previously it was only one person who was in charge and all others were somewhat (or more like absolutely) in the dark about the entire event.
- Making sure that the “Welcome” speaker announced where the emergency exits were, where the restrooms were, and where the staging area was in case of an emergency.
- Getting emergency information from our attendees – before we just invited them! This year I made sure that all contact information was readily available in the emergency plan that I and corporate had a copy of.
- Working with catering on the buffets served in conjunction with other events at the facility – saved money.
- Working with catering to serve the lunch desserts at the afternoon break -saved money.
- Insisting on a pre-convention meeting to make sure I knew who all the players were at the hotel and how to reach them.
- Insisting on a post-convention meeting to make sure I completely understood all the charges (which is where I found the screen fee. The AV rentals were not included in the initial contract. I purchased a “package” which included a free standing screen because the screen in the meeting room was in a corner at an angle. The day we had round table discussions we used the ceiling screen instead of the free-standing screen because of the riser in the middle of the room, and boom – charged!!)
- Making all of my own centerpieces and using other materials we have on hand to use throughout the event, such as table covers we use at trade shows I used on the buffet tables (you taught us to be creative!)
- Making sure that I had an AV technician on-site during the time we had our keynote speaker and presenters. He was worth his weight in gold. I never had one in the past (actually didn’t know I could!!) and will never go without one in the future.
- Finding a linen rental company that I could afford so our awards banquet was an event they would remember!!