by Midwest Meetings
Anna Thill, president of the Greater Mankato CVB
Once upon a time, a marathoner came to the Greater Mankato CVB
and said, “You know, Mankato should put on a marathon.” The conversation went to the Chamber of Commerce, then to the City of Mankato
, and from there, the CVB took the reins to bring that runner’s vision to life.
Working from the very start with Final Stretch, Inc
., a Nerstrand-based race management company owned by Mark Bongers, the Greater Mankato CVB
team dove into the challenge under the direction of bureau president Anna Thill. Two years of planning later, in 2010, the inaugural Mankato Marathon
took place, and this year, it came back with a bang.
How did it all come together? Midwest Meetings
followed along as Greater Mankato CVB
staff members put on their planning shoes and worked to bring a bigger, better Mankato Marathon
to the city in 2011. Here, Thill takes us through the final stages of the planning process as her team tackles the final weeks before the event. The course has been set, lessons have been learned, and challenges are yet to be overcome before the Mankato Marathon
takes place on October 22, 2011.
• Behind the scenes with Paul Leahy
Golf and resorts go hand-in-hand. Today more than ever, golf courses are situated on resorts to offer business professionals time to relax and unwind after a long day of meetings. You may even be surprised to know that many resorts have golf specialists who are there to ensure that all of your golf needs are met.
Paul Leahy is one of those golf specialists and serves as the Director of Golf at the Tan-Tar-A Resort
in Osage Beach, Missouri. Leahy has worked at the Tan-Tar-A Resort for over 20 years and oversees 27 holes of golf, 2 golf shops and a staff of 30 in all aspects of the golf operation at the resort. Those tasks range from marketing, accounting, merchandising and teaching. Midwest Meetings interviewed Leahy to get his insight on the impact golf has on resorts.Midwest Meetings:
What led you to working at a resort and becoming the Director of Golf?
•Golf activities your attendees won’t forget.
Golf events are a great way to combine work and play. A game of golf provides healthy competition with light-hearted camaraderie. Meeting planners are constantly challenged to come up with new ways to engage meeting and event attendees. Midwest Meetings® spoke with Certified Meeting Planner (CMP), Candy Adams. Adams, whose home office is located in Ohio, started out managing tradeshow exhibits and has been doing meetings and events for over 15 years. She trademarks herself as The Booth Mom® and of her many titles, she creates customized marketing plans and budgets for clients who want to improve their Return on Investment (ROI). After planning countless events, Adams shared what she has done over the years to make golf events unique and fun.
Midwest Meetings: Among the many events you’ve done, you’ve planned a fair share of golfing events. Tell us about your experiences that included golf.
•Items you can’t live without when heading to the course.
Joe’s bags are packed and he’s on his way to play golf for his annual company event. Once he arrived, he realized he forgot his golf shoes and putter. You may think this will never happen to you, but you’d be surprised how many individuals show up without all of their golf essentials. Before you leave for your next golf outing, make sure you have everything you need!
•TeesWhile some golf courses provide tees for you, it never hurts to have a few extras on hand.
* The latest in teambuilding trends.
Now that the economy has started to rebound and things are getting back to “normal”, there is a real need for employees to actively engage in and embrace worthwhile teambuilding experiences to restore harmony in the workplace.
So how do you, as a meeting planner, plan a teambuilding event that will not only build unity but also improve your company’s overall morale? We asked some industry professionals to weigh in on this, as well as what they see as the current teambuilding trends. Here’s what they had to say:
• What happens when the biggest sporting event of the year comes to town?
• Special considerations for large events.
Football, a classic American hobby, is also one of the biggest sporting events of the year. In 2012, it will be visiting Indianapolis, IN for the first time.
Sports tourism is big business for the city that is home to the Indy 500 and as a result of their viable destination, the Indiana Convention Center doubled in size with a $275 million expansion. The NFL experience will take place here for Super Bowl XLVI, it will act as the official tailgate party and feature a hands on fan friendly zone where fans can meet past players, indulge in great food, and enjoy the festivities. The Lucas Oil Stadium which opened in 2008 will be home to the big game.
by Deanna Tassoni
Like most of you reading this, I spend a lot of time with many people who plan and facilitate events, concerts, festivals, and parties full-time. Last week, I was given a new perspective. I had the pleasure of spending some time with an old friend who was in town for a healthcare technology conference. Instead of greeting me with a nice to see you or an it’s been a long time, he threw up his hands and screamed, “Thank you for saving me!” as he jumped into the car.
It turns out that after spending three straight days with his boss and 500 other engineers, he was bored out of his mind. My friend didn’t elect to be at this conference, and he made it clear he didn’t care for the lack of available activities outside of his work obligations. Throughout our entire conversation, I couldn’t help but put myself in the shoes of the event planner for the conference. It sounded like the planner spent a great deal of time and energy gathering distinguished speakers, arranging flights, and compiling the latest information on technology and industry news for the meetings and presentations. So what went wrong?
Use colorful vendor stands as food stations where “carnies” serve treats like cotton candy, doughboys and hot dogs. Add to the atmosphere by featuring acts from clowns, jugglers or magicians during the meal. Let your attendees try their luck with games of chance such as dart-throwing, a ring-toss or “pick a card.”
• Casino Night
Set up a blackjack table where a wait staff member “deals out” hors d’oeuvres and finger foods. Feature a few showgirls as servers, and hand out “funny money” imprinted with the company logo, which attendees can redeem for drinks or souvenirs.
1. Know your attendees. Are they pros or newbies? Most likely, you’ll have a mix of different ability levels within your group. Your participants’ level of proficiency should determine the nature of your golf event, be it serious playtime, a light-hearted learning adventure or somewhere in between.
2. Start looking for a site as far out as possible. Your best bet might be to book your golf event six months to a year in advance, if possible.
3. Set specific objectives for your golf outing. You need to know what you need to accomplish before you begin.
4. Survey your attendees to obtain insight into what they want and expect from your golf outing. Ask questions about desired tournament formats, food and beverage functions, contests and prizes, charitable giving opportunities, alternate activity options or other aspects of the event.
• If you have 100 golfers and charge a $100 entry fee, you can generate a $10,000 planning budget.
• The average entry fee is $125 per golfer.
• Estimating a median rack rate of $40, a tournament of 100 golfers will cost a minimum of $4,000 to play 18 holes.
• The average charitable golf outing raises $5,000.