Volunteers are the foundation of nearly every successful nonprofit organization and competition organizing committee. This article will define the factors involved in organizing a volunteer program that will support a large-sized activity or competition, and for maintaining it as a full-time program to support future events and activities.
But be forewarned, building and maintaining an effective and successful volunteer program is hard work and, like fundraising and public relations, requires a talented and committed person to accomplish it. We’ll look at the process in three operational time periods: pre-event planning, event conduct and post-event communications with its lead-in to the next event or to an ongoing program.
Comic Cons are becoming more and more well-known, with Midwest cities adopting their own variations to Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) and New York Comic Con (NYCC), which are held each year. From anime to horror and gaming to furry, there are all kinds of Cons to be involved in.
One search of “midwest comic con” online and you can see lists of scheduled events throughout the year. From Cedar Rapids Con, in Iowa, held this past February to Cincinnati Comic Expo, in Ohio, coming up in September, and there are so many more.
As downtown locations are typically the epicenter of the best food, attractions, and cultural experiences a destination has to offer, planners can broaden their options by considering a venue located in the heart of the city. Not only do centrally-located venues allow easy access to exciting and interactive opportunities for groups to fully experience and take advantage of the destination, they are typically the most convenient meeting destinations.
• Tips for catering to service dogs and their humans
Violet chose Janelle McBride in 2012. McBride lives with PTSD and Fibromyalgia. After adopting Violet, their bond became so strong Violet was able to read McBride’s body language and chose to work with McBride, even without being asked. Violet began to aid McBride in public when she had sensory overload due to PTSD or was experiencing dizziness. “Since I am a certified trainer, have an ADA recognized disability, and experience with training service dogs, I decided to make Violet my official service dog. Through the years she has been invaluable. I developed seizures and she learned to alert to them without me training any specific skill,” McBride says.
You may wonder what a certified trainer does. “I teach dogs and their owners how to communicate…I like to think of myself as more of an educator,” stated McBride. She focuses on the needs of the dog and the owner, while helping them establish a strong bond with healthy interaction. “Dogs know our language, yet as a society we do not fully understand their language. I use current scientific research and incorporate that information into a force free, aversion free program. I am also a choice-based trainer, meaning I set up each dog to succeed by making them feel they have the ability to choose. I use rewards in my teaching. It is important that rewards and gifts are intrinsic, positive, and full of praise.”
When your job requires a lot of travel and meetings in restaurants, it can be difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle. In my role as a president and CEO, I attend numerous meetings, receptions and other social functions every weekday in Philadelphia or on the road. It’s not unusual for me to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner out for days at a time.
The position of Concierge has had many names throughout time and cultures, from doorkeeper to porter, or portero in Spanish-speaking regions, and Suisse in Paris. The primary job of today’s Concierge is to be a liaison for the guest in helping to acquire theatre tickets, tours, dining reservations, and so much more. Midwest Meetings spoke to a few Midwest Concierges to understand how you are able to utilize their services in the most beneficial ways.
“I’ve been at Radisson Blu Minneapolis Downtown for just over a year,” explained Dan Lundin, Director of Guest Services. “I’ve been in the industry for six years and have handled just about every guest service role there is during that time. The thing I love the most about guest service, and specifically concierge work, is that it’s your job to make someone’s day – you quite literally have no other expectation.” That is a pretty powerful (and liberating) duty.
Lundin added, “If you work in a city you love and are familiar with, it’s a thrill to be able to introduce out-of-towners to the local nooks and crannies you can’t find on Yelp or Google, and get that positive response when they come back from a restaurant or attraction you recommended to them.”
Annie Champeau, Director of Sales, Harley-Davidson Museum®
by Annie Champeau
One of the most important steps in creating memorable events is choosing a venue. Whether it’s a corporate conference or tradeshow, event planners and venue managers want the same thing; a great client experience. I’ve found that managers and planners can make the planning process much easier with clear communication and upfront conversation. Here are few tips that have helped my team and I work more effectively and efficiently with event planners. Take time to consider these thoughts. I have a feeling you, and your clients, will be pleasantly surprised.
1. Inquire with details I often receive leads for meetings or events with estimated guest counts of 50-200 and preferred dates anywhere within a four-month timespan, which can make it challenging to provide accurate cost estimates and venue availability. Because not all properties are created equal, there may be differing prices for varied spaces, seasonality, and length of service. With a group of 50 guests, I may propose a very different space and menu than a group of 200. Some of the important information needed by the venue include a preferred date, event start and end times, and the type of event. By understanding the details, venues are better equipped to offer custom proposals with more consistent cost structures. If your date is flexible, let your venue know. (For example, if you have a four-month time span with three preferred dates.) There may be a special or creative experience that is not available on another date.
How often do your meetings go on for way too long? Actually, don’t answer that–here’s a better question. How often do your meetings end exactly when they need to? Yeah, thought so.
It’s easier said than done. Many workplaces struggle to trim down their meeting time to the bare minimum that’s needed to be effective. But some execs have figured out some ways to do just that. Here’s how these seven CEOs keep their meetings short and sweet while making sure their team members–include remote ones–aren’t left in the dark. Read more at Fast Company.
If you're like most in the corporate world, you attend an average of 62 meetings a month. And how much of your time spent in each of those meetings is wasted because of "that guy"? You know, that employee who doesn't care that his 30 minute meetings always run 10 minutes late, who walks into the conference room to ask how much longer your scheduled meeting is going be, or who books rooms but then never uses them.
Your team is an organism. When one part is hurting, it disrupts the balance of the whole, the same way a "simple" stubbed toe or cut on your finger can dramatically interrupt your ability to get things done.
When one member of your team is hurting because of a personal matter - a death, a divorce, a troubled child, scary diagnosis, a serious illness of a family member, caring for aging parents, other, the whole system at work can become off kilter.
Whether you are close to your colleague or not; whether you are the boss or a co-worker or even a subordinate, how can you comfort someone in a kind way that is still professional and helps restore the equilibrium of the team?
Bottom line, no matter which industry you represent, one-to-one meetings are a powerful marketing tool. Following are five tips for pre-planning a meaningful, in-depth one-on-one meeting strategy at your next event from Parth Mukherjee, head of marketing and evangelism at Jifflenow, a cloud-based enterprise meeting platform for b-to-b events, who addressed attendees at the conference.
WRITTEN BY: JESSICA FRITSCHE, CONTENT MARKETING MANAGER, FREEMAN AND MARK FEIN, SVP, STRATEGY, FREEMANXP
SXSW Interactive is over, Film is still going, and Music has just begun, which means Austin is still teeming with thousands of visitors. It’s a hotbed of ideas, firing up attendees who seek to create, explore, and innovate — our team came home filled with inspiration. It’s hard to even scratch the surface of everything there is to experience, but these ten takeaways are tips you can apply to your programs to help plan a SXSW-worthy brand experience of your own.
No shows and non-attendance are one of the biggest frustrations for event planners. This mega list of 50 tips will help to boost numbers and avoid wasted places at your events.
You scan your event room proud of the job you did organizing and then what do you see? Empty chairs peppered in throughout the room. What went wrong? This was a sold-out event. Why all the no-shows? Don’t worry. There are things that can be done to lower that number the next time.
This year, I plan on attending numerous industry-focused conferences around the world, both as an attendee and as a speaker. Over the last few years of traveling to conferences, I have been able to improve how I prepare for each event in order to get the most out of it in terms of financial value and my time spent there.
If you plan on traveling to any upcoming events, seminars or trade shows, here are some of the ways you can get a much greater return on your investment:
In the middle of what felt like my most stressful month of my life, my most senior employee resigned. While I was complaining about the debacle to an entrepreneur friend, he called me out: "Get comfortable with the feeling that you have right now."
Confused, I asked, "What feeling?" He replied, "Feeling uncomfortable. Get comfortable feeling uncomfortable."
He stopped me in my tracks. He was right. We all need to get more comfortable with being uncomfortable. We're soft!
Here are 7 ways to get comfortable with being uncomfortable, according to one of the toughest and most resilient people I know, Green Beret Jason Van Camp.
Like the common cold, meeting-itis is exhausting, persistent, and contagious. It can be cured, but not easily. Once it takes root in an organization’s culture, it is difficult to eradicate. Doing so will require time, effort, and executive sponsorship. In the meantime, there are some preventative measures you can take to stop the spread of meeting-itis. Read more at Forbes.com
In an article in Midwest Meetings Winter 2016 Issue, CVBs, like Emily Klamm of Fargo-Moorhead CVB, spoke on planning great dine around and pub crawl experiences for their groups. Here are five tips from Emily Klamm for planners considering a dine around or pub crawl:
1. Know your audience. What kind of group is it? Mostly male or female? Will they appreciate your dive bars or are they looking for more of an “experience” type of bar. For dining, do they want the uniquely local suggestions, family friendly, budget conscious, or something along fine-dining to hold a meeting with a client. We like to give them suggestions for all of the above, but in every suggestion we give, we like to keep it local. Who doesn’t like going and experiencing a local restaurant you can’t get anywhere else?
2. Give them a variety of experiences. When I plan a pub crawl, I like to show people the dives but also highlight our local favorite spots. I encourage every group to incorporate at least one of our breweries into its craw or dine around.
3. As I mentioned before… Keep it local! Show them things they can’t get anywhere else. It’s my one opportunity to plan part of the conference, and I want to make it the best. I want them to leave and say the pub crawl or dine around was the best part.
If money appeared out of thin air, then there wouldn’t be need for sponsorship. Of course, building sponsorships is a reality and part of the business if you routinely host events.
Getting a sponsor isn’t easy especially if you’re a startup; ultimately, there’s going to be more misses than hits when sending out your proposal. Nevertheless, there’s a few tricks to help you acquire corporate sponsorship for events and keep them for the long-term.
Site inspections are the last check before you make your final decision on a hotel for your meeting, event or conference. This step is important because, ultimately, only you know your attendees and what’s important to them.
Exploring a potential new venue in person through the eyes of an attendee is crucial to determining if it’s the right location for your event.
Here are five topics that will help you make the most of your site visits and prepare for a great program.
Michigan Ave. Bridge Courtesy of Choose Chicago Credit: Adam Alexander Photography
By Vik Khokhar, Director of Event Planning, JW Marriott Chicago
In the midst of every summer, Chicago becomes bustling with conventions and convention attendees as they descend on the Windy City. While conventions can start and end with a blink of the eye, Chicago offers endless amounts of attractions, neighborhoods, and restaurants to be explored.
If you find time to get a taste of what Chicago has to offer I have a few tips of what to keep in mind when maximizing your time, both when in the convention center and out enjoying the city.