The Complete Idiot's Guide to Meeting & Event Planning, 2E


If you are given the responsibility of planning a meeting for your business, you need to make your company look good. This guide gives you suggestions for planning the budget, negotiating a space to meet, choosing a caterer, setting up the room, and planning programs. You will be able to produce an event that is organized and within your budget.
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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Meeting & Event Planning, 2E

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If you are given the responsibility of planning a meeting for your business, you need to make your company look good. This guide gives you suggestions for planning the budget, negotiating a space to meet, choosing a caterer, setting up the room, and planning programs. You will be able to produce an event that is organized and within your budget.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592574629
  • Publisher: Alpha Books
  • Publication date: 3/7/2006
  • Series: Complete Idiot's Guide Series
  • Edition description: 2ND
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 7.32 (w) x 10.96 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Robin E. Craven and Lynn Johnson Golabowski launched Alliance LLC Meetings Management in January 1997. (Alliance LLC organizes national and international conferences, workshops, and seminars.) Together, they plan meetings and events for corporations and associations. They are also partners in MeetingsCoachSM, a division of Alliance LLC. As Meetings CoachesSM, they share their meetings-industry knowledge and experience with meeting planners by providing timely, constructive, and affordable assistance on just about any meeting-planning issue or topic.

Robin and Lynn also speak and provide training for the meetings industry. They have written numerous articles and currently write columns for Midwest Meetings and Small Market Meetings. Both are active members of Meeting Professionals International (MPI).Robin resides in Richland, Washington. She has a Bachelor's degree in biology from Virginia Tech University and has more than 22 years of experience as a meeting planner. She is a past president of the Wisconsin Chapter-Meeting Professionals International and was the first chair of MPI's Information Technology Advisory Council. She is currently the president of the Alliance of Meeting Management Consultants.

Lynn has more than 24 years of experience in the hotel, meeting, and tourism industry. She has an Associate in Arts degree from Rock Valley College in Rockford, Illinois, and a Bachelor's degree in hotel and restaurant management from the University of Wisconsin-Stout in Menomonie. Her industry experience includes managerial positions in sales and marketing with Stouffers, Marriott, Hyatt, and Wyndham. This experience, from both sides of the meetings industry-supplier and buyer-brings a unique perspective to her role as a meeting planner. She is currently the executive director of Meeting Professionals International-Wisconsin Chapter.

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Table of Contents

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    Part 1Bird's-Eye View1
    1What Is a Meeting or Event Anyway?3
    Flying High3
    United We Should Stand4
    The Purpose of a Meeting4
    What Are Meetings and Events?5
    Who Are These Meeting Professionals?6
    Least Common Denominator7
    The Right Time7
    The Right Place8
    The Right People8
    The Right Leader9
    The Right Scoop9
    The Big Event10
    2One, Two, Three ... Goal!13
    Why Bother?13
    Big Picture14
    Little Picture15
    Roll Up Your Sleeves19
    What? More Objectives?20
    A Tisk, a Task20
    Thanks for Your Support21
    Who's the Boss?21
    3Is It Worth It?23
    Who Cares?23
    I've Gotta Attend Another Meeting?24
    I've Gotta Plan Another Meeting?25
    I've Gotta Fund Another Meeting?25
    Don't Forget the Exhibitors and Sponsors26
    Measuring Return on Investment (ROI)26
    Measuring Tools27
    Hard Dollars27
    Soft Sense28
    Attendee Perspective28
    Exhibitor Perspective29
    Use the Information!30
    4Who Ya Gonna Call?31
    Web Sites31
    Why Join?32
    Trade Publications33
    Convention and Visitors Bureaus (CVBs)34
    Destination Management Companies (DMCs)35
    To CVB or DMC?36
    National Sales Offices (NSOs)36
    Industry Experts37
    Ask The Experts37
    Meeting Matters (MIMlist)39
    Meeting Management Companies (MMCs)39
    5Technology Soft-Where?41
    Do It Yourself41
    Room Diagramming43
    Name Badges44
    Turnkey Management45
    Lots of Online Stuff46
    Site Selection46
    Registration and a Whole Lot More47
    Everything Else48
    Trends of the Trade49
    The Registration Process49
    Site Inspections49
    Online Auctions50
    6An Event by Any Other Name51
    The Smorgasbord52
    Identity Crisis52
    It's More Than Drink Umbrellas53
    Think Outside the Box53
    Not Under One Roof54
    A Marriage Made in Sponsorship Heaven55
    The Final Four57
    Master Plan58
    Contingency Plans58
    7Supplier Secrets No More61
    Walk a Mile in My Shoes62
    Your Business Under a Microscope65
    Hotel Tag Teams68
    The Details, Please68
    Sales Managers Just Wine and Dine--Not!69
    Part 2First Things First71
    8Creating and Following a Timeline73
    Timeline Types74
    Key Elements, Key Dates74
    Begin at the End78
    Keep on Track79
    9Dollars and Common Sense81
    Everything Has a Price81
    Up for Bid83
    Building a Budget84
    Spending Money84
    Making Money86
    Fixed vs. Variable Costs86
    Cost-Saving Ideas88
    10Inn Sites and RFPs91
    Location, Location, Location91
    Write the Right RFP93
    Meeting Scoop93
    By Fax, Snail Mail, E-Mail, or Online95
    Ask and You May Receive96
    Special Accommodations97
    The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)97
    Bon Voyage!97
    Guided Tours98
    Surprise! Go It Alone98
    Front of the House98
    Back of the House99
    Site Checklist99
    Virtual Inspections99
    Decisions, Decisions, Decisions99
    Inform the Suppliers100
    Announce Your Decision100
    11Negotiating the Best Deal101
    Vendors You Need102
    Needs, Wants, and Everything Else102
    Everything's Negotiable (Almost)103
    Meeting-Room Rental104
    Unexpected Charges105
    Written Documents107
    Music Licensing107
    Service Charges, Gratuities, and Uncle Sam108
    12Contracts: Signing on the Dotted Line111
    It's More Than Dates and Rates112
    General Provisions and Guestroom Issues112
    Meeting Space Provisions115
    Food and Beverage116
    Exhibit Space Provisions117
    Beyond Your Control119
    People Provisions120
    More Legal Mumble Jumble120
    13Marketing, Marketing, Marketing125
    The Marketing Message125
    Marketing Philosophy126
    Scenario 1You Have to Attend the Sales Meeting126
    Scenario 2Please Come to This Meeting127
    Don't Shoot the Messenger127
    Hard Copy128
    If You Can't Beat 'Em, Join 'Em131
    Timing Is Key131
    14Exhibits and Expositions: Should You Do It?133
    Exposition or Tradeshow134
    Confusing Considerations134
    Location, Location, Location (Again)135
    How Facilities Sell Exhibit Space136
    How You Sell Space to Exhibitors136
    Exposition Services Contractor (ESC)137
    Determining Potential Exhibitors138
    Exhibitor Prospectus138
    Rules and Regs140
    Issues Onsite140
    The Hook141
    Part 3Care and Feeding145
    15The Setup147
    Seating Is Important147
    Math for Meetings151
    Generation What?152
    Interactive Sessions153
    Go with the Flow153
    Session Monitor154
    Floor Plans154
    Setting the Ground Rules155
    16The Stuff Meetings Are Made of157
    The Players157
    Name Badges and Ribbons158
    Totes and Carryalls160
    Awards and Recognition160
    Giveaways and Amenities161
    At the Meeting162
    In the Room162
    The Selection162
    At the Tradeshow163
    "Logo It"164
    Everything Else164
    17Yakety Yak167
    Setting the Stage168
    Where Do You Find Them?168
    Hired Guns169
    Hiring the Hired Guns170
    The Dotted Line ... Getting Together170
    Breakout Speakers and One-Shot Deals171
    Call for Presentations171
    Meeting Scoop Sheet172
    Books, Tapes, and Other Sale Items173
    Taping and Publication Release173
    Book and Tape Sales174
    Getting Them There and Other VIP Issues174
    Speaker Ready Room175
    Cancellations and No-Shows175
    Speaker Support176
    Rehearse, Rehearse, Rehearse176
    18Planes, Trains, and Automobiles177
    Getting There178
    Meet and Greet178
    Ground Transportation179
    Driving Directions181
    Moving the Masses182
    19You Gotta Feed 'Em, Too185
    Pop Quiz185
    A Few Rules to Get You Started187
    Tricks of the Trade193
    Banquet Event Orders194
    Service and Presentation196
    Special Needs196
    20Seeing Is Believing199
    What Is A/V Anyway?200
    Know What You Need201
    The Visual Basics202
    The Audio Basics204
    Professional A/V Production206
    21Registration and Housing209
    Designing Your Registration Form210
    Developing Your Database212
    Signup Made Easy213
    The Old-Fashioned Way213
    Do It Online214
    Heads in Beds215
    Housing Reservation Forms216
    Housing Bureau217
    Rooming List217
    Call-In or Online218
    Part 4Center Stage and Beyond219
    22The Final Stretch221
    You're Here221
    Setting Up Your Office222
    A Quick Tour224
    Your Master List224
    Convention or Meeting Resume224
    Rooming List--Keep on Top of It!225
    Your Role226
    Too Many Chiefs227
    You're Responsible227
    Meetings About Your Meeting228
    Pre-Convention Meeting228
    Daily Chats229
    Post-Convention Meeting229
    The Three R's--Review, Review, Review229
    The Master Bill Before You Go230
    23Ready, Set, Go Onsite!231
    Registration Setup Considerations232
    Staffing and Training234
    Behind the Scenes236
    Welcome to My (Early!) Morning236
    Mid-Morning Relay Race237
    Come and Get It!237
    Bumps in the Road237
    Problem Solving238
    The Home Stretch238
    24Yikes! Help! Emergency!241
    What Is a Crisis?241
    Your Motto--Be Prepared243
    Written Plans244
    Professional Security Services244
    Other Minor Frustrations245
    Last-Minute Requests245
    Oh Puleese!246
    25It's Not Over Till It's Over249
    Paying the Bills249
    Tipping ... Didn't We Do That?250
    Tabulating the Evaluations252
    Final Facility Reports253
    Your Final Report253
    To FAM or Not to FAM254
    The Debate on the Rebate254
    Other Ethical Issues255