Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The proof is in the pudding… Events done well, er well done

I just spent a week in North Carolina and I had an amazing time.  There is something to be said for the gracious host, hospitality and a knack for doing things the right way all day every time.  I want to share with you some of the things I picked up on at the events I attended and also an exciting offer for you to attend a free event webinar next month!!

After many hours spent in an airport delayed and otherwise waylaid, I arrived with a warm smile and obtained a certain chicken sandwich immediately. I was then thrilled to speak with groups from North Carolina YMCAs and had a fantastic day. No detail went unnoticed by myself and others.  First of all, they were welcoming to me and my crazy NYC ideas and second, they had campers from the YMCA across the street welcome us with songs, cute presidential facts and the pledge of allegiance. I was truly touched. I think it’s really important for us as event professionals to always try to include the local talent and wow did they do a great job. Speaking of local talent, their meal was catered by a fellow Y employee. The food was hands down the BEST event food I’ve ever had at a conference or professional development experience. There were two amazing salads and the best homemade sandwiches I’ve ever had. The egg salad and pimento cheese made me swoon and almost misbehave at a public buffet-imagine that! I’ve had enough bad baked chicken in my life, and knowing that we were supporting not only a local business but a Y employee made my heart happy. It was truly a phenomenal day. The other thing that did not go unnoticed was that the entire day, their leadership was present and engaged, they weren’t there to introduce me and leave, they stayed, participated in the activities and were truly leading by example. I was humbled.

Later in the week I traveled to Elon College for the ADRP SEDRC conference, one of my favorite events of the year. It is like being wrapped in a warm hug of friends and the lilting southern accents make me feel at home. This conference was impeccably organized by the team at Elon. While it was true we were a bit away from the nearest city, at every single turn there were signs guiding the way. I think far too often people forget about the importance of good signage. These ladies had it down to a science. It was a delight always knowing where to go and how to get there. Everything at the event flowed smoothly and they were always starting and ending on time- something to be proud of. In addition, this year’s donor panel was a real treat. On the panel was a donor, Jeanne Robertson, who was a hoot and even put me in my place regarding my distaste for honor rolls. It was fantastic and you can see some of her amazing humor here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YFRUSTiFUs

Finally, my friend Jennifer Richwine, the AVP of events at Wake Forest gave one of the most inspiring and emotional sessions on the art and power of a thank you note. The next day, I was fortunate enough to be with Jennifer when she mailed the notes from attendees and humbled by their reach and distance. It was truly a great conference.

For those of you that have made it this far in the post, I have great news. I will be hosting a FREE Webinar about events in August-

Great Expectations: Building Events that Donors will Love and Others will Envy

From the moment they arrive, your event attendees will marvel at your innovative and creative planning. At every turn, the incorporation of technology paired with a delightfully personal touch amazes and delights them.  How do we create these experiences with limited budgets and resources? It’s possible and sometimes easier than we think! Let’s learn together the items to focus on when planning that next great campaign launch or close, recognition or fundraising soiree or tailgate or reunion picnic.  Discover tried and true rules to live by combined with new and cutting edge technologies to delight and deliver the best experience possible for your guests. These events become the talk of the town, delighting your attendees and making other organizations envious.

August 8, 2013- We only have 200 slots at each timeframe and they will fill up fast- register NOW!!

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