Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The 22 Best Winter Meeting Tips Ever

Often not feasible to cancel a meeting due to snow, especially when attendees travel distances to attend, already there, national speakers, or when multiple days involved. Parts of the country (like mine) routinely have snow, so snow/ice plays role in many meetings.

22 Winter Meeting Tips:

1. Give specific details on registration form and website on how will find out if meetings delayed or canceled due to weather

2. Have speakers flight info - alert them if winter storm conditions approaching to adjust plans
3. Hire service or facility to remove snow from attendee cars, if heavy snow during meeting (they'll love you for it)
4. Set up txtmob to communicate changes directly with attendee cell phones (collect on registration forms)
5. Prepare speaker back-up plan in event speaker can't get to facility
6. Enjoy the bad weather - from adding skiing or snowshoeing (if available) to adding snowman or snowball throwing (distance) contests
7. Determine if possible to bring in remote attendance options - such as webcam, slides/audio, conference call attendance
8. Ensure enough coat racks
9. If possible to get specific "snow date", do in advance
10. If sponsors or partners for meeting, ensure details in writing - including if one wants to cancel due to weather
11. Negotiate lower room rate for additional "snow nights" sleeping rooms
12. Ask/contract if parking area will be sanded/plowed during meeting
13. Ensure attendees get regular updates about reported driving conditions
14. Add hot apple cider, if possible - makes snow conditions seem friendlier
15. Know what can accommodate if attendees cancel (refunds, discounts, alternatives - or none)
16. Have snow scrapers/brushes sponsored and give as gift to attendees
17. Get 24-hour emergency contact numbers for all facility key staff when bad weather approaching - catering, sales manager, audio visual
18. Ask facility what's gone right/wrong during past storms - learn from it

19. Keep large bag of kitty litter in your car -- can help cars back out or turn wheels if stuck on ice/snow (shovel also can be helpful to have)
20. If weather definitely impacting attendance onsite, ask facility if anything can be negotiated - may be very understanding
21. Play up fireside chats, midnight or early morning "snow swim" (in outdoor heated pool or hot tub), bring in a DJ - if can't leave, get creative
22. Keep good attitude - many attendees will be grateful you don't cancel when they already spent money and time to get there

Do you have other tips?
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Anonymous said...

Great list!

Anonymous said...

Great ideas.......... especially the hot apple cider. Attendees sometimes get sick of coffee by the afternoon and cold drinks aren't welcome on a cold day. Hot apple cider with a cinnamon stick, yum!

Andy Mooers said...

Super, practical run down on what to do, how to do it quickly to keep the operation running and avoid confusion Cindy! (Blue ribbon attached to this blog post..that kind of clashes a tad with the pink look shade)