MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - 17

[ POV ] MELANIE LUCERO DIRECTOR OF SALES HALF MOON BAY LODGE PAULA COSTA PROJECT MANAGER/EVENT PLANNER - HEALTH MART MCKESSON CORPORATION What challenges and opportunities do we face when it comes to smaller meetings? MELANIE: One of the biggest challenges we face with smaller meetings is on the food and beverage side. Our caterer requires a minimum of 10 people for lunch or 15 people for dinner. It makes it difficult for a five- or six-person meeting to justify paying for the required minimum. So instead, we partner with local restaurants that can deliver for our smaller groups. Another F&B challenge we face is accommodating dietary restrictions for smaller groups. For example, a group of 15 people may have four people who are vegetarian and another four people who are gluten-free. Our caterer can come up with menus to accommodate these options without making the individual attendee feel like he or she is eating something completely different from the rest of the group. The opportunities for smaller meetings are incredible, and we love taking care of last-minute groups placed on an executive assistant's desk. We are, first and foremost, responsive and flexible. It is our job to make the executive assistant look good, and we like to put them at ease. Another opportunity with smaller meetings that we see is that by doing a smaller executive meeting, those people in attendance may be the key decisionmakers who may want to bring in a larger meeting in the future. Plus, because the majority of our groups are local, we have several attendees who come back and do a staycation with us later. PAULA: I love small meetings! The good news is that you often have more options when planning smaller meetings. The bad news is that you have more options. What I most enjoy about planning and operating meetings for smaller groups is the opportunity to personalize the program. On the other hand, smaller meetings often cost more money and take more work. Some venues have surcharges for meals for groups under 25 people. However, audio-visual fees tend to cost less - no need for a microphone, for example. We often don't staff smaller meetings like we do larger meetings. These groups tend to be more mobile. I once had a group of 18 offer three different off-site activities for an afternoon. I was the only staff member on-site. I had to trust that my transportation vendor would take care of and treat my group well. They had a great time, but I worried because I couldn't be at every location. In the end, it's about the group and what fits best for them. Smaller meetings are an opportunity to get creative. Suggest activities that the attendees will enjoy. Find that outstanding restaurant that will give them a "knock-it-out-of the park" gourmet experience. Thrill them, pamper them (all within budget, of course), but most all, let them know that it's all about them - giving the very best level of customer service. ● P E R S P E C T I V E | fall 2016 | 17

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of MPI Perspective - Fall 2016

President’s Message
Innovation Corner
The Challenges of Planning Smaller Meetings
10 Ways to Millennial-ize Your Meetings
MPI WEC 2016: Scholarship Recipients Share Their Experiences
Thought Leadership
What’s Trending in Event Design
New Member Spotlight
Destination: Denver
MPINCC New Members
Index to Advertisers/
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - cover1
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - cover2
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - 3
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - 4
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - 5
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - President’s Message
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - Innovation Corner
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - The Challenges of Planning Smaller Meetings
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - 9
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - 10 Ways to Millennial-ize Your Meetings
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - 11
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - MPI WEC 2016: Scholarship Recipients Share Their Experiences
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - 13
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - Thought Leadership
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - 15
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - What’s Trending in Event Design
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - POV
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - New Member Spotlight
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - Destination: Denver
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - 20
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - MPINCC New Members
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - Index to Advertisers/
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - cover3
MPI Perspective - Fall 2016 - cover4