Meeting MPI Toronto - July/August 2016 - (Page 24)

Kate Jaehn-Kreibaum Corporate Event Planner A hhh ... summer. School is out, the weather is warm, and thoughts of heading to the cottage, camping and traveling are on everybody's mind. The last thing anyone has on their summer to-do list is a day-long meeting away from glistening lake waters and precious family moments. Events are all about the attendee experience. It is critical for planners to consider what really appeals to their guests. What will get them away from a beach and into a business meeting? In the summer, when there is more time devoted to family and fun versus company goals, this question seems to be of utmost importance. Planners must be mindful of attendees' worklife balance as they prepare for the summer season's events. Or, even better, start incorporating the whole family into the event! It is time to navigate away from the perception that "familyfriendly" means traditional families and activities such as the annual barbecue. Rather, it is time to embrace creative options. Think about the many activities families enjoy together. Concerts, festivals, go-karting and fruit picking are just a few options that can prove familiar while escaping the everyday. Choose an activity and build a one-of-a-kind event around it. The advantage of these kinds of events is that they come ready-made with a theme and a marquee activity or activities. The groundwork has already been laid out so your masterpiece is already half finished. The trick is to make it a unique experience. Planners must consider what they can add that will entice guests to BEYOND THE ANNUAL BARBECUE - INCORPORATING FAMILY AT EVENTS attend - especially to places they have most likely already been to. Mini golf and bowling are not new concepts. However, by developing a unique experience, planners can create the feeling of exclusivity - intriguing potential attendees and driving attendance registrations up. Integrating custom food stations, having attractive gifts or prizes, and adding supplementary elements like games, character appearances or craft stations are just a few ideas. Destination-specific activities are another avenue for incorporating family. When attending an out-oftown conference, it is common for attendees to stay extra days before or after the event to explore the destination. Many people prefer to bring their families to enjoy the experience together. Having spousal and/or family-friendly programs in place is an excellent way to combine business without sacrificing family time. Simple things like providing a list of nearby attractions or having tours organized can go a long way for making the whole family feel included and important. As most people would acknowledge: happy kids equal happy parents. Companies that tune into this and create family-friendly 24 * MEETING | JULY/AUGUST 2016 | LINKEDIN: MPI TORONTO CHAPTER events will be regarded in a more positive light and have a healthier and more productive work environment. The flexibility of a child-inclusive company also will be more inclusive for single parents, removing the stress of finding a babysitter or having to choose between career and family. Further, going to community events and businesses provides a relaxed setting outside of the meeting room, providing a refreshing break from a traditional event space. It also means supporting the local economy and advancing the company's corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy and corporate image. The competition is tough for both planners and potential attendees. People are under pressure with a myriad of work event invitations and already jam-packed schedules in their personal life. Planners, on the other hand, have their work cut out for them by needing to reinvent the event wheel to bring out numbers. They say laughter is the best medicine. And who is to say there isn't an inner kid in all of us. Get outside the meeting room and play! ● Kate Jaehn-Kreibaum is a corporate event planner and can be reached at

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Meeting MPI Toronto - July/August 2016

President’s Message
Editor’s Word
Welcome, New Members!
Upcoming Events
Boutique Experiences & Emerging Incentive Destinations
How You Can Benefit from the MPI Foundation
Cruising to Event Success
Destination: Toronto
Chapter Speaks: What Are You Reading or Listening to This Summer?
Community Volunteerism: How to Incorporate a Hands-On Charity Component at Your Event
Taming the Beast: Planning Outdoor Events
Building Custom Experiences
Maximizing Your Downtime: Reflect, Revise, Plan
Activate Your Event with Experiential Marketing
Beyond the Annual Barbecue – Incorporating Family at Events
iSpy MPI
Advertiser Index

Meeting MPI Toronto - July/August 2016