Government Connections - Fall/Winter 2017 - 21
KNOW YOUR CULTURE AND THEIRS. Some cities are rife
with beautiful, trendy places, desirable meeting spaces for just
about any group imaginable, but does the uber-hip nature of your
dream locale actually pair well with the ideology of your attendees?
Moreover, will there be other meetings on-site with a brand or
company culture that doesn't gel precisely with theirs? Double
check with the venue to ensure its corporate ideals (and those of
any possibly overlapping events or brands) align well with that of
your group to ensure a good time is had by all.
or a bite while you're there to ascertain server knowledge and
demeanor. If you have the budget, consider staying overnight.
Interacting with the staff - and getting a peek at hotel areas that
may not even be planned in your inspection - will let you be the
first attendee to render an opinion on whether this venue is best
suited for the meeting.
BY AMY DREW THOMPSON
With short lead times and space at a premium, getting your
RFPs in early - and with as much detail as possible - is as solid
a recommendation as ever, but once you've narrowed your field
down and are close to decision time, the below factors may help
you make the final cut.
BE PATIENT ZERO. Meetings all come down to experience.
Make yours the first one by showing up early for your site
inspection and experiencing the property as a guest would. Have
a drink in the bar where you'd plan that first-night mixer or cocktail
party, and ask the concierge a question about the hotel practices
or get a restaurant recommendation. If you have time, grab coffee
CHECK YOUR PHONE. Sound rude? It's not. That's because
while you're walking the inner coils of the property's guts, just
where your attendees will be treading come meeting time, you
want to make sure they can stay connected. Asking the hotel or
venue staff about Wi-Fi and connectivity is expected, of course,
but you want to make sure your messages are pinging into your
text threads and mailboxes, no matter where you roam. Try the
elevator - they are notorious black holes. We're sure come panel
time, everyone will go silent (even if you have to give them a
quick, movie theater-esque reminder). It's your job, though, to
make sure they feel the communication vibration while they're
being polite to speakers and fellow attendees.
Northern Lights Chapter
The Northern Lights chapter recently celebrated its 20th anniversary.
The Sacramento Chapter is preparing to celebrate its 30th
Anniversary in 2018. Many photos and historic items will be
brought out, dusted off and celebrated with stories from many of
our "seasoned" members at our June chapter event.
The Sacramento chapter absorbed many of the members from
the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter, as well as the Southern
California Chapter when they each dissolved. Of special value, we
added several federal government meeting professionals to the
chapter's strong base of state government meeting professionals,
along with several new supplier properties from around the state.
This growth and enlargement of our "sphere of influence" has
brought about a consideration of realigning as a statewide chapter
instead of one focused in Sacramento. Our Task Force is just getting
started with an analysis, but aims to have a decision in time for our
30th Anniversary in 2018. Contact 2nd Vice President Marie Cicogni
at firstname.lastname@example.org with any ideas or comments.