Here are a few tips from top professional event planners from around the country. I came upon these at About.com The author is Robert Hard.
Event Planning Tip: Reduce Room Attrition Fees
A day or so before your event, find out if your hotel is booked. If so, you can use that to get them to waive any attrition fees you may have incurred. This worked for me at Bellagio. -- Submitted by: Sandra Corzine, with ADP Insurance Services, Florham Park, New Jersey.
Event Planning Tip: Arrive 1 Hour Early for Site Visits
Show up at least one hour before your scheduled site inspection, unannounced. In that time, walk around, try to interact with staff like you are a guest (ask directions, ask "difficult questions" as if you were not a seasoned traveler), look in the restaurants -- eat there if you have time, ask for recommendations for a local restaurant (just to see the responsiveness). I've actually called off an inspection when the property didn't come close to my standards for the meeting being placed -- saved my time and did the sales manager the courtesy of saving his, too. In the time I saved, did a spur-of-the-moment inspection of another hotel and ended up booking it! -- Submitted by: Robert Abbott Director-Corp. Marketing & Communications, with Mueller Co., Decatur, Illinois.
Event Planning Tip: Use a Tree Stanchion for Lanyards
As any planner or registrar knows, string/lanyard badges can get tangled easily and create quite a mess in the registration area. After going to a store one day, I noticed a necklace stanchion in the jewelry section. I found and bought a few "tree stanchions" on the Internet and now use them at all of our conferences. I barely ever have to fight with knots. Plus, they make the registration area look even more professional and organized. You can even place a sign on top of them! -- Submitted by: Christopher Gossett Conference Coordinator, with Investment Company Institute, Washington, District of Columbia.
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Best, Roger Harrison