Meeting planning is seldom a stress-free experience. Even the most skilled event planners have learned to expect the unexpected and to make impromptu decisions as part of a “normal” event process. For corporate and association events that may span days and include hundreds of guests, the biggest stress factors involve buy-in from the leadership team, budget constraints, and last-minute details from eleventh-hour registration to shifts in schedules, food, or staffing.
We’ve shared and solved any number of stressful scenarios with thousands of clients over the years, but what we love to share most are the best practices that help transform any event into a stress-less experience. Here are a few of our favorite suggestions:
 Provide a more thorough RFP
The success of any event shakes down to the details, and there’s no better way to begin than with a well-organized and smartly presented Request for Proposal (RFP) that answers most critical questions upfront. Viable venues need to know the foundation facts for every successful event: desired dates, event spaces, room nights, catering needs, and of course, a budget breakdown. You can use this free customizable RFP download to help organize your event’s basic needs.
Using a more thorough RFP can save time and stress by
- gleaning the list of venues to optimal choices, eliminating those that may not satisfy all criteria,
- alleviating a lot of back-and-forth questions and answers with venues who need to understand exactly what is required, and
- creating a solid platform for current and future events by clearly identifying budgets and expectations.
 Choose vendors and venues with built-in solutions
Two important keys to creating a stress-less experience are (1) to systemize and (2) to simplify as much of the planning process as possible. Choosing options with built-in customization may often be perceived as more expensive but can often outweigh the costs of time and added stress of finding and coordinating multiple third-party vendors.
For example, consider:
- easy-to-follow, step-by-step online event registration platforms and links for seamless guest room reservations,
- venues that offer amenities at no-charge or ask how they can create add-on amenities to encourage attendance or make the event more enjoyable, and
- connecting with the local CVB to provide more hands-on, boots-on-the-ground options to help facilitate the event, and
- venues located within walk-to access of local restaurants, attractions, and experiences that engage attendees beyond the meeting structure.
The destination you choose should want to make the whole experience as easy and enjoyable as possible! A bit of research and reaching out is usually time well spent to build better attendee engagement, leadership approval, and event expectations!
 Be clear and concise
Communication is critical with each audience: attendees, leadership, the venue, and any outside vendors. Make definitive lists of deadlines, goals, requirements, and To-Do items. There are any number of reasons why an event or specific experience can go sideways. Most attendees may never see the dozen potential missteps that an event planner is correcting along the way, but what they’ll remember most is how they feel in the end.
Good checklists and connections can go a long way to curb any hiccups. Keeping a positive attitude will also help disarm the negatives and keep things in an optimistic light.
Our sales managers, event and guest experience managers, AV and catering teams have years of expertise and creative ideas to help our clients create a stress-less experience. At the core for every event hosted at Grand Wayne Convention Center is our mantra to “Make Good Memories.” It’s how we’ve earned our award-winning status among event planners as one of the Midwest’s best convention centers. We’re here to help simplify the process and our guests enjoy their stay in downtown Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Let’s talk about how we can help you create an amazing event. Contact one of our Sales Managers and tell us about your event!