As the Convention Sales Manager at the Beaumont Convention & Visitors Bureau, I deal mostly with local meeting organizers whose role is to host the district, region or state association’s meeting or convention in Beaumont. Therefore, I enjoy educating the locals about the benefits of working with the Beaumont CVB when planning their meeting or overnight event. To build local awareness about these complimentary CVB services, I designed and implemented our biennial Holiday Open House at the Beaumont CVB. Through this experience, here are 3 tips to make your meeting more festive!
Keep It Moving
To encourage conversation, mingling and more networking opportunities, opt for more high-top tables when planning your room set-up. The limited physical space between those gathered at smaller tables promotes introductions and keeps people from plopping down in one spot for the entire event. Consider food stations or even a buffet table with only hors d’oeuvres and finger food to help keep people moving about and circulating throughout the event.
For example, at the Beaumont CVB’s “Hats off to the Holidays,” we staged some high-top tables outside at the entrance to the building and had music playing outside to encourage people to flow & move throughout the building. We also designed separate food and drink stations to accommodate our guests. We used our conference table as the main food buffet station and set up a detached beverage bar. In addition, we provided a variety of seating areas and mingling options throughout the areas of the party.
Encourage Holiday Cheer
Consider offering at least one fun, interactive activity, rather than just the typical food & drink reception.
For example, at “Get a Clue about the Beaumont CVB” we offered a puzzle-type game based upon our theme to help add energy, enthusiasm and excitement to the open house.
Another favorite tradition at our Holiday Open House Event is our CVB Staff Office Doors Decorating Contest which is judged by guests attending our event and our door decorations are tied into each year’s theme. Drawings for door prizes are always enjoyed by the guests as is the parting thank you gifts.
Get Them Talking
In addition to having entertainment, we staged other opportunities for intermingling throughout the meeting to help break the ice and gave the attendees something to do and talk about.
For instance, one year when our theme was “Beaumont Makes Merry Music and Meetings!” we staged a ‘flash mob’ of singers who broke out in Christmas Carol tunes to the delight of those attending.
Another way we got our guests talking & tweeting was to create a Selfie Photo Booth Station which encouraged guests to post via social media outlets about the fun they are having which also generated conversations and interactions both during the party and afterwards.
So, make your next meeting jollier by incorporating some of these tips into your next meeting’s welcome reception or banquet. The Beaumont CVB’s Convention Sales and Servicing Team is here to help guide & advise you in planning an awesome convention, annual meeting or reunion in Beaumont Texas where you get A Little Something Extra!