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The Irish are known to be whimsical and have many funny sayings. Even in their marriage proposals, rather than ask, “Will you marry me? or Will you be my wife?” The Irish ask, “Would you like to hang your washing next to mine?”
With St. Paddy's Day around the corner, here’s a list of famous Irish advice translated for meeting professionals. I’d love to hear if you can use any of these at work or in your meetings!
Valentine’s Day is one day a year when flowers, candy and romantic cards fly off of the retail shelves. Restaurant reservations are at a premium and romantic destinations become the hottest ticket in town. Men and women of all ages look for the perfect way to let their sweetheart know that they are their “special someone”.
Our office is no different. We all are eagerly anticipating what Valentine’s Day will bring for us, whether we’re still looking for our special someone or have been with them for many years. When I asked around the office what people wanted for Valentine’s Day I received as many different answers as there are personalities. Some just wanted to spend time with their significant other at a romantic dinner or enjoying a shared activity like skiing or the movies. Some wanted flowers or jewelry, some wanted special time for themselves. One person even wanted a baby goat but she would settle for a puppy.
I love Valentine’s Day. Some may say that it is a commercial holiday marketed to the public to increase sales for the retail world - I disagree. I say it’s a day that gives you the chance to have some fun and show the ones you love just how much you love them. It’s a great day to enjoy the surprises and anticipation that await you! There are so many ways to show someone how you feel on Valentine’s Day – gifts of chocolates and flowers are always great and homemade dinners or a nice romantic dinners out are always enjoyed. If you really want to surprise the one you love on Valentine’s Day – make it a day they will never forget with a little get-away trip to one of many romantic destinations. Here are just a couple of ideas both within the U.S. and abroad that I know will make it a Valentine’s Day to remember:
Outside of the U.S
So you ask, what the heck does Valentine’s Day have to do with my conference. Well, Valentine’s Day is all about love. Some of the definitions of love are:
Based on the definitions of love it is now clear to see how Valentine’s Day has everything to do with your conference. What better way to thank your attendees, sponsors and exhibitors for all of their support they have given you over the years. This is your chance to display an act of kindness, to do good and display your benevolence at your conference.
So if your conference or event is in the month of February, this is your opportunity to show your appreciation and give back. I would not miss this for the world. It’s a great way to say thanks, and we appreciate your continued support and dedication to us. So set your theme and deliver your message.
Here are some suggestions on how you can celebrate Valentine’s Day at your conference:
As a full service meeting planning company, producing wonderful events year round is second nature to us. This leaves me wondering, why oh why is it so hard to plan our annual holiday party for our own staff. One would think we would start planning as soon as we finish one and that we’d be full of awesome ideas; yet every year we wait until about two months before the party to start thinking about it and then scramble to find a venue, create a theme and secure entertainment.
Now it’s not that this is a low priority – showing our appreciation to our staff for a year of great work is a high priority. I think the problem is really the pressure to perform. Because we have an office full of creative thinkers, there is extra emphasis on “how are we going to top what we did last year”. How are we going to come up with new and creative ideas? How can we make sure our team members feel like the special people they are – provide the same feeling to them that they provide to our clients and their attendees? How can we use the party not only as a celebration, but as a way to inspire our team members to keep the creative juices flowing in the year to come is the challenge? Lastly, how do we do this in upstate New York where our resources are not as vast as if we were located in a major metropolitan area?
How do you get your attendees excited about being at your conference during the Holiday Season? How do you keep their attention on your conference and away from their smart phones and tablets checking out the latest holiday sales online? Why not incorporate some holiday fun into your conference. Now I’m not suggesting setting up a craft corner to make snowflakes or anything, just try to incorporate the season into your conference a little. I’ve listed a few ideas below to get you started:
Have fun with the food & beverage: When you think of the holidays what flavors come to mind – pumpkin, gingerbread, peppermint and more – try to incorporate these flavors as you prepare your conference menus.
It is that time of year again. No, I am not talking about the turkey, football and parade. I am referring to the time of year when traveling is at its highest. According to AAA, 43.6 Americans will travel at least 50 miles during the Thanksgiving holiday. An estimated 24 million people will fly from now through the weekend.
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it presents a time that most of us reflect back a bit to think about what we are thankful for in our lives. All month, many people have been posting each day on facebook what they are thankful for. I had even asked my staff earlier this month to send to me what they are thankful for. The assignment was to provide me with two areas of thankfulness: personally and professionally. Here are just a few of their responses:
Fall is my favorite time of year! I’m sure the fall foliage in upstate New York contributes to that quite a bit but also the crisp fresh air and fresh fall fruits and vegetables. Fall can influence and contribute to quite a few ideas when holding a conference or event in the way of fun décor, food and beverage, and also team building ideas! Here are a few ideas for a fun fall reception: