ConventionSouth

DEC 2017

ConventionSouth magazine is the leading resource for meeting planners who book all types of events, conventions, conferences and group travel in the south.

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⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 7 w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 40 The AWARDS Issue! required the most creative planning," she said. "I was informed one year out that, due to renovations, the contracted conference meeting space would not be available, but a temporary structure was being built on the property. The meeting program had to be adjusted to accommodate the layout of the structure's classroom space and a major storm affected the meeting participants a week prior to the meeting. The meeting actually came together without any issues and with an increase in attendees. I cannot understate the value of having a long-term relationship with the meeting venue. They understood our needs when planning for the temporary structure and had the proficiency to meet our challenges." Challenges: "The success of an event can also become a challenge for the planning process. As a successful event grows in par- ticipation, it can be a challenge to maintain your preferred meeting venue. There needs to be a balance between expanding the event's promotional advertising and the limitations of the meeting space at the venue. Addition- ally, each year you are always subject to cost increases of not only food and beverages but also materials used for the meeting. It can be a challenge to keep your cost down while still maintaining a certain level of offering." Solutions: "I have been able to add more sessions that utilize the smaller break-out meeting rooms. This gives more options for the attendees that have maxed out the larger meeting rooms. Also, I try to make sure that we are not ordering more at our meals and breaks than we consume. I always have some- one at each meeting to record the actual num- ber of meals served and the amount left after the breaks. I have been able to establish a true participant versus meal/break ratio calculation that I use to determine how much to order." Powell added: "One of the best tools that I have is the partnership with the local tourism organization. The Auburn Opelika Tourism staff has helped me with name badges, bags and registration." Rewards: "There is a pure joy when you can see the success of your hard work. I value the ability to network people with those that can help them professionally. A meeting is all about people coming together to share knowledge. Relationships are one of the best assets for a successful event. There will always be chal- lenges for any event. Knowing the conference planning staff at the hotel or meeting venue rec- ognizes and understands your needs is the key to a partnership that produces results." JANE BACHICK H2O Partners, Inc. Adjuster Presentation Delivery Manager/ Training Coordinator NFIP Stakeholder Education & Training Austin, TX 10 Years In The Business Preparing Insurance Adjustors During A Stormy Year As someone who provides training for National Flood Insurance Plan (NFIP) adjustors, Jane Bachick is called upon to ar- range a large number of meetings in a number of different locations, all within a short period of time. This process gets started at the begin- ning of each year. "My NFIP Adjuster Season Kickoff in Jan- uary was definitely the most creative and the most difficult task of 2017," she said. "The week-long event included meetings with my five NFIP Adjuster Trainers and FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency), followed by a Train the Trainer session and then our first NFIP Adjuster Presentation, where we had 250 flood adjuster attendees. We stayed in three different hotels, had three different meeting rooms and zig zagged be- tween DC and MD. 2017 was a particularly hard year with all of the hurricanes and flood- ing, so having a successful start to the season proved more important than ever." Challenges: "My biggest challenge is planning and booking 30 events simultane- ously! Although they are similar in nature, each of them is in a different part of the U.S. and Puerto Rico, so they each come with their own unique variables, such as weather and traffic. Fitting in 30 of my events in five months is definitely tricky- especially when

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