I did it! I've successfully planned my first event...professionally! Yeah sure, Ive been doing stuff for myself and family for years now, but this, this was for work. *angels sing*
I work in the Treasury department for a large manufacturing company and each year we hold a lenders meeting where we invite in all of our bankers (the wonderful people who we bank with and borrow money from if/when needed). Not a huge deal but sort of a deal. We bring them in for a two day affair to show them around, wine 'n dine them, present them with our company's latest and greatest, then entertain them. And yours truly was responsible for putting this entire ordeal together. Okay, we're only talking about 30 people here but they're important people in fancy suits. That drive fancy cars. And make fancy salaries! And we as a company, are feeling the effects of our current economy so I had to do it reasonably. I'll try to give you an idea of how it went while sparing you all of the mundane details.
On day one there is a plant tour so they can see our manufacturing process in progress. Cut 'n dry really. There was a slight hiccup with the timing but that wasn't my fault :) That evening a cocktail reception and dinner was held at a local hotel. We have slim pickins for nice hotels around here so I changed it up a bit and went with one a little further away that we as a company hadn't tried yet for this type of meeting. When I booked the hotel they failed to mention that they would be undergoing a major renovation to their main lobby area...uhhh huh! Not ideal but it worked out okay as our people were confined to the banquet rooms and were none the wiser til they stepped outside. Anyway, we chose to have cocktail tables scattered throughout one side of the room with large rounds for dinner on the other side. All covered in ivory linens with yellow napkins. Not my favorite choice of linens but I was working with a) what the hotel had and b) a limited budget. So, we had shrimp cocktail and crab cakes with dill sauce for appetizers and a duo of chicken and tenderloin for dinner accompanied by asparagus with lemon zest and smashed potatoes. It was all very tasty...for hotel food. Let's get to the fun stuff right? Okay!
Because I'm a girly girl, I'm thinking the whole time that I'm planning this that gee...we really need flowers on the tables. Hmmm, limited budget, not sure if my boss will go for flowers. We've never done flowers in the past... I asked and was told by my male boss that "flowers might add a nice touch, just don't sell the barn to buy them." Woo hoo, I get to buy flowers!! Except its 6 days til the event, can I get flower arrangements this late. Sha-yeah! I requested some small arrangements for the dinner tables with a few bud vases to go on the cocktail tables in "sunset colors". I specifically told them red, orange, and yellow, with maybe some dark pink in a short square vase. What I got was orange and pink with some yellow and...blue. I was disappointed when I first saw them but contained myself. Turns out, they looked lovely on the light linen covered tables and really brightened up the room! The florist had just gotten in some amber colored square vases which were perfect and toned down the flowers a bit. I guess those ladies knew what they were doing, here's how they turned out:
Fast forward...the dinner went great, next was the meeting. The room was divided in half and set-up classroom style. As a fleeting thought the night before, I asked the banquet manager to take the flower arrangements and reset them on the tables for the meeting. So glad I did that as the room was darkened for the presentations so the flowers helped add a little pop to an otherwise drab conference room. And dual purpose, gotta love that. And...I'll tell you later how these flowers will end up serving many more purposes! Okay, so the dinner went great, the breakfast and meeting went great, next...lunch followed by golf.
Again, this new kid in town wanted to switch things up so I picked a new golf course which is beautiful. I'm no golfer so I was at a bit of a loss to know what golfers think, like, do... Don't they all wear argyle? We usually give the attendees a little gift, like mugs or umbrellas or some other junky thing that will end up in the back of their car never to be seen again. Uh uh, I wasn't doing that. We need something cooler. *snap* That's it, a cooler! How about a cooler that...looks like a golf bag?!
Total score! These were a big hit! I handed out the coolers after the meeting and instructed them all to bring them to the golf course where they would be able to fill them with the beverage of their choice. *patting myself on the back* This worked out really well! Then, another lady and I filled our own coolers and drove around the course refilling theirs when they were in need. Each cooler was compact but large enough to hold a six pack plus ice. Like I said, they worked out really well!
So, everything went off without a hitch and many compliments were received from both upper management and the bankers. After the meeting, my boss stood before us and thanked everyone for coming. Then he publicly thanked me for my help in planning the event. The room broke into applause and I even heard a "woo hoo, go Jill!" from somewhere in the room. Lol!! I'm not kidding...! I don't know who it was but I like to think I now have my own little fan club! It could happen... :)
I'll be back later to share the plans I have for the centerpieces.