Meetings and Events
Virtual, Live, or Hybrid - we do meetings and events from large conferences to board luncheons.
In 2020, COVID-19 dramatically changed the meetings and events industry dramatically. This change continues to evolve every week. Just as every in-person event became virtual in 2020, in 2021 we now move to deepening our skill, quality, and sophistication in virtual meetings, determining how and when to safely resume in-person events, and beginning to learn how and when to make hybrid events.
Many association staff and volunteers have been forced to move their meetings online, without knowing much about the work, skills, and financial resources necessary to make this change.
This year, Arden Solutions has successfully converted five three-day conferences, as well as other two and one-day board meetings and events from in-person to virtual with great success. The most frequently voiced statement we hear today about virtual events is that clients doing it themselves dramatically underestimated the amount of resources involved, fees they could change, and what they could accomplish.
Dismissing virtual events as needing less resources is common. There is a new lengthy list of resources and details needed for virtual conferences. This includes: video conference software, extra staff or volunteers for manning multiple simultaneous chat rooms and troubleshooting, voting software, prepping and training scores of speakers to have their technology working without a glitch on-time, and recording production quality video in advance and editing that video.
Meeting planning is an Arden Solutions specialty. We are exceptional virtual and live event meeting professionals providing services from conception to venue negotiation, to onsite management, to follow-up.
For many associations and non-profit organizations, conferences, tradeshows and other events represent a substantial percent of their income and are the main industry event of the year. These events need to deliver and share knowledge, facilitate networking, conduct business, acknowledge volunteers and VIPs, and allow the association to close the event in the black. The planning and logistics necessary for events to be successful and flow smoothly for all stakeholders is almost endless.
Our Experience & Qualifications
Our current staff has over 75 years' experience planning and executing events. We have a Certified Meeting Planner (CMP) and Certified Meeting Manager (CMM) on staff. Our experienced staff are adept at winning our clients concessions that less experienced personnel would miss and have helped us create hotel and venue contract clauses that better protect our clients. Arden Solutions has an IATA number, which enables us to get a commission on events held at hotels.
Our staff have more than 60 years experience in meeting and event planning, and have successfully sourced and negotiated over 300 hotel and venue contracts.
Our services are based on your needs — from a few hours of remote advice to the complete design, organization, and facilitation of your meeting.
Just Some of the Details...
Learn stakeholder expectations and scope. Define event goals, purpose, and agenda timing. Determine justifiable registration fees. Outline work packages and assign with project management software. Attend board & committee meetings. Identify and obtain desired CEUs. Collaborate with marketing.
Vet cities and draft short list. Present short list and gain approval on selected location. Draft RFP with specifications for sites. Circulate RFP. Collect responses and decide. Review potential sites within selected cities. Review and aggressively negotiate contracts.
Review needed meeting rooms, exhibit halls, reception rooms, and reserve with the hotel. Estimate required amount of food & beverage and audio visual and place orders. Determine other needed equipment such as frames for scientific posters and order. Determine if off-site locations are needed for golf outings, dinners, or similar, find suitable venues and negotiate contracts. Order necessary award plaques for receptions or recognition events. Set up online registration including database, accounting codes, and confirmation communications for all attendees.
Exhibitors & Sponsors
Work with leadership to identify sponsors and exhibitors. Open applications for sponsors and exhibitors. Develop prospectus, agreement, and circulate. Contract with decorator, poster provider, and any other vendors needed for exhibit hall. Ensure exhibitor / sponsor recognition as stated in the agreement. Follow up with exhibitor/sponsor evaluation. Sign them up for the next event.
Issue call for proposals for speakers. Follow up speakers with formal invitation, contracting, and management. Collect information from speakers for marketing, agenda, PowerPoints, and handouts. Manage conference proceedings. Source and distribute speaker gifts.
Develop marketing plan and timeline. Develop marketing materials. Distribute / post marketing materials: website, email, partner messages, listservs, social media, print, and other. Make sure that they are correctly placed and adjust as necessary. Source promotional products such as bags, cups, pens, and order. Design, review, and print agendas, signage, and name badges. Order any needed ribbons for badges. Set up agenda app with schedule and keep continually updated to and throughout the event.
Act as key contact with hotels and vendors. Staff the registration desk. Provide attendee assistance and information. Manage exhibit hall, sponsors, and vendors. Handle logistics including signage, room and AV sets, food & beverage. Staff event.
Review, approve, and pay invoices. Receive, summarize, analyze, and distribute evaluation surveys. Ensure all registration fees are paid, check that all attendees are documented in the database, create and present a detailed final report of income, expenses, registration, evaluation, and suggestions for future