Holding a golf event can be a terrific way to combine business and pleasure for your company’s own staff or for your clients and customers. Because 18 holes of golf takes about four hours, golf makes a great foundation for an all-day meeting format. Participants get to enjoy a round of their favorite game, while there’s still plenty of time to take care of business. Here are some tips on planning your golf event to get the most out of it.
Business or Pleasure?
Is your event going to be a substantial business meeting with some golf thrown in, or a golf game accompanied by some business? Most courses will accommodate a large event with either an 8:30 AM tee time, or a 1:00 PM start. Paradoxically, if your meeting is intended to be more business-oriented, you should get the golfing done first: golf in the morning, lunch and the meat of the day in the afternoon. That way, participants aren’t yearning to fast-forward through the business to get to the golf. For a lighter, more recreational event, have your business events in the morning and then let folks head to the links.
Know the Numbers, Know the Players
Beware the course sales executive who tells you that her facility can easily handle 144 golfers a day. It can, but at the cost of long delays and a lagging play experience that will leave golfers grumbling. To keep the pace smooth, a limit of 72 or 108 golfers (18 or 27 foursomes) should be observed. In addition, if your event is intended to foster a lot of company-to-client interaction, you will want a company representative in each foursome, so plan your guest count accordingly. In addition, realize that individual golf skill will vary widely, and highly-skilled players will not have much fun if paired up with duffers. Query your invitees about their skill level (“novice”, “intermediate” and “expert” should be sufficiently granular) and try to match foursomes accordingly.
Food and Drink: Fancy or Functional?
The catering budget for an all-day golf event can go up like a skyrocket if you let it. If your company is intending to present an affluent, lavish image this might not be a problem, but most organizers will want to keep the budget low where possible. Consult with the facilities staff at the club to find the most economical arrangements; breakfast buffets and boxed lunches are one good way to shave the food budget. Most courses will gladly provide water or soft drinks on a pay-for-consumption basis, so these items can be offered to guests without having to buy a fixed amount up front. Finally, it’s a good idea to check with your company’s executives to find out what clubs they already belong to. Many courses will give steep discounts (and not just on food) to events hosted by their own members, and you can leverage your people’s connections to keep the company’s costs down.
Because of both the complex regulations and because so much media attention has been focused in the past year on government meeting spending, managing a government meeting has become challenging.
Sarah Vining, marketing manager at The National Conference Center (NCC), compiled a list of five easy tips for planners to simplify and streamline the many complex rules and regulations involved in the planning of government meetings.
1. Complete Meeting Packages – Use facilities that offer all inclusive pricing packages. Typically, most properties with complete meeting packages (CMP) are conference centers recognized by the International Association of Conference Centers. This allows the planner to focus on content for the meeting rather than micromanage the logistics. CMPs give planners flexibility with space needs like breakout space and meeting rooms without room rental fees
2. GSA Schedule – “Choose a venue on the GSA schedule,” advises Margo Palmer, one of NCC’s senior government sales managers. “You’ll eliminate a lot of time, extensive processes and market research by choosing a venue already on GSA.” The venues listed on the GSA schedule put forth all the groundwork to qualify and be listed on the schedule, which also simplifies the process for planners. The new category for easy meeting shopping is listed under the SIN number, 599-6.
3. Government pricing - Venues that offer government pricing all year long with no black-out dates indicate they’re committed to your best interests as a group and to having you as a long-term customer.
4. Metro-Accessible Location – Location allows government planners to control the procurement process and overcome certain obstacles. Venues that have ample parking and are easily accessible to an airport, especially an international airport, make the planning process easier.
5. Seasoned sales managers –Working with a venue staffed with seasoned government sales managers makes all the difference in the planning process. A seasoned government sales manager knows the federal rules and regulations and can coach you through the process.
These tips allow government meeting planners the ability to concentrate their energies on designing meetings that focus on bringing everyone together and delivering successful results.
According to the International Spa Association’s (ISPA) 2011 U.S. Spa Industry Study,
spas increasingly are making efforts to connect with their local communities — 69 percent of them by holding events at their facility,
The report, conducted by Pricewaterhouse Cooper shows that:
In addition to hosting events, many spas are raising their profile by donating products and services (85 percent) and by participating in charity benefits (62 percent).
Day spas comprise a significant majority of establishments (79 percent); resort/hotel spas comprise the second largest segment (9 percent), with medical spas a close third (8.7 percent). Other spa types include club, mineral springs, and destination spas.
The Northeast maintains the largest portion of spas with 25 percent while the Southwest region holds 23 percent of spas. The vast majority of spas (74 percent) are single location operations (i.e., not affiliated with a franchise or corporate headquarters).
The study indicates Americans are going to the spa more often and this fact has led to revenue growth. The increase in revenue is in line with the moderate pace of growth in the economy. Measures taken by spas to increase business included offerings through websites, special values and promotions, social media efforts, and connecting within their local communities. The economic recovery pace could not maintain the number of spa locations, resulting in a three percent decrease in the number of spas. Employment in the industry grew, but the lack of qualified therapists in the market is an underlying issue the spa community has been facing for several years.
For more information, visit: http://www.hospitalitynet.org/news//4053213.html