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cenario: Your company or association is planning their winter conference at a hotel and waterpark, encouraging you to bring your family. Your spouse and kids are excited, checking out the website and deciding which rides they want you to go on with them. You’re thinking,” Great, but how am I going to manage my professional expectations and still spend some quality time


with my family?” Answer:


As a planner it’s important to communicate the agenda and business goals for meetings in general, but also pertinent when offering or promoting these events to your attendees’ family. Yes, you have your basic information to share, the where, the when, costs, etc., but pay special attention to pointing out when the attendee is expected to be strictly focused on the meeting at hand. If you’re having planned food and beverage events, spell out if they family is invited to attend (and at what cost) or when it’s only for the attendee. It may seem obvious to you, but when you mix in family, people are often unsure what events they can participate in. You’ll also want to highlight the non-work time available in advance so your guest can decide if and when there is going to be “family time”. If the hotel is offering special pre- and post-stay rates which can offer more time to enjoy the waterpark and amenities make sure you share that info far enough in advance for the employees or members to take advantage of this. “That’s actually very easy in Wisconsin Dells. Attendees know their families are occupied and happy, which frees them up to concentrate on the work at hand. Then, when meetings wrap up, they can be the hero by joining the family for some fun in the waterpark. Most book an extra night to give the trip bona fide “family vacation” status.” Julie Randles, Communications Spe- cialist and Events Manager, Wisconsin Dells Visitor & Convention Bureau, Inc.


Guests also need to do their own pre-plan- ning and set expectations with their family in order to have a successful


WWW.MIDWESTMEETINGS.COM


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