Planner Smarts: 4 Tips for "Pop-Up" Preparedness

A "pop-up" meeting in our event planning industry refers to a short-term, contracted event. The time frame could be anywhere from one-month to one day, to even one hour before the event's start time, depending on the business you're in. For the purpose of this post, I'm going to consider a pop-up meeting to be within one week of the meeting. Due to the nature of this short-term planning process, I recommend you prepare for the following four action items as you make your site selection and secure the meeting space

  1. Secure payment quickly. There likely won't be time to request to be billed for the event after the fact, so in the event that credit cannot be secured beforehand, be prepared to put down a credit card or supply a check at the time of contracting. Most hotel venues will require a cashier's check or will accept a standard check with a credit card as back-up.
  2. Provide food & beverage guarantees at the time of contracting. If you are planning on having meal functions during your meeting, your hotel liaison will ask for your guarantee at the same time you make your menu selection. You might have a day or two of a cushion depending on the time frame you are working under, but generally speaking it's a good idea to provide a solid number of attendance so the kitchen can place the food order.
  3. Finalize set-up. Because you won't have much time to ponder different set-ups for the room and the hotel will need to schedule appropriate staffing in advance, try to make this decision up front. You always want to ensure that the hotel has the inventory of equipment in stock as well, so the sooner you can provide your requirements, the better. The last thing you want is for the other group "in house" to be taking up all the exhibitor tables, message boards, table numbers, etc. that you require on a last-minute basis. Letting the hotel know as quickly as possible will allow time for them to provide everything you need, whether they need to outsource it or not.
  4. Sign off on banquet event orders (BEOs). This may seem like a no-brainer, but planning in a rush leaves more room for error. Carefully review the banquet event orders provided to you by the hotel and make sure all of your bases are covered.

For more planning tips, read Budgeting: Estimating Coffee Consumption and Budgeting: Raising the Bar with Sponsorships

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