One of the things I do to keep the lights on is plan and execute events. Over the years I have organized everything from an intimate dinner for 8 to an overnight in the woods for 300. I am a big believer in the ‘teach a man to fish’ parable and enjoy working with clients to achieve their event vision. After months of working with the TGCA planning committee their inaugural Educational Conference dreams became reality last Friday…
When I first met the planning committee they had only the vaguest idea of what they wanted to accomplish. Over the intervening months they worked as a team to determine the conference theme with supporting talks and panel discussions, invited and confirmed a diverse pool of speakers, successfully applied for Continuing Education credits, and secured industry sponsorship so genetic counselors from across Tennessee could attend free of charge.
I really enjoy the challenge of creating effective branding for special events. My job was made easier this time around, since I was provided with an existing logo which was utilized in all conference-related materials, including advertising, emails, posters, website, meeting books and thank-you swag…
Finding the perfect venue for the event proved a little more challenging. I needed to find an affordable space to keep within budget that was centrally located to maintain a 3- hour maximum travel time for any participant. After an extensive – and frustrating – web search and days spent touring rental facilities that did not meet our needs I stumbled upon – and we quickly reserved – The Red House in Franklin, Tennessee…
The Red House has a great back story and has served many functions during its long lifetime. In its most recent incarnation the lovingly restored and meticulously maintained house serves as a recording studio and event venue. The venue would be the perfect backdrop for any occasion but what really sold me is the amazing collection of rock-and-roll memorabilia to be found in every room…
Normally I cater many of the events I organize but for this meeting Bethe Smith (The Red House Event Coordinator) did that job for me. (thanks Bethe!). She provided a never-ending stream of delicious refreshments throughout the day that included a continental breakfast, a Mexican themed lunch, and a ‘sweet & salty’ snack bar during the afternoon vendor show that meeting attendees are still raving about.
The committee wanted to give attendees something to remember the day by, and came up with an event-branded infusion water bottle which came in handy as temperatures and humidity the day of the event each topped 95!
Four things make for a good conference: 1) geographical location and physical space, 2) top-quality refreshments, 3) enthusiastic attendees, and 4) engaging speakers. We had 15 diverse presenters from the genetic counseling world participate and their willingness to share their knowledge and engage the audience in Q&A really made this conference a success. As a way of showing our appreciation each speaker received a locally sourced Olive & Sinclair Cacoa or Salt & Pepper chocolate bar with a hand-written thank you note.
If you are located in Tennessee’s mid-state region and looking for someone to help with your next corporate, educational, or personal event feel free to contact me. I’d love to discuss how my company make your event dreams a reality.
2 thoughts on “Blinding me with science…”
I think we all agree the conference was a success and that’s definitely in large part to all of your hard work, Kim. We couldn’t have done it without you!
You are so sweet Amanda. I had a great time working with the committee and hope to do so again next year.