The Main Event
I left the office at about 1:00 pm on Wednesday feeling a little nervous about being away for the rest of the week. It had been several months since I had more than one day out of the office. I headed for home to change clothes and pack a bag, as I would be staying at the hotel where our conference was taking place. Of course, I was running behind schedule and made it to the venue later than I had planned.
We were kicking the event off with a cocktail reception at the hotel followed by a BBQ dinner on the Plaza. Several speakers and event sponsors were flying in from all over the country for our event, so we wanted to be able to host them before the conference started on Thursday. The cocktail reception was great. The two hours just flew by. I enjoyed meeting and visiting with our out of town guests. The highlight of the reception was when I had the opportunity to thank our planning committee. I had arranged for a surprise meeting to take place in the hotel bar area. The bar manager and our new chapter administrator helped me pull it off. About half way through our cocktail hour, she helped me gather the five planning committee members and take them up to the bar area where the bartender was waiting with a bottle of champagne. I thanked everyone, presented them with gifts and we posed for a few photos. It was a lot of fun and the group was surprised.
After the cocktail hour was over, about twenty of the planning committee and out of town guests walked a few blocks in the beautiful sunny, Kansas City spring weather to a local BBQ restaurant where there was delicious food and wine waiting for us. Everyone had a blast eating BBQ and socializing. Getting to visit one on one with the speakers who are experts in their fields was definitely the highlight of the evening. We had a couple of people in from Boston and they were in awe of the burnt ends.
When dinner was over a few of us headed back to the hotel terrace for drinks and dessert in the awesome warm evening weather. There was live music and great conversation. I perfect way to kick off our event and end the afternoon/evening.
I never sleep in hotels, so I tossed and turned and worried about the next two days. I wanted everything to run smoothly and wanted everyone to have a good time at the conference and leave with a lot of great takeaways for their businesses. I wanted to be a good host to our out of town guests.
Morning came fast, and before I knew it, it was time to head up to the rooftop of the hotel for our event. A few unexpected things occurred (as planned) and I was flustered starting the event 20 minutes behind schedule. As the event chair, I acted as emcee. I had written myself note cards with an outline of what I wanted to say. I don’t like to read from cards, but I thought that the notes would help me remember to say what I wanted to say and thank who needed to be thanked.
The afternoon brough five excellent speakers on different areas of discipline in financial planning as well as current events pertinent to our industry and profession. We wrapped up twenty minutes ahead of schedule after starting twenty minutes late.
We again hosted the out of towners for a private dinner immediately following the conferene cocktail hour. It was Cinco De Mayo, so they served sangria and delicious fish tacos.
I didn’t get much sleep and before I knew it it was time to get up and begin the second day of the conference. We started with breakfast at 7:00 and ended with lunch at 1:00. The day was great and we ended only about 20 minutes behind schedule.
When the event concluded, I was bombarded with so many friends and colleageues praising the event, speakers, and our planning team. It was a great accomplishment and so much fun.