We all know that the early bird gets the worm. It’s a time worn phrase. But the other thing that early birds get are prime dates for their Fall meetings. With festivals, weddings, bus tours, leaf peepers and more, meeting planners that have that ever important Q3/Q4 meeting are making the call for space early. Sometimes a whole year. It’s not that they need that much time to plan every detail of their Fall meeting – It’s that they know how hard October dates can be to get!
So as the seasons turn at our Ogunquit hotel, we thought to share a few meeting planner tips for fall.
Top Tips for Planning Your Fall Meeting in Maine:
- Issue your RFP earlier than ever. Why? Because inventory for meetings is getting competitive. Really. As this article on successful meetings mentions, some planners are find over 50 hotels turning down bids because they don’t have the space. And if FIFTY hotels in one market decline to propose, you are moving your whole meeting out of town. That can mean extra travel costs, time and more.
- Incorporate Local Farm to Table Food. Road weary sales warriors and executives know fast food and fast causal from flight delays and late arrivals. An easy way to green your meeting and make those frequent fliers feel a little healthier is to plan your menu local. While most meeting venues have gotten the memo on why this matters, as this article on meeting trends notes, be sure to ask to be sure your pick is on board. At the Meadowmere, Jonathan’s has its own farm, a connection to other local farms and custom options for everything from cheese to beer. And don’t associate local with pricey. It can actually be cost beneficial to work with in season food and gives you a great back story to meals.
- Get spooky and ooky with your team building. Well, maybe save the Addams Family attire for the formal dinner, but you can guess where we are going with this. Fall means pumpkins, hayrides and delightful decorations in New England. At our Ogunquit in hotel, you will find over 300 corn stalks, 300 pumpkins and gourds and hundreds of mums – all sources from local farmers. Which means that there are local farms to incorporate activities such as flash light tag at Zach’s Corn Maze. Or a find the scarecrow scavenger hunt. It’s like chocolate covered vegetables, but better – fun and skill building!
- Get value, Be flexible. Demand for space may be sky high and one might be under pressure to provide activities as colorful as our Maine Fall foliage – but the budget is the budget as our friends at Successful Meetings mentions. At the Meadowmere, a little flexibility in dates or timing can make a big difference in maximizing your dollars. Late October midweek dates in Ogunquit can often mean a complimentary morning meal. Or shifting a dinner by an hour can open up time for your participants to catch up on email and reduce room expenses. One group saw this opportunity, shifted a week later and saved thousands. Just ask us about finding these value dates and options for you at our Maine hotel.
And the best reason our event sales team has for planning a fall meeting: Foliage! After all that early planning and great local food, you get to enjoy the view!