Submitted by…Ms. Janik G. Keddy, CMP
          Director of Conference Services
                 White Oaks Resort

                 Conference Services/Planning

Best Practice

At White Oaks, our conference planners prepare a “Welcome Kit” for
each arriving convener to receive at check in. The following items are
included in the package:
   • Welcome letter with contact name for questions, general
      contact information, etc.
   • Final copy of BEOs.
   • Floor plans with group’s meeting, breakout and dining locations
   • Portable “companion” phone with extension to call for ALL
   • “Convener Convenience Card” for requesting meal service
      outside regular dining hours or locations.
   • Gold Convener Pin to wear for instant recognition and “no
      questions asked” billing authorization.


   • Provides instant comfort to arriving conveners that the details
     are in order.
   • Makes conveners feel valued and empowered.
   • Eases transition from Planning to Operations, and singles out
     key players.
   • Ensures that important, up-to-the-minute information is passed
     along to convener immediately, no matter what time they arrive
     on site.


Because of their schedules, conveners arrive at odd times of the day
and night, and often the convener attending the event is NOT the
person who arranged the meeting. Also, conveners frequently have
not visited the property prior to the event. Add to that the general
nervousness of a convener as he or she takes up on-site responsibility
for a meeting. There’s little wonder that he or she has questions: Who
do I call? What do I do now? Where do I go first? How will people
know who I am?

We want conveners to experience a special welcome, just for them;
we want to provide all the information they need to hit the ground
running and all the tools they may need to effectively run the meeting
and troubleshoot with us when necessary. By supplying the convener
welcome kit at check-in, we increase our comfort that we have
provided everything the convener needs regardless of when they
arrive. It gets us off to great start when we identify the convener as the
"supreme being" of the event, and give them tools to respond to last
minute crises immediately. We recognize that the convener is the
busiest person attending the event.


Though we cannot directly measure the outcome of this practice, we
enjoy an extremely high rate of repeat business, and we believe that
our relationship with conveners impacts this result. Conveners tell us
they appreciate receiving the kit at arrival, particularly the
convenience of our providing a portable phone for them to receive
calls and to phone in requests for anything they need from wherever
they happen to be. The convener pin, or "pin of power" as one client
calls it, has virtually eliminated master billing issues for items added
onsite. All team members know that the person wearing the pin can
ask for anything. No pin? Team members advise the guest to check
with the person wearing the pin, or volunteer to do so for them. (Some
groups need multiple pins.)

The Convener Convenience Card makes a huge difference for
conveners who often get stuck at the registration desk or have to run
back to the guest room during meals. They simply don't have the time
to eat with their group. By offering to deliver meals wherever they
want, conveners can carry on with the important business at hand. By
simply filling out the card and handing it to Conference Services, they
get a meal delivered. Conveners say that the convenience card is very
valuable in helping them run an efficient event.

Conveners are busy people. The more we do to make their lives
easier, to show we cherish them, and want them to look good for the
bosses or clients, the more they reward us with business because we
facilitated a successful event. Listen hard to convener comments -
especially when they are not requests or complaints. Every time a
convener says “Gee, it's hard for me to...” or “I wish I could...” or “It
would be nice if...,” they’ve given you an opportunity to make
something happen, even before they ask!

See the following pages for photos of items included in the kit…

To top