Fall ImageSeptember Morn… ah, that’s one of my late father-in-law’s favorite songs. I can hear it in my head now even as I just say those words. Neil Diamond sure had it right when he sang about the feelings that a brisk September morning can conjure up. The whimsical freedom of summer is slowly fading and a frenzy of fall contracts is beckoning. It’s September, and that means it’s time for us all to get back to business!

Although in the world of event planning, the actual planning component never really takes a vacation, the execution aspect picks up pretty significantly in the fall. Med Ed Companies have grant money to spend before the end of the year, Entertainment Companies have block buster movies to premiere and Home Consultants Companies have annual product launches to introduce to the world.  The pace in the world of event planning takes on new life in the fall and this is where onsite management services come in to play… and where they help you shine!

Take a look at these tips aimed at assisting you when hiring onsite meeting professionals:

  1. Identify your needs. Depending on the onsite responsibilities you require, determine if you are you seeking a full-service meeting planner or just a second set of hands to work with you onsite. Are you looking for someone that will be your local feet on the ground at the event, someone who will ensure what you have planned is carried out as if you were onsite orchestrating the event yourself? Perhaps you’re looking for staff to assist with registration. A large group of attendees converging on a registration table at precisely the same time can be overwhelming, not to mention frustrating for your invited guests waiting in line. By being mindful of your expected number of attendees and hiring a number of registration assistants, you will ultimately ease the chaos of check-in. You’re going to have to give thoughtful consideration to the appropriate skill level you’ll need when determining the overall demands of what you’re looking for in onsite assistance.
  1. Determine your budget. I think that about covers that!
  1. Develop a plan. Step back and think about your event from its beginning to the very end. What aspects will you want help with? How many hours do you anticipate requiring assistance? What time would you like the On-Site Meeting Manager (OSMM) to arrive at the venue? And the anticipated departure time? Would you like to have a pre-event call with your OSMM so that you can review ahead of time your specific instructions? Will the OSMM provide assistance with printing and collating meeting materials and bring them to the meeting? Outside of managing the actual event, it will be important for you to factor in those pre-meeting and post- meeting tasks that you’ll want help with. Once onsite, will there be a review of the BEO and time flow with the Banquet Manager? What specific information will you need collected from attendees during registration? In answering these simple questions and others like them, you are ensuring the overall success of your event.
  1. Know your time constraints. Planning ahead in anticipation of hiring onsite assistance means that there will be greater availability coupled with a larger selection of meeting management professionals to match you with. It’s key to act as soon as you are able. Once your event date has been selected, your venue location has been confirmed and your onsite needs have been determined, securing qualified onsite assistance can be checked off your list as well.

So, let the rest of the world slowly awaken to the idea that fall is upon us. Transitions can be difficult, but they don’t have to be. For those of us who are lucky enough to identify themselves as part of the meeting planning industry, we understand what it means to push full throttle ahead. On a personal level, I’ve always met the final quarter of the year with great excitement. It’s sort of like how you put a cap on the year as a whole. September morning still can make me feel that way.

How are you preparing for the busy Fall?  Tell us in the Comments section below…


Cara O’Neill is a Project Manager at GCG Event Partners where she has happily set up shop for the last 10 years. She considers the key role she plays as the intermediary between her clients and network members as her favorite component of what she does on a daily basis. Cara’s professional background may be in the meeting planning industry; however, she has a strong penchant for writing too! You can connect with Cara on LinkedIn here.