Tips & TricksJanuary 30, 2019

The Holiday Hangover

The holiday hangover. It plagues us all. People as well as organizations. Below are some of our lessons learned from clients and our own tips and tricks to prepare for and overcome the annual case of the blahs.

Sales-focused companies often kick off a new year with a meeting, conference or event of some kind. We’re fortunate to have had – and still have – clients in this space. This type of client’s primary objective for January is to get the business performing to goal as quickly as possible. Collaborating with them, here are a few things we’ve learned about beating the winter blues…

  • The earlier in the month for kick off events, the better, but without forcing attendees to spend New Year’s away from home.
  • Yes, locations that tend to have warmer weather do inspire attendance. However, be careful about putting too much marketing emphasis on the weather. With few exceptions, there’s always a chance your group might experience unseasonably cold weather or a winter storm. Focus on overall meeting experiences, content and take-aways that will inspire them for the rest of the year.
  • Have attendees develop and implement a personal post-event action plan to help drive desired behaviors in the immediate short term.
  • Assume most attendees are trying to rebound physically and mentally from the holidays. When planning the menu, take it easy on the comfort foods and decadent desserts. Provide time and opportunities in the agenda for wellness. Walking, jogging, golf and yoga are some good options. We’re rather partial to the 8 a.m. pre-general session dance party.

As a company, after a busy spring, summer and fall, we start to see white space in our calendar as the year winds down. It can be sparse between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, making it challenging to keep a team of over 60 full-time employees busy and fully engaged. They’ve earned a less-hectic pace for a few weeks, but here are some things we’ve learned to do to keep moving the business moving forward…

  • Have a year-end meeting/party to celebrate the past year’s accomplishments, recognize performance, discuss future opportunities and build excitement for the following year. Provide the opportunity for team members to develop goals and action plans.
  • Focus on the tools that help you do your job. Organize, inspect, test, clean, repair, refurb or upgrade production equipment to prepare for the coming year. And use this time to keep up with the pulse of where events are headed in the coming year.
  • Advance our knowledge and mastery of production hardware and software through testing, exploration and continuing education.
  • Encourage the use of unused vacation time. In an industry where schedules are always filling up and extra days can be sparse during the year, we always encourage our employees to recharge so they come into the new year rested and ready to go above-and-beyond for our clients.

All of us who provide conference and events services experience a cyclical ebb and flow of business. Like you, we love the flow. We’ve learned to embrace the ebb. It’s a good time to take stock, be grateful, refresh and strategize across all areas of the business. After 70 years, we’ve learned that what you do in the ebb determines the flow.