First, THANKS for volunteering to lead an activity and organize all the attendees from MARS Associates and their guests. Some of the steps outlined below may not be needed, or you may need to add steps or revise steps depending on the event you’re leading.
Steps I’ve found to help this process:
- Select a date that works best for you. Dates of Mon-Thurs are probably best to hold an event to avoid weekend traffic. Establishing a date 2-3 months ahead is also advised so people can make sure their calendars are free.
- Work with the activity venue to see if discount rates are available for groups of 10-20 and 20-30 (my guess on the number of attendees). Get a point of contact for attendees to call and reserve a spot.
- Provide a preliminary email to people with trip date and suggested venues to stay (2-3 months ahead of event date). Include a preliminary agenda (drive to destination, hotel recommendations if an overnight trip, website link for other activities in the area, meeting for a meal prior to after event). Include your contact information as well for people with questions.
- The mass mailer should contain primarily text without pictures (easier to send out as a mass-mailer)
- approximate cost should also be listed
- provide a response date so you can start collecting number of attendees (usually 2 weeks after sending out the mass-mailer).
- The mass-mailer needs to be coordinated with Jim Kummer (web chair who sends out the mass-mailer) and Carl Kaminski (Carl has the mail addresses). Have Jim post a flyer or the mass-mailer on the trip onto the MARS Associates webpage.
- Get replies on who wants to commit to this trip and develop a unique mailing list based on this interest list to avoid sending out additional mass-mailers.
- Once people are committed, provide info on who to contact to reserve the activity or train ride and make sure they remember to make hotel accommodations, if applicable. Also establish the reservation deadline. People should reserve individually (as part of MARS Associates) and pay separately. Do not get into the middle of collecting the money. If appropriate, work with Steve Sande in establishing a JotForm or EventBrite signup to gather names of attendees. Avoid making monetary commitments that may depend on the number of attendees. If you must do so to hold a venue – then alert the participants that the final cost will reflect the number of participants. Don’t give a final cost until close to the commit date.
- Within 2 weeks of the event, contact the venue and find out who has signed up and paid.
- Send a reminder email to attendees, and those committed but not yet signed up to make sure they sign up if still interested in attending.
- Within a week of the event, send out a final email to those attending with any last-minute details and a reminder that we’re looking forward to seeing them.
- Wait for the trip date and prepare for some fun!