Meadowmere Resort

Maine Meeting Tips Feed

March 25, 2016

Planning a Meeting in Maine: Tips and Trends for This Year in Ogunquit

Jonathans-BallRoomSo for as much snow as Maine had last year, this winter is filled with sunshine and (fairly) warm days. Maybe Mother Nature is trying to tell us something – because that is just what we see ahead for meeting planning. Southern Maine is being discovered as a great spot to plan a corporate meeting or company team building. With three airports at one hour or less away, less clutter and expense of a city setting such as Portland, Portsmouth or Boston and the excitement of a destination location, Ogunquit offers a great place to bring the team. It's after all, a best beach in the US.

Let’s take a look at some tips and trends for this year for hosting your company event in Ogunquit:

  • Flexing the Rate Muscle. Demand is back and in a big way, especially for June thru October. Whereas four or five years ago, negotiating rom rate was standard, these days the demand is too strong in Southern Maine to have much wiggle room in pricing. The pockets of dates have been filled in with the creative sales teams and promotions and hotels along the coast know what they can fill for and when. Often times the best way to approach this is to offer an acceptable room rate range upfront so the sales team can quickly let you know if a bid will be submitted for the business. And as for the quiet season – sales teams have worked that in as well. Be open to considering March, April and May. The end of the first quarter and start of the second has great potential for your budget.
  • Early Birds Are Getting the Worm. Well actually, they are getting the key meeting dates in Southern Maine. Sometimes 2 or 3 years in advance. This a bit tricky since attendees and sometimes the client are waiting til last minute to register or even tell a meeting planner about an event need. If you are finding yourself talking to the client more and more about why 6 weeks’ notice for a fall meeting in Ogunquit just isn’t going to come together, you aren’t alone. And if you need a reason to convince a client that planning earlier for the meeting in Southern Maine is a must, see our first point. When the hotel has high demand and the client has a short notice must have meeting, negotiating goes out the window. Early birds smartly keeping the planning window long and work with the hotel as a partner.
  • Smart Food Means Better Health (but also Bigger Budget). Providing healthier options and specialty diets has been on the radar for a long time. While for our Maine hotel, this is really a return to what we do (our meetings at Jonathan's have been focused on Farm-to-Table, local cuisine and custom menus for over 30 years), we get that there may be a little sticker shock over the waxy chicken with over sauteed mystery veggies. Food has become part of the attraction to attendees and there are options to balance taste and price. For example, creating a central break location rather than having stations in multiple rooms. And using a family style set up to work around the buffet waste. It’s not as new-fashioned as one might think – after all, Lobster bakes have been served that way for generations.
  • A Time to Work, A Time to Play. As millennials flood the work place, balance is becoming a trend at meetings. Agendas are working in more and more ‘open afternoons’ – not as free time but for activities such as team building ground exercises, yoga and scavenger hunts. Our hotel has seen an increase in working the benefits on mindfulness into meetings. Yes, there is an element of fun to working a ropes course and some manager might find that wasteful. However, the soft skills of working together, communicating and understanding how to handle stress productively are increasingly important to a team succeeding. More than number crunching. With an aerial course, hiking, ocean front yoga options and more we are seeing events plan in a 2 to 4 hour window to develop these skills. And millennials are appreciating – and attending – the agendas that do.

So when the snow isn’t flying and we look forward to the year ahead, we see a great year to plan an event in Ogunquit and the Southern Maine area.

To get your Maine meeting planning started, visit our plan a meeting in Maine website: http://www.meadowmere.com/sites-events/corporate-functions.

September 25, 2015

Meeting Planner Tips for Fall: The Early Bird Sees the Foliage in Maine

Early_bird_edit
Plan you fall meeting early

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 their eye on that ever important Q3/Q4 meeting make 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.
  • Zachs
    Fun Team building with a fall corn maze
    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!

To get your Maine meeting planning started, visit our plan a meeting in Maine website http://www.meadowmere.com/sites-events/corporate-functions

June 29, 2015

Unexpected Guests: What do you do when a meeting crasher come to Maine?

WedcrashAfter all that planning and double checking registrations, you are at your meeting and a VP just came up to tell you that he just met Bob at the bar and can’t place him in the company. As you glance over, you realize why. It’s because Bob is a meeting crasher.  Heck, he’s even gotten ahold of those official drink vouchers you created.

Maybe it’s because us Mainers feel like we know all our neighbors. Maybe it’s because there just aren’t that many of us in a big state. Maye it’s because at the Meadowmere, we like to keep our meeting service personal and focused. Whatever the reason, meeting crashing thankfully is not too much of a concern when planning an event in Ogunquit Maine at our hotel.  However, a whole movie was made about wedding crashing, so event crashing can happen and when it does, the experience is frustrating for you as an event planner.

Just how do the Bobs of the world get in anyway? Often enough, event venues are so large that they have multiple companies floating between meeting spaces, multiple entrances into those meeting spaces and well, just too many activities going on at once.

It is easier for a local rep to get wind of a conference and head on over to make a few connections with so many folks wandering around. While occasionally our Ogunquit hotel may have more than one group joining us, the event space is often limited to one corporate event. Meaning there are far less ways to blend in. Also, we have a wonderful reception/entrance to our event space – with large fieldstone fireplace, gorgeous art and host stand. All of which means that a crasher to your meeting in Maine would have to check with the office to figure out where your meeting is. And also means we are close by to help with any unfamiliar faces.

Jonathan-s-restaurant
Jonathan's Entrance

But let’s say you booked that large venue and now are having that dreaded conversation with a company VP about Bob. Now what do you do? Here are a few tips on how to deal with meeting crashers:

 

  • Make them part of the crowd. If the badge isn’t one of the one you created, have the ‘FlexPass’ option you can approach your crasher with. Let them know you are thrilled to see/meet them and since they were not registered, let’s take a second to take care of that with our Limited Access pass. Make this a reduced price point that clear offers the things – like cocktail hours – that your crasher is there for. Hey, if you can’t beat ‘em, have them join.
  • Make your networking parts a premium. Or you could take the opposite approach: Bundle together the events that the crashers come for – mixers, parties, tastings – and make it a premium for access. That way when you approach with the price tag in hand, the crasher gets the point – pay to play or leave the sandbox. Sometimes the price alone deters the Bobs of the world
  • Take that Site Visit / FAM. This way you can set up your networking portions in rooms that do not have multiple entrances and have a visual ahead of time on what the layout should be. So if a surprise table or display pops up, you got it covered.
  • Communicate with the onsite event team. If such a thing was a concern at our small meetings venue, you can let our team at Jonathan’s know if you have had crashers in the past and how we can help. We are here to assist you and make your event a success. Let us have that awkward conversation for you.
  • Security. It’s an obnoxious thought to have to hire security but if you want the hotel and event team to focus just on service and you on the administration of the event, a security person may be your best bet. Just remember if you call them into action, stay a distance away and let them impersonally handle and remove the crasher.

Your event doesn’t have to be a Chris Brown concert to have crashers. But even if one does join in meeting, it can be addressed quickly and easily with a little advance planning.

Finally, to the Bobs of the worlds – as in literally those named Bob – we mean no harm. We love the name Bob.

Happy Meeting Planning!

March 24, 2015

Meeting Planner VIP Gift Ideas: How to impress your attendees at your Maine meeting

Just getting to planning for your VIP gifts at your Maine meeting?

Maybe it’s because us Mainers have been frozen here in the Northeast with this long winter, but it seems like everyone feels a few steps behind. And when planning an event, one of the checklist items that is often overlooked til the last minute is the attendee welcome bag and the VIP Gift.

Planning a meeting has so many details such as tracking attendance, menu development and the dreaded audio/visual needs. Often, meeting planners will arrive at our hotel in Southern Maine a day early and stay up all night stuffing attendee bags and trying to find a last minute local item for their VIP welcome gifts. We see the stress and thought, there has to be a better way.

And there is. PS It Matters is locally owned and located in York Maine just 5 minutes from our Southern Maine hotel and meeting space. Jim and his team create custom gifts to any budget and with delicious gourmet treats. Even better – and this is the part that made our hearts follow our stomachs – 15% of each gift goes to a charity of your choice. Any charity. You name it. When our event sales team heard about this, it seemed best to try out the VIP gifts ourselves. The Meadowmere Resort has been partnering with PS It Matters for our hotel’s Appreciation Weekends and the gifts have been a huge hit. So big, we had to share our top VIP gift ideas for your Maine Meeting!

Top VIP Gift Ideas for Meeting Planners:

  • SalsaJust Bag It Salsa Beach Party. This collection comes in a reusable jute bag that you can brand to your event or company, just right for toting snacks to nearby Ogunquit beach. Included are Four Salsas, from medium-heat, black bean to super, mouth-burning hot! If that's not spicy enough for your meeting, there's "Pain is Good" Jalapeno hot sauce to kick it up. Number 9 stoneground corn and vegetable tortilia strips are perfect for dipping, and the Margarita mixer has the right lime tang to complement the salsas. Perfect for a little team building and networking at the volleyball nets during your summer meeting!

  • Madyson's Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Marshmallow  and Artisan S'mores Kit.  Everything your event guests need to make really incredible s'mores!  Includes hand-made peanut butter chocolate chip filled marshmallows, classic Moravian cookies, skewers & matches - all in one convenient kit!  Each kit makes 10 s'mores.  Give the gifts out after a Maine Lobster bake and enjoy next to our fire pit as an evening activity during your Fall planning meeting.

  • CrabCrab Lovers Delight Presented In Maine Rope Basket. For your CEO and company president. The Float Rope Baskets are such a hit that and a great way to present some of Maine seafood.  With yummy Blue Crab Bay Company goodies in a unique float rope basket, the Crab Cake Kit, Crab Dip Kit, Cocktail Sauce and the Sting Ray Bloody Mary Mix are the key ingredients for a wonderful celebration of crab! A great way to be sure your ultimate VIP has some great Maine seafood – even if your meeting is out of lobster season!

  • SandwichUltimate Sandwich "Tool Box". This can be a great gift for the one in charge of creating a wonderful sandwiches on a chilly afternoon! Maine Herbed Sea Salt will be the starting point for any great sandwich.  Victoria Amory Fine Herbed Mayo spread all over the selected bread to creates the perfect "bedding" for the sandwich of choice.  Layout a decadent relish tray full with:  Gil's Gourmet Mother Earth Sicilian Olives,  Rick's Pick's Sweet Pickles, Fosters Pickled Green Beans and Stonewall Kitchens New England Cranberry Relish to decide what goes on the sandwich or the plate.  All of these options make for a perfect way to Spring in to a successful event!

  • Make It Yours. And our most favorite reason to partner with PS It Matters is to make it your own special gift. Simply stop by the York store or give Jim and friends a call and they will customize your gift. From gourmet treats to branded bags to logos on jackets and tshirts. We’ve created custom mugs, etched beer glasses, fun hotel totes and more.

SleepAnd the best reason our meeting team has for working with a gift vendor as a meeting planner: Getting a good night’s rest the night before your event at our hotel.

To find out more about PS It Matters, visit their corporate gift website http://purchasing4mycause.com/

To get your Maine meeting planning started, visit our plan a meeting in Maine website http://www.meadowmere.com/sites-events/corporate-functions

 

 

December 15, 2014

4 Ways to Plan a Networking Event in Ogunquit Maine

Mbg-truckers-cap-on-tumbledown-pondEvery meeting planner knows the word: Networking. The connections made at a meeting can help move a business forward. At the Meadowmere Resort in Ogunquit Maine, one of our top requests for corporate events is the networking time. How to plan a great networking event in Maine is a topic we are happy to help with.

There has to be more than just opening the doors and hoping people will mingle outside the usual circles. Meeting attendees often know who is coming beforehand and plan to spend time with familiar contacts. But CEO's and owners want fresh new ideas and opportunities to come back from a few days at at conference. Networking is often like sneaking in those good veggies to a kindergardener. It's good for them!

When planning a networking event in Maine, here are some tips to successful, fun networking in Ogunquit:

  1. Craft Beer Bingo

Maine has an amazing craft beer scene - from ales to lagers, single brew to quads. Local brewers in Southern Maine are colorful, friendly and will even throw in an 'Ayuh!' now and then. By introducing Bingo into the mix, there is the fun of learning key brewing words and the competition of getting to Bingo. Paired with a 4 course tasting of craft beers explained along the way, the networking  conversations begin to flow like, well, beer, as attendees discover Maine's vibrant home brews.

    2. Moosin' Around Maine

We don't horse around in Maine - We Moose around. Teach everyone a little Maine style with how to speak like a Maine-ah. Or see who's moose-riffic at trivia for Maine state facts. Correct answers can be rewarded with a little chocolate moose poop. MESCAmoose1Examples of real Maine stumpers:

  • What percentage of blueberries does Maine produce?
  • What is the name of Maine's highest point? How about Southern Maine's highest point?

    3. Paint by the Sea

Ogunquit is known as beautiful place by the sea. With over 3 miles of white sandy beach, cliffside ocean walk Marginal Way and working fishing inlet Perkins Cove, Ogunquit is a classic Maine village. A long time home to artists, Ogunquit is known for modernism art and more. Pair up in teams or have each person work side by side on a scene in Ogunquit. Pairs perfectly with a wine bar or craft beer bar and is a fun way to learn about the art scene in Ogunquit while networking over how to paint a Maine lobster.

    4. Scavenger Hunt Mainer Style

Everyone loves a good scavenger hunt. With the Meadowmere Resort's central location, small teams named after Maine icons can hustle to the Ogunquit Heritage Museum, local shops, beach, Marginal Way, Perkins Cove and Ogunquit Playhouse in search of the perfect clue. Not only can teams mix together new and familiar faces, but quickly work together to find the items in the best time. Winning team is welcome to wear flannel as official Maine (scavenger) hunters!

Ogunquit Maine is a special place to host an association and networking event. From bringing in an authentic Maine craft beer brewer to putting Maine's most painted landscape on a canvas, when you plan your networking event in Maine, you can plan on a lot more than chowdah and lobstah!

Learn more about planning a Maine corporate and networking event at the Meadowmere Resort.

Contact the Meadowmere Resort Ogunquit Sales Department for your next event

Sign up for meeting and networking specials in Ogunquit Maine

 

March 25, 2014

Planning a Winter Holiday Party in Southern Maine

Entrance WinterHow to Plan a Great Company Holiday Party in Southern Maine

Winter is Maine is breathtaking – and not just because it’s cold. But that doesn’t mean your company’s holiday party can’t warm things up! Planning a holiday party in Southern Maine is a great idea – the crowds are gone, the food is delicious and Jonathan’s venue has one amazing sound system.

Meadowmere Holiday Parties in Ogunquit Maine

Cold. Snow. Sometimes that makes it a tough sell to head to the Maine Beaches.  But hey, it is the company holiday party and once everyone gets over the bridge, even spreadsheet lovers let lose.  Just tell coworkers that there’s a hot tub outside and an amazing indoor Roman Spa to enjoy – and a fitness facility that is state of art if HR wants to be sure there are healthy activities to promote. Our Ogunquit hotel is open year round and eating a Maine lobster happens every day. Plan a team building snowshoe along the rocky Maine coast of Marginal Way with a mile of soothing ocean sounds. Design a craft beer pairing menu with real Maine Made Beer. You can even arrange for a horse drawn sleigh ride. All wonderful winter things to do in Maine that make you look like the holiday party hero.

These are some tips on how to plan your company holiday party in Maine.

Tip 1: Maine It Up!

Not just a little, but bring a lot of Maine to your event. From lobster to potatoes, beer to wine, Maine has delicious food produced right here in state. It’s sustainable, local and yummy. Green points to you holiday planner.

If the boss is calling for you to Santa at your holiday party, consider such options as Stonewall Kitchen corporate gifts or Maine Moose Poop. Both have the ability to laugh, delight and provide a snack for the ride home. Just remember the Meadowmere team will take those gifts and place them in room to lighten your sleigh.

If the that coworker who just has to have dancing is dropping off mix tapes and emailing pics of her cousin's band, consider such options as Wavelength or  All Together Now or  Straight Lace. All are local Maine bands. The difference is classy, Beatles or rockin’. And with music this good, that coworker will dub you one hip party planner.

Tip 2: Book a hotel room block steps from the party.

Exterior WinterXmasYou need a hotel that is open and steps from your venue with easy access. It is winter in Maine. That means snow.*

And you want to give your coworkers a place to be cozy and comfortable so you can convince them - whoever you have in mind for this Maine celebration – to travel to Maine in winter. Enter the Roman Spa and Outdoor Hot Tub. There is even a chance to impress the boss with upgrades to a Jacuzzi Suite. Then the head honcho has a luxury experience after fearlessly leading everyone thru another year.

Meadowmere is steps from Jonathan’s event space.  The hotel also is easily accessible for bus, limo and trolley transportation.  Finally, your team has three airports, Amtrak, coach bus and car options to reach Ogunquit. Planning a corporate event in Southern Maine can be done year round at our Ogunquit hotel.

Tip 3: Plan winter activities in and near your venue

Winter may be the quiet season but there is still plenty for you and your coworkers to enjoy in and near Ogunquit Maine.

If close and cozy is best, corporate meetings can enjoy our Ogunquit hotel amenities:  Roman Spa, fitness center, onsite massage, steam, sauna, TV room, outdoor Jacuzzi and heated indoor pool. There is even a game room for the kid in all of us and the option to offer wine welcomes for a grown up kick off.

If a brisk walk is the chosen adventure, guests of your corporate holiday party can stroll to Marginal Way for ocean view and village shops for gourmet chocolates and coffee.

If a quick drive is on tap, just hop on Route 1 to explore Kennebunkport to our north or York to our south. Both are within a 20 minute drive. You can arrange for early arrivals to jam it up – Stonewall Kitchen Flagship York Store is just minutes away and free samples abound. From chocolate sauces to Maine blueberry jam to homemade treats, this is a full afternoon of fun – especially if you take a tour or a cooking class. Just a little farther, the Kittery Outlets brings excellent deals and the chance to try Moxie, a Maine staple, at Robert’s Maine Grill. Speaking of tap - The Maine Beer scene is amazing. Tully’s in Wells is like a magic carpet ride for beer lovers and Federal Jack’s is just up Rt 1 in Kennebunkport. In pinch, Cornerstone in Ogunquit brings all that closer – artisan beer and gourmet pizzas.

*This comes with a caveat question ‘What if it snows on our holiday party date’? All the venues mentioned and the Meadowmere have snow removal down – your holiday party will still be a success. Even during the blizzard of February 2013, with over 30 inches of snowfall, the outdoor hot tub opened on time. And every car was cleared. There is always the test drive – Plan a winter vacation to Maine and see how you like it.  You might find yourself cheering FOR snow.

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