Early on we put together a simple schedule of things to do. I hope this
will give you some ideas of what you'll need to consider.
18 months ahead: Reserve block of rooms
14 months ahead: Announce by email
(ask people to mention it in their Christmas cards)
10 months ahead: Announce by postal service. Send out an "I'm going" card
for people to return
The above two can be done together, around September or October, once
people are back from their summer vacations. People can't be expected to make a
complete decision this early, but it helps to get a rough idea how many might
attend. People could respond by returning the card or by e-mail. Consider
what information you want to get from people at this point: ages of
attendees, preferences for activities, information you'll need to plan the
6 months ahead: Make gross reservations for any excursions
Be sure to get prices and note when you'll have to give the vendor a
final head count. If you have to commit early, be sure to include signup
instructions in the signup material that goes out next.
Complete a preliminary agenda for the 4 days
8 months ahead: Send out signup material
via email and postal service
People will make their reservations at the resort
on their own, but we will want them to register with us as well. Be sure to
include instructions for room reservations: where to call, room choices,
4 months ahead:
This may be your last chance to cancel on banquet rooms, excursion
reservations, etc, and still get your deposit back.
3 months ahead: Send out reminder
1 month ahead:
Final agenda is done
Cut off to accept any more people. In reality, as long as they can
get hotel reservations, anyone can still come.
Final head count to activities that require it (such as bus tour)
2 weeks ahead:
Final head count to resort, release
any unreserved rooms in our block
Copy and assemble attendee packets with
schedule and attendee list
Write a final Welcome letter to put in the attendee packets
1 day ahead:
Organizers meet at noon to discuss final arrangements and drink.
Get a good night sleep!