Special arrangement #1: Police security What to do: Some suggestions from Corporal John Buis of the Vancouver Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), who was responsible for escorting the 3,000 journalists who covered last year's APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Conference) in Vancouver:
* Establish a planning committee that includes all persons involved and/or their representatives. In the case of APEC, this ranged from tourism officials up to the federal government.
* Draw up specific criteria. For the APEC conference, different levels of security were provided for different levels of attendees, such as dignitaries.
* Recruit people to fill the positions. Both of the Canadian police forces (the RCMP and the Vancouver Police Department) adjusted their shifts to cover the event. The Vancouver Police worked with their union to provide adequate coverage, while the RCMP pulled people in on their days off. Buis' team included 34 persons from all over Canada with appropriate training in escorting the media.
* Communicate special requirements. If streets must be closed off, notify the public, and all parties involved.
Special arrangement#2: Bag the parking meters What to do:
* Work with the CVB to ensure that city officials, neighborhood businesses, the police department, and the mayor's office are aware of the areas that will be affected. Be prepared to provide the city with reasons as to why your event warrants the disruption.
* Contact City Hall for permits.
* Make arrangements with city officials for local traffic to be re-routed to alternative parking areas.
Special arrangement#3: Keep your event from colliding with another
Vikki Kelly, CMP, director of convention services for the Denver Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau, had to coordinate the literal collision of a 10,000-attendee city-wide convention with the city's largest annual two-day parade, when 150,000 locals were expected to swarm into the city. The challenge: transferring the convention participants from their hotels to the convention center on two different evenings through the throng of revelers. Both the general session and an evening gala started at exactly the same time as the parade. All the streets were closed around the hotels and the convention center.
What to do:
* Create a committee ofcoordinators and representatives from the hotel and convention center, as well as the special events department of the police department, to come up with a solution. In this case, volunteers were provided glow-sticks, cowboy hats, and signs that glowed in the dark to direct attendees as they walked.
* Avoid a direct collision by changing the timing of the event. In Denver, the CVB organized a small pre-event on both nights to induce the attendees to arrive earlier than scheduled.
Special arrangement #4: Private jet or Lear jet landings What to do:
* Discuss your plans with your corporate flight department or charter service, who will know which small airports can accommodate the aircraft you are using.
* You do not need authorization to land at public airports. For private airports, contact the airport manager for authorization.
* Determine the price for private landings. These can vary widely, but generally, it is much less expensive to land at a county or municipal airport located near a major, high-use airport.
* Determine the need for security and the airport's recommendations and criteria.
* Section-off areas for VIP entrance.
* If necessary, contact Customs and Immigration to ease entrance for VIPs.
Special arrangement #5: A function in a public area or building What to do:
* Contact the proper municipal, county, or state government agency to obtain necessary permits. This varies from city to city.
* Negotiate costs. In seasonal destinations such as Tempe, Ariz., prices (and availability) may vary depending on the time of year. The local CVB can fill you in on the region's high and low seasons.
* In the case of a building, contact the events department for the building first. Many have their own planners and can direct you through the maze of obtaining the appropriate licenses and permits.
* Formulate a plan to include signage and publicity to notify locals.
Special arrangement #6: A VIP welcome for your guests What to do:
* Contact the CVB. When I was considering a city in Holland for a meeting, the mayor offered to host a welcome reception for our delegates in a 500-year-old cathedralgratis. Ask the CVB about such possibilities. Many cities are actively seeking new business and will offer any number of inducements.
Special arrangement #7: Airport greeters What to do:
* Many CVBs provide this service free of charge. The Portland, Ore. CVB will set up a table at the baggage claim area to provide arriving delegates with maps, visitors guides, and stick-on roses. (Portland is known as the "City of Roses.")
* If you want to hang a welcome banner at the airport, rules and fees vary from city to city. Some airports, such as Denver International, only permit one banner in the major concourse. Get your request in early.
* Always send a memo to the cab companies, alerting them of your group.