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Suggestions needed for hosting the local B & B association meeting.

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The Farmers Daughter

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Yikes! I have been asked to host the July meeting for the B & B association. I am responsible for casual food, refreshments and seating for up to 35. I don't have a room that size and I don't know where to put that many people. If I use the breakfast table I can seat 8. I'm feeling a bit put out, but would like to have others see my place. What would you do? Have it outdoors and hope for good weather or ???
 

JBloggs

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People can stand and walk around. Go for it! Do it! You passed inspection you can pass them! Sticky beaks wanna see your place. You can do it, you rock!
 

Morticia

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No seating. Have hors d'oeuvres. If they need to sit they should have picked a place that could seat that many! We did the Chamber brekkie here and it was all finger foods and wandering around.
 

One Day

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Sit down doesn't have to be at a table.......can be just chairs.......maybe not for all, at least most.......20-25 folding chairs.
Push the dinning table to a wall to use as a buffet..........or center and they can walk around the buffet........what ever curls your toes.
They can wander through common areas and the outside.....
 

Innkeeper To Go

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People can stand and walk around. Go for it! Do it! You passed inspection you can pass them! Sticky beaks wanna see your place. You can do it, you rock!.
Joey Bloggs said:
People can stand and walk around. Go for it! Do it! You passed inspection you can pass them! Sticky beaks wanna see your place. You can do it, you rock!
Ditto.
 

EmptyNest

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If this is a meeting...they have to have someplace to sit. Will 35 actually be attending? All of ours never showed up. They don't need a sit down to eat. Use the table as a buffet and let them mingle and 'knosh' on little easy to eat things. Then have some folding chairs for the meeting.
 

EmptyNest

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"Meet and Greet".
Joey Bloggs said:
"Meet and Greet"
Can you give me an idea of what that would entail?
.
Meet and greet is pretty simple. Kind of like an open house. You have goodies out on a table, folks get greeted at the door, you tell them to help themselves to the goodies, feel free to walk around the inn. ( Be sure you lock your private rooms if you don't want them in there) and then chat away leisurely as folks mingle. That's it :)
But, you need to ask your association..what it is they might have planned as well. Sometimes we had a guest speaker, other times, it was everyone sitting around in a room, listing to the news and then sharing our issues and tips for other innkeepers who might need some advice. It was always fun.
 

The Farmers Daughter

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"Meet and Greet".
Joey Bloggs said:
"Meet and Greet"
Can you give me an idea of what that would entail?
.
Meet and greet is pretty simple. Kind of like an open house. You have goodies out on a table, folks get greeted at the door, you tell them to help themselves to the goodies, feel free to walk around the inn. ( Be sure you lock your private rooms if you don't want them in there) and then chat away leisurely as folks mingle. That's it :)
But, you need to ask your association..what it is they might have planned as well. Sometimes we had a guest speaker, other times, it was everyone sitting around in a room, listing to the news and then sharing our issues and tips for other innkeepers who might need some advice. It was always fun.
.
catlady said:
Meet and greet is pretty simple. Kind of like an open house. You have goodies out on a table, folks get greeted at the door, you tell them to help themselves to the goodies, feel free to walk around the inn. ( Be sure you lock your private rooms if you don't want them in there) and then chat away leisurely as folks mingle. That's it :)
But, you need to ask your association..what it is they might have planned as well. Sometimes we had a guest speaker, other times, it was everyone sitting around in a room, listing to the news and then sharing our issues and tips for other innkeepers who might need some advice. It was always fun.
These are the parameters I have to work with, copied from the email I received and edited for confidentiality.:
To date, we haven't established a set schedule for general meetings, having been spread thin and focused on urgent priorities such as the web site, grants, and brochure. Our goal was to have about 4 general meetings a year. Business owners are often reluctant to commit to membership that requires meetings. However, with membership renewal upon us, openings on the board, and all of the goings on of the Association, raising the need for committees and participation we are going to forge ahead with a few general membership meetings in a row over the summer months and see how it goes.

We truly hope that meeting at various locations and consistently over the summer months will reach a new mix of members and result in a higher level of member participation towards our goals.

The board will have only a brief agenda of 30 mins or less each evening, leaving the hosting, refreshments, mingling, touring, etc. to your discretion.

If these dates are agreeable to you, would you kindly draft an invitation indicating times, directions, and any other relevant information and send it to us for distribution to general membership. Then, make sure to invite, remind all the members and potential members you know!

Thanks so much!
------------------------------------------------
As you can see, it is somewhat open ended. Its not only Innkeepers but often local restaurants & business owners will attend. So since it is a meeting, I think I will need to figure out the seating arrangements.
 

IronGate

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"Meet and Greet".
Joey Bloggs said:
"Meet and Greet"
Can you give me an idea of what that would entail?
.
Meet and greet is pretty simple. Kind of like an open house. You have goodies out on a table, folks get greeted at the door, you tell them to help themselves to the goodies, feel free to walk around the inn. ( Be sure you lock your private rooms if you don't want them in there) and then chat away leisurely as folks mingle. That's it :)
But, you need to ask your association..what it is they might have planned as well. Sometimes we had a guest speaker, other times, it was everyone sitting around in a room, listing to the news and then sharing our issues and tips for other innkeepers who might need some advice. It was always fun.
.
catlady said:
Meet and greet is pretty simple. Kind of like an open house. You have goodies out on a table, folks get greeted at the door, you tell them to help themselves to the goodies, feel free to walk around the inn. ( Be sure you lock your private rooms if you don't want them in there) and then chat away leisurely as folks mingle. That's it :)
But, you need to ask your association..what it is they might have planned as well. Sometimes we had a guest speaker, other times, it was everyone sitting around in a room, listing to the news and then sharing our issues and tips for other innkeepers who might need some advice. It was always fun.
These are the parameters I have to work with, copied from the email I received and edited for confidentiality.:
To date, we haven't established a set schedule for general meetings, having been spread thin and focused on urgent priorities such as the web site, grants, and brochure. Our goal was to have about 4 general meetings a year. Business owners are often reluctant to commit to membership that requires meetings. However, with membership renewal upon us, openings on the board, and all of the goings on of the Association, raising the need for committees and participation we are going to forge ahead with a few general membership meetings in a row over the summer months and see how it goes.

We truly hope that meeting at various locations and consistently over the summer months will reach a new mix of members and result in a higher level of member participation towards our goals.

The board will have only a brief agenda of 30 mins or less each evening, leaving the hosting, refreshments, mingling, touring, etc. to your discretion.

If these dates are agreeable to you, would you kindly draft an invitation indicating times, directions, and any other relevant information and send it to us for distribution to general membership. Then, make sure to invite, remind all the members and potential members you know!

Thanks so much!
------------------------------------------------
As you can see, it is somewhat open ended. Its not only Innkeepers but often local restaurants & business owners will attend. So since it is a meeting, I think I will need to figure out the seating arrangements.
.
Try to get the board to commit to a very brief "information dispensing" meeting only. In other words, the board members speak, and the attendees listen and/or ask questions. If necessary, handouts can be made available of pertinent information AFTER the meeting. If folks are expected to take notes of any kind, you suddenly have need of lots of tables and chairs.
For just a brief info meeting, the seating in your living room (or whatever you have) plus the chairs you removed from your dining room (so the table can be easily used as a buffet) and maybe a few chairs from rooms, or folding chairs, etc. will probably be enough. Stress to the board that seating will be limited, and some folks might end up having to stand because your facilities are necessarily limited. With that in mind, hopefully they will, in fact, keep the comments brief.
If you can, set the agenda yourself:
  1. meet and greet with appetizers and drinks (have several places to get different foods, so folks have an incentive to mingle about)
  2. BRIEF meeting (with you in the audience)
  3. coffee and desserts
With this format, you can excuse yourself at the appropriate time to get the coffee and desserts ready, thus signaling that it is time to move to the next phase of the event. If necessary, recruit someone to get up to help you. I have found that speakers will often speak as long as they have a captive audience, but once the spell is broken by having a certain portion of the attendees leaving to take care of other things, the speaking portion of the evening moves to a conclusion fairly quickly.
Have any prepared notes, etc. available AFTER the meeting. You don't want folks just sitting there reading while the speakers are speaking. Focus on each task at hand, then move on to the next. Put the notes by the door when you set out the desserts, so they can be grabbed on the way out, but not on the way in.
Finally, remember that although you are a member of this association, it is your house, so your are hosting and your rules apply. Even the Admiral of the Navy has to ask permission of the captain to come aboard the captain's ship. Be the captain!
 

The Farmers Daughter

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Ok this is the deal as of now - I am hosting (mostly against my will as the last person who did said it was a complete waste of time and a total bitch fest). But I am committed. *groan*
It will be outside in a courtyard with small tables to seat 4 to 6 each.
What would you think would be appropriate apps to serve? This will be outdoors so nothing that will turn in the heat. Suggestions would be appreciated because I am stumped. Needs to be something besides the normal stuff folks serve at this kind of thing.
 

Innkeeper To Go

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Ok this is the deal as of now - I am hosting (mostly against my will as the last person who did said it was a complete waste of time and a total bitch fest). But I am committed. *groan*
It will be outside in a courtyard with small tables to seat 4 to 6 each.
What would you think would be appropriate apps to serve? This will be outdoors so nothing that will turn in the heat. Suggestions would be appreciated because I am stumped. Needs to be something besides the normal stuff folks serve at this kind of thing..
Do you serve afternoon refreshments at the inn? If you do, I'd try to put together an assortment of some of your most popular past offerings.
Otherwise, if it's going to be hot, there's nothing that cools them off faster than a chilled summer soup and the sky is the limit for possibilities. Serve in wine glasses or martini glasses or even shot glasses. In other words, what you have.
And then an assortment of easy-to-put-together treats that will hold up well in the heat. Cheese straws are always a good choice; they're easy (and cheap) to make and mix well with just about everything.
I like to serve leaves of Belgian endive, each with a dollop of a good creamy cheese and a sprig of an herb; takes 5 minutes to put together a platter full and holds up surprisingly well. Makes a nice presentation and is generally a new flavor combo for most folks.
Mini-tarts are always a good idea, using whatever local ingredients are best where you are.
Lemon bars are always a nice sweet treat when it's super hot, too.
 

Morticia

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Ok this is the deal as of now - I am hosting (mostly against my will as the last person who did said it was a complete waste of time and a total bitch fest). But I am committed. *groan*
It will be outside in a courtyard with small tables to seat 4 to 6 each.
What would you think would be appropriate apps to serve? This will be outdoors so nothing that will turn in the heat. Suggestions would be appreciated because I am stumped. Needs to be something besides the normal stuff folks serve at this kind of thing..
Reminiscent of the one I did a few months ago...prep, prep, prep and hardly anyone showed and those who did didn't eat.
Get a theme. How much time do you have to think about this? What's 'the usual' where you are for these things? Pick an 'off the radar' country and do hors d'oeuvres from there. (ie- don't pick Mexico) Even a Spanish tapas bar-style set-up might not be 'on the radar'. Altho they are fairly ubiquitous now.
Any Chippendales in the area? No one will care about the food if they're serving...
(Apologies to the guys.)
 

Morticia

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Ok this is the deal as of now - I am hosting (mostly against my will as the last person who did said it was a complete waste of time and a total bitch fest). But I am committed. *groan*
It will be outside in a courtyard with small tables to seat 4 to 6 each.
What would you think would be appropriate apps to serve? This will be outdoors so nothing that will turn in the heat. Suggestions would be appreciated because I am stumped. Needs to be something besides the normal stuff folks serve at this kind of thing..
Reminiscent of the one I did a few months ago...prep, prep, prep and hardly anyone showed and those who did didn't eat.
Get a theme. How much time do you have to think about this? What's 'the usual' where you are for these things? Pick an 'off the radar' country and do hors d'oeuvres from there. (ie- don't pick Mexico) Even a Spanish tapas bar-style set-up might not be 'on the radar'. Altho they are fairly ubiquitous now.
Any Chippendales in the area? No one will care about the food if they're serving...
(Apologies to the guys.)
.
How about an 'around the B&B world' theme? We all post a finger-food recipe that's easy and you're good to go.
 

Innkeeper To Go

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Ok this is the deal as of now - I am hosting (mostly against my will as the last person who did said it was a complete waste of time and a total bitch fest). But I am committed. *groan*
It will be outside in a courtyard with small tables to seat 4 to 6 each.
What would you think would be appropriate apps to serve? This will be outdoors so nothing that will turn in the heat. Suggestions would be appreciated because I am stumped. Needs to be something besides the normal stuff folks serve at this kind of thing..
Reminiscent of the one I did a few months ago...prep, prep, prep and hardly anyone showed and those who did didn't eat.
Get a theme. How much time do you have to think about this? What's 'the usual' where you are for these things? Pick an 'off the radar' country and do hors d'oeuvres from there. (ie- don't pick Mexico) Even a Spanish tapas bar-style set-up might not be 'on the radar'. Altho they are fairly ubiquitous now.
Any Chippendales in the area? No one will care about the food if they're serving...
(Apologies to the guys.)
.
How about an 'around the B&B world' theme? We all post a finger-food recipe that's easy and you're good to go.
.
Fabulous idea.
 

The Farmers Daughter

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Ok this is the deal as of now - I am hosting (mostly against my will as the last person who did said it was a complete waste of time and a total bitch fest). But I am committed. *groan*
It will be outside in a courtyard with small tables to seat 4 to 6 each.
What would you think would be appropriate apps to serve? This will be outdoors so nothing that will turn in the heat. Suggestions would be appreciated because I am stumped. Needs to be something besides the normal stuff folks serve at this kind of thing..
Reminiscent of the one I did a few months ago...prep, prep, prep and hardly anyone showed and those who did didn't eat.
Get a theme. How much time do you have to think about this? What's 'the usual' where you are for these things? Pick an 'off the radar' country and do hors d'oeuvres from there. (ie- don't pick Mexico) Even a Spanish tapas bar-style set-up might not be 'on the radar'. Altho they are fairly ubiquitous now.
Any Chippendales in the area? No one will care about the food if they're serving...
(Apologies to the guys.)
.
How about an 'around the B&B world' theme? We all post a finger-food recipe that's easy and you're good to go.
.
Brilliant! Thanks Morticia!
 

One Day

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Personaly.......
I wouldn't break my back or the bank for an association meeting..........sure you want to put up a good presentation of your establishment..........I just wouldn't go so far as to stress yourself over.......
I have learned through the years of entertaining and parties that simple is better....
I'd do frozen....in the oven finger foods........like the mini quiches, pigs in a blanket type stuff.........cold veggy platter with a ranch dressing dip.......some quick finger sandwiches..........desert......cookies, pastries......and jello..........................yeah jello...........surprised the heck out of me that most folks realy do enjoy jello........it's cold, refreshing.
 

wendydk

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Personaly.......
I wouldn't break my back or the bank for an association meeting..........sure you want to put up a good presentation of your establishment..........I just wouldn't go so far as to stress yourself over.......
I have learned through the years of entertaining and parties that simple is better....
I'd do frozen....in the oven finger foods........like the mini quiches, pigs in a blanket type stuff.........cold veggy platter with a ranch dressing dip.......some quick finger sandwiches..........desert......cookies, pastries......and jello..........................yeah jello...........surprised the heck out of me that most folks realy do enjoy jello........it's cold, refreshing..
One Day said:
surprised the heck out of me that most folks realy do enjoy jello........
Ha ha...for Father's Day, we had a cookout at my brothers, and his sister in law brought jello...forty years old and he was so excited to see that jello!
 

egoodell

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I have one word: Cheese plate! Get a couple of popular cheese in big chunks, different crostini and crackers, some grape clusters, strawberries and sliced apples. Done!
RIki
 
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