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disneym2m
08-03-2011, 01:12 PM
Okay, I have never put together a Dis Meet and I thought I would have you come along with me as I try to do this. We enjoy reading Disney Trip Reports, so I thought this would be something new to try.

Before I begin, please note that I am very excited to be part of this Dis Meet. I am not complaining or upset that I am a part of it. So please don't take any offense to this, if I tend to vent.

BACK STORY: I am not really sure how I got myself into this. I was reading a thread on a Dis Meet, either Texas or Indianapolis and I noticed this post from Cherinva. She posted something about trying to get a meet started in Virginia, but it has yet to happen. I remember about a year ago, some Disers were trying to have one in Williamsburg, but it never happened. So anyway, I private messaged Cheri about having one in Richmond. Next thing I remember I am actually looking for locations. Cheri, did I actually agree to do this...:lmao:? Anyhoo, what the heck, I enjoy parties and besides Richmond is the capital of Virginia, how hard can it be to find a location?

:rotfl::rotfl::rotfl::rotfl::rotfl::rotfl::rotfl:

Okay, I had to get that out of my system. Believe me it is harder than I thought.

Oh darn, I will have to share those stories with you later, I am off to check out location number 5 or was it 6, maybe 7. I don't know, I have lost count.

disneym2m
08-03-2011, 04:30 PM
Okay, so where was I. Oh yeah, location finding in Richmond. Cheri (Cherinva) and I teamed up to host the Virginia Dis Meet. I was to look for locations in Richmond and Cheri was to look for locations in the Virginia Beach/Williamsburg area.

So I sat at my computer ready to look things up and my brain just froze. I had no idea where to begin or how to even start looking for places. My 20th high school reunion was happening in a month, so I contacted that party planner. She would have connections because she is a party planner, right.:confused3

Well you would think that. But actually she has you look for a location and then she calls that place and then you plan from there. What kind of party planner is this person? I thought party planners had a Rolodex just sitting on their desk waiting to be turned to at a moment's notice. Well this particular party planner does not work that way.

So on with the story. She basically wanted me to give her a location and then a budget and then we could go from there. She provides decorations, invites, gift bags, etc. Sounded pretty good to me, until she asked for the budget. Now I just froze. How do you explain to someone that you really do not have a budget and you were trying to put something together as cheap as possible because the goal was to raise money for a worthy cause.
Yeah, there was silence on the other end for a couple of seconds.

Basically the party planner route was NOT the way to go and I had to find a location myself. Google here I come.

disneym2m
08-03-2011, 08:54 PM
So I Googled rental places for the Richmond area and it was not helpful. A lot of the places were in not so nice areas of Richmond. And I was putting the Disers safety first before a cheap location.

By this time Cheri had found a Chinese Buffet that looked promising. But after some discussion we decided that some Disers may not like Chinese and it may not be such a great idea.

I was becoming "desperate" and my husband let me know that his company had a huge room that we might be able to use for free. Well, sign me up. Aaron received permission from the correct people and I went to check the place out. It was perfect. It had tables, chairs, restrooms, and a separate kitchen space. My only concern was some of the computer equipment.

A couple of days later the company gave me permission with one condition. If any of the expensive computer equipment was broken Aaron and I would be held responsible for the cost, which started in the thousands of dollars. Well, okay, we would be held responsible, where do I sign. Then the room coordinator let me know that only 30 people could be in the room due to fire code.

Great, how do I invite people to a Dis Meet but only 30 people could attend. Of course in the back of my mind, I kept thinking there would be no way we would have 30 people.

Just so you know our thread for anyone interested in a Dis Meet had been up for almost 3 weeks and we were up to 28 attendees. So good-bye room and onto the next location.

Cherinva
08-04-2011, 08:05 AM
Melissa..I'm loving this report so far !!! Oh, and YES..you did agree to do this.....:rotfl:...actually, it didn't take much arm twisting for either of us...it just kinda happened...you know us DISers...we get an idea and run with it !!

I'm really excited about this..it's going to be great !!!

disneym2m
08-04-2011, 01:48 PM
Since my husband's company was not going to work out, I needed a new place. Aaron's co-worker suggested Dogwood Dell. They have sheltered areas that can be rented.

Of course, why didn't I think of Dogwood Dell. It is only one of Richmond's nicest parks. They have an amazing 4th of July events and the fireworks are great. And if you are going to have a meet in Richmond why not at a Richmond landmark. Geez, where was my thinking.

I was a little worried that a park might be too cold in November, but knowing Richmond weather, we could all be wearing shorts. So I called the nice park coordinator lady to inquire about using this beautiful park. I was so excited.

:woohoo::woohoo::woohoo::woohoo::woohoo:

Yeah, well that excitement didn't last very long. Since our meet was a private one the cost was more expensive than a public one. I would have had to pay for a least 4 park employees to help and monitor our meet, plus pay for a security guard. The meet could only be for 4 hours and I had to pay extra if I wanted to come in an hour early to set up. Oh and if I wanted tables and chairs I had to pay even more. I thanked the park coordinator for her assistance and hung up the phone.

What was I going to do now??

Since I was looking at a park for our meet, I checked out Chesterfield County's parks. Since I live in Chesterfield and pay for the use of the parks, I should be able to actually use them for an event. The price was actually reasonable but again I was nervous about the weather. Richmond weather in November is either warm, comfortable or freezing. And with my luck, on this day, we would have a snowstorm followed by a hurricane.

So my day was ending and I had ruled out parks. Cheri had agreed about the weather and maybe it wasn't such a good idea.

Onto the next idea.....that is if I had one.

amoggio816
08-04-2011, 02:16 PM
As I'm going to school to be a wedding/event planning, your party planner is right with asking for a budget and location. Normally we charge for "researching" or only give one location. It's a way to make sure we get customers without giving free advice.

With that said, as I'm not in your area, have you checked local hotels/conference centers. Like the Renaissance Conference Center. They can usually hold up to 400 people.
Or in Mass we have whats called "American Legions" (not sure where else they are) but they usually run about $150, some are nicer than others and if for a non profit event, will allow you to rent it on a non busy day for like $25. They're like "Elks Clubs", they're just little halls that don't provide food. We can usually rent it from 11-5 for the 150.

katlas&kids
08-04-2011, 02:29 PM
I'm pretty excited about this also. I helped host a very small Limey meet in Richmond. We were able to use the hotel we stayed at.

Also some churches, YMCA's, Elk clubs, Shriners & Scottish rites places rent their buildings. Depends on what you might be serving!

thanks for what ya'll are doing!

disneym2m
08-04-2011, 05:11 PM
As I'm going to school to be a wedding/event planning, your party planner is right with asking for a budget and location. Normally we charge for "researching" or only give one location. It's a way to make sure we get customers without giving free advice.

With that said, as I'm not in your area, have you checked local hotels/conference centers. Like the Renaissance Conference Center. They can usually hold up to 400 people.
Or in Mass we have whats called "American Legions" (not sure where else they are) but they usually run about $150, some are nicer than others and if for a non profit event, will allow you to rent it on a non busy day for like $25. They're like "Elks Clubs", they're just little halls that don't provide food. We can usually rent it from 11-5 for the 150.

I was not angry with the event planner or anything...:lmao:. I guess I didn't know what to say because we didn't have a budget. And I completely understood that she couldn't just give me free advice. But now I know that when calling an event planner have a budget number in mind. Lesson learned. :)

disneym2m
08-04-2011, 05:24 PM
I was becoming a little discouraged. How do all these other Disers put a Dis Meet together. Oh why isn't there a Dis Meet hotline number I could call. Then it dawned on me, why not ask those who actually put together a Dis Meet? Duh.

So I emailed Nikki (Nikkibell) with all kinds of questions. And she was so nice and helpful in answering my questions. I think Cheri also emailed Nikki because now we were looking at restaurants and malls.

Cheri checked out a Golden Corral in the Mechanicsville area and I checked out some malls. The Golden Corral manager told Cheri we could "rent" a spot for 2 hours and then pay the gratuity fee based on how the check was paid. Sounded pretty good. We would have to ask each Disers to pay a $5 fee to cover the cost. But would we have enough room to do anything??

There are about 3 malls in the Richmond area that might work. I ruled out Chesterfield Town Center because the way the Food Court is set up there would be no "privacy" to have an auction or to actually have any activities. Stony Point Fashion Park has no Food Court to speak of. But there was a Panera Bread Community Room. A $50 fee and the room was mine for a few hours. Yay, I found a place. No, wait, it was was too small. Darn it.

So next was the Short Pump Town Center. Now this looked promising. The food court was divided into sections. Awesome our group could just stay in one section. Our auction table and souvenir table could be in a corner. The Food Court provided the food. It seemed perfect. So I trekked down to the Customer Service desk and inquired about a large group using a section. She kindly handed me a Marketing Manager's card and told me to email her because this way beyond the knowledge of the Customer Service lady.

I returned home and sent an email. So, maybe we have a space. Fingers crossed.

wdwscout
08-04-2011, 08:12 PM
I am enjoying your tales so far! :thumbsup2
I know you already emailed NikkiBell, but I thought I would share our experience out here in public so other DISers might benefit.

In our recent NJ meet, I contacted Perkins Pancake House for our meet. Pal_Mickey remembered that Perkins was a partner with Give Kids the World. They help raise money for them, and even have a special day each year where all their proceeds go to GKTW. So we thought (correctly so!) that they might enjoy having us hold a fundraiser in their restaurant.
I looked at their locations on their website and found one that was in the area we were looking for. On the boards- we agreed this was a good location. I called the restaurant and asked for the manager. The general manager needed to make the final decision, but he was happy to have us since we were raising money for GKTW. He waived their usually fee and minimum food order requirements. And I promised everyone would eat while we were there. At their request, we also agreed that they would add an automatic 18% gratuity to eveyone's bill (we go to Disney- we're all used to that!!).
This particular Perkins had 2 small-ish private rooms. One held 25 people and the other held 40 people. We reserved both rooms- not having any idea how many people would come. And we did this totally sight unseen since no one lived near this location!! I had my fingers crossed that the rooms would work out for us. I was relieved and thrilled when we arrived on meet day. The rooms were perfect. And they closed off from the restaurant itself- so we didn't disturb their customers.
Since we did have a limit on the number of people due to the room sizes, but we kept the sign-ups open and it worked out well. We did realize we might have to close the event if we reached our capacity. It ended up we were right at the max- but we all fit.
At the end of our event, one of the people at our meet offered a fire house she can get for free for a future meet. You never know who has connections and who can make arrangements for you. So keep it public and see who steps up.

I know you guys will find a place and have a great meet! :cool1:

disneym2m
08-04-2011, 09:49 PM
I am enjoying your tales so far! :thumbsup2
I know you already emailed NikkiBell, but I thought I would share our experience out here in public so other DISers might benefit.

In our recent NJ meet, I contacted Perkins Pancake House for our meet. Pal_Mickey remembered that Perkins was a partner with Give Kids the World. They help raise money for them, and even have a special day each year where all their proceeds go to GKTW. So we thought (correctly so!) that they might enjoy having us hold a fundraiser in their restaurant.
I looked at their locations on their website and found one that was in the area we were looking for. On the boards- we agreed this was a good location. I called the restaurant and asked for the manager. The general manager needed to make the final decision, but he was happy to have us since we were raising money for GKTW. He waived their usually fee and minimum food order requirements. And I promised everyone would eat while we were there. At their request, we also agreed that they would add an automatic 18% gratuity to eveyone's bill (we go to Disney- we're all used to that!!).
This particular Perkins had 2 small-ish private rooms. One held 25 people and the other held 40 people. We reserved both rooms- not having any idea how many people would come. And we did this totally sight unseen since no one lived near this location!! I had my fingers crossed that the rooms would work out for us. I was relieved and thrilled when we arrived on meet day. The rooms were perfect. And they closed off from the restaurant itself- so we didn't disturb their customers.
Since we did have a limit on the number of people due to the room sizes, but we kept the sign-ups open and it worked out well. We did realize we might have to close the event if we reached our capacity. It ended up we were right at the max- but we all fit.
At the end of our event, one of the people at our meet offered a fire house she can get for free for a future meet. You never know who has connections and who can make arrangements for you. So keep it public and see who steps up.

I know you guys will find a place and have a great meet! :cool1:

That is so cool. Lois (parrotheadlois) suggested a Perkins Restaurant to me, but unfortunately there isn't once in the Richmond area. I am so glad that you had a great meet. I am a little nervous as well that my location choice will be too small. I guess we will see. Thanks for sharing your story.

disneym2m
08-04-2011, 10:03 PM
While I was waiting for the Short Pump Marketing lady to return my email, I sat at the computer and said to myself, "today I will find a location". I had this image of Annette Bening in the movie "American Beauty", when she is saying to herself, "I will sell this house today" as she cleaned it. :lmao:

I will find a location today.

I decided to look on the Dis Boards and see where other Dis Meets were having their meets. The Indianapolis location sounded good. Why doesn't Richmond have something like this. Wait, Richmond does. It is called the Richmond International Raceway Complex and they have these type of "rooms". So I called. The smallest place I could rent could hold 1,000 people. Gee, what are the odds I would get 1,000 Virginians to come to a meet? That would be awesome but unrealistic. So I thought we could hold our on race (walking or running) in this place and take pledges. Shoot we could have had our own baseball game in the room. As much as I would love to have this room, the expense was way too much. I actually told the person on the phone at RIR that they should have smaller rooms to rent. I don't think he liked my idea. Oh well.

I then realized that my 20th high school reunion would be held at the Richmond Convention Center. AWESOME. This place is huge and had rooms in all sort of sizes. So I checked out their website. Really, the starting price for a small room that held 100 was $1,200. No wonder my reunion fee was so high. And they didn't even include tables or chairs. Those were extra. I wonder if people would come to a meet and just stand. I mean they did just drive (and for some a few hours) and most sit during the week at work. So standing could be something different. Maybe. Yeah, I don't think I could get away with not having chairs.

The hours passed and by this time I was actually looking at my own house. I could fit 30 people in here with no problem Except again not enough seating and I only have one bathroom downstairs. But who needs to use the bathroom or sit, right. Yeah, I know, not a good idea.

So the day ended and I finally heard from the Short Pump Town Center Marketing Coordinator.

katlas&kids
08-05-2011, 04:38 PM
Hey!!! you left us hanging!! It's not like you have a life, eh?!:hug:

disneym2m
08-05-2011, 04:44 PM
Hey!!! you left us hanging!! It's not like you have a life, eh?!:hug:

HEY, I spent all day checking things out for the Virginia Dis Meet and now I am exhausted....:lmao: :lmao:.

I hope to continue with the story either today or tomorrow.

disneym2m
08-06-2011, 11:49 AM
My first email from the Short Pump Town Center Coordinator (SPTCC) was simple. She asked who we were, why we wanted to use the Food Court and how we were going to use the Food Court. I explained that we were Disney fans wanting to get together for lunch and to meet one another and to raise money for GKTW. I even explained to her all about GKTW.

24 hours later I received a reply from the SPTCC that she would need to discuss our event with the Security Officer. Since money was involved and we were in a public place, she didn't want any type of incident to occur. She was also worried that we would be bothering other customers by trying to solicit from them. I replied that I completely understood and clarified that we were not going to be announcing that we were collecting money and in fact we were going to be very quiet about it and that our group would not be soliciting from anyone outside our group.

48 hours later I received a reply. By this time I was getting a feeling that our group was not going to be welcomed in this Food Court. This email was about concerns. The SPTCC was concerned that our group would be loud. That our group would only purchase food from one, out of the seven, food vendors. That our group would be bothering other customers with solicitation. I replied that, again, yes our group may be a little noisy, (By this time there 38 people interested in a Virginia Dis Meet) but we weren't going to be running around the Food Court screaming and hooting and hollering. Again, I explained that we weren't going to be soliciting from outside our group and bother other customers. And I did tell her that with a possible 40 plus people I am sure that not all of our group would only eat at one of the vendors.

By this time, I was looking for a new location.

48 hours later I received a response. As the coordinator of this event, I would have to sign and agree to a Licensing Agreement and provide a Certificate Of Insurance. I replied to this email with what in a Licensing Agreement and a Certificate Of Insurance and requested a face to face meeting with her to go over these documents.

Day 1 passes.

Day 2 passes.

Day 3 passes.

Day 4 passes.

Day 5. At the end of the workday I received what would be my final email to from her. I, as coordinator, would have to provide a Certificate of Insurance for $2,000,000.00 (yes that is two million dollars). My company would have to either add the Short Pump Town Center to their policy or take a new policy out. WHAT :scared1:??? Yes, I had to reread this email a couple of times just to make sure I read that correctly. I even had to have Aaron look at it. So what does she think we are going to do, throw the chairs out the windows? Steal a table?

I took a deep breathe and decided this location was not worth our time or hassle. The Town Center would just lose 40 plus person patronage. I let Cheri know and tomorrow I would start looking again. Sigh.

wdwscout
08-06-2011, 12:01 PM
:sad2::sad2::sad2:

amoggio816
08-07-2011, 08:05 PM
Seriously?? Thats ridiculous! You're RAISING money for a good cause! Not stealing stuff and making it a hs reunion.. i mean REALLY

disneym2m
08-07-2011, 10:38 PM
I walked away from my computer, took a deep breathe, and then returned wanting to tell the Short Pump Town Center Coordinator what she could do with her $2,000,000.00 Certificate Of Insurance demand, when Aaron pulled me away and took me out to dinner.

:mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:

Whenever Aaron or myself are just having a bad day we go out to dinner to let the mess be forgotten for an hour or so. But not me, I sat in our car just wanting to vent and complain. Aaron held my hand and told me that "tomorrow was a new day and look for a new location tomorrow". I was forbidden from venting or even mentioning the email. Tonight I was to forget about a Dis Meet location.

So we went to dinner. I love this restaurant. I just enjoy the sandwiches and the manager is always friendly. But the place never seems to be full. Besides Aaron and myself, there were only two other couples. Maybe we just come at off times :confused3.

As I ate my macaroni salad, I started looking around the restaurant. I started looking at the floor plan. I started counting tables and chairs. Aaron inquired what in the world I was doing and I asked, "do you think this place would let us have the Dis Meet here". Aaron told me to go talk to the manager while he threw away our trash and refilled his tea.

So now the nerves set in. I usually don't just walk up to people to ask them a question. All the other inquires were easy. Talking on the phone or by email is somewhat anonymous. The manager has seen us in here before and will in the future, so I was a little hesitate. I took a deep breathe and walked up to the counter. He looked at me funny and I explained that I was trying to figure out how to ask him this question and explain everything.

Somehow I found the words. It seemed like forever, but in reality is was like a minute. Now this is where I wish I had a camera. His face literally lit up and he yelled, "yes"and then there was a but. He is the co-manager and for something like this I would have to also speak to the other co-manager. We exchanged contact information and then he explain "benefit night".

I left the restaurant in much better spirits than when I walked in. I was so excited. I am the type of person that likes to help others. I wanted to give this restaurant and these managers our patronage. I wanted this to help promote their business somehow.

I wanted to run home and tell Cheri and then email the co-manager, but first I had to go grocery shopping. When I arrived home, 2 hours later, I must have set the world record for putting groceries away. I, then, literally ran up the stairs and wrote Cheri an email and then an email to the co-manager.

Now it was a waiting game. Cheri replied the next day that she was on board and I still waited for a reply from the co-manager.

The weekend passed and on Monday, the phone rang. It was the co-manager of this restaurant.

Cherinva
08-08-2011, 12:45 PM
I'm really lovin this report Melissa !!!

Disneybridein2k3
08-08-2011, 01:02 PM
I am so proud of this company that I want to support them! Kuddos to them for stepping up to support GKTW when THE FREAKIN MALL wouldn't step up!

DisneyKevin
08-08-2011, 01:46 PM
Does this give you an idea of what goes into throwing a party or cruise for 700 or 800 of our closest Dis friends?

I often think John should be the patron saint of Patience and Persistence.

Good luck with this Melissa and Cheri!

Cherinva
08-08-2011, 03:22 PM
Does this give you an idea of what goes into throwing a party or cruise for 700 or 800 of our closest Dis friends?

I often think John should be the patron saint of Patience and Persistence.

Good luck with this Melissa and Cheri!

Oh yes Kevin...it certainly does....Thanks for the Good Luck...we will take all that we can get.

disneym2m
08-08-2011, 03:26 PM
Does this give you an idea of what goes into throwing a party or cruise for 700 or 800 of our closest Dis friends?

I often think John should be the patron saint of Patience and Persistence.

Good luck with this Melissa and Cheri!

Kevin:

Believe it or not, I have thought about John and the his team when I was looking for locations. And now that we are planning activities and such I completely understand. Of course John has a bigger budget than we do :lmao: but I can understand that great ideas are thought of and then have to be readjusted to fit whatever location or vendor needs.

So I guess if the Dis no longer exists John can go into Party Planning....:confused3.

But seriously, I thank John and whoever helps him when he plans the Dis meets. :hug:

disneym2m
08-09-2011, 01:37 PM
It was Monday and as usual I was looking for locations in the Richmond area. The phone rang and it was Kim, the restaurant co-manager. She sounded so delightful and nice and friendly and helpful on the phone. (Yes, I know that sentence was probably not good English). We exchanged questions and answers for about 5 minutes and decided to meet in person. My appointment was set for Wednesday at 3:00 PM.

Really, I have to wait two days...ah man. I really wanted the appointment sooner because I had to answer to some patiently waiting Disers and I just wanted to get this Meet going. Patience is not one of my strong abilities :laughing:. But, as I thought about it, a few days was a good time to make sure I had all the questions and concerns listed.

Cheri and I talked, for the first time, on the phone that night and we worked on some more details for the Meet. I spent Tuesday writing up the details and having Cheri proofread so that if this location worked out, then I could post them right away.

Wednesday arrived and I was grateful I had a doctor's appointment before this meeting. I think it helped calm me a little. Yes, I was a little nervous. Cheri and I had all these ideas and I wasn't sure how they were going to be achieved in this restaurant. I arrived about 10 minutes early to look around outside and take some outdoor photos for Cheri to see. I guess Kim saw me because when I walked in the door of the restaurant, she was right there to greet me.

We sat down and started discussing the Meet. I had to first explain to her about the Dis and then about GKTW and then what we wanted to for this Meet. She allowed pretty much everything I asked for, except we are NOT allowed to solicit from other Cafe' customers. And that she wouldn't close the Cafe' just for us. Oh well. The other co-manager, Chris, also joined us and put in his two scents worth. The meeting lasted for about an hour. Kim showed me around the Cafe' and told me to take pictures to share with Cheri. I will honestly say that Kim was the most helpful person I had talked to since starting this location hunt. She was willing to work with me and help me figure some things out. I do understand that I am bringing in business for her, and she was going to be helpful, but it was like she understood our Meet and was willing to help us in anyway she could.

Now here is the fun part.....

Kim used to work for a company that helped sponsored or donated to GKTW, so she understood exactly what we were trying to do. AND she is a Disney fan. So I might have actually created a new Diser. Anyway....

It is only July almost August and as Cheri and I figure out the number of attendees and details, a lot of what Kim and I talked about will change. But the most important thing is...............

WE FINALLY HAVE A LOCATION. And yes, I had to scream that because I was excited. After, what seems like forever, the location had been secured.

River Towne Cafe' Here We Come!!!!!!

Cherinva
08-09-2011, 01:43 PM
:thumbsup2

disneym2m
08-11-2011, 04:29 PM
My meeting with the River Towne Cafe' manager (Kim) was over with and now I couldn't wait to get home and post our Meet details on the boards. Cheri and I had all the details worked out before hand, so I just added a few items that Kim requested and I was ready to post.

It was about 4:30 PM and figured I could have the details posted with a few minutes.

:lmao: :lmao: :lmao: :lmao: :lmao:

I am laughing because it wasn't as easy as I thought. I originally had everything typed on Microsoft Word. So I figured I could just copy and paste. But I had a logo and different fonts sizes and different colors. Some items were in bold and some items were underlined. UGH!!!! This will take me forever. I started typing out one line at a time. But that was taking forever. So I thought, I am a whiz at Photoshop so why not just make a jpg photo and post it. Yeah, that wasn't working out very either.

Time was running short because I needed to visit friends at a Wake and then have dinner with my family.

AH MAN, posting on the boards would have to wait a few hours. I did email Cheri and tell her that the meeting went well and hope to post details sometime later that night.

I arrived home around 8:30 PM and knew exactly how to post my Microsoft written items into a Dis board thread. I will have to say that if you ever need a solution to a problem, just step away from it for a little while and the solution will present itself.

By 9:00 PM, the Meet details were up and now all I had to do was wait and see who was going to attend.

I found the location, the Meet details were posted, now all I have to do is sit and wait for the meet, which is 100 days away.

:lmao: :lmao: :lmao: :lmao: :lmao:

Yeah right, there is planning that now needed to be complete. Will there be decorations and if so what kind? What activities will be at the Meet? Will there be kid activities? How will we raise money for GKTW? What are we doing for a silent auction? Who will make the name tags? UIIIGGGGHHHHH!!!!

I decided it was time for bed and I will figure this out with Cheri....tomorrow. :)

wdwscout
08-11-2011, 04:36 PM
Melissa- you are doing a GREAT job! I love reading your reports.
I have planned many a group trip or event or business conference over the years and it is truly amazing how many little details there are along the way.

I also love your advice to step away for a while and a new idea or solution will come! So, so true! :thumbsup2

I wish I could come to Virginia to meet you! Alas, the distance and timing don't work out for me.
But I know it will be a smashing success! :dance3:

tigger813
08-11-2011, 07:39 PM
Melissa- Really enjoying your planning thread! I was part of the Planning Divas for the NE Meet last month so feel free to ask away. If I can't help maybe one of my fellow Divas could help!

Best of luck!

disneym2m
08-11-2011, 09:41 PM
Melissa- you are doing a GREAT job! I love reading your reports.
I have planned many a group trip or event or business conference over the years and it is truly amazing how many little details there are along the way.

I also love your advice to step away for a while and a new idea or solution will come! So, so true! :thumbsup2

I wish I could come to Virginia to meet you! Alas, the distance and timing don't work out for me.
But I know it will be a smashing success! :dance3:

Thank you Linda. I appreciate the support. I didn't think anyone was reading my crazy report. I am sorry you will not be able to attend the Virginia Dis Meet, but I am sure we will meet some day in the future at a Podcast event.

Melissa- Really enjoying your planning thread! I was part of the Planning Divas for the NE Meet last month so feel free to ask away. If I can't help maybe one of my fellow Divas could help!

Best of luck!


Thank you Tracey. I think one of your Divas (Tara) is helping me with some activity pages. I will let you know if we have any questions or need any advice. Thank so much for the offer.

tigger813
08-11-2011, 09:48 PM
Thank you Linda. I appreciate the support. I didn't think anyone was reading my crazy report. I am sorry you will not be able to attend the Virginia Dis Meet, but I am sure we will meet some day in the future at a Podcast event.




Thank you Tracey. I think one of your Divas (Tara) is helping me with some activity pages. I will let you know if we have any questions or need any advice. Thank so much for the offer.

Yup, Tara was our Head Diva!!!! Love her!!!!

Cherinva
08-12-2011, 08:45 AM
Thank You Linda and Tracey for your kind words. It means a lot to both of us. I get to do some shopping next month on my vacation to WDW for our event...I'm almost more excited about that then shopping for myself...well not exactly, but you get the point. I've already decided to take down an extra (empty) suitcase to bring stuff back in....who knows what I will find for the meet.....

disneym2m
08-14-2011, 01:20 PM
So we had the location :banana:, and the details posted, and I figured all else would just come together, right?

:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

Yeah, whatever.

Now Cheri and I had to figure out what to do next. Cheri was going to WDW in a few weeks and we decided this worked out perfectly. She could buy some items that we would need for either the auction, the door prizes, or for the kids. But then the question was, what does Cheri need to purchase? Now this is where I am glad we live in the time that we do. Before I would make lists and "waste" a lot of paper, but now there is Microsoft Word and things can be changed and re-changed without wasting a lot of paper. My original list of ideas needed to be updated because of the location. I am sure when everyone thinks of ideas for party they have great ideas, but as time goes on those ideas have to be readjusted. And this was true for us.

I also have to thank the gods for who ever created emails because Cheri and I must send each other 5 to 7 emails a day with new thoughts or ideas or suggestions about this Meet. We still have the same ideas we have just adjusted them a little.

I will admit that after a few days I was feeling a little overwhelmed. Now I understand why some Dis Meets have more than 2 people putting a Meet together. But I will also admit that the Disers are amazing. I started receiving private dis board messages with all kinds of help offer. It was so nice of Disers, whom I have never met in person, to offer to help make this Meet as great as possible. It is still a little early in the planning, so I had to tell these Disers that you are on my list and we will let you know as we get closer. At this point there are still 96 days until our meet.

Anyway, I just veered from my point of this post. What was my point? Let me think? Oh yeah, what does Cheri need to purchase while in WDW? We are having a silent auction. Mainly because I don't think I could have a live auction. I could see us now in this tiny Cafe' yelling off "The bid is now $20, who will give me $25, now who will give me $30. Sold to the Diser from somewhere wearing Christmas Mickey ears". It could be fun, but I don't talk that fast. Maybe Cheri does? Any hoo, a silent auction seemed to work for us. Now what the heck do we auction? How many auctions should there be?

I did look at other Dis Meet thread and read what they had and it seemed really great. But our ideas were different. Would our ideas we worth auctioning off? Now I am a little nervous? Oh sure ADP, just post pictures of two great auctions at your Meet. Just rub it in....:rotfl: :rotfl:.

I guess time will tell how we did in the auction area. Right now we have a few items and after the Meet I will have to tell you how it goes. But in all honestly, I keep telling myself that no matter what we have to auction off it all goes to a worthy cause; GKTW. And that is what is important.

disneym2m
08-17-2011, 04:10 PM
So it has been three weeks since our Dis Meet has been posted. 100 days until our Meet. Three weeks ago I was like, geez, this will take forever. Why did we plan our Meet so far away? What will I do for 100 days?

:lmao: :lmao: :lmao: :lmao: :lmao:

Well, now were are down to 87 days and I am wondering where the time is going. What the heck have I been doing these last 3 weeks? Will we get everything done?

As I write this, I do wonder what have I been doing these last 3 weeks? Cheri and I discuss ideas and suggestions, by email, almost every day. When I don't talk to her, it seems weird, like I forgot to do something today. But as I think about it, I guess things are coming together. Cheri has been working on donations from the area and making a shopping list for WDW. I have worked on the activity books for the kids and teenagers. I still have to print the pages but they are sitting in a folder on my computer patiently waiting. I have bought things for the Meet because the box in the spare room is filling up.

So I know things are getting completed, it just doesn't seem like it. And then I look at the countdown on my desktop and the days seem to be flying by.

I am not worried, yet. I always seem to worry that things aren't getting done and when the day arrives, surprise, all things are completed. I guess because we still have 87 days things are coming together, but very slowly. I laugh to myself because in a few weeks I will be scrambling around wondering where all the time went and why didn't I move faster to complete things.

Well I am off to work on....something. Now where is my list of things to do. I know I have one.

disneym2m
08-22-2011, 08:53 PM
It has been a slow week on the Dis Meet planning front. Cheri and I are both getting ready for vacations. Me to Las Vegas and Cheri to WDW. We have our shopping list in hand. I hear there is a Disney Outlet store in Las Vegas so I will be checking it out.

We still have 82 days until our Meet. Some days it seems like it will never get here and other days there doesn't seem to be enough time. I suppose with any party planning a person can feel this way. Each day something is worked on or accomplished for the Meet. Before we know it, I will probably be running around wondering where all the time went and why didn't I start earlier...:rotfl:.

So I am off to pack for my trip. I wonder if Cheri would let me climb into her suitcase and go with her to WDW. Of course with the bad weather coming, Las Vegas may be safer....LOL.

Before I go, I will share a secret with you. I just sent an email to my friend who lives in France near Disneyland Paris. I hope she can get me what I asked for.

Oh and I did finally respond to the lady from the Stoney Point Town Center. I had to wait a little while before I responded to her outrageous Certificate of Insurance demand. Don't worry I was nice. I let her know that another location was more than gracious enough to let our 50+ patronage use their location and didn't require an insurance policy. Of course, now I am worried. I hope the Disers attending the Dis Meet don't do anything that requires repair....:lmao:.

Cherinva
08-23-2011, 09:32 AM
If you could possibly find any room in my suitcase to stow away, you are most welcome...however, I'm not sure how the TSA will take it...could you imagine the looks on their faces when they scan it, or open it for inspection?? :rotfl2:

I'm not concerned with the storm (Irene)...now, had we gone with our orginal plans of leaving on the 28th....we might have been affected with a cancelled flight...but since we are leaving a week later now.....no worries...

Guapotimmy
08-23-2011, 06:40 PM
It has been a slow week on the Dis Meet planning front. Cheri and I are both getting ready for vacations. Me to Las Vegas and Cheri to WDW. We have our shopping list in hand. I hear there is a Disney Outlet store in Las Vegas so I will be checking it out.




Have you or anyone else ever been to the Disney Outlet in Potomac Mills? Is it large and have any decent items (like Vinylmation)? I've never been to a Disney Outlet store and just discovered this one

disneym2m
08-23-2011, 07:03 PM
Have you or anyone else ever been to the Disney Outlet in Potomac Mills? Is it large and have any decent items (like Vinylmation)? I've never been to a Disney Outlet store and just discovered this one


It has been a couple of years since I have been to the Disney Outlet in Potomac Mills. They were selling items that were outdated or being discontinued. One summer they had summer items for sale, but since the Richmond area Disney Stores have closed, I am not sure if this was new for the summer at this store or older items. A Disney Outlet type store in Anaheim area sold out dated items. I was seeing a lot from WDW 25th Anniversary, but I did find a cute Tinkerbell purse. I don't think they sell items like Vinylmation but I will let you know.

disneym2m
09-09-2011, 12:59 PM
I probably shouldn't even post anything because it has been slow. I returned from Las Vegas, sick, but with some goodies for the Meet. The outlet store did not have anything like Vinylmation and because this was a Disney Outlet store in Las Vegas, they mostly sold items from Disneyland. Which was neat to see but very expensive. Shirts were 40% off but the starting price was $45.00. They also had a lot of baby clothing and small children clothing. Oh yeah, they had a Mickey and Minnie stuffed animal set, dressed in Santa outfits, that started off at $35.00 each. Yes, Mickey was $35 and Minnie was $35. I thought this was an outlet store, meaning cheap....:confused3. Darn it, this would have been perfect to go with our Dis Meet theme.

Oh well.

We have 64 days until our meet. I have been working on the activity books for the younger attendees. Cheri is towards the end of her WDW vacation. And the voice mail that was left from her, she was able to get the goodies we needed for out Meet. :cool1:

All is well. I just feel that a lot more should be finished and that things are just hanging over my head. I guess I will be making a list and crossing things off to help me feel that things are being accomplished. I know things are getting done, but it just doesn't feel like it.

But on a good note. I have received an email from a Diser who wants to attend but it is a secret. I am actually excited about this. I love surprising people with great things.

Okay, off to work on....something. I know I need to. Where is my list???

disneym2m
09-12-2011, 02:35 PM
During my trip to Las Vegas, I joined a group of spouses who went on adventures while their spouses attended the VM convention (a computer convention about Virtual Machines). It was a lot of fun walking around the strip and seeing things that others pointed out. During this week long event, I started noticing things about what the head of this event did and did not do. I was taking notes for our upcoming Dis Meet (sshhh, don't tell her). The one thing she did not do was provide name tags.

Before I went to Las Vegas, Cheri and I had decided to provide name tags so this was not a new idea. The name tag was also to serve the purpose of allowing the Cafe' members know that our Disers were purchasing food. The Cafe' would donate 10% of what the Disers purchased. So our name tags would serve multiple uses.

So this past week, while Cheri was having fun in WDW, I started working on our name tags. Cheri and I already decided on a design and since we are getting close to our registration cut off date, I had the names of the attendees. I am a pro at Photoshop so I thought 50+ names would take no time at all....

:lmao: :lmao: :lmao: :lmao: :lmao: :lmao: :lmao:

Each 8.5" x 11" piece of paper would hold 6 name tags, so I would print about 11 pages worth. Our design was simply. Mickey Mouse shape, colored in lime green, and Mickey would wear a snow cap, colored in orange. We honored the Dis colors as well as worked it into our theme. Now I had to pick the font. Geez, there are like over 150 for me to choose from. WHY DOES THERE HAVE TO BE SO MANY?!?!?? I ended up choosing the infamous Walt Disney print. This is a Disney meet so why not have the font match the theme. ( I thought it was a good idea..LOL). So I began typing. Walt Disney print for the real names of the Diser and Comic sans for their board names. Two hours later I was finished. Yay, now time to print.

:laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

So my printer and my monitor had decided not to work together. The beautiful lime green on the monitor printed out dark green on the paper. What The .....?!?!?!? I adjusted the contrast on the monitor because I like the monitor to show things bright. But the printer wanted to print the green an emerald color green. Okay that just isn't going to work. WHAT THE.....?!?!?!? (These are family friendly boards, so no swearing, but you can fill in the blank). After an hour of this I had to figure something else out.

So I lightened the green to what looked like a different green than the lime green. I printed a test copy and darn it. I guess I am just not going to get the lime green to look like the lime green I want. But it will have to do. The Dis colors are represented and I was getting tired of arguing with the monitor and printer.

Side note: when working with Photoshop you can create different layers. Which is cool when you want to change a background or a different layer instead of redoing the whole picture. That is, of course, if you haven't flatten all the layers. Yup, I flatten the name layer and the background layer and then saved it. So I had to change the colors and retype all 50+ attendees' names. This time I changed the font to Disney print. Which actually fit and looked better.

So what did I learn from this?? 1.) Test print your page before typing anything to make sure the colors are what you want. 2.) Leave everything in layers until absolutely sure. 3.) Understand that even a simply project may take a lot longer to finish (5 hours instead of 2) AND FINALLY.... 4). Find out how to purchase one of those name tag making machines that are used in the Disney parks. It seemed much easier to use....;).

disneym2m
09-23-2011, 01:49 PM
So it has been a few days. As we get closer to the Meet I begin to realize why some Disers start their Meet months ahead of time. You need time to request help for auctions items, help for setting up, help for just putting items together, etc., AND you need help with the expenses.

When we first started planning our Meet, Cheri and I didn't want too many hands helping. But now that we have worked on our Meet for 50 days now, we now realize why some Meets have a lot of people helping and planning. I am not complaining, honestly. I am just stating the fact that a Meet, even a small one, takes a lot of time and money.

Everyday, it seems, I discover a new idea for an auction. And then it is trying to figure out how to either make the auction with little expense or I think "forget it, this is going to a good cause and who cares about the expense".

And then there comes the times when I have the idea and the solution on how to put it together and then it all crumbles. For example. I had lined up my mom to help copy a few pages for the kids' activity book. Since Staples was ridiculous in price for binding, I remembered that my old school has a binding machine. I have binding materials just sitting in a box, so I figured what not bind the books myself. I call the school and receive permission. So I sit back and figure all is well and good. Well then my mom tells me that copying the pages may be harder since the head secretary watches the copy machine like a hawk and then I receive an email from a friend who works at the school that I may not be able to use the binding machine after all.

:scared1: :scared1: :scared1: :scared1:

Okay, so now what. This was suppose to be my easiest project and in a few days it all fell apart. Now I realize why you have other people help you. Because there is always someone else that may have access to the items you need and can help with the solution. But since it is only us two, I take a deep breathe and try to figure something else out.

Well, it turns out I can use the binding machine but I had to volunteer to help with a school event and the copier lunatic is on vacation. So yes, things did work out, but it was touch and go for a while...:lmao:.

So another lesson learned. When planning a Meet, look for additional Disers to help you with the Meet and don't be shy about asking for help. There is always a Diser out there willing to help.

P.S. We have additional Disers helping us set up for our Meet. I am so happy.

disneym2m
10-01-2011, 12:42 PM
With Pete's recent announcement canceling his appearance at the Grapevine, Texas meet it had me wondering. How many Disers will cancel due to the fact that Pete and Walter weren't able to attend? I realized that when Pete posted on our Virginia Dis Meet thread that he was attending there was an increase in the number of Disers wanting to attend.

So what happens when Pete, Walter, or any other Podcast member has to cancel due to something happening in their lives? Any thoughts or ideas.

:scared1: Disers cancel on the Dis Meet they are going to attend. :scared1:

Now let me share with you what that does. When a Dis Meet is planned, it is planned on the number of guests who have signed up. The location size, the number of auction items, cupcakes, souvenirs, etc. all have to come into consideration. That is why we ask who is interested in attending. Now when planning a Meet, for example our Meet who has 56 Disers attending, we plan for 56 Disers with the understanding that things will happen and Disers may cancel. No big deal. We understand about deaths in the family, or a family member is sick, or the house is gone due to a storm. But when you cancel just because Pete or Walter or whomever cancels their appearance that really isn't fair to the people planning the Dis Meet.

For our Meet, Cheri and I have asked corporations to donate money (which we haven't received any response) or items. Since that isn't going really well, the money for everything is coming out of our pockets. We are not complaining we are happy do to it. WHY???

Because a Dis Meet is a chance to meet other Disney fans and now it is a chance to help such a worthy cause; GKTW. A Dis Meet is NOT a place to meet Pete, Walter, or the Podcast crew only; instead it is a bonus surprise.

So PLEASE if you say that you will attend a Dis Meet and cancel, remember all the time and money that was put into this Meet just for you. PLEASE make sure that the reason to cancel is NOT because Pete or whomever can't attend. But an actual emergency type situation.

Our Dis Meets serve a greater purpose these days. And if you cancel because you can't meet a Podcast member you are not only hurting the people that put their hearts and souls into putting the Meet together BUT you are also hurting some amazing children who need help.

Again I am not yelling at anyone in particular or chastising anyone, so please don't send mean emails. I just wanted everyone to know that a lot goes into a Dis Meet and if cancel for not such a good reason then it hurts more than just a few people.

But here is something to think about.....

If you planned on attending a Dis Meet and can't because your Boa Constrictor cut the power from your house and you can't wash clothes and you become contagiously sick then, please at least think about donating to one of the many First Giving pages supporting the Power of 10:GKTW. And make a note that it was in honor of a Dis Meet that you couldn't attend. At least you can help in another small way.

There are many to choose from:
http://www.firstgiving.com/app/Search/all/Results?id=Give+Kids+The+Worlkd%3A+Power+of+10&cat=n%2Ce%2Cf%2Ct%2Cp%2Cpr&ptype=home_a

Robin"D"
10-01-2011, 01:08 PM
With Pete's recent announcement canceling his appearance at the Grapevine, Texas meet it had me wondering. How many Disers will cancel due to the fact that Pete and Walter weren't able to attend? I realized that when Pete posted on our Virginia Dis Meet thread that he was attending there was an increase in the number of Disers wanting to attend.

So what happens when Pete, Walter, or any other Podcast member has to cancel due to something happening in there lives? Any thoughts or ideas.

:scared1: Disers cancel on the Dis Meet they are going to attend. :scared1:

Now let me share with you what that does. When a Dis Meet is planned, it is planned on the number of guests who have signed up. The location size, the number of auction items, cupcakes, souvenirs, etc. all have to come into consideration. That is why we ask who is interested in attending. Now when planning a Meet, for example our Meet who has 56 Disers attending, we plan for 56 Disers with the understanding that things will happen and Disers may cancel. No big deal. We understand about deaths in the family, or a family member is sick, or the house is gone due to a storm. But when you cancel just because Pete or Walter or whomever cancels their appearance that really isn't fair to the people planning the Dis Meet.

For our Meet, Cheri and I have asked corporations to donate money (which we haven't received any response) or items. Since that isn't going really well, the money for everything is coming out of our pockets. We are not complaining we are happy do to it. WHY???

Because a Dis Meet is a chance to meet other Disney fans and now it is a chance to help such a worthy cause; GKTW. A Dis Meet is NOT a place to meet Pete, Walter, or the Podcast crew only; instead it is a bonus surprise.

So PLEASE if you say that you will attend a Dis Meet and cancel, remember all the time and money that was put into this Meet just for you. PLEASE make sure that the reason to cancel is NOT because Pete or whomever can't attend. But an actual emergency type situation.

Our Dis Meets serve a greater purpose these days. And if you cancel because you can't meet a Podcast member you are not only hurting the people that put their hearts and souls into putting the Meet together BUT you are also hurting some amazing children who need help.

Again I am not yelling at anyone in particular or chastising anyone, so please don't send mean emails. I just wanted everyone to know that a lot goes into a Dis Meet and if cancel for not such a good reason then it hurts more than just a few people.

But here is something to think about.....

If you planned on attending a Dis Meet and can't because your Boa Constrictor cut the power from your house and you can't wash clothes and you become contagiously sick then, please at least think about donating to one of the many First Giving pages supporting the Power of 10:GKTW. And make a note that it was in honor of a Dis Meet that you couldn't attend. At least you can help in another small way.

There are many to choose from:
http://www.firstgiving.com/app/Search/all/Results?id=Give+Kids+The+Worlkd%3A+Power+of+10&cat=n%2Ce%2Cf%2Ct%2Cp%2Cpr&ptype=home_a

:surfweb: Very well put!

disneym2m
10-01-2011, 08:42 PM
:surfweb: Very well put!

Thank you for your support Robin. I didn't want to sound mean but wanted to share some feelings. See you soon.

Cherinva
10-04-2011, 08:09 AM
If my count is correct, we have only 39 days left before our meet :yay: It's going to be a great time and I look forward to meeting everyone !!!

disneym2m
10-16-2011, 04:56 PM
There is four weeks left until our Meet.

Now I am getting a little nervous.

When Cheri and I started to plan for our Meet. I knew how much time we had. I made a plan on what to do and how long each project should take. I was set and organized.....:lmao: :lmao: :lmao: :lmao:

What in the world has happened?!?!?! I just realized we have 27 days and I am no where near finished. Those who have planned any type of party understand my dilemma. You plan, you figure out how long each project will take, and somehow you run out of time.

Cheri and I had to make 56 name tags. It didn't seem like a big project. Two hours top to laminate, cut, and glue on the clasps. WHATEVER!!! Cheri laminated the tags, so I am not sure how long it took her. She mailed me the laminated tags and I received them in the mail. The next day I sat down and start trimming out the unnecessary paper. It took me 3 hours to trim 56 tags. Then I had to glue the clasps to the back...no problem. Yeah, okay it took me 1 and half hours. So a project that I thought would only take 2 hours, took 4 and half...:confused3.

I am not complaining. I am actually smiling that the ideas we have in our heads don't just seem to match real life time. Last Friday, everything seemed to go wrong. My volunteer to make cupcakes may bail. My surprise from my friend in France will probably not happen. Glitter glue is a pain in the butt to use. Some people who offer to help donate something revoked their offer. The list just went on and on. I did actually shed a tear for being so tired and just overwhelmed by everything that happened this day. I had to step away.

My door bell rang and it was the Mailman. He handed me a box. I opened it and inside was a Mickey Halloween popcorn bucket. My friends Lois (parrotheadlois) and Greg (DUHGreg) sent it to me from WDW. It just made my day. All these "bad" things were happening and was falling apart, but this Halloween popcorn bucket just made me feel better. I took a deep breathe and finished the name tags.

Yay, one project down and just a few more to go. I am sure I will feel overwhelmed as each day passes, but I keep telling myself that the main reason for this Meet is to meet other Disers and support some great kids.

This makes all this "mess" worth it. Off to my next project.

Cherinva
10-18-2011, 08:16 AM
I hear ya..I still have 1 item to make for the meet. It won't take me long, but I have to find the items for it. Hopefully this weekend I can get out and take care of it. There's so much to do around the house, and I've not been feeling well for the last week.

I keep going through the items that I have for the meet, and each time, it get's me more excited.

disneym2m
10-23-2011, 12:19 AM
As the days tick away until our first Virginia Dis Meet, I am actually excited and a little bit nervous. There is no rule book for a Dis Meet so everything is planned by the planners. This past week I began to question whether Cheri and I planned enough. I guess I am nervous that for 3 hours everyone will just stare at each other and watch the clock tick by. So then I wonder should we have games, should we have group activities, should we doing something else. And what I have realized is that we do have something in common. We love Disney and we want to support such a worthy cause and that we sort of know each other by what we post on the boards or that some of us have actually met throughout these past few years.

So I breathe a little easily knowing that we may not all know each other, but by the end of our Meet we will. We will finally put faces and real names to Disboard names. We can talk about Disney until our time is up and we will have helped support the dreams of many children. As I get nervous we don't have enough activities to do, I remind myself the purpose of our Meet and it makes me smile. I know that even just a small group of Disney fans can do so much for others no matter the theme, activities or whatever.

Now I am just nervous that the Cafe' is a little small. Oh well, live and learn....:lmao:.

Cherinva
10-24-2011, 02:49 PM
Just think, we get to meet each other this coming Saturday !!!!

disneym2m
11-10-2011, 10:21 AM
So today is Thursday and it is two days until our Meet. I can't believe that I am actually calm and ready. I packed up the items already to go a couple of weeks ago. When I thought of something we needed, I took care of it and packed it with the other items.

So now I am getting impatient. Usually when I plan something like this I am still running around until the last day. This is so unusual. So I either time planned really well or I am forgetting something. Hhhmmmm.......

It is hard to believe that it has been 100 days. Some days seemed liked they would never end and some days just flew by. And now here we are, two days until our Meet and I am okay. I thought I would be nervous or freaking out over everything and I am not. Which I am not sure is good or bad...LOL.

I have enjoyed putting this Meet together with Cheri. Even though I was frustrated at times over different things. But I am excited. I really enjoy Christmas, so putting together a Holiday Dis Meet was so much fun. Of course it is hard to plan a Christmas party in September. So believe me, the day after Halloween I was looking at different stores for Christmas items. Note to self: When planning a Christmas themed party, start the year before.

When we started planning this 100 days ago, I thought that today I would be running around, nervous and not sure what would happen on Saturday. But you know, I don't expect anything from the Meet except a couple of things. That the Disers just enjoy meeting one another and that we raise some money for GKTW. And I don't even have a money goal. I would hate to say that we should raise $1,000 on Saturday and be sad and upset that we didn't come close. So I am not going to do that to myself or anyone.

I just want the Disers coming to just be able to enjoy themselves. Hopefully we won't be too cramped in this tiny Cafe'....:confused3. I just want people to enjoy the Christmas music, eat cupcakes, and just have fun meeting one another.

I guess in 2 days I will know.

Cherinva
11-11-2011, 06:38 PM
Melissa, it's been a pleasure to organize this with you. One of the best things is that after hundreds of emails and numerous FB posts, I feel that I've made a new friend, and that to me, is priceless. The fact that you are a DISer and that you don't live that far away is a bonus. I'm all packed for tomorrow and I feel that we are ready. No matter how much money we raise it's for a great organization and I am honored to be a part of it.

disneym2m
11-13-2011, 02:09 AM
So it is 1:28 AM on Sunday; a day after our Meet. You would think I would be exhausted and sleeping but for some reason I can't sleep. I am not sure why, maybe my brain is still stirring from the Meet.

As this thread comes to an end, I realize what an amazing journey it has been. What seemed like something that would never happen, due to a meeting place problem, here I am with a successful Meet behind me.

Cheri and I started planning over 100 days ago, because a Virginia Meet has always been talked about but unfortunately never happened. But somehow this one did. I guess where there is a will there is a way. It was like this Meet was suppose to happen. When things looked bleak on a location, a simple cheer me up dinner turned out to be the answer. When Cheri and I weren't sure what type of items to have for auction, Disers volunteered to donate items. Even Disers who weren't attending our Meet wanted to help in someway and because they did, it helped raise more money. Cheri and I met for lunch to discuss the Meet details and we invited a Diser (Robin "D") to join us. At the last minute, he handed me a plastic envelope full of E-tickets and that item was auctioned off for more than any of us expected. I laugh at this, because maybe we should have put together a second frame worth...LOL. When the person who was suppose to help me make cupcakes had to bail due to family issues, I actually had extra time to bake and frost cupcakes. It was just amazing how things fell into place or when there was a problem, a solution eventually presented itself.

Some of you may or may not believe in a higher power, but I believe that this Meet was suppose to happen for a deserving child who wants to go to the Orlando area. They say God moves in mysterious ways and I really and truly do believe that. Our Meet raised almost $5,000. Not quite there, but we still have a First Giving page that is still excepting donations, but amazingly close. Pete mentioned it takes about $5,000 to bring one family to the Orlando area. So I truly believe that there is a child in need and because we put this Meet together when we did, it will help a child's wish come true. I know we will never know which child it helped but we know it did. I truly believe things happen for a reason and this time it was a Meet to help someone.

Sorry, I don't mean to spout religious beliefs on anyone and I honor anyone's beliefs. So please don't be offended by anything religious whatever. I am just stating that I believe things happen for a reason and it was proved today.

With some frustrations and uncertainties on how to even start to put a Meet together I think we did pretty well. And I hope anyone who wants to put together a Meet finds this thread at least a little helpful. Yes, even with all the planning, things didn't go exactly the way we planned. But we knew things might occur in a not so planned manner and we adjusted pretty well. We learned what to do, should there be a next time. And no, I am not thinking of a Meet for next year, yet. I want to get through the Holidays first...LOL. But now we know what works and what does not.

I want to thank you for joining me on my journey as I co-hosted a Meet. I really enjoyed sharing our planning process and I hope that it may help someone else.

And I will admit that I had no expectations for this Meet when I woke up yesterday morning. It wasn't until I was driving to the location that the nerves set and I realized that this was actually happening. But everything turned out well and I believe 50+ people had a good time. I met a lot of new people and saw some Disers I hadn't seen in a while.

It's been about 8 hours since the Meet ended and it wasn't until now that I realized what 2 Disers with a determination to have Meet accomplished. We raised enough money to send a child and his/her family to have the vacation of their dreams. As a tear rolls down my cheek, I am so happy and excited to know that would could this do for that child and his family. I know I didn't do this alone; I had an amazing co-partner and 50+ wonderful Disers who helped. :grouphug: And I thank each and everyone of them from the bottom of my heart. :grouphug:

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Okay, now I need a tissue........

Cherinva
11-13-2011, 07:37 AM
Melissa, I couldn't have said that any better. On the drive home, I was thinking of all that happened, the people that I met and the looks on the faces of the children as they opened their goodie bags and were coloring in the activity books...everyone looked like they were having a good time...and they were. Pictures were being taken, stories were being told and good food was eaten. It was a huge, huge success !!!!!

I now must say a big, big THANK YOU to you Melissa, for all of your hard work that you put into this event. The decorations were awesome, all of your artwork for the kids goodie bags, the table decorations, the pamphlet you put together...all of it....You did a wonderful job.

I'd also like to thank Aaron and Steve for taking the pictures to record this event....they did a great job. I'd also like to thank my DD Jennifer for all the little things we asked her to do for us...it really helped.

Oh, and your parents did an awesome job helping us as well. A big thank you to them as well.

As I look back from where we started, I never in my wildest dreams thought that the event would turn out so well... Since this was the first one for Virginia, I thought maybe 20 or so people would come...we had over 50....I had a number in mind as a goal...we over doubled that !!! The DISers that attended really stepped up to the plate for GKTW. From those that donated items, to those that bid and won the auctions we raised a lot of money and for that a deserving child and family will have a vacation of a lifetime. I am truly honored to have been a part of this.

I made a statement in the beginning, something like "lets show them what Virginia can do".....and boy did we. I'm so proud to have met everyone at the meet and to be a part of such a wonderful group of people.

It's been a great journey, so thank you Melissa for letting me tag along.

hockeymomNS
01-16-2012, 12:27 AM
Thank you so much guys. I am in the very early planning stages of a possible Nova Scotia - 1st Canadian meet and loved reading your journey.
Job well done!!!

disneym2m
01-16-2012, 11:49 AM
Thank you so much guys. I am in the very early planning stages of a possible Nova Scotia - 1st Canadian meet and loved reading your journey.
Job well done!!!

Thank you for your kind words. If you have any questions or need suggestions, please let me know. A possible Meet in Nova Scotia sounds really cool. Good luck with all your planning and the possibility. :flower3:

DWGal210
03-08-2012, 03:16 PM
Great info!! Congrats on a successful meet!!! :) We're having one in IA in a few months so your info helped!! Thanks again!!