A Dis Meet Planning Report

Discussion in 'Power of 10 - DIS Events to Benefit GKTW' started by disneym2m, Aug 3, 2011.

  1. DisneyKevin

    DisneyKevin Kelvis Moderator

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    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!
     
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  3. Cherinva

    Cherinva Co-Host of the Va. DIS Meet and avid pin collector

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    Oh yes Kevin...it certainly does....Thanks for the Good Luck...we will take all that we can get.
     
  4. disneym2m

    disneym2m I am only allowed to visit WDW once every 5 years.

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    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:
     
  5. disneym2m

    disneym2m I am only allowed to visit WDW once every 5 years.

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    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!!!!!!
     
  6. Cherinva

    Cherinva Co-Host of the Va. DIS Meet and avid pin collector

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  7. disneym2m

    disneym2m I am only allowed to visit WDW once every 5 years.

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    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. :)
     
  8. wdwscout

    wdwscout <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/" targ

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    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:
     
  9. tigger813

    tigger813 DIS Veteran

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    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!
     
  10. disneym2m

    disneym2m I am only allowed to visit WDW once every 5 years.

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    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.
     
  11. tigger813

    tigger813 DIS Veteran

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    Yup, Tara was our Head Diva!!!! Love her!!!!
     
  12. Cherinva

    Cherinva Co-Host of the Va. DIS Meet and avid pin collector

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    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.....
     
  13. disneym2m

    disneym2m I am only allowed to visit WDW once every 5 years.

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    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.
     
  14. disneym2m

    disneym2m I am only allowed to visit WDW once every 5 years.

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    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.
     
  15. disneym2m

    disneym2m I am only allowed to visit WDW once every 5 years.

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    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:.
     
  16. Cherinva

    Cherinva Co-Host of the Va. DIS Meet and avid pin collector

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    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...
     
  17. Guapotimmy

    Guapotimmy I won a Podcast Cruise on February 3rd, 2010!

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    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
     
  18. disneym2m

    disneym2m I am only allowed to visit WDW once every 5 years.

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    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.
     
  19. disneym2m

    disneym2m I am only allowed to visit WDW once every 5 years.

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    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???
     
  20. disneym2m

    disneym2m I am only allowed to visit WDW once every 5 years.

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    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....;).
     
  21. disneym2m

    disneym2m I am only allowed to visit WDW once every 5 years.

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    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.
     

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