Tip #285: Preparing to Conduct Workshops in Hotels #2

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Last week, we identified the first four items of a checklist for preparing to conduct a workshop in a hotel. This week, we’ll add to this checklist to cover issues related to mailing materials ahead of time and actually locating them on site when you need them!

This topic is be very fresh in my mind, because I have just completed facilitating a week of training in South Carolina- for which I mailed seven boxes of materials. I know they got there (because of FedEx tracking). And they were in the training room, ready for me to put out, once I got there. Hurray!

Here are the next four items of a checklist for preparing to conduct a workshop in a hotel. Feel free to suggest additional items!

5. Mail materials ahead of time.

For years, I have juggled over 160 pounds of materials packed into two large suitcases through airports. Now that the airlines charge for even the first piece of luggage, that is no longer an option (thank goodness!). I have discovered FedEx can mail the same amount and weight of materials at much less cost than the airlines would charge. Even mailing materials to California from Wisconsin, they arrived in less than a week!

6. Alert the conference staff at the hotel to expect your mailed boxes.

You definitely don’t want your materials just showing up at the hotel. Alert the conference staff to expect the boxes and tell them how many to expect and when they are likely to arrive. Ask them to place all of the boxes in the same place for ready access on the day before the training.

7. Make sure to have someone sign for the materials when they arrive at the hotel.

FedEx gives you the option to ensure that someone signs for receipt of the materials when they are delivered. You can track the status of your mailing with the tracking number that you give them. I can’t tell you what a relief it is to see that someone has signed for their delivery. That means that someone knows where the boxes are!

8. Plan how you will get the mailed materials back to your site.

As I packed for this trip to South Carolina, I thought about bringing an empty suitcase to fill with the remaining mailed materials for my return trip. In this case, I was able to put everything in my one large suitcase (which has an expandable top). I knew that, even with those materials, my suitcase would not be more than 50 pounds (the typical cut-off before the airlines charge a lot more for excess weight).

When I conducted training in California, my client mailed back the materials.

Another option is to have FedEx mailing labels filled out for the boxes and ask the hotel conference staff to mail the materials back to you.

Based on my experience, if time is of the essence (you plan to use the materials in an upcoming workshop) then it is better to bring the materials back with you. This approach will eliminate any anxiety and stress over when mailed boxes will finally arrive.

Next week, we will add to this list by looking at what to pack and what to carry on the plane with you.

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