Bellmont Partners has helped coordinate and publicize a lot of events over the years, but this year’s Fuel Up to Play 60 Reward Summits program was our largest undertaking yet. Our team worked closely with our client, the Midwest Dairy Council, to coordinate and implement eight Reward Summits throughout the Midwest, rewarding students for making a difference in their school by pledging to make healthier choices and committing to at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day.
During April and May, the Bellmont Partners team helped the Midwest Dairy Council reward nearly 1,000 students at NFL-themed Reward Summits in Lincoln, Neb., St. Louis, Mo., Minneapolis, Minn., Kansas City, Mo. Sioux Falls, S.D., Chicago, Ill., Iowa City, Iowa and Springdale, Ark. We traveled to each region and implemented activities that encouraged healthy eating and staying active, while giving students the opportunity to hear from keynote speakers representing NFL teams and universities from their region, and also allowing for some face time with cheerleaders, mascots and local dairy farmers from their state.
Putting on such a large-scale program was no easy feat. After months of hard work, we’d like to share a few tips and tricks for event planning and execution:
- Learn to roll with the punches. From flight mishaps to missing posters, the event planning process is never without surprises. At the end of the day, the best option is to not panic, course correct and keep moving forward. The show must go on!
- You can never be too prepared. One of the biggest lessons learned in all of this is that we really can never have too many scissors. We made sure to carry a fully stocked event kit with everything from Sharpies to every kind of tape imaginable, just in case we needed to make any last-minute changes.
- Know your audience. Putting on an event for hundreds of students in elementary through high school is quite a challenge. We had to put ourselves in their shoes, making sure all of the activities were engaging (and educational) enough to keep their attention in check throughout a half-day event. We even held a mini-focus group (well, children of Bellmont Partners staff) to test the activities during the planning stage.
- Don’t forget the music. It is amazing how a little upbeat music can keep the energy level up and help make an event unforgettable for everyone involved.
- Have fun! It may be easy to get wrapped up in all of the logistics, but at the end of the day, these events are supposed to be all about having fun. If we didn’t have a little fun while planning, the final result would surely have reflected that sentiment.