We recently returned from an international YMCA conference held in Mexico City. It was event planning done right.
The hosts did a terrific job of not only managing the events but also helping out any attendee who needed special help. In fact, it seemed like local volunteers were always within ear shot.
Some 400 people came to Mexico City for the conference, some from as far away as Macedonia and Lebanon. Greeters met attendees at the airport and made sure they boarded the right van to the headquarters hotel.
Volunteers accompanied guests on a bus tour of Mexico City. They even offered to do a little negotiating for us when the bus stopped at a flea market.
The conference included the usual array of seminars, key note speakers, luncheons and dinners. But it also featured a few special events that were really first rate. Veteran YMCA attendees said nothing done in the U.S. or in Canada has come close to approaching the excitement and efforts of all involved in Mexico City.
The highlight was the Saturday night Cultural Event and Dinner. It was done in grand Mexican style. Attendees first visited an historic church and listened to an inspiring arrangement of symphonic music from a local orchestra.
Then everyone was ushered across the street to a large hall where all sorts of Mexican style beverages and appetizers awaited. Volunteers in native dress greeted the guests and posed for photos.
Guests then ate a nice dinner and soon the real party began. Volunteers from the Mexico area YMCAs put on a stage show that would rival many professional troupes.
They donned traditional costumes and performed customary upbeat dances and routines to a variety of Mexican music.
Then the Mariachi Band arrived and the entire hall exploded into a frenzy as guests jumped onto the stage and danced the night away.
Shuttle buses whisked guests back to the hotel but the singing and fun continued.
Sunday’s “closing ceremony” was also well done. It included various speeches, an awards ceremony, and also more singing. A special parade of youngsters highlighted the day.
The event was two years in the making. Attention to all the little details from food to transportation to the translators to the programs themselves was outstanding.
It’s those little details that separate good event planners from the very best.
Those of us from the United States thought the planning and execution was muy superbo.