Meetings Committee 2016 Annual Report

The 2015–2016 Meetings Committee was Eugene Giudice and Larissa Sullivant (co-chairs), Sara Baseggio, Todd Hilmer, and Jill Meyer. The committee planned four meetings for the 2016 – 2016 year. Dates, locations, number of attendees, and profit and loss for each meeting is shown in the following table:

Date Location Attendees Profit / (Loss)
September 17, 2015 Rock Bottom Brewery
1 W Grand Ave,
Chicago, IL 60610
93 ($27.02)
November 19, 2015 Wildfire
159 W Erie St,
Chicago, IL 60654
94 $251.25
February 25, 2016 Nacional 27
325 W Huron St,
Chicago, IL 60654
94 ($1952.30)
May 12, 2016 Harry Caray’s
33 W Kinzie St,
Chicago, IL 60654
113 $100.91
TOTAL 394 ($1627.91)

The reason for the $1952.30 loss on the February meeting was because there was no sponsor for that meeting.

Improvements Recommended By Committee

  1. Check in at meetings needs to be streamlined. Subsequent meetings should have a separate table for attendees to pick up name tags as opposed being handed a name tag at check in.
  2. Online registration and payment or prepayment via check to the CALL post office box should be encouraged. This will greatly speed up check in at meetings.
  3. Handling of large amounts of cash and checks is a concern. Committee recommends investigation by CALL board of commercial bonding for all committee members.
  4. Committee recommends annual review of the meeting registration fee. The current fee of $25.00 while adequate may not be in a year or so, even with meeting sponsorship. Committee recommends regular small increases as opposed to larger increases at longer intervals.
  5. Two of the four meeting were held at Lettuce Entertain You properties (Nacional 27 and Wildfire). Committee recommends investigation by CALL board as to the possibility of formal contract for all meetings with Lettuce Entertain You with the hope that such a contract would make meetings more cost effective.

Feedback From Meetings

Below is a summary of some of the post-meeting survey results. It appears that respondents are fairly pleased with CALL meetings in terms of venue, cost and meeting content. Below are some additional items for consideration.

  1. Include more locations south of Chicago River, West Loop, and
  2. More opportunities for networking.
  3. More clearly marked vegetarian and vegan menu options.

Areas Of Concern

  1. Cost of audio/visual setup. More venues are charging large fees for audio/visual setup. Smith and Wollensky was being considered for a meeting but the cost of audio/visual setup made that venue cost prohibitive.
  2. Committee is always being encouraged to find new venues but the number of venues in the downtown area that can support a group of our size in our price point are getting smaller. Meeting registration fee increase is inevitable.
  3. Other fees are pricing us out of other venues. The Berghoff was considered but rejected when we were informed they would charge us for “linen rental.”
  4. Online registration and payment is a helpful tool, but is Wild Apricot the tool for us given the learning curve of the tool, the lack of support and annual turnover in committee membership?