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How to Extend a Great Meeting Experience & Re-Energize Your Attendees

It’s right there on their website: “Balance is not something you find. It’s something you create.” And somehow, a unique resort and spa at the base of Arizona’s Santa Catalina Mountains just north of Tucson manages to deliver on that statement.

I was fortunate a few years back to spend some time at Miraval, an all-inclusive/no tipping jewel of a destination set on 400 acres of desertscape that Oprah considers one of her fave getaways to relax, indulge in the spa, eat right, and consult with wellness specialists. (It’s the polar opposite of cruises where the pace is go, go, go and eat, eat, eat – to the point you desperately need a vacation after the vacation and a serious sit-down with Jenny Craig.) I digress …

Yes, it’s slightly pricier than very pricey but if you’ve got the means, by all means, check it out.

For the purpose of this blogpost, I want to share a truly unique aspect of my experience at Miraval that I believe would be helpful for those of us who toil in the vineyards of the meetings and events biz. It’s simple, inexpensive, poignant and … powerful.

And it involves a letter and a SASE (self-addressed, stamped envelope).

Yes, a letter. To yourself, from yourself.

After indulging in Miraval’s various resort offerings – hiking, meditation, horseback riding, yoga, pacing the labyrinth, journaling, AquaZen, etc. – and getting yourself “in the moment”, guests are encouraged to pen an old-fashioned letter to themselves at a contemplative time when relaxation has settled in, vulnerability has risen to the surface, and the soul reveals a profundity and perspicacity that surprises even yourself.

It matters not what you care to jot to you though the purpose is to create your own self-directed “re-centering” exercise for a time after you’ve departed the property and made re-entry into the world of cell phones, traffic, Kardashian news networks, and other annoyances.

At checkout, you hand your letter over and the resort holds it for three months then drops it in the mail so, back home and out of nowhere, you’re reminded of what these few days of bliss and serenity felt like. And hopefully, you’re able to reactivate that emotional and physical state.

So, where am I going with this?

Beyond the fact that anything handwritten these days is a refreshing departure from the world of 140-characters-or-less, the few moments it takes to print or shape the cursive of your self-directed message requires a state of thoughtfulness that we might not otherwise achieve when hastily tapping on a digital keyboard.

Imagine how effective this could be for your next Sales Conference.

Over the course of the program, you update, engage, inform, train and motivate your Sales Reps, getting them “in the zone” and in the moment; ready to take on the world and make their numbers halfway through the sales calendar.

It would be an interesting exercise, while they’re in an inspired state of mind, to have each rep pen a missive to themselves that includes their personal goals, sales goals, deadlines, tactics, and perhaps some poignant messaging that resonates, stirs the soul, and inspires them to hit the street all day, every day and give their all.

Unfortunately, the “high” felt at great business gatherings often subsides midway through the TSA line for your flight home but consider the emotional boost the letter could provide when it arrives three months, or six months, down the road. It might just be the mid-year pick-me-up a Sales Rep needs.

If you like this idea, there are some other things you might consider doing:

  • Order high-quality, cream- or ivory-toned Monarch-style stationery (also known as “executive letterhead”). Its smaller 7.25” x 10.5” size is classier and more personal, and isn’t quite as daunting to those who aren’t big fans of lengthy letter-writing.
  • Customize the stationery with the logo of the property and/or your corporate logo or conference theme graphics, or include a thoughtful, inspiring quote at the top or bottom of the page.
  • Order customized postage stamps with your conference theme GFX or something related to the program and use those when sending the letters.
  • On the evening before departure, room-drop a kit that includes stationery; a high-quality, smooth-writing pen with an inspirational message on the barrel; and some basic, personalized instructions to help guide them. For example:

Dear John Doe:

You are invited to seize this moment and write down your personal and business goals for the upcoming year, and maybe a few ideas and tips on how you plan to achieve them. You might choose to be specific or you might simply want to send a note of encouragement to yourself. Our goal is to help you extend the experience you’ve enjoyed here this week at (name of property).

We believe in you.

  • Or you may want to collect the letters after all have checked out and include them as part of a sales “energizer” kit sent out three months or six months down the road.

It is said, “the pen is mightier than the sword”. Why not put the power of that pen in the hands of those who peddle your products and services and see what happens?

You might be surprised (and happily so) at the results.

Until next time,