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What are you wearing to the ball, Cinderella?

The buzz is building for the Alliance Annual Meeting next week in Hollywood, Florida. The member society executives I’ve spoken with over the past few weeks are genuinely excited about hearing from keynote speakers John Maxwell, Sean O’Donnell, and Craig Kielburger. Folks are busy mapping out what Workshops they plan to attend and really like the concept of having “encore” presentations of three sessions to maximize the educational value of the meeting.

But of all the questions and comments I receive about the meeting, the most frequent is…”What are you wearing to the Saturday evening Beach Party?”

A change of pace from previous Annual Meetings…

Traditionally, the Saturday evening event at the Annual Meeting has been billed as the “Closing Banquet.” It once featured the parade-like entry of Board members in spotlights, multi-tiered head tables, antiquated installation ceremonies, and speeches that lasted a little too long.

Over the past few years, we’ve tried to inject a little more fun into this event by reducing the pomp and circumstance. After all, many of you get plenty of that at your own conventions (and you’ve told me you’d love to get rid of it), and by Saturday evening you’ll need a well-deserved break from two days of intense education and non-stop networking. So this year we’re making a clean break from the past with a full blown Jimmy Buffet-themed “Parrot Head” Beach Party.


What exactly does this mean?

Well, for starters, let’s look at what WON’T be on the agenda…

  • No speeches
  • No installation ceremonies
  • No head table
  • No reserved seating
  • No rubber-chicken-and-rice dinner

OK, then what should I be prepared for?

After you enjoy a complimentary cocktail or two at the reception, our group will head down to Westin Diplomat’s fabulous pool for the festivities. Here’s what you can expect…

  • Plenty of seating for everyone at traditional and cocktail tables set up around the pool. Sit with friends from your society or take a big risk and park it next to a total stranger.
  • Multiple food stations with a variety of delectable “island style” dishes set up buffet style so you can go back as often as you like.
  • Cash bars located throughout the pool area – we’ll toss in the little umbrellas in your drinks for free.
  • A photo booth so you can bring home a memory of the evening – or verify to local law enforcement officials that you were in fact at the Beach Party.
  • Music by the Caribbean Chillers (you’ll swear it was Jimmy Buffet himself).

The last two entertainment events are brought to us by AQS Asset Management, our Fun ‘n Sun sponsor.  Thank you, AQS!


Oh, about the wardrobe…

Remember it’s a BEACH PARTY, so comfort is the key. I’ll be the guy in Bermuda shorts, a Tommy Bahama shirt (untucked), and flip flops. My wife’s wearing a long tropical dress. (Remember, we’ll be outside and there might be a little wind.) Sure, there will be folks there in slacks, loafers, and tightly tucked Aloha shirts. There may even be a few who entirely miss the memo and show up in suits or a tux. I’m guessing these are the first people to be tossed in the pool.

We’re got a big crowd, a terrific program, record-breaking sponsor support, and a one-of-a-kind venue. Looking forward to seeing you all next week in Hollywood!

One Response

  1. But I already have my tiara polished! Darn! Guess I’ll wear it under my “I’m the woman to blame” baseball cap!

    Thanks, Joe, for wardrobe guidance. The Alliance covers all the bases!

    See you on the beach! Kathleen

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