Deborah Ratliff Ball is the Event and Planning Coordinator for Unity Worldwide Ministries. Deb has been an event planner for 25 years. She was a member of Meeting Professionals International for 20 years and was past president of the Kansas City Chapter. She graduated from Johnson County Community College’s culinary program in Overland Park with an emphasis on Food and Beverage. Deb enjoys scuba diving, gardening and obviously cooking.
The Overland Park CVB sends out RFP’s to the local hotels to check on rates and availability. That is very helpful to me and saves me vital time. They have all of the current connections to the hotel sales representatives and know what availability they have. This year my staff was cut when there was a restructuring at my office. The CVB stepped up and helped stuff 500 registration bags for my attendees. It was awesome! They also brought over a charging station for phones, tablets and laptops that was available for the attendees the entire week. It was very much appreciated by all of the attendees.
I like having meetings in Overland Park. It is close to the airport, has wonderful restaurants and great hotels that fit my needs. It is also convenient to bus my attendees to Unity Village in Lee’s Summit, which is where our headquarters are located. The hotel we used did not charge for parking for the attendees which is a great cost savings. Overland Park is easy to get around in and there are many shopping venues and entertainment districts available.
I consider the CVB my partner in planning meetings and events. It is so nice to be able to send them my RFP and know that it will be distributed to all of the hotels that will fit my needs for my convention. They also will coordinate transportation for any off site meetings; help with registration, and supply coupons and brochures to let the attendees know what is available in their city. It takes some of the stress off knowing I have a partner in my planning process.