It’s Fall Y’all: How to Bring Autumn to Your Events

Changing leaves, pumpkin carving, apple picking, and pumpkin-spiced everything typically signal that fall is here. A look at how associations and meeting venues are getting in on the spirit.

It’s finally starting to feel a little bit like fall here in the DC area. I couldn’t be happier, and I hope it means we won’t see high humidity and 90 degree temps for at least six months. It also means that I can finally pack away my summer wardrobe and make room for flannel shirts, lightweight jackets, and that new pair of booties that’s been sitting in my closet waiting for their first wear.

Associations and meeting venues are also excited about the weather change. Many are taking advantage of the fall season by offering meetings and other experiences that have a seasonal element.

Besides fall clothes, the other thing I’m ready for is seasonal food and drink. And while I’m not a pumpkin spice fan, I am a fan of apples. Through its Merchant-to-Meetings program [PDF], the Stoweflake Resort & Conference Center in Stowe, Vermont, brings more than 30 local businesses into the attendee experience. One of them is Stowe Cider. Attendees hear from one of the cidery’s reps while sampling the company’s product line or eating food that uses cider as an ingredient. “This works well, as today, anything local and seasonal is hot,” Vice President of Sales Scot Baraw told Successful Meetings magazine.

On a more local level, the Greater New York Dietetic Association held an event last weekend where members went apple picking at Wilkens Fruit & Fir Farm. It gave them a chance to get out of Manhattan for a day and time to network and indulge in some delicious—and healthy—treats.

Then there’s the Reno-Tahoe chapter of AIGA, the professional association for design, which will hold GUTS 2017 later this month. The friendly pumpkin-carving competition aims “to unify the creative community in support of an amazing cause.” Individuals or teams of local and regional creative professionals have 90 minutes to carve their piece of art, which will then be judged. While winners take home a trophy, all proceeds from the event go to Make-A-Wish Northeastern California and Northern Nevada.

Also getting in on the Halloween festivities is the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, which will host its 16th Annual Halloween Run for Justice on October 27. Runners and walkers are encouraged to wear costumes, and a “Scream Team” will be onsite to pump participants up before the race. All proceeds from registrations and sponsorships benefit the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Foundation, which funds the pro bono and public service programs of CMBA, including the 3Rs program that brings members to local classrooms to teach 10th graders about the U.S. Constitution.

How have you brought the fall spirit into your meetings and events? Let us know in the comments.

(CatLane/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Samantha Whitehorne

By Samantha Whitehorne

Samantha Whitehorne is editor-in-chief of Associations Now. MORE

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