The reality of a fantasy
By Whitney Selover
“Turn dreams into realities,” is not a line in my job description, but this task does in fact fall under my responsibilities as the director of special events and travel at The National Baseball Hall of Fame.
In just 19 days, 48 individuals will come to Cooperstown seeking their ultimate baseball fantasy. Their dreams of playing baseball in the Major Leagues, alongside baseball’s legends, is exactly what my staff and I will make happen during Fantasy Camp, Oct. 1-6, in Cooperstown. Creating six days of “dream-like” experiences can look like a fantasy in itself, but there is “much more than meets the eye.”
I’m a firm believer that details are what make an event unforgettable, which is the ultimate fantasy of an event planner. I measure event details in “do’s” and “don’ts” because one may think that the details you “do” get noticed, but in all reality it is the details you “don’t do” that make or break an event. People don’t notice that all the hangers in the locker room are the same make and model, but they DO notice if their uniform is hanging on a wire hanger whereas their neighbor’s is hung on a plastic hanger. People won’t notice if all the uniforms are consistent, but they DO notice if the font style on their jersey is different from the rest of their team. With details, it’s consistency that’s important.
This week, I have focused all my energy on the details of Fantasy Camp. By Friday, a final confirmation packet will be delivered to all participating campers that will cover every detail of their trip to, stay in and exit from Cooperstown. By finalizing everything that each camper must know, the foundation needed to support the campers’ schedule has been revealed to me. Knowing what the camper will see helps me understand what they should not see, which is 95 percent of the whole event. For example: “Upon arrival at The Otesaga Hotel, please proceed to the Four Winds Room for registration” indicates as a planner that:
1. Campers need directions to the Four Winds Room.
2. Signage needs to be designed, created, edited, printed, delivered and hung.
3. A registration area needs to be designed, staged, set up, equipped and staffed.
4. Gifts need to be budgeted for, sourced, customized, ordered, packaged, delivered and wrapped.
5. And so on and so on …
And imagine, that’s just for one line on the 10-page schedule.
Whitney Selover is the director of special events and travel at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.