Professional event planners use ancillary programs to add value for the attendees and their guests. These programs are designed to entertain and engage accompanying persons, and should occur while the main event is taking place. If children are involved, this necessitates extra caution and care on the part of the event planner since this vulnerable population needs to be protected from any harm.

An important element in companion programs is that they should be gender neutral and appropriate for the audience they serve. Some ancillary programs are included in the event budget, while others require the attendee to pay for the costs involved and therefore generate revenue. For some of the ancillary programs or services, the event planner will contract with outside vendors, sometimes including catering.

Topic: Children’s Program

You are an event planner for a chartered cruise meant to accommodate working couples and their children for a 3-day, two-family reunion (i.e., each partners’ families). You are tasked with developing the children’s program from start to finish, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, and two snacks (morning and afternoon).

  • What will be your priorities for the children’s program and why?
  • What contract stipulations should be included to address any dietary needs for the children’s food and why?
  • What content regarding the children’s program might you include in your production book? (See the unit Reading area example.)