I came across this quite funny list from Buzzfeed the other day; 33 Things Every Conference Attendee Knows To Be True. If you notice, actual attendees of the Northeast Festival & Conference compiled the list. While some of these items are beyond a meeting planner’s control, some could actual get a little bit closer to our control. It’s not all bad, by the way, some of the points are very positive – yay! Anyway, I just couldn’t help but to address a few of these in my own fun way. Enjoy!
Numbers 1 & 2: These points are about the fact that even if the coffee is not great this will not deter attendees from drinking it up anyway. This high coffee consumption can then result in their needing to take a restroom break during one of the talks. (As well as result in Number 3 in our Buzzfeed list). For this I recommend simple reminders be posted on all coffee pots, as an example, “Just a friendly reminder that some of our sessions today clock in at 1 1/2 hours so drink responsibly J”
Numbers 7 & 8: These points are about the meeting rooms being either too cold or too hot. While this may be true at times, it usually comes down to the fact that some of us runny chilly and others run steamy. So, always remind your dear attendees that if they are of the chilly sort, remember to bring along a sweater or jacket. The steamy sort can be directed to purchase a Neck Tie Cooler (a fine choice for both men and women), or for those oh-so-fashionable gals, I say go with Hot Girls Pearls. Finally, you can resort to psychology, when someone asks you to turn up/down heat or a/c simply say, “I will get right on that.” To achieve the desired effect you will need to say this calmly and convincingly in order that it can work in a subliminal or hypnotic manner.
Numbers 10, 11 & 12: These 3 points concern attendees that ask long drawn out questions, or questions that are actually thinly disguised self-promotion or questions that make little to no sense. For this, have a moderator in the room that can keep the conversation moving, and ending, in a timely fashion. FYI, the moderator can also help out with number 29.
Numbers 13 & 14: It seems difficult for any building to keep up with the number of plugs we currently need for our numerous electronic devices. Always have meeting essentials on hand, including a power strip (or two, or three, or . . . ).
Numbers 15, 16, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, & 31: Some of these speaker mishaps are bound to happen no matter how organized and on top of things you are. Speakers are people and people often fall into the “beyond our control” category. However, you can avoid some of this by creating speaker expectations and agreements, assigning facilitators that will listen to and approve of the speaker’s presentation and slides ahead of time and by making it a habit that when conversing with the speaker about your requests, make sure to end a few sentences with some kind of incentive for them to send this information ahead of time J
Thanks for showing up today meeting planners!