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Jill Stone

Your Meeting Matchmaker Fairy Godmother

Managing Meeting Mayhem

in: Event Planning Advice

Managing Meeting Mayhem

Good ole’ Murphy has a law that says, “Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.” This may be the case for most, but not for the meeting planner! And yet, even the best meeting planner may be met with challenges as not all is within their control (though they come pretty darn close!). Let’s talk about how to manage the mayhem.

  • “Weather” Or Not: The weather can be a big factor in making or breaking a meeting. There are floods and hurricanes and ice storms and more. Mother Nature does not always look kindly upon meetings. For this reason, a meeting planner will keep an eye on the weather.
  • Stay Abreast of Civil Unrest: First, know how to stay safe. Set up Google Alerts on the area of the meeting ahead of time in order to keep up on local activities.
  • To Protect and Server Data: Meeting planners collect a lot of information on their participants; financial, contact, medical, passport, IP address and more. This information must be protected. Learn more about what has been set in motion from the Events Industry Council.
  • Just in case Q&A: Some good questions to ask and know the answers to beforehand In the case of mayhem; What am I going to do? How do I prepare my staff? How do I keep attendees safe? How do we evacuate?
  • Little Black Book of On-Site Contacts: In the case that the venue cannot or will not help when all chaos breaks loose it’s best to have established other points of contact ahead of time. Keep the contact information for the local CVB, embassy and/or perhaps a local representative (I have connections everywhere!).
  • Timing is Everything: Much mayhem can be avoided by creating an event countdown calendar. For example – 1 year out define goals, budget, venue and event schedule, 8 months out define speakers and topics, 6 months out, etc. Create it and live it!
  • Force Majeure, Monsieur: Check out this amazingly helpful article from MeetingsNet. The article provides updated information for negotiating the force majeure section of the contract, by slightly changing the language to better define the case for cancelling a meeting and avoiding damages.

Need a bit of help? I am here for you! I streamline “the meeting planning process by managing the time-consuming task of researching, contacting, and evaluating venues for your organization’s events.” As a HelmsBriscoe Account Manager, I will “send the RFPs, track down the answers, follow-up with the hotels, and manage the entire site selection process on your behalf. Whether you are booking a large-scale association event, or a smaller corporate function, our team of industry professionals will work to match your meeting with the best venue at the best value based on your specific needs.” It’s what I do and have done for over 25 years!




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