When it comes to meeting planning, there are way too many places where mistakes can be made. With the myriad of details involved, mistakes are bound to happen at times. Even though, and this is fact, meeting planners are closer to super heroes than human. Let’s look at some common mistakes, place them in that ultra-awareness of yours, and see if we cannot avoid them.
- Meeting Objective – what is it? If you are not sure what the objective of the meeting is, then it is a bit difficult to plan. Know the reason for the meeting, the goal of the meeting, and the why of the meeting inside and out. Some companies are not aware that their meeting planner should be involved every step of the way; from conception through to post-meeting follow ups and analytics.
- Checking References – there is too much at stake! One of the most difficult meeting planning truths is the fact that we must rely on too many others to make everything work. Oh, if we could just do it all on our own, then we would not need worry! Unfortunately, we do have to rely on staff members (our own and the property’s), entertainment, outside vendors and more. Have those involved provide references and check them!
- Audio Visual Checklist – get one from everyone! Anyone who is doing any type of presentation is going to need some sort of A/V. Make sure that the property’s A/V Department, or whomever you hire, is aware of who needs what, when and where, as well as any equipment changes that may need to take place in between presentations. Some presenters will put your mind at ease and tell you that you need not worry about them as they will use their own laptop, and bring along their own connections; think twice before allowing this. If possible, have them send their presentation to you and put all presentations for any given room on one laptop so you can use the same connection throughout.
- Market to Your People Where They Are – know where they hang out. Once you have all your meeting ducks in a row, you need to market it and market it in all the right places. Where is your audience, what trade mags do they read, what web sites do they often view, what social media platforms are they utilizing – meet them often in all the right places and you will fill your meeting attendee quota for sure!
- Providing the Right Ambience for Each Event – no bright lights at the after party! Think through each event as if you are an attendee. Does the room set up, the lighting, décor and more fit the “feel” of the event. Make sure it all makes sense, or your audience will have a hard time paying attention and staying engaged.
- Property and Contract Mishaps – oh my! Here is where it can all just fall apart right before your eyes. Your meeting must fit with the property from the get go, the property is more or less a structure with definable boundaries – you cannot change room sizes, location, etc. Make sure the property you choose has exactly what you need. Then there are those wordy contracts! Failure to fully protect your company, your event, and your attendees could easily spell disaster. If you want some peace of mind in this area, I know just who to call! Me! I know properties worldwide, I negotiate on behalf of my clients every day, I have read more contracts than you can shake a stick at (not sure why anyone is shaking anything, especially sticks, at contracts, but you get the idea –lol!). Call me, Jill Stone, at 636-797-3405 and I will assist you in finding the perfect property at a price that makes sense with a contract that will help you to sleep soundly before, during and after your event.
*Thank you to The Blue Skunk Blog for the image.