Sunday, July 1, 2018

My Top 5 Meeting Planning Tips

1.     Customize the way you communicate with each specific client.
Some of my clients love email, others prefer I pick up the phone.  Several prefer to communicate via Slack or other tech platforms. Knowing the preferred method of communication is key and helps alleviate stress on both sides.

2.     Have a detailed agenda.
With that being said, any planner will tell you that something will always go wrong. So while you should have a detailed run of show in place (and a backup plan), it’s equally important to think on your feet and continuously assess and adjust as needed.

3.     Site inspection. Site inspection.
It’s imperative that you conduct a site inspection to not only see the venue, but to walk through the agenda of your event.  It’s key to be able to see how far, for example, the sleeping rooms are from the breakfast, and how many minutes will it take to walk from the general session to the breakouts. Becoming intimately familiar with the property and building a rapport with staff before everyone arrives will make for a smoother event.

4.     Leverage ideas from other events.
I was staying at a hotel a few weeks ago and decided to meander through the meeting space (It’s what planners do when they are on holiday...we can’t help ourselves.) I saw the coolest snack break: a donut wall. I knew immediately I had to replicate this for one of my events. I mean, who doesn’t love donuts?! And a wall of donuts is totally Instagram-able.

5.    Be VERY specific when communicating the details of the event.
Everyone may understand that the event starts at 5pm, but do they understand that they need to book a flight that arrives no later than 3pm in order to make it to the event by 5pm?  Most attendees do not take into consideration the tiny details like ground transfers, and distance of venue from airport. It’s your job as the planner to communicate those nitty gtritty details.

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