It’s 2018 and the business world is constantly
changing. People no longer walk around the office and talk to colleagues (many
companies are distributed and workers are remote), and communication has become
impersonal and technology-driven.
In my observation, people do not return
messages in a timely manner (if ever), they send endless emails to communicate,
and sometimes they become crickets. Professional courtesy seems to have fallen
by the wayside. To see whether you have strayed from the basics professional
courtesies, answer these five questions:
2. Do you welcome in-person visits with
partners (or video chats if remote)?
3. Do you use the telephone/video chat to call
4. Do you answer the phone/video chat when it
5. Do you return voicemails, Slacks, texts, email
messages within 24 hours?
What’s your biggest professional courtesy pet peeve?
Do you think outsourcing your event and meeting
planning to your office manger, virtual assistant, or executive assistant will
save you a whole lot of time and hassle? Think again. Likely your office manager will likely be “winging it.” She doesn’t
know the ins and outs of the meeting planning world. You will end up spending
more time, paying more money, and be more involved than you really ever cared
Sadly, in many small and medium businesses the task of planning the company
retreat or board meeting or conference is often assigned to office managers,
receptionists, VAs and even sales professionals. This is a huge mistake as you are pulling their time, concentration and energy away from
performing their own set of important tasks. Plus, you are creating a level of
expectation and responsibility that, in all fairness, does not live under the
scope of their job description. Contrary to popular belief, everyone is not a
A meeting professional knows what to do and what not to do and is 100% focused
on your meeting or event. Professional meeting planners are masters of juggling
details, people and priorities. They don’t get frazzled. They just go on with
Still not convinced? Here are four reasons to hire a professional:
1. Office managers do not have supplier relationships.
Professional meeting planners have built deep relationships with suppliers.
Once you tell your planner the basic essentials like goals, date, budget,
number of people, she can get to work straight away for you. And I really do
mean straight away. With just the minimum parameters, she’ll be able to rattle
off at least a half dozens perfect hidden gems that she will send RFPs. She’ll
spend minimal time researching because she knows the properties. And, did you
know that most site selection services are complimentary. So you won’t be
paying a dime to hire a professional planner to source and negotiate the
perfect venue, for a great rate.
2. Office managers do not know the intricacies of destinations.
Professional meeting planners know that if you want to your event in Napa, for
example, you best stay away from the month of October. All suppliers have
windows they need to fill, and a professional planner will find those windows
and negotiate the best rates, concessions, and deliver you a cost savings
report. (all complimentary, btw) A professional planner also likely has
relationships with third-party vendors in most major cities, and can leverage
those relationships to get you the best bang for your buck. The work closely
with CVBs to review the calendar so to avoid such conflicts as city-wides.
3. Office managers do not know the questions to ask.
know what you don’t know. Negotiating
contracts is a very important part of meeting planning. Your office manager
probably doesn’t know what attrition is or to ask for more than 10%.
Professional meeting planners know all the questions to ask and to be sure
certain clauses are included in the contract. These clauses are things as a CEO
you aren’t even aware of or thinking about.
managers are not meeting planners.
Did you know that the position of meeting planner made the Forbes
list for the top 5 most stressful jobs in 2017? Meeting planning requires
expertise in communications, preparation, management, logistics, marketing and
crisis management too. Because, with events, last-minute problems and
emergencies happen — all the time. A professional meeting planner does more
than plan your event or meeting—she focuses on the branding, marketing, reputation
and future success of your business.
Meeting planning is one of the most stressful jobs around,
however, professional meeting planners know how to handle the stress — and
deliver memorable experiences. Dumping that degree of stress onto an individual
not equipped to handle it with grace under fire is simply bad for your event or
meeting — and quite frankly, bad for your business.