Meeting Planning Tips
- 1. Start with the end in mind. What are your goals and objectives for your event or meeting? Do you have specific learning objectives? What is the desired result you want or need from this program?
- 2. Think long term. How is this program going to impact the other departments or other divisions of your organization? Does this program continue existing traditions or philosophy? Will this program institute new organizational goals? How will this program fit in with what has occurred in the past and how will it support your future programs and initiatives?
- 3. Determine the actual investment you are making. Consider the investment of time and effort on the part of your attendees and then make sure that your program provides a solid return on their investment. In other words make sure that the level of programming is in line with the level of your attendee. Consider what your audience's expectations are.
- 4. Ask for help and do not hesitate to employ professionals to assist you with your program. Every one of your vendors has valuable experience to share with you. It will be helpful to have several alternatives or perspectives to consider prior to making decisions. Professional meeting planners, speakers bureaus and destination management companies can help make your job easier and help to make your program exceed your audiences expectations. Remember it's only too expensive if it doesn't work!
- 5. In this multimedia age it is important to involve all the senses. I call it doing the "Disney". You may want to change or challenge your audience's state of mind. If you are looking for impact and a lasting memory for your audience, be prepared to take some risks. Remember that your audience has traveled and invested at least their time and possibly their money (often quite a bit) to be at your event. How are you going to deliver the "WOW FACTOR"? Review the first item. What will your audience be thinking about when they leave your program? What will they be thinking or remembering two weeks or two years from the date of your program?
- 6. Do you have a budget established? Do you need to make a profit or offset expenses Do you have a timetable for your event? Have you considered the regional climate? The list goes on and on......
- 7. Planning and executing a successful meeting or event is an art form. Developing a team of proven venders to assist you in the process is the key to a successful program and a happier less stress filled life.