All corporate meeting planners are constantly drowning in details, trying to get things together for the next meeting and worrying about the meeting after that one! Working “smarter” and not “harder” on their meetings, conferences, events and tradeshows is paramount to doing a great job. We gathered some of AMI’s Certified Meeting Planners together and asked them for some quick tips. Here is what they had to say:
- After each event or meeting is finished, do an “after action analysis”. Jot down lessons learned of things you did right and what you would do differently if you were to plan the meeting today.
- Don’t always hire the lowest priced vendor. The vendors you hire have a direct reflection on you, your event and your company. Price is important, but so is reliability and professionalism.
- Always learn to congratulate people on their good work, whether it is people in your own company or vendors. Give credit where credit is due!
- When mailing out promotional pieces before a meeting or event, make sure to always add your speaker and vendors to the list. This will inform them on the times they are speaking, other topics and the schedule of the events.
- If you are expecting vendors, speakers or VIP’s to check in to a hotel the night before an event, leave them a note to check in with the meeting planner when they arrive. Also, always leave an emergency number where you can be reached.
- Don’t always wait until the last day to have an important speaker give a speech at an event. You may get more value out of the money you spent on the speaker if you schedule them the first day. By the end of a several day event, the attendees may be tired, or worried about getting home.
- Email is great documentation. Organize conversations, vendors, partners and client communications in sub-folders for easy reference. You will be glad you did.
- Handwritten thank you cards are not a waste of time. In fact, they are memorable and people remember them. Take the time and add that special touch!