Would it surprise you to learn, that most professionals spend about 70% of their time in various types of meetings? And most of those meetings are classified as time wasters by the participants?
When did meetings go from great to good to bad? I can say for me, an experienced and certified meeting planner, the year was 2009. This is when most corporate meeting planners lost their jobs and independent meeting planners like me were scrambling for more business. Most of my clients either eliminated their meetings altogether or turned to the remaining internal resources to plan their events.
Fast forward to 2015 - while the economy is definitely on the rebound, many of the event planning jobs that were lost six years ago have not been refilled. Instead, internal teams are still acting as planners.
But as the dynamics in the workforce continue to change, most professionals are experiencing more demands than ever before. With that, many of the important tasks that were handled by event planners in the past have been lost in the wind.
A Forbes article by Josh Linkner started this discussion and now I would like to add to it. Meetings can be great again – from a sales meeting to a training seminar – but experienced meeting planners need their jobs and assignments back along with the budget and control to make every event planned relevant and well-executed.
Meeting Planners Start with the Purpose
A seasoned professional will ask “Why are you meeting? What are your key goals and objectives?” If you can’t answer these two questions, hold a conference call or conduct a webinar. Meetings need goals – energize and train the sales team, introduce customers to new products or services, or hold a corporate annual event to vote on ballot initiatives – these are all valid reasons to gather.
Most administrative personnel are not going to ask these questions or challenge the CEO on the purpose. Debate is good and can lead to an awesome meeting or shut down a half-baked one.
Meeting Planners Sweat the Small Stuff
Most of the time, meetings are so poorly run because there are small, but significant mistakes made during the planning process. Here are a few I have witnessed (of course none that I have personally planned)
- The microphone cuts in and out for the entire hour presentation
- The presenter arrives with no computer and the company thought they were bringing their own
- The speaker decides to fly in one-hour before the presentation, the flight is late and they arrive 2 hours after their designated time
- The PowerPoint presentation freezes and the speaker freaks out and cannot recover
- The speaker asks the audience to tweet their answer to his questions but there isn’t enough bandwidth to take on the additional load so Twitter just buffers
- There is no onsite support and the admin person spends the entire time on the phone waiting for an answer from the support team when they should be at the registration area
And the list can go on and on – with many more examples of your own. While audio visual rentals are important to your event; the planning, preparation and communication behind the AV process is what makes everything go smoothly. And while you may be able to save money cutting out the planner (who by the way has the relationships with the suppliers), these little missteps are what your employees are going to buzz about after your meeting is over.
Meeting Planners Think like An Attendee
How can they do this? Having personally planned over 1,600 meetings, just like anything else - the more you do something the better you become at it. You anticipate an attendee’s need before they ask because you know what success looks like.
So rather than cut corners and live with bad meetings, hire a professional event planner who understands you are in the business to improve productivity, make quotas and train individuals who can ultimately sell and service more of your products.
Planners Partner with Hartford Technology Rental
Hartford Technology Rental can provide you a complete array of state-of-the-art event technology rentals. Please call us today at 888-520-5667 or contact us online and let us show you how we can make your next meeting stand out from the rest and be well within your budget guidelines.