Whether it’s your first meeting or your 100th, planning a meeting can be a big undertaking. Nothing takes the place of experience, but even if you’ve never planned a meeting before, you can still deliver exceptional results. Each meeting is unique, with its own set of challenges and goals, but you don’t have to go it alone! Having the support of an experienced meeting planning team can take the stress out of the meeting planning process.
Here are a few tips to help you get started on planning your first meeting.
Start with the end in mind. Take some time to envision your desired end-result. Then, keep your goals and outcomes in mind as you work through the planning process. Having process goals will help you stay focused on the most important aspects of the meeting and your planning process.
Know your budget. “Anything is possible.” That’s almost always true, but reality is usually tempered by money. Knowing how much money you have to work with and what you want to accomplish can help you prioritize your spending accurately. As the planner, you’ll also need to maintain tight control over expenses throughout the planning process.
Venue considerations. One major task will be to determine the location of your meeting or event. Booking a venue is a big step because it is a contractual commitment. Location, size, features, amenities and costs all come into play. Can you get the best deal? Are there any hidden costs? Can you bring in your own vendors or do you need to use the venue’s preferred contractors? Negotiating contracts can leave a new meeting planner frazzled. It sometimes helps to have an experienced meeting planning partner that’s been through the contract negotiation process and knows what to expect.
Event agenda. The agenda is what determines the real value of a meeting, and it’s where the meeting planner should be spending the majority of his or her time. After all, the purpose of every decision in the meeting planning process is to support the meeting and its attendees. Having the right content, the right presenters and the right attendees in the right place at the right time takes time and planning, but when everything goes well, the results can be spectacular.
Meeting registration. Meeting registration is a key component of the overall meeting planning process. It’s very detail-oriented and it has to be done well to provide an excellent overall experience for the attendees. The larger your meeting is, the more complex the registration process will become. As a new meeting planner, registration is one area that you may want to delegate. Handing off the meeting registration process to an experienced meeting registration firm gives you more time to focus on the critical elements of the event.
On-site management. On-site event management can also be a challenge for a new meeting planner. On-site registration, on-site check-in, credentialing and way finding must all be delivered by friendly, knowledgeable staff who won’t get flustered by the sudden flurry of activity that occurs when the doors to an event open. Like meeting registration, on-site event management is a key component of an attendee’s positive experience, but it requires exceptional attention to detail at a critical point in the meeting delivery process. On-site meeting management is another area that new planners may consider delegating to a more experienced meeting planning team.
BUZZ Registration is a full-service meeting registration management firm located in Hamilton, NJ. Our dedicated team of meeting registration specialists offers comprehensive meeting registration management solutions to deliver a registration experience like no other! Please contact us at (888) 202-2262, firstname.lastname@example.org
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