You have many factors to take into consideration when planning a successful meeting or event. These factors can be broken down into five sections: creating the framework, determining your general needs, selecting a location, budgeting, and staying organized with detailed notes. Here is the first section:
Creating the meeting framework
The first thing you need to determine is the purpose and scope of the event. What is to be accomplished? Setting clear objectives is the foundation of a successful event. It helps you figure out what elements are essential. There are five basic questions to ask yourself, the Five W’s of meeting planning. They will form the framework on which to build your meeting or event.
- Why are we meeting? – Define the objective for having the meeting or event. Is it training, announcing or showcasing products or increasing association membership? Purpose helps you determine need and set objectives.
- What will the meeting entail? – Determine the scope of the meeting (is it international, national, regional, provincial or local?) and, based on the event’s purpose, define the most appropriate type or format (seminar, tradeshow, annual company or association gathering, board meeting, etc.).
- Who will be there? – Determine who will be attending the meeting or event (employees, executives, guest speakers, customers, industry executives, spouses or children). Ensure your guest speakers are relevant to your objectives and that your agenda is concise and applicable.
- Where should the meeting be? – Decide what type of location is most suitable for your event (resort, downtown city centre, conference centre, suburban, airport). Convenience to participants is generally a prime concern, but so is comfort. Attendees’ travel to and from the event site should be easy and as inexpensive as possible.
- When should the meeting take place? – If possible, be flexible on the dates for the event. This can improve your chances of obtaining first-choice hotel arrangements within your budget. Consider the time constraints of the participants. Arrange dates to minimize attendees’ time away from office and home.
In the next installment of Meeting Mastery, ‘determining your requirements and general needs’ will be covered.
About the author
Christine Boon is Brands Marketing Manager, Canada at InterContinental Hotels Group, featuring Crowne Plaza® hotels. A “Great Meeting of the Minds” at Crowne Plaza® hotels. Why choose Crowne Plaza for meetings and events? Crowne Plaza offers many unique features such as a two-hour response guarantee and a dedicated Meetings Director to give you one-on-one help throughout your planning and event process. Learn more at www.crowneplaza.com/meetings.