You schedule meetings and events on a monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis with the intent to keep the attendee engaged and interested in the topics presented. However, in all the hustle and bustle of planning and executing meetings, sometimes the little things can snowball into big issues.
Here are 4 "No-Nos" to avoid at your next meeting or event:
No Game Plan
When you have no measurable goals, objectives, or plan for your meeting, your event will appear to be disorganized and uninteresting. Here are some quick fixes to this problem:
- Put in writing your goals and objectives for the meeting.
- Establish a project manager and have regular status meetings regarding the event.
- Make certain the Powerpoint presentation equipment has been tested, the speaker is fully familiar with the equipment, and the AV technician has been introduced to the speaker.
- Allow attendees to easily take notes, rent Tablet PCs for easy note taking and presentation sharing.
- Gather questions during the presentation via Twitter or an online community, to maximize interactivity and attend to participant’s needs.
Hiring Speakers that Over-Share
Some speakers want to give every detail, thought, and plan they ever had about the subject matter they are speaking about. This can turn into a PowerPoint nightmare, because they will fill each slide with oodles and oodles of information. Here are some ideas to bring the presenter back in focus:
- Review all your speaker presentations and make certain they are only highlighting the topic, not giving a college lecture on it.
- Ask the following questions when reviewing each slide:
- Is this slide or point relevant?
- Is it interesting?
- Is it important to the audience?
- Make certain the speaker doesn’t have too many slides.
Letting Your Speakers Run Over
Having speakers that run over is unacceptable at a conference. It shows total disrespect for the attendee and quite frankly, it can put a real kink in your schedule. Here are some ways to keep them on track:
- Before the session, review the time allotted and ask each speaker how they are going to to keep track of their time.
- Have an event volunteer or staff member at the back of the room giving the speaker the 5-minute signal.
- With 1-minute to spare, have the volunteer or staff member walk up to the front of the room.
- Try and have your speakers stick around for networking events and encourage attendees to further their discussion with them at that time.
No Testing of Interactive Technology Tool Rentals
AV equipment is essential to the success or failure of your event. I was at a 200 person event last Friday where several presenters spoke to honor the retirement of our local mayor. The wireless microphone kept going in and out the whole night and the event organizers were at a loss as to what to do. Their solution? Turn off the mic and have the presenters shout out to the group — not good, especially for my friend who is hard of hearing. Here are some ways to avoid this problem:
- When renting audio visual equipment, give the supplier plenty of time to set up and test their equipment in the room.
- Have the AV technician onsite at all times, ready for a backup unit, if needed.
- Communicate with the AV Project Manager about any last-minute needs. They are there to make certain your event runs smoothly.