plan first

Everyone who owns or runs an event services company is busy, busy, busy. Most planners run from one event to the next without much of a break. However, since December typically represents event planners' "down time" of the year, it seems appropriate to take a hard look at the reasons you have meetings and events in the first place and how the planning process can be improved in 2013. 

Here are 5 things to pay attention to as you move forward with next year's events: 

#1: What is the purpose of your meeting and why does it need to be face-to-face?  

Is the reason for the meeting one of the following:

  • A product launching event that can be best explained in a live audience setting
  • An annual meeting where important proxy issues need to be voted on via wireless audience response systems
  • An incentive trip to award and honor the top performers in the company
  • A sales meeting to brainstorm about new ways to gain more business in 2013
  • A social event such as a holiday party or employee appreciation picnic

Whatever the reason — gathering individuals together for education, voting, brainstorming or celebrating —  your meeting makes sense in a face-to-face environment. 

#2: What are the goals and objectives for the meeting? 

Using the SMART methodology for setting objectives can help determine what you need to make the meeting successful. 

Specific:      What are the key takeaways from the meeting? 

Measurable: How will you measure the goals? By number of new orders? New customers? New sales?

Achievable:  Is it realistic to have 500 attendees at the product launch? What is reasonable?

Relevant:     Is your meeting or event relevant in 2013? Are you giving attendees what they want? 

Time-bound: Are the above items tied to an end-date and series of completion dates along the way? 

#3: What is the history of the meeting? 

How long has this meeting been in place? Is attendance growing or dwindling? What worked and what did not in past meetings? What has been the budget for past meetings? 

#4: Take a hard look at your attendees. 

Here are some great questions to ask the individuals who are coming to your meeting:

  • Why are they coming?
  • What are their expectations? 
  • Where are they traveling from? 
  • Will they be bringing their spouse or family with them? 
  • Are there any special food or room requirements? 

#5: Find out why individuals stayed home last year. 

Finding out the reasons attendees didn't sign up for your conference will give you perspective on how to attract them to the meeting. Perhaps your pricing or location needs to change. Or the content and speakers need to be freshened up. Whatever the reasons, take their feedback seriously and be prepared to make some changes. 

AV Event Solutions is your California meeting equipment supplier. Give them a call at (888) 249-4903 to learn more about their innovative offerings!