As we move through the holiday season, it is the time for festive parties and gatherings. A time to reflect on what irks our attendees the most and ways to improve upon the meeting planning process this month and in the coming year. Sometimes the “little things” that are overlooked in the planning cycle become big things which can lead to poor attendance in future events, meeting participants leaving early, and scathing social postings about your organization and event.

Six Things That Can Really Screw Up Your Meeting

Presenter Problems

  • The presenter is really boring.
    It is your job to make sure attendees are engaged in what is happening on stage. If the person on the riser is delivering a yawner of a talk, your attendees will let you know.The solution is to really vet and coach your speakers. Spend time with them letting them know what your attendee’s expectations are. Take time to review their PowerPoint slides at least 10 days before your meeting and be direct with your presenter about what needs to be changed.
  • The presentation is too long. 
    They used to say a presentation could be no longer than 50 minutes without Q & A. Now they say 18 minutes is the max anyone can go without self-interruption. Guy Kawasaki says everything you ever want to teach someone can be covered in 10 slides. I tend to agree. Make sure the speaker is focused and give them a time limit to deliver their message.

 Audio Visual Problems

  • No one can see or hear what is happening on stage.
    An easy way to disconnect with your attendees is to have a sound system that doesn’t work properly. Or when attendees are so far away they cannot see what is going on or they have to look around obstacles.Hire a professional AV company to come in and set up, test and maintain your sound system. Have them rehearse with your speakers several hours in advance and remain onsite with backup microphones if there is a problem. Rent iPads to allow attendees to view your presenters or facilitators on their second screens.
  • Everything is too loud. 
    From the presenters to the DJ to the background music, attendees often complain of loudness. I went to an event a few years ago that was impossible to network effectively at because the music was way too loud. Most attendees waited for the band to go on break or left before the evening’s function ran its course.If you cannot conduct a conversation, than the sound system needs to be adjusted.

Room Setup Problems

  • The room is too hot or too cold.
    When the room temperature is just right, attendees don’t focus on it any longer. When the room is boiling or freezing, that is all they think and talk about. Make it comfortable at all times. Take a poll of attendees to check in; ask them to send you a tweet if they are uncomfortable.
  • The room is too sparse or too crowded.
    You don’t want attendees to walk into a room and see lots of empty chairs and tables and by the same token, you don’t want the room to be so crowded attendees have no where to sit. It needs to be in between – the right amount of chairs and a room size that is appropriate for your group.

SmartSource Rentals Can Help You Overcome Many of These Annoyances

Partner with SmartSource Rentals, an experienced technology rental company with 20 locations nationwide. Request a quote or contact your local SmartSource Rentals branch today to learn more about the many ways we can make your meeting a real success!