Top 10 Reasons to Use a Professional Meeting Planner
The meetings your business conducts are vital to your bottom line, to your reputation in your industry and amongst your clients. That’s why it’s imperative you put them in the hands of someone who has been properly trained to see them through to a total success.
International Meetings Review takes a look at what could go wrong if you haven’t invested properly in a professional meeting planner who really knows their stuff or if you haven’t invested in proper training for your in-house event arrangements.
1. He knew you really wanted to stick close to your budget for your product launch so he chose a hotel that offered a remarkably low rate for rooms, food and beverage, the works. The only thing he didn’t find out was that the hotel was under renovation and that the meeting space was temporarily moved to the basement, where sheets served as the dividers for the break-out rooms. Wouldn’t have been so bad except for the constant drilling in to the concrete over by the pool area that went on all day and in to evening.
2. She forgot to ask the hotel if any other meetings were going on while yours was scheduled. There were. The entire hotel was overwhelmed with an accounting convention, which got all the attention from front-line hotel staff while your very important summit was relegated to a small, neglected area on the second floor with dim lighting and about three feet of hallway space for people to meet in.
3. He didn’t know that the seasons in South America run the opposite of the way they do in North America. So he booked your confab to take place in Buenos Aires in the middle of July (their winter) and told everyone flying in to dress in “tropical chic” for the outdoor evening welcome reception. Brrr.
4. You asked her to find a resort everyone would really love to meet at. She chose the spot where she had her honeymoon because it brought back such great memories. Only problem was, it hasn’t been renovated for years and the airlift in to the destination is abysmal, making it incredibly expensive and inconvenient for your attendees to fly in to.
5. He confirmed that the hotel had high-speed Internet access but he failed to tell conference management that you needed to have 350 attendees online at once in one meeting room so you could show them the launch of your very expensive new website. Instead of seeing your awesome home page they watched a little wheel turning, and turning and turning on their laptop screens.
6. She came up with the agenda for the meeting but packed it to the max. The first speaker, whom she didn’t screen at all, went over his time by 25 minutes, throwing the entire first day of the conference off entirely. She tried to correct the problem by canceling the mid-morning coffee break but attendees revolted and took one anyway. It was a free for all from that moment on for the next three days.
7. He didn’t check to see if any competing industry events were taking place during the same timeframe while yours was. There were three. He was late getting the marketing materials out for your conference and you had to cancel it because of dismal pre-registration.
8. She thought a boat ride after dinner would be a great bonding experience for meeting attendees but failed to ask just what kind of a vessel would be used for the soiree. Well, the boat did float but it only fit 25 people at a time, meaning your attendees had to take turns waiting on shore in the cold to go out for a spin on the water. Most of them took off and went up to the bar where they had a good laugh at your planning gaffe.
9. He forgot in the pre-planning process to ask if any meeting attendees had special dietary needs. Turns out nearly a third of them were vegetarians. They waited for an hour during every meal for their meals as management scrambled to come up with an emergency entrée for them.
10. She didn’t realize that the hotel charged an exorbitant “resort fee” for the use of guestroom telephones, towels by the pool, basically for breathing air while staying at the property. Your conference went great until everyone went to check out and realized they were charged $250 on top of their room bill for just the basics. Everyone’s final memory of the entire get-together, which had gone so well up until that point, was of angry shouting at the front desk and long lines for check out. The reviews of your event were scathing and were the industry buzz for weeks and weeks.
This article was published November 13, 2012 in www.internationalmeetingsreview.com and is authored by: Ruthanne Terrero