Meeting conference planning can be, many think, a daunting task, but in fact, it’s relatively simple and when you’ve completed your first one, you then have a template for arranging many more successful meetings.
Have a Meeting Agenda
Providing an agenda in advance, along with references to read through and consider prior to
attendance, is extremely beneficial. It allows the participants to read up on the issues being raised, consider any concerns and research them enough to provide the answers themselves for when they bring them up at the meeting in due course.
Think about Logistics
Meeting conference planning takes great preparation; after all, planning is paramount to any successful event. With pre-planning done, and having provided maps and addresses so that they can find your meeting easily, your attendees should be able to arrive on time, so your meeting can be off to a successful start.
It may well be that the meeting participants will be planning to come by car. If so, you need to ensure that the venue is easy to find and that there is adequate parking. We all know what it can be like trying to find parking in a crowded location – the last thing you want are fraught participants.
Choose the Right Facilities
Planning the facilities you need for the meeting is paramount. For instance, if it’s a training program that you’re delivering when meeting conference planning, you may need to ensure that state of the art audio visual equipment is available, including overhead projectors, wireless microphones and Wi-Fi. Other considerations are high resolution LCDs and laptop video sources and high speed internet access.
Plan Ahead for Teleconference Needs
Another thing to consider when meeting conference planning is whether you will need telephone conferencing facilities, and whether that includes a live satellite feed. It may well be that a senior member of the company may want to provide an input at the meeting and be unable to attend. Also, the last thing you want is problems with telecommunications. During your planning, ensure the providers have technical staff available throughout your meetings to deal with any issues that might occur and to anticipate any possible risks.
Get the Right Sized Room
The meeting room size should be appropriate to the number of attendees – whether it’s a group of six to eight people, or well over a hundred participants. A room that is too large can feel imposing, while one that is too small can really ruin the whole meeting experience.
Don’t Forget the Food!
Then of course there are the refreshments. The venue management will provide these by prior arrangement, to suit your needs, as well as when you want them. This can be anything from a continental style breakfast, to tea and coffee and even a working lunch. Ideally, a facility should be able to provide continuous breaks in the morning and afternoon. In addition, conference dining facilities should ideally be comparable to a first class restaurant facility onsite – without any prior arrangement necessary, or the need to select a menu. Poor food can drive attendees elsewhere for lunch – resulting in a meeting that is late to restart in the afternoon. A reputation for excellent food is an important element in keeping meeting attendees “anchored” at the meeting location.