It’s Friday at 4 p.m. and out of the blue your boss asks you to plan for a Monday morning meeting. What do you do besides panic?
Experienced meeting planners know that a “simple meeting” isn’t always as easy to coordinate as it may sound. Regardless of meeting size, the logistics involved can be complex and require strong attention to detail and careful planning, as explained in the article Simple Meetings Primer: Tips for Holding a Successful Meeting, according to ViewFrom36k, an online resource for business travel and meetings advice and insights from industry experts might help you get everything together in time.
“The success of every meeting, no matter the size, hinges on many factors such as selecting the right location, anticipating potential weather or other disruptions, ensuring desirable food and beverage choices, and having the correct audio-visual equipment available, just to name a few,” said Gabe Rizzi, president of Travel Leaders Corporate, a division of Travel Leaders Group, the organization behind ViewFrom36k.
Here are some factors to consider:
Location – Choosing the location and venue is the first and perhaps most important decision when planning a meeting. Identifying a location that is convenient and easy to get to for a majority of the attendees, as well as central to other planned activities, if applicable, are primary considerations. Start searching for venues that are close to your current location if you don’t have a conference room or area big enough to hold the meeting.
Contingency Plans – Have a contingency plan for major weather events and other unforeseen issues. Establish Plan B ahead of time to avoid last-minute chaos. In other words, be prepared should a storm transpire 10 minutes before the meeting or there is a traffic accident that is causing lanes to be closed, etc.
Group Discounts – Depending on the size of the group, many travel suppliers offer group discounts, in some cases for as few as 15 people. Call around before settling on just one source as you might get a better deal from the last call on your list.
Food and Beverage – The amount and type of food and beverages available during a meeting are important. Not only should the offerings be appealing but special arrangements to accommodate vegetarians, vegans, those with lactose intolerance or other food allergies, etc., should be identified and factored in during the planning phase. Find out from those invited to the meeting if they have special needs, diets, requests, etc. before the meeting even starts to avoid any embarrassments.
Other Considerations – Audio-visual requirements and availability of adequate Wi-Fi are also important and often cost extra. If the city or property you choose requires union labor, you could end up paying more than you’d planned. Any needed transportation arrangements should be factored into both the planning and the budget, as well.
A business meeting if planned properly and efficiently can be a success even if it is called for at the last minute.