I keep hearing a lot of talk about how important a meeting planners guide is. While I don’t doubt that, it does make me wonder what exactly are planners’ expectations of a meeting planners guide. There are certainly no shortage of meeting planners guides to choose from. But, we thought for this post that we would review some of, what we consider to be, the key items that a meeting planners guide should cover.
Meeting Planners Guide Can Help You Develop a Checklist
We’ve often talked about how a meeting planner has to wear many different hats. So it only stands to reason that a good meeting planners guide will help a planner breakdown the various components of a meeting into workable objectives. So let’s review some of these “hats”, as it were, that a meeting planner is required to wear from time to time.
Important Items That a Meeting Planners Guide Should Include Are:
Planning. While this may seem like an obvious item, planning is crucial especially at the early stages of organizing and executing a meeting.
Budgets. With planning, budgets almost go hand-in-hand. Budgets are crucial, especially in the planning stages as it will help ascertain which components of the meeting are necessary versus components which can be eliminated should the budget not accommodate these items. Budgets help a planner determine what they need to achieve in order for the meeting to be a success and, in some cases, a revenue producer.
Meeting Room Set up and Requirements. A meeting planner needs to know all of the various meeting room set up configurations like the back of their hands. This is probably one of the earlier items that a new meeting planner learns as it is crucial in determining the type and size of meeting required. In addition, requirements can include items such as audiovisual needs and the type of speakers , etc.
Negotiating. This is probably one hat that sets seasoned meeting planners apart from the crowd. A good negotiator knows how to arrive at their desired results without offending or burning any bridges. A good negotiator also has to know what they are prepared to give up in order to achieve their overall results.
Contract. I remember studying contracts in my law classes in school. I dreaded those classes. But, lo and behold, understanding contracts has become a vital part of the meetings and events industry. So now I have to thank those professors for giving me the ability to read and understand contracts.
Suppliers. Many planners tend to think of suppliers as additional expenses to their budget. However, talk to a season planner about how they use their local suppliers and they’ll tell you quite often they request that their suppliers develop a program that works within the budget parameters assigned. Think of suppliers as the local experts in their field.
The above items will probably be found in most good meeting planners guides. Unfortunately the meeting planners guide cannot do the task for a meeting planner, rather they are designed to provide the planner with a map of key items that need to be addressed in order to make their meetings and events successful.