A meeting planning template is something that you either design yourself or you use an existing template to help you organize the various components of your meeting. There are many meeting planning templates and checklists available. Which one is the right one for you really depends on your needs. You could spend a small fortune and have a template that’s automated with you just needing to fill in the various blanks and presto your budgets and timelines are done. You can also develop your own using Microsoft Excel.
Think of the Meeting and Event Planning Template As a Blueprint of Your Meeting
If you want to develop your own meeting planning and event template you just need to think of your overall meeting needs. For this post were going to walk through a very simple meeting and talk about how you would set that up on your template – an Excel spreadsheet.
First you need to outline the dates of your meeting. This will give you the visual on the spreadsheet of the times you need to fill in with your meetings’ particulars. Next fill in your meeting times. This will start to block off times that you know ahead of time are devoted to meetings or sessions themselves. Next, determined if you’re going to be providing transportation to and from the meeting location for your delegates. If so, how far in advance will you provide transportation (i.e. a day or two days before the meeting) and for how long you will offer return transportation. And plot those times on your spreadsheet.
Once you have your meetings and sessions filled in you now can see, at a glance, the free times or rather times where you need to fill in with either food and beverage functions, sightseeing tours, off-site events, etc. Of course how many of these functions you’re going to offer will be determined by the budget of your overall meeting. For example if you only have budget for one breakfast perhaps consider scheduling that breakfast at the beginning so that you can have all of your attendees come together before the first meeting starts. If your meeting delegates have spouses you may want to offer sightseeing tours for them while the meetings themselves are occurring.
A Meeting and Event Planning Checklist Helps You Develop a Budget
Once you have filled in your non-meeting activities you should have a blueprint of how your meetings will unfold. If you’re determining the budget at the same time you may want to start putting some cost beside the various components on your template. For example if you know the hotel’s breakfast cost you $20 per person, you can quickly calculate how much that will cost you. If your meetings are held within the hotel or a conference center it’s also very easy to put in the room rental cost beside each of the meeting times as well. The same goes for coffee breaks and/or any other food and beverage will be offering during the meetings. Once you have filled in all of your costs beside your activities you be able to quickly add up your total meeting cost to see if you are coming in on budget. As is often the case, if you’re over budget you may have to go back and review your meeting planning template to see where you can cut items from your meeting.
The above outline is for a very basic meeting planning template. Another website that I would recommend is Corbin Ball and Associates. In particular, Corbin Ball has an excellent page with Excel spreadsheets for you to review for your specific needs and save as needed. Corbin has taken the time to review each and has provided some comment beside each one for you to determine if it’s the right one for you.
An event planning checklist, or template, comes in all shapes and sizes. It’s very easy to create your own using Excel or you can also choose a meeting and event planning checklist template that has already been designed by professionals in the industry. Whichever template you choose one thing is certain – a meeting planning template will help you focus on the various components to your meeting as well as allotting budgets and schedules to keep you on track.