Tips for Boosting Meeting Success
One of the most commonly asked questions of meeting planners in LinkedIn groups is, ”What do you consider to be the most important factor in meeting planning”? The number one answer is, “get organized”. It may seem a little odd that meeting and event planners would need to get organized, after all, isn’t that their specialty? But, in an industry that demands excellence and relies heavily on others to deliver there is always room for improvement. So we delved a bit further into the ‘get organized’ answer to get some concrete suggestions and arrived at these tips for boosting meeting success:
Six tips for boosting meeting success
Over prepare – Set and stick to deadlines, create a plan B for basically everything from no-shows, to planned activities, flight delays, or inclement weather. A good rule of thumb, depending on the size and scope of your program, is to have all meeting and event space finalized at least six months in advance. Items such as, activities, keynote speakers, décor and transportation should be finalized at least three months out to avoid the stress of any last minute adjustments.
Conduct a site visit – A site visit shouldn’t be limited to only large multi-day programs or destination meetings, site visits can be extremely helpful regardless of the program size. Not only will you get feel for the space, room configurations and flow but according to the article, “ “Why Face-to-Face Business Meetings Matter”, face-to-face meetings were most effective for negotiating important contracts and fees. In addition, connecting with a destination’s CVB or DMO well in advance will be extremely helpful in choosing a property and itinerary that will meet your group’s needs.
Clarify your objectives – Make a list of venues that reflect the overall experience and objectives you are looking to achieve. If the program is business centric, then hotel meeting rooms may be sufficient but if the program is a bit more casual, try changing things up by choosing a destination that offers numerous venue options. Consider taking meetings off-site to unique restaurants, outdoor venues or, in Newport Beach, CA you can opt to hold your meeting afloat on a private yacht while cruising the harbor.
Create meeting buzz – Set the tone for the meeting by sharing information about a destination’s culture, history, lifestyle and activities along with any local traditions or legends before the program takes place. Once on property, kick things off with a room drop featuring a locally made (or grown) delicacy, or product representative of the destination.
Cultural Inclusion in Location and Activities – When it comes to destination meetings, a key priority is incorporating the spirit of the area into the program. There are several ways to tap into the local flavor of a destination, try holding a group dinner at a local restaurant that specializes in farm fresh or regional delicacies or go for the progressive dinner and visit several locations to get a true feel for the city. Offer activities that are indicative of the area, include a bit of local history on a tour or partake in a local tradition.
Follow up – Send a survey to attendees after the program to collect feedback. Ask about the location, venue, guest speakers, activities, restaurants, and itinerary. Knowing what worked and what didn’t, and why will be quite valuable when planning your next destination meeting!
Partnerships are key to boosting meeting success
Organizing a successful meeting can be a huge task but these tips to boosting meeting success will help simplify the process and lead to a unique experience for attendees. Partnering with local destination experts will prove to be immeasurable when it comes to determining the best fit for your program. When you’re ready to begin planning your next group meeting, contact the Conference Sales Team at Visit Newport Beach, the destination marketing organization for Newport Beach, CA. Visit Newport Beach opens the doors to this coastal community with destination expertise, customized site visits, strong partnerships and resources that ease the planning process.
Register for the upcoming webinar offering insights on how to leverage CVB partnerships for maximum benefit during the planning process, you’ll learn:
- When to contact the CVB
- Why it matters
- What you get
- How they are funded
- Where to find them!
With Meeting Panelists:
Gary Sherwin, CDME
DMAI Chair, President & CEO – Visit Newport Beach, Inc
President – Tourism Economics