3 Signs You Need to Leave Your Meeting Planning to a Pro

Meeting Planner - Tia Ross, Boss MeetingsPlanning a meeting requires extensive work, attention to detail and a lot of patience. While it seems easier to think about doing it yourself, the professionals know how that ends up and the shenanigans are usually good for a laugh. The following may or may not be based on true stories. See if any of these apply to you:

1. You’ve attended a professionally planned meeting and left thinking you’ve got planning “in the bag.”

If you’ve ever attended a meeting and thought it looked like a breeze, the meeting planner did her job right. The team of professionals it takes to make the finished result seem effortless spent months of very long hours constructing a meeting that flowed without a hitch. From the welcome you felt walking through the door, to the angle of the chair you sat down in, each detail of the meeting is a perfect science — a best-kept secret known only to the pros.

Tragically, non-professionals have tried to reproduce this effort and can’t seem to figure out why they’ve failed. One woman attended a professionally planned meeting and thought she could “copy” the concepts she saw. She ended up cancelling her meeting two days before it was scheduled, siting “unforeseen circumstances” that had arisen. In reality, she was in way over her head and could have saved a ton of time, money and effort by leaving the planning to the pros.

2. The attendees at your meeting were so distracted, your speaker could have been singing a show tune and they wouldn’t have noticed.

To assume it is only your speaker’s responsibility to keep an audience engaged is to assume incorrectly. If other imperative factors are ignored, you could hire a circus trainer and your audience would yawn. Did you know the very temperature of a room determines your audience’s ability to concentrate? Temperature is not the only factor to consider though, as lighting, seat position, space or crowding all need to be tweaked to avoid a recipe for disaster.

Meeting planning professionals have perfected their craft, turning mundane things like font choices and lighting schematics into magnificent works of art.

3. The last meeting you planned on your own ended up costing your company far more than you expected, and you’ve been mourning the loss ever since.

Without a professional to negotiate the costs, your “self-planned” meeting cost way more than it had to. Professional meeting planners are familiar with rate changes for expenses like room rates, vendor fees and caterers. A professional meeting planner is a master of timing, and more often than not has a working relationship with hotels, vendors and caterers. The same company you called and paid too much for would have given the planner a discounted rate and saved you the frustration and embarrassment of spending too much. A professional planner also knows where to cost-cut and shave unnecessary expenses successfully.

The potential is there for meetings that motivate. The potential is there for meetings that inspire. The potential is there for meetings to remember and the potential is there for meeting that fail. The ultimate decision is yours. Hire a meeting professional to plan a success or do it yourself and miss out on excellence. You are undoubtedly good at your chosen profession, and you should trust in your ability to succeed in that area. Trust a professional planner at Boss Meetings to handle the science behind your successfully planned meetings.

6 Tips for Preventing Site Selection Tour Stupor

Experienced meeting planner - Tia Ross, Boss MeetingsWhen touring more than three hotels or convention venues in one day or more than six in a week, the likelihood of your developing what I’ve come to refer to as “Site Tour Stupor” increases. Symptoms can include:

  • A glazed look about the eyes (“The Blank Stare”)
  • Blurred vision
  • Keen sense of deja vu
  • Diminished listening capacity
  • Loss of energy/sudden urge to nap
  • Varying degrees of apathy
  • Inability to identify or recall distinguishing details of property during tour or after departure

On occasions where there’s no other logical option but to knock out the tours back to back, I’ve developed a few simple strategies and general rules of thumb to help combat the dreaded anti-productive Site Tour Stupor.
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Compensating Speakers With a Return on Investment

I’ve been asked to produce a seminar for other writers’ conference organizers to share methods for making it more cost-effective for speakers to participate where the organizer has no stipend or transportation budget. I am hearing that other organizers want speakers to come, fly themselves to and register to attend their event, pay for their own rooms, and pay a fee to sell their books or exhibit. The speakers may be granted a small percentage off, but it’s so minuscule that it’s insignificant. There is no real advantage for the speaker to participate from an ROI (return on investment) standpoint when the organizer’s mindset is essentially that the speaker is coming strictly to make the organizer’s event a success.

Based on the number of people I’ve heard this from, this misguided position is more common than I’d realized. Essentially these other organizers are forcing speakers to become a sponsor and acting as if they’re doing the SPEAKER a favor by ‘letting’ them speak. That’s real backward. The attitude should be one of gratitude that the speaker is interested in being involved. Recognize that their willingness to lend their time and energy to share knowledge and experience with fellow authors and aspiring writers is far bigger than you. Read more