• The Secret to Hearing "We’d Love to Have You Again"

     
    POSTED December 5, 2014
     

As planners, you are accustomed to offering your advice, tricks of the trade and even horror stories of events gone wrong. However, it’s not as common to ask the venue, “how was that for you?”

Event coordinators and managers play key roles for meetings and events planners, as they often act as the bridge contact between a planner’s blueprint and the event day-of. Here are three ways to make sure your next event pleases all parties:

1. Keep it simple

Clear communication makes all the difference, says Alaina Battaglia, event services coordinator of McNamara Alumni Center. After working with many clients at the popular Twin Cities venue, she explains, “If you bring too many people into the planning process it can get very confusing. As a result, when event day comes, there may be a question that only one person can answer and they aren’t always in attendance.”

Having a go-to communicator for the venue can ensure seamless day-of execution. Battaglia says what forms of communication used depend on the type of event. The larger and more specific the event, the better it is to meet in person throughout the planning process.

2. Skip surprises

Although it may seem obvious, what better place to meet than at the venue? Even if you initially visited the venue, it helps to visit once additional details have been decided. You may have made initial decisions about the placement of event attributes, like the silent auction, upon visiting, but if you’re going to change your mind, it’s better to do it a month before, than an hour.

Increased communication and organization helps keep surprises at bay as well, Battaglia explains, “the more prepared a planner is, the easier it is to create their vision. If they have a timeline for the meeting or event, sharing that with the venue staff can help ensure breakout sessions or other plans run smoothly.”

3. Easy as humble pie

In times of stress and "all hands on deck" involvement, we often forget the roles of those around us. This proves beneficial for team members who are able to support one another by accepting new responsibilities. However, when it comes to the staff of the venue, these obligations shift. There are ways to collaborate with venue staff while still respecting their interests and responsibilities.

Recently at the FIVE Event Center in Uptown, I was with the event planner as she was complimented for asking and obeying the Center's policies. Taking the time to find out where they would prefer eating to take place, or what guests can bring in, shows that you respect the venue, recognize them as a key player in the event, and value their stake in the its success.

By the time the now-iconic photo of one Fyre Festivalgoer’s pitiful cheese sandwich had gone viral, social media platforms and news outlets were abuzz with shock and bewilderment—questioning how the seemingly star-studded island excursion could have resulted in half-built FEMA-issued tents, cancelled musical acts and stranded attendees.

 

What these leaders may not realize is that the old approach to meetings, where someone talks the team to sleep is quickly becoming unacceptable. Companies and planners everywhere are ditching their boring meetings and adopting more effective practices.
Two factors driving revolution throughout the modern workplace also demand a new way of meeting: digitalization and VUCA, short for volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity.

Digital Workplace Meetings

 

Our editorial advisory board sounds off about what’s happening in their sectors of the meetings and events world.