In today’s world, meeting planners are busier than ever. You are constantly balancing more than the usual share of projects, short-term travel and different event venues.
As a result, you must often rely on the facility's conference planning manager. This helps you stay ahead of key deadlines, identify creative solutions for new concepts, manage continuous changes and prevent any situations that may impact your meeting in a negative way.
A checklist is as important to a conference planning manager as a favorite recipe is to a chef. Having the right tools to stay organized and keep on task with the numerous steps needed to plan a meeting is essential to the success of any event.
Here are some examples of key areas commonly found on a conference planning manager's checklist:
- Obtain rooming list at cut-off date (3 weeks out).
- Process the order for theme décor and rental equipment (2 weeks out).
- Confirm that meeting room sets match your attendee count (2 weeks out).
- Select A/V equipment to best serve the type of events and room locations (2 weeks out).
- Provide Banquet Event Orders (BEOs) outlining all arrangements (10 days out).
- Identify the food and beverage guarantee and communicate to the culinary team (5 days out).
However, when it comes to meeting planning, the checklist is rarely completed without any deviation. What happens when the rooming list is not completed by the cut-off date? What happens when more guest rooms or food and beverage are needed than expected due to increased attendee counts? What happens when the assigned meeting room no longer suits the needs of the facilitator?
When things don’t go as planned, an experienced conference planning manager uses quick and sound judgment to identify the best options available to meet your goals. The checklist sets the foundation for what needs to be accomplished. However, there is no substitute for the expertise of a good conference planning manager who knows when to be flexible and what needs to be done to find success.
How have you responded in a positive way to unplanned changes? Leave a comment and let us know.