Meeting MPI Toronto - May/June 2014 - (Page 13)
THINGS TO CONSIDER
WHEN PLANNING AN
By Kiran Balladin
hether you're an experienced meeting planner or new to the profession, this checklist has something for
everyone ... a refresher for some or a must-have guide for others. Keep in mind, this isn't a complete list;
depending on the type of event, there will be many other challenges to consider. While there are many
challenges to planning international events, it's also a lot of fun and there are always new learnings and
experiences from every different location.
It's almost impossible to have an event these days
without some digital component at minimum: internet
access, online presentations or live broadcasting
of the event. From a social media standpoint, think
about using a Twitter hashtag to create online buzz or
create list of favourite travel apps for attendees. Don't
forget charging stations.
Make sure to have lists of links to restaurants, tourist
attractions, maps, and do's and don'ts, including
emergency numbers. If you provide resources and
an event schedule in advance, most attendees will
generally plan around this because they'll know when
they have "free" time.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR NOTICE
Don't wait for all the event details to be finalized.
Once date and location is confirmed, send out a
mark your calendar notice. This takes on greater
importance for international events as it gives
attendees advanced notice so they can plan their
schedules, apply or renew their passports, get a visas
(if required), and book vacation time and hotels.
You might be tempted to give out souvenirs or gifts
with cultural significance, but some attendees may
extend their stay for personal travelling and don't
want to travel around with heavy, bulky items.
Important when local audience is your target
market. Avoid jokes as some meaning can be lost
Once you start planning time zone and daylight
savings become critical to planning the event. For
example, Australia is practically a full day ahead of
Toronto, so it's a day before you get a response to a
question. You will need to carefully monitor deadlines
and delivery dates with vendors.
If you're lucky and money is no object, then your only
challenge is selecting a location from the more than
175 countries in the world! In most cases, a budget
is always required and should include currency
conversion rates and applicable taxes. Note that
vendors are paid in local currency.
Don't get distracted by beautiful pictures on the
website. Best practice is to always do a site visit
before signing a contract, but this isn't always
practical. Check the MPI site or LinkedIn discussion
forum and ask for feedback. Also consider distance
from airport and local transportation.
If you have an existing courier, check if they deliver
internationally or at least to your host country.
Ask courier to supply the appropriate customs and
shipping forms and brokerage company in advance.
Factor in extra time in case your shipment is delayed
Before rushing off to book a venue in exotic Bali, it's
important to understand the event. Why is this event
happening? What's the goal? What are the client's
expectations? Once you have a basic sense of the
event do some research to match the location to the
requirements then design your event accordingly.
Kiran Balladin is the Manager, Events & Public Relations of Artez Interactive, a MEETING of the Minds attendee and can be reached
www.mpitoronto.org | MEETING * 13
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Meeting MPI Toronto - May/June 2014
The Evolution of Meetings: Top 10 Changes in the Past Decade
Load ‘Em Up: Top 10 Considerations For Offsite Events
Crossing Borders: Top 10 Things to Consider When Planning an International Event
Location, Location, Location: Top 10 Reasons Why Venue Selection is Key
Student Spotlight: Top 10 Ways to Elevate the Overall Event Experience
Create a Buzz: Top 10 Event Marketing Tips
Think Outside the Meeting Room: Top 10 Ways to Create Experiential Learning
The Generational Divide: Top 10 Differences You Need to Know as a Team Leader
Welcome, New Members!
Blast from the Past: 35 Years of MPI Toronto
Advertisers’ Index & Advertiser.com
The Last Word
Meeting MPI Toronto - May/June 2014