PMPI Engage - September/October 2016 - 11
Excel is your friend. If you don't know it, learn it. My favorite
feature is the Pivot tables. They are a miracle, and can fill in
the gaps many database reports and event registration systems
cannot. They can tell you in an instant how many of your
attendees are coming from an organization, state, or what they're
dietary restrictions are, or how many times Susan Johnson is
speaking at your meeting. Google "using pivot tables" for some
quick tutorials on how to use them for your own needs.
Check out Corbin Ball's meeting planner software tools. Look
under Tips & Tools at www.corbinball.com. I've been using the
catering cost estimator worksheet and conference matrix grid
view for years. Unless they're just being nice, the hotel partners
I've worked with consistently report that our specs are some
of the easiest to follow and understand. I recommend the AV
checklist from Planning Helper.
Have a good relationship with your AV provider. Ask a
representative in sales to come to your meeting to help
you be smarter with your overall spend. One idea we got
from this relationship is that we changed our space, time
and budget intensive awards gallery that we used to
build for each event into a slide deck that is dynamic and
eye-catching onsite. It can also now be used in various
ways throughout the year at our other events and online.
Your event app is only as good as you make it. Get the most out
of it by making every effort to fill it with as much relevant and
easy to find content as you can. Your attendees will thank you
for it. Yes, there's a learning curve, but a good app company can
provide you with the support you need to be successful.
SPONSORS AND EXHIBITORS
Everything is a branding opportunity. Work with your venue
and decorator to discover the creative (and inexpensive)
ways in which you can create more impressions to sell your
sponsors. Consider adding floor and elevator clings, wrapping
water stations and even bathroom door signage to remind
your attendees of the great partners available to meet with.
Encourage content marketing best practices and include
your exhibiting partners strategically in your event
marketing. For example, add a content-rich sponsor
spotlight to an issue of your pre-event newsletter.
Have fun with your receptions - each year we do a
Taste of "City" sponsored reception that highlights
food and drink from the region. It gets attendees
excited to head in and check it out.
Combine efforts: This year our closing keynote sponsor's
seat drop was branded with their logo and a save the date
for our meeting next year.
Create a speaker guide: a 2-3 page document with
everything a speaker should expect in the run up
to your event. We include links to resources (PPT
templates, for example), a timeline and deadlines
leading up to our program. The guide will also keep
you accountable. Send it out early and often.
Run a webinar for your speakers. Not everyone
reads and it will help attach a face with a name.
Keep it to 15-20 minutes. Use your speaker
guide to help you define the content. Thank
them, let them know what to expect and how
to reach out with you. We use GoToWebinar
and record them for people who can't attend.
Utilize your planning committee as quality control.
Assign each member to a number of sessions to
steward the content and help you insure that your
speakers will deliver as advertised.
Thank your speakers. With anywhere from
60-150 speakers at a given conference, handwritten
notes are just not feasible for me, but I can
easily pack and hand-deliver (with the help of
my colleagues) a special local treat and printed
notecards at the beginning of each session. Ecards
from vendors like Paperless Post are always a good
choice post-conference as well, or create a photo
collage with your favorite shots of the event.
Join the National Association Meeting Planners
Group on Facebook. It's a great group for quick
idea sharing (and only the occasional vent). Bonus:
only planners are allowed!
Create an interest survey to make sure your rooms
are right-sized for your education session. We open
registration before we have a full schedule so we're
not able to have attendees pre-select sessions. But we
want to make sure they're in appropriately
sized rooms. It doesn't take long to put
together a simple "session interest
survey" and send it out 6-8
weeks before your meeting. I
find that a 25-30 percent is an
ideal sample size to determine
where to put each session.
Store your association's FedEx
or UPS account number on your
phone. Or commit it to memory.
You'll thank me later. ■
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of PMPI Engage - September/October 2016
15 Tips to Make Your Association Meetings Better!
Time Management Techniques for Extremely Busy People
Meetings Thought Leadership
The Road Warrior: Staying Healthy on the Road
What’s New in Fort Lauderdale
Welcome, New PMPI Members!
Members on the Move
Index of Advertisers
PMPI Engage - September/October 2016 - cover1
PMPI Engage - September/October 2016 - cover2
PMPI Engage - September/October 2016 - 3
PMPI Engage - September/October 2016 - 4
PMPI Engage - September/October 2016 - 5
PMPI Engage - September/October 2016 - 6
PMPI Engage - September/October 2016 - President’s Message
PMPI Engage - September/October 2016 - 8
PMPI Engage - September/October 2016 - 9
PMPI Engage - September/October 2016 - 15 Tips to Make Your Association Meetings Better!
PMPI Engage - September/October 2016 - 11
PMPI Engage - September/October 2016 - Time Management Techniques for Extremely Busy People
PMPI Engage - September/October 2016 - 13
PMPI Engage - September/October 2016 - 14
PMPI Engage - September/October 2016 - 15
PMPI Engage - September/October 2016 - Meetings Thought Leadership
PMPI Engage - September/October 2016 - 17
PMPI Engage - September/October 2016 - The Road Warrior: Staying Healthy on the Road
PMPI Engage - September/October 2016 - Volunteer Spotlight
PMPI Engage - September/October 2016 - What’s New in Fort Lauderdale
PMPI Engage - September/October 2016 - Welcome, New PMPI Members!
PMPI Engage - September/October 2016 - Index of Advertisers
PMPI Engage - September/October 2016 - cover3
PMPI Engage - September/October 2016 - cover4