Government Connections - Summer 2012 - (Page 38)
THE MEETING MINUTE
“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt
By Rhonda Rogers-Bardsley, CGMP VISUALIZING MEETINGS IS the fun part – making them successful is the challenge. From conception to post-meeting surveys, all eyes are on the meeting planner. It is easy to overlook those little details that can make or break your event. • Set objectives and goals – What are the objectives and goals for the meeting? Is it education, networking, research, etc.? Understanding the objectives and the target audience helps the meeting planner focus on the intended outcome and how to set goals to meet those objectives. • Who’s in charge – One of the first agenda items should be determining lines of authority and responsibility. Be sure to communicate the organizational chart to all involved in the planning process, including the suppliers. • Location, location, location – Start with an ordinary meeting and turn it into an event by finding a location that satisfies the needs of the client or sponsor, encourages registration, and fits the meeting theme. Knowing the demographics of your attendees will help you select a location that is affordable and offers the elements that will appeal to your attendees and promote excel- lent attendance. • Budget – Plan for the unexpected – the fee for the substitute speaker, unforeseen equipment rental, and, of course, unanticipated, weather-related expenses. Find out from your suppliers what is covered and what is not. If you don’t know, ask! Stick to your budget. It might be exciting and fun to have a celebrity at your event but, is it in the budget? • Make the client look good – With every decision you make imagine yourself as the client and ask yourself what the client will want, what will the client prefer? It is your job to make the client look and feel good. Once you have established the basics, it’s time to get your hands dirty and really dig into the details of meeting planning. Be aware of the following items: • Stage – Floor level or raised platform? Tables and chairs for panelists; tables should be draped. • Lecterns & Podiums – Will they be used and how many. Is signage involved? Will they be located at floor level, or on a raised stage? • Sound – Will you need a traditional microphone, lavaliere, or hand held microphone? How many? Is the conference being recorded and is audience participation expected? If so, a hand held microphone will be needed. In smaller breakout sessions, microphones may not be needed unless the session is being recorded. • Video Recording – Will the sessions be video recorded? If so, early dialogue between the audio visual team and the planner is essential to making sure necessary equipment is available and figured into the budget. You may want to send out an RFP to assure that the prices are competitive. • Security – Do you anticipate a high profile speaker? If so, find out what security measures are necessary and who is responsible for hiring the security. • Lighting – Lighting can enhance or disrupt a session. You will need to balance the lighting so that the presenter can see his/her notes (lectern mini light), the audience can view the screen presentation without glare, and still read handouts and make notes. Backlighting the stage can be helpful for entering and exiting the stage, but may shine into the audience; spotlights need to be placed with regard to speaker height and potential glare. These are just some of the details to plan well in advance of sending out RFPs or contacting venues. If you include all of these items as part of your written, master plan, you should avoid most meeting planning pitfalls. However, if you do find yourself in a jam, rest assured that you can call any of your SGMP chapter members for advice-- because you belong to a society of experts!
GOVERNMENT CONNECTIONS | Summer 2012
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Government Connections - Summer 2012
10 Secrets to Winning the Business
Good to Know
Dieting on a Per Diem
2012 National Education Conference Summary
SGMP NEC gives back to the New Orleans Community
Is a mobile conference app your best foot forward?
Exercise on the road… are you kidding?
The Meeting Minute
Government Connections - Summer 2012