PMPI Engage - September/October 2016 - 11

1 TECHNOLOGY 2 3 4 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 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. 5 SPONSORS AND EXHIBITORS 6 7 8 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. 9 SPEAKER STEWARDSHIP 10 11 12 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. 13 POTPOURRI 14 15 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. ■ ENGAGE 11

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of PMPI Engage - September/October 2016

President’s Message
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
Volunteer Spotlight
What’s New in Fort Lauderdale
Welcome, New PMPI Members!
Members on the Move
PMPI Dashboard
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