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3 Frustrations of a Meeting Planner with Goals & Solutions

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Meeting planners consistently send out current tips, tweets, and blog posts on how to “help your attendees retain what you train.” Some are basic tips while others incorporate social media into training and stay up-to-speed with today’s technology.

What about the “understood” goals of a meeting planner?  All meeting planners have goals for every meeting, conference, or event, but they don’t always work as planned.

We’ve listed the Top 3 Frustrations of a Meeting Planner (along with goals and a solution):

For example, many meetings begin with the meeting planner passing out reams of paper – most which should have been sent pre-meeting. Meetings are most productive and successful when pre-meeting information was given 48 hours before the actual meeting.

  • GOAL: You want your participants to prepare prior to the attending the meeting.
  • SOLUTION: During the meeting, reference the pre-meeting information you provided – this reinforces the need for participants to review the material beforehand. They’ll always prepare prior to attending your meetings. This preparation from your attendees will play a role in accomplishing the desired results.

Providing your meeting attendees with maps of the conference center prior to arriving will allow them to become accumulated to the layout of the facility rather than becoming frustrated. Most attendees just want to go from point A to point B and don’t want to learn their way in between.

  • GOAL: You want attendees who won’t be tardy to your conference or meeting.
  • SOLUTION: Maybe they slept late – but in most cases, they didn’t know the route nor plan enough time to learn it.  Meeting planners, arrive a day early and learn the facility – maybe give a tour to your attendees when they arrive.  Either way, NO MATTER WHAT provide your attendees a copy of the facility’s floorplan or campus map 24-48 hours before they arrive.  Don’t rely on them to learn their way with a map at the front desk – it’s too late.  Unfortunately, they most likely won’t learn their route prior to the event (or for the rest of the week). Scavenger hunts are always a fun idea to help your attendees bond and learn their way around.

Issues with attendees unsure why they’re at the conference? This can interfere with how they learn and how serious they take the speaker or message.

  • GOAL: You want to meet the company’s objective in hosting a conference and assist the attendee in reaching the organization’s goals.
  • SOLUTION: Pre-meeting activities create objectives and goals for the conference and its attendees.  These pre-meeting activities include asking questions, providing surveys/polls, setting expectations, prioritizing agenda items, sharing company updates and other information help to place all attendees in the same mindset.  As a result, the conference is focused on progress, problem-solving, and making decisions rather than reiterating old points that should have been covered prior to attendance (Facilitate.com).

One great guiding principle for all meeting planners to follow is… “Seek to understand before seeking to be understood” (Facilitate.com).

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