You know the potential benefits of holding a corporate meeting or event for your business. Yet, the overwhelming decisions that you are confronted by can freeze you right in your tracks. The creativity behind cultivating excitement and building engagement at an event can be a bit out of scope for people. This is where a meeting planner can rush in with their rolodex and bring the tactical skills associated with crafting an event that will positively impact your company.
There are important things to consider when searching for a meeting planner who will create a successful meeting for you and will also click with your company’s culture. Hiring an outside event or meeting planner doesn’t have to be a daunting task. But, you should make sure you consider the variables that create the best of the best.
Here are some things to consider when seeking the right meeting planner for you:
How many years of experience?
This is going to give you a clue as to if they are a veteran in the planning process. Often, the more years in an industry, the more knowledge. Experienced planners will also have more tips and tricks of the trade in their back pocket. You want someone on your team that understands the many hats that need to be worn as a seasoned meeting planner and how to execute a seamless event.
What is their scope of service?
It is important to know the services that are offered by your meeting planner before signing a contract. Also, what aspects of the planning process will be professionally coordinated, managed and executed. From site selection to décor to event entertainment – has the meeting planner mastered the art of taking events from concept right through execution? How do they bill you for their services – flat fee, hourly rate, percentage or cost-per-person? Are travel expenses included or billed separately? Rule of thumb is to understand the scope of service and fees associated before signing on the dotted line.
How big is their little black book?
Do they have a preferred list of venues and vendors that they have worked closely with in the past? What are their connections and who do they know? The luxury of being closely affiliated with vendors and venues often means that they can pull strings and make things happen. Meeting strategists cultivate relationships with hotels, airlines, caterers and vendors, to name a few. Organizing an event takes a great deal of time and effort. Therefore, it is best to have a planner that is an orchestrator, has all the right connections and can use those relationships to their advantage during the planning process.
What’s their track record?
Can your event planner provide you will verifiable recommendations from current or past clients? The tell-tale sign that a company has a great reputation is to listen to what others are saying. A word-of-mouth verbal indication is usually the highest regard of another company and their capabilities. Listen to what those who have experience working alongside the company have to say. Usually those reports are better than what is offered on a company website. Remember, results are always the best credentials.
What is the style of their presentation?
Selecting the right meeting planner depends on the mood they bring to the table. Are they upbeat? Positive? Do they provide initial concepts, visual mood boards and detailed proposals? Their authenticity can motivate, inspire and impact your company, therefore it’s best to choose a planner that is charismatic and able to provoke action.
The bottom line is time saved is time gained – it’s important to hire an event or meeting planner that can create a meaningful way for your colleagues to connect and in a distinct setting. Keep in mind that the devil is in the details. Your meeting planner needs to be well-versed in all the details involved, and incorporate them, gracefully. Being equipped with the right questions and expectations will match you to the perfect strategist for your company.