Question #1 – What is the vision of the program and what are the goals of the meeting?
There is no doubt, that this can be a hard or easy question to answer depending on who you are planning the meeting for and with.
As most meetings serve several purposes with many key decision makers, you have a unique opportunity to lead the decision makers where they need to go with the end in mind. For many meetings, the vision is the same answer every year. Perhaps the answer would be “this is our annual meeting/event to bring members, employees or customers together for education and networking.”
Take the first step and conduct a brainstorming session with all of the key stakeholders to get their input from the beginning. It sets the right tone of team work and listening to everyone’s input. It does not mean that all ideas will be used but those people will appreciate being asked. It builds trust and starts to develop a relationship of openness which will help achieve the goal of implementing a successful meeting.
During this brainstorming session, lead them thru a series of questions to further develop the vision and goals.
These questions might look like:
- What motivates you?
- What motivates this group of people?
- What do you want attendees to walk away with at the end of the meeting?
- What do the attendees need to learn/accomplish at this meeting?
- Is there a new innovation that you want to showcase?
- Is there a new audience we are trying to attract?
- Have you seen anything at other conferences that you would like to consider for this meeting?
- What technologies are used by the audience as of late? Are their uses changing?
- What social media channels do the attendees use?
- Do you want to leave a legacy with this meeting?
Based on the answers to these questions, you can start developing a look and feel for the meeting and establish some basic goals which will help you when you go to source for space for the meeting. Share these details and get everyone on board from the beginning. It will make for a great meeting. Stay tuned for text time as we build on innovation.