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Why hold an external meeting/conference?
The first step in planning a great meeting is knowing why you are meeting? What is the purpose of the meeting and the goals you want to achieve? Knowing this critical information will determine your choice of venue, identify whether there is space internally in your office or an external venue would be more appropriate.
How do I get help and advice with planning my meeting?
There is an old adage that says, 'When you fail to plan, you plan to fail' these words are particularly appropriate when planning a professional meeting. Ensuring every detail clicks into place is the hallmark of any successful meeting.
To assist you with the planning and venue selection, seek the services of a professional conference organiser. The agency will offer a FREE service and will assist and advise you through the venue selection process, booking and contracting your selected facility. Consulting the experts will save you time, money and ensure you a successful and memorable event.
Whether you are planning a conference, training course or another event, there are many factors to consider beyond the obvious concerns such as budget.
- Getting out of the office, can be a way to inject creativity and encourage employee brainstorming. Finding the right external venue is important as delegates will start forming opinions from the moment they arrive, so it is essential that the venue gives the right image. Location and ease of travel should be taken into consideration.
- Take a look at the cost and convenience, compare what venues are offering, negotiate or allow your appointed conference planners to do so on your behalf. Identify what business services will be available and the associated cost of services for printing, copying internet access. Does the property offer free parking? Will the staff/point of contact at the venue be easy to work with and be invested in your meetings success as you are? Site visits are important and essential; your Agent will accompany you if required.
- Size and seating arrangements - establish how many delegates will be attending and aim for a venue that can sufficiently accommodate your expected attendance. The meeting environment can mean the difference between a successful, energetic audience and one that is falling asleep in their chairs.
- Room set up is another crucial consideration, since there are many configurations available, such as Theatre, Classroom, Boardroom, Cabaret, U shape etc. You will need to consider if you will need natural daylight, breakout rooms for workshops, speedy internet access, computers for training, external access to the room, recording and projection facilities.
- A solid agenda is your roadmap to a successful meeting, telling you where to start, who will speak, when to take a break and when to end.
- There is nothing worse than a meeting that drags on forever. Keep your meeting on track, remember catering has been arranged for selected times.
- Always end your meeting on a high note; you want to see a group of attendees who are happy, enlightened, energised and glad they made time to attend the event.
- Solicit feedback, attendees feedback is important and welcome- in planning future events.
Is video conferencing the answer?
- If you have been involved in video conferencing, you will be aware that running overtime often is not an option. If you have booked an hour of an expensive conferencing suite, an hour is what you have. Like many other features of technology, that time limit may be a help or a hindrance to your next meeting.
- Video conferencing is a way to save money and time but not everyone is comfortable with this technology.
Some points to bear in mind if undertaking video conferencing -
Give and take questions and answers. Address your question to one person by name as it is sometimes difficult for participants to know who you are talking to.
Video conferencing is hi-tech but that means it will do what it is supposed to do. Shouting or speaking loudly is not only annoying but shows inexperience, with virtual meeting technology speak in a normal voice -they will hear you.
Dress in light pastels muted colours; bright, bold colours can make your skin look weird.
Keep your gestures small and movements slower than normal; a little attention to this detail will minimize any choppy effects.
- While video conferencing is a great tool for saving travel costs, it should not eliminate travel completely. Face to face contact can be very valuable. But after the initial handshake has been done and the project is going along, that's when videoconferencing comes into its own.
For expert venue finding advice and booking, please call ConferencesUK on 0800 567 0050 or Click here to make a conference or meeting enquiry.
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Expert venue Finder
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