50 Things to Remember When Planning a Professional Meeting

professional-meetingPlanning and coordinating a professional business meeting can be a lot of work. It requires a lot of multitasking skill and creativity in order to get all of the information that you need to be shared with employees or attendees packed into a one, two or three day event. Making sure that every detail is taken care of and that every possible issue is considered ahead of time so that a viable solution can be provided will help you to overcome potential problems before they even get started.

Plotting out all the details, from the location of the meeting and conference center to catering the event, making sure that all of the audio-visual equipment is set up to ensuring that there is enough parking – crossing all of the i’s and dotting all of the t’s involved in planning a professional meeting can be overwhelming. If putting together a professional business meeting or event is in your near future, take a look at our list of “50 Things to Remember” and see how they can help you.

Preparation and Organization (1-7)
There are a few things that must be done at the very beginning before you even book a space at The Crystal Room conference center in Milford, MA.

  • Set goals for your professional business meeting – what you hope to achieve and what you want your attendees to get out of the event.
  • Select the best meeting and conference center for your event, choosing a location that is convenient, has all the amenities you require and will set a professional tone.
  • Choose a date for your event that doesn’t conflict with major or minor holidays, won’t interfere with popular vacation dates and makes it easy for travel to location.
  • Determine how you will achieve your goals, what types of speakers or group leaders you will require and how you want to present your skill-building activities or information to the group.
  • Decide how people will be invited to attend, either by “command” as part of a work requirement for office staff or if guests will be marketed to and asked to register.
  • Collect contact information for all potential attendees to use for event hype and sharing schedule details, as well as for follow-up contact after the event occurs.
  • Create a specific agenda for the meeting, remembering to include snack breaks, meal breaks and any other type of buffer time between workshop events.

Making Reservations (8-18)
Once the initial preparations and organization are well at hand, you can then contact the meeting and conference center to put down a deposit and secure the space for your professional business meeting event.

  • Reserve the space you need at The Crystal Room conference center in Milford, MA for your desired dates. Ask about any requirements for deposits or cancellations.
  • Travel arrangements, including setting up mileage reimbursements for mandatory employee attendance, as well as flights from locations outside the local area should be considered and taken care of at this time.
  • Hotel or other lodging accommodations should also be considered, particularly if attending the professional business meeting is required by employees or workers.
  • Work with the meeting and conference center to set up catering throughout the event, including a beverage station, breakfast, brunch, lunch, snacks, dinner or anything else that might be required.
  • Any speakers that you might need to bring in outside of your in-house staff should be contacted and scheduled for the event as far in advance as possible.
  • Some events hire entertainers to keep the spirits of attendees up during the professional business meaning, such as comedians, DJs, bands and more.

  • Activities that will be done as part of your workshop or training seminars should be considered when planning a professional meeting to ensure that you have everything you need for them to be successful.
  • Any banners, decorations or signage that you will want to have displayed during the event should be purchased as soon as possible. Check with the meeting and conference center about any limitations for displaying these materials on-site.
  • Reserve audio-visual equipment through the conference center in Milford, MA ahead of time to make sure that they will have everything you need to pull it off.
  • Gifts and awards that will be handed out to attendees during the professional business meeting should be purchased and engraved, if necessary, in advance.
  • Wait staff, parking valets, registration team members and any other staff that will be required during the event should be scheduled and hired as soon as possible.

Locating and Hiring Pros (19-25)
The overall success of your professional business meeting will be determined by the quality of the information, presentations, workshops, activities, entertainment and any other portions of the program that will be included in the event.

  • Speak with colleagues or friends within the industry for suggestions or recommendations to hire or contact speakers.
  • Talk with the event coordinator at the conference center in Milford, MA about hiring a caterer, wait staff or any others necessary for your professional business meeting.
  • When you attend other industry events or professional gatherings, take note of the vendors and other service providers that you might want to use at your event.
  • Consider contacting a professional industry-specific organization that might be able to put you in touch with the people that can help in planning a professional meeting.
  • Use the Internet to find companies and services or to check references, reviews and ratings on the people you are thinking about hiring.
  • Check industry or trade publications for ideas, resources and services.
  • Contact the local convention or visitors bureau for information about entertainment, local amenities or ideas that you could use at the meeting and conference center.

Stay on Top of Your Budget (26-31)
When you plan your professional business meeting at the conference center in Milford, MA, make sure you do everything you can to stick within your budget.

  • Get all agreements in writing when working with vendors, speakers, contractors, entertainment groups, caterers and the meeting and conference center itself.
  • Check every invoice that you receive against the written quotes, estimates or agreements that you have from the people you work with at the event.
  • Make sure to question any charges that do not jive with the agreement that you made for your professional business meeting. Mistakes can happen.
  • Limit the number of team members that have the authority to make charges or set up contracts with vendors to stay on top of the money that is being spent.
  • Do not sign off on any invoices or proposals until you are satisfied with the results.
  • Watch out for hidden costs, such as overtime charges, extra parking, internet connectivity, technology equipment usage, overnight shipping, taxes and tipping.

How to Choose a Great Speaker (32-37)
Hiring a popular personality or an experienced and respected individual can draw additional attendees to the meeting and conference center just as quickly as choosing the wrong speaker can put people off.

  • Choose someone who understands the goals and objectives when planning a professional meeting.
  • Select a speaker that your audience will appreciate, that they can understand and get value from listening to at your professional business meeting.
  • Always get references. Even if you are working with a “big name” in the industry, you will want to know if they were prompt, difficult to work with, hard to schedule or if they required a lot of extras in order to speak.
  • Ask for a demo video if you are unfamiliar with the speaker so you can see how well they perform in front of an audience.
  • Never assume that just because someone is well-known or successful that they know how to make an effective speech.
  • Provide as much information about your event and goals as you can to ensure the success of the speaker.

How to Be a Great Planner (38-44)
If you are new to planning a professional meeting, you might need some help from an event coordinator at first, but the more meetings and workshops you plan and manage, the easier it will get.

  • Start with a solid plan and know what you want to get out of the event.
  • Keep good notes and mark down times, dates, names and numbers of all the people that you speak with about setting up your professional business meeting.
  • Contact multiple vendors, suppliers and service providers so you will have a backup and information to compare when negotiating price or setting up a contract.
  • Understand the value of the work that you are doing for the event at the conference center in Milford, MA and how it will be appreciated by the attendees.
  • Always read any contracts before signing them, check the fine print and insist on a shared responsibility situation with all vendors and service providers to get the most out of each interaction taking place at the meeting and conference center.
  • Never assume anything – make sure to ask lots of questions and demand answers before you move forward to the next step.
  • Learn how to listen throughout the process of planning a professional meeting. Listen to your boss, potential attendees, vendors, service providers, suppliers or anyone else involved in the event.

Reserve a Space at The Crystal Room Conference Center in Milford, MA (45-50)
The best place to host your next professional business meeting, workshop, seminar or industry event is at The Crystal Room. Located conveniently for attendees coming from all parts of the northeastern region, our meeting and conference center has all of the amenities, options and opportunities you require to plan a successful business event.

  • Set your date as early as possible to make sure The Crystal Room isn’t already booked.
  • Speak with our event planners and coordinators to set up any catering, technology equipment requirements, seating arrangements, parking needs, Wi-Fi access, computer and mobile device charging stations, decorations, contracts or anything else you might need.
  • Work with our in-house catering staff to plan beverage stations, snacks or full meals, including breakfast, lunch or dinner for your attendees.
  • Review our online photo gallery or come by the conference center in Milford, MA to take a look around before your event is scheduled to take place.
  • Provide your attendees with maps and information on how to reach The Crystal Room, which is conveniently located less than a minute away from the 495.
  • Call The Crystal Room conference center in Milford, MA today at 508-478-7800 for more information or to reserve one of our meeting and conference center rooms.