5 Tips to Make Your Meetings, Trade Shows, and Events More Effective
Apr 20, 2012 by DeDe Mulligan

meeting

What is the purpose of a meeting or event, anyway? Well that depends on your point of view, but most  people agree it is to disseminate information about a product, service, policy, or provide some level of professional education. In addition, it could be to reinforce your brand, set sales objectives, team-build, or get your group of members together for the annual meeting. 

Some meetings and events are terrific while others are..well…lackluster. Most event meeting services industry colleagues agree that if the message of the meeting doesn't resonate enough with the audience member to change their actions, then it wasn't suceesful . We want that message to carry through and change the attendee's buying patterns. How can we do that? Through 3 basic methods: goal-setting, clear communication, and follow-through. 

Here are the tips to make your next meeting more effective:

Tip #1: Set Goals.

  • What is the purpose of the meeting? 
  • Where are you going to hold it? Onsite or offsite? A local or remote location?
  • When are you holding it? 
  • Who needs to attend? Employees, Clients, Members? Have a definitive number in mind.
  • How will you measure success? Goals need to be set regarding what attendees learn in training and educational conferences. Those goals can be measured through wireless Audience Response Systems. Event organizers can measure success by the number of people that come to the event, exhibitors by the number of leads generated from the trade show, and sponsors by the inquiries to their website or calls to their organization within 90 days after the show. 
  • Why is this meeting important? 

Tip #2: Get Everyone on Board.

Each meeting will be different with unique stakeholders involved, but you will potentially have 3 different ones: Attendees or Employees (always), Sponsors (maybe), and Trade Show Exhibitors (maybe). Whatever the mix, you need to get each group involved in the goal setting exercise above and then help them define measurements for their success. 

Tip #3: Put in Place Project Management.

Once the goals are set and agreed upon, a project manager needs to "drill down" with the team specific objectives that will include resources needed, deadlines, and who is responsible for what. A project management tool should be sent out to the entire group and updated on a regular basis.  

Tip #4: Make the Meeting Interactive. 

Rent iPads so attendees can communicate with each other and the speaker to ask questions or make comments about the session. Wireless microphones throughout the room can encourage attendees to ask questions or make comments during the session. Use Audience Response rentals to test employees knowledgebase before and after the meeting. Make each talk follow the guidelines of TED, PechaKucha, or Ignite. Use gaming to encourage team building. The more involved the attendee, the better chance you have that they will retain the information. 

Tip #5: Follow-up, follow-up, follow-up. 

1 month, 3 months, 6 months, and 1 year after your event check and see if the goals were met by all your stakeholders. This is where most meeting planners often fall down; they rarely check-in with their sponsors and exhibitors to see if their objectives were met. 

AV Event Solutions can help you make your meeting more effective by engaging your attendees and providing you with a project manager as well. Give them a call today!

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