8 Major Meeting Mistakes to Avoid
Nov 21, 2011 by DeDe Mulligan

mistakeMeetings and events are fantastic ways to network, build brand awareness about your product and/or organization, and connect with your customer and prospect base. Unfortunately, many meeting planners, especially novice ones, don’t take enough time to look at the meeting from the attendee’s point of view.

Attendee’s are well educated with long memories about your organization and events. If you want to make a lasting impression, avoid these 8 common mistakes.

1. Don’t research the venue. 

It is very important that you have the right event at the right venue. There are many ways to vet a location. Here are just a few:

  • Google the site and read every link on the first page
  • Go to TripAdvisor and read all the reviews from business clients
  • Ask for feedback about this location on LinkedIn groups 
  • When you go for a site visit, pay attention to the little details — the parking lot, the bathrooms, and how the service staff treats you.

2. Ignore local resources. 

Whatever city you decide to host your event, remember this: use of local businesses is good for the local economy. Local businesses know their own city and can help you with other suppliers and partners. When you use local resources, such as when renting audio visual equipment, you will save time (they are close), money (no shipping charges), and fulfill your desire to be green (reduce carbon footprint).

3. Falsify information. 

Over inflating attendee, sponsor, and exhibitor numbers to potential partners and vendors is a big no-no and will come back to bite you. Be completely ethical. Tell them the truth always. If you don’t know the answer to the question, say so and let them know you will get back to them in a day or a week and then, get back to them!

4. No compelling reason to attend. 

Attendees are busy people and they view 10 to 100 pitches on why they should attend various events. They scan the pitches quickly, so yours needs to compelling. 

Make it easy for them to say yes. Don’t make them search several paragraphs down in an email. Tell them in the subject line and within the first 3 to 4 sentences. 

5. Not building relationships. 

Business is about relationships. You want 10 sponsors and 150 exhibitors at your next event 9 months from now? Start building those relationships now. Find out how you can help them make their business grow. 

6. Ignoring one type of media. 

Is your marketing strategy for your next event all digital or all print? If so, you need to rethink this strategy because you will leave a whole group of potential attendees behind. You don’t need to increase your marketing budget, just reallocate it to more of a 50/50 mix.

7. Not letting attendees/sponsors/exhibitors know who to contact when onsite.

Event meeting services organizations are busy when they are running the event, but it very important that everyone knows who they can contact if a question or concern arises. Letting everyone know your cell number, Twitter name, and email address are great ways to keep in contact. Make certain your smartphone or iPad is set up to monitor this traffic and respond to it quickly.

8. Long-Winded Sessions. 

Research says that attendees maximize their learning in 50-minute increments or less. Don’t let your sessions be long and lecture oriented. Give the audience members a chance to interact with the presenter, as well as, with each other. 

Event planning in California? AV Event Solutions has a variety of interactive technology tool rentals available to help you make your next meeting more compelling and interactive. Give them a call at 888.249. 4303 for a guaranteed same-day response!

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