Small regional meetings are trending up in the event meeting services industry and will probably continue to do so for the foreseeable future. It seems counter-intuitive: How can several small meetings be as cost-efficient as a large one? After all, doesn't it take more time to plan 3 to 5 meetings versus one event? The answer is not really, given advances in technology and the planner's ability to negotiate multi-meeting contracts.
According to MPI, here is a synopsis of the 6 reasons regional meetings make sense.
Beautiful Benefit #1: Attendees Feel Special.
When you divide a 1,000-person event into 4 regional meetings, it takes on a completely different feel. It increases attendee interaction and allows the planner and presenters to get to know their audience better.
Beautiful Benefit #2: The Audience Gets "Up Close and Personal" with the C-Suite Team.
Because company executives travel to the regional locations, they can have some one-on-one time with employees and learn more about what they want and need to make the company a better place to work. In addition, executives can tailor their presentation, especially if it is a product launching event, to the product uses within that region of the country.
Beautiful Benefit #3: Opportunity Cost is Minimized.
If an attendee can travel a shorter distance and stay one less night at the hotel, they are spending less time away from their jobs, which ultimately means they are making more money for the company.
Beautiful Benefit #4: Your Organization Will Save a Lot of Money.
Mark Lorimer, CMP and Owner at Eventive Group, Inc. has planned an annual meeting for a national franchise company for years. This year, they decided to divide it up into 3 meetings and this is what he learned:
"The company is going to save 20- to 25% by having 3 consecutive regional meetings in 3 locations around the U.S. instead of one big meeting that always involves significant airfare expenses and travel time for attendees who don't happen to live and work near the meeting site," stated Lorimer.
Beautiful Benefit #5: Choices Now Abound.
With one large meeting, your locations are limited and often can only be held in first-tier cities. With smaller meetings, 2nd-tier cities become open to you.
In addition, the number of hotel choices also increases because now, your room count is much smaller.
Beautiful Benefit #6: Contributions to the Local Economy is a Good Thing.
From renting audio visual equipment to hiring local talent, providing revenue to multiple cities, helps keep people employed and provides tax dollars to the local municipalities.
Brian Stevens, President & CEO of ConferenceDirect, sums all these benefits up this way, "The cost you generate by having high-paid employees spend 2 days instead of 1 on an airplane to get to and from the meeting destination needs to be calculated into the equation. Time is money and planners who know how to calculate that can increase their standing with their corporate stakeholders."