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Anatomy Of Great Meetings

As you know, a meeting's success is dependant on the planning and being prepared for the challenges. Four Seasons is committed to providing value to you, the meeting planner, beyond providing speakers and entertainers information, so we hope that the following checklists will really help you to be prepared and have confidence as your planning your important up-coming meetings and events. Today's turbulent times beg the necessity for reviewed strategic planning and educationally supportive meetings. Last minute meetings have become the norm not the exception and this is a challenge for all meeting planners, new or experienced. Gone are the days when a meeting planner has 6-12 months to plan, negotiate, visit property sites and attend to big picture challenges. Budgets have been slashed and head counts have sharply decreased even with the internet and e-mail helping to increase the speed of communication. With changes in the economy the threat of terrorism and war, the influx in stability in businesses has placed higher demands on meeting planners today. Because of limited time and scaled down budgets, Creativity, Detail, Organization, Procedure knowledge and Trusted allies are more important in the success formula for meetings and events now more then ever. Four Seasons Speakers & Trainers, our professionals and alliances want to help both the Experienced and the Newer meeting planners with the How's, Whys' and What's for your meeting and event.

First Time Planners

First of course you will need to know who the members of your planning committee will be or who will be the final decision maker. The cooperation of these people will be paramount in the flow of process for this event. Establish what the best way of expedient and effective communication will be with the individuals who will be making final decisions. This will ease everyone's mind during the process of planning.

#1 Determine the Purpose of your meeting/event.

#2 Desired outcome for attendants.

#3 Understanding outcome necessary, what type of training and speakers will you need?

#4 Who are the attendees? (executives, managers, front-line employees)

#5 Approximate how many will be attending?

#6 If you have all of the above, how will you best provide the information to these peoples needs to assure the purpose is being met and the experience as well as information related is a long lasting one.. (maybe mix departments for some team building experiences)

#7 Determine desired dates for event.

#8 Check availability with venues.

#9 Have firm understanding of budget.

#10 Establish firm deadlines and stick with those as closely as possible.

#11 Will you arrange with any speakers/trainers, a follow-up plan of contact with your attendants to assure the highest level of learning curve?

#12 Do you need an industry speaker or wouldn't a speaker who has extended topic knowledge & has experience working with your industry partners be better?

#13 Contact your speakers service and request information on suggested speakers.

(Utilize the expertise of the service to help you with speakers placement in your event along with time frames for the speakers. The flow of topic and placement is very important for the best impact learning experience.)

#14 Set deadline for review of material (suggested time frame of 2 weeks from receiving material)

#15 Contact Speakers Service if material does not fulfill your requirements and discuss alternative ideas and suggestions.

#16 Set Deadline for decision (suggested time frame of nor more then one month) Speakers may hold your date for you but will not hold or be available for extended periods of time.

#17 Determine scheduled time for conference with preferred prospective speakers. (this is advised to provide you with additional information on the abilities, compatability and detailed experience of the suggested speakers.

#18 What are additional expenses for the speakers, travel, food, hotel, and do these fit your budget also?

#19 Confirm selected speakers with Speakers Service. Review speakers times, dates, topics. Let service know what your deadlines are for speaker bio's, photo's if needed.

#20 Sign agreement and secure speaker with deposit.

From this point it is the speakers service and the speaker to handle the work and details necessary leading up to your event. They should be in touch with you with information forms, questionnaires that may be needed to provide additional information, additional conferences to assure you that they are attentive and ready to present a powerful and memorable part to your event.

Throughout the coming months, additional checklists will be added addressing more specific types of meetings such as, themed events, conferences, executive retreats, non-profit fundraising events, golf outings, sizzlers, awards banquets, and much more.

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