Meeting booker vs. meeting planner

Events are expensive! There…I said it!

And yes, it is true that events can be expensive if you calculate all the time spent on planning and participating as well as the actual costs. But if the event meet the objectives defined for it, it will automatically stop being expensive. True, it might take money and resources, but that does not equal expensive.

So, where am I going with this? Well, I am just thinking of the fact that since we spend a lot of money on events, we should handle them with care and be specifically aware of situations where the meeting booker is not a meeting planner.

Events are a valuable branding element for your company, and whatever you get out of your planning exercise will directly reflect upon the company. And that is why you will want to leave this task with the most competent people in your company and not as a minor detail with a person whose main task is not handling events.

Take, for instance, the seemingly small task of booking a venue. I know of several companies who ‘outsource’ this job to e.g. the student help, because she needs work and because the person in charge of the event is way too busy (important?) to do such a mundane task. But how can you ask of the student help that she knows the overall objectives, target groups, and program for the event and in return which venues match this purpose? She might not understand the details and so questions the venues ask in return for her question about availability. And how could she know – it is not her primary responsibility.

Booking a venue for your next event takes a lot of thought. You do not want to book the same place you went the last time…just because it is easy. And the same goes for the catering, printing, transportation, teambuilding, and AV equipment companies.

All aspects of the event should be the responsibility of the meeting planner, who needs to take initial contact with all suppliers in order to be able to make decision along the way. Later in the process, she can ‘outsource’ this task to an associate, because we all know that one meeting planner cannot handle every single detail of an event by herself…even though most of us try J

Who handles your suppliers?

– The picture above shows an alternative meeting room fit for the exactly right meeting: Beach cottage at Bautahøj Kursuscenter outside Frederikssund, Denmark

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