4 Ways to Ensure Meeting Success (Before Your Meeting Even Happens)
June 12, 2018
As a meeting expert and planner, you’re determined to bring as much value to your client or organization as possible. Going through these four steps with your audio visual (AV) partner in the pre-planning phase of your meeting can help you save money and eliminate stresses, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your event.
1: Early Notification
An often overlooked (and free) way to guarantee any success is to notify your audio visual partner about upcoming meetings or events as early as possible. Don’t worry that you might not have a confirmed date or even a venue.
Giving notice to your trusted audio visual partner allows them to help you maximize your AV spend, as well as create consistency. Toward that consistency, even if your AV partner is just holding dates for an unconfirmed meeting, early notice is always helpful in making sure your favorite audio visual techs are available.
2: Conference Calls
If you have a regularly scheduled check-in with your meeting client or planning team, your audio visual partner should be present. You may not think you need them for answers, or think that you are wasting their time in some of these check-ins, but by having them on the call they’ll be able to provide answers and suggestions on how to best use technology to help communicate the message.
Their input could be as simple as sharing the room height in a breakout space. Or the conversation could get a little more technical like collectively talking through how to wirelessly present from a tablet on the main stage. No matter the size and scope of the meeting, true audio visual professionals make it their business to help regardless of how large or small the detail. Including them on your conference calls will only help you, as the meeting planner, make the meetings better and more efficient.
3: Thorough Estimate Review
Unfortunately, many audio visual companies produce estimates that either look like a foreign language or a treasure map. You shouldn’t have to have a degree in cryptography just to be able to understand which equipment is going in a room or what purpose it serves!
After getting an estimate, ask your audio visual partner to go over it with you. Here’s why: It gives you both a chance to make sure you are on the same page with the goals, budget, expectations, and desired outcome of the meeting.
Just to share a little anecdotal example here, we recently had a new client go line by line through an estimate for a big investigator meeting. It was extremely helpful, not only to our meeting planner (as she came to understand our reasoning for putting certain pieces of equipment in a room), but also for us. We got to know her and the organization’s preferences and goals better.
4. Room Diagrams
A clear picture of what your general session, breakout room(s), and exhibition space will look like is VITAL for planning, sight lines, and safety. It can even be the key to generating a new idea or concept in stage design or meeting-attendee experience.
Be sure to ask your audio visual partner to start working on room diagrams as soon as possible. Most of the time they should be done for planning and clarity purposes. Hopefully, this essential part is included at no charge—but it may be a good idea to double-check and see if they charge for revisions or changes. Some do. (We don’t.)
Will Thompson, AP Director of Business Development