Over the past couple of years, economic conditions and the state of the business world have created a corporate culture for many companies where a fun and relaxed atmosphere was “outlawed”. Any resemblances of fun or enjoyment were viewed as lack of focus or dedication. In the end, employee morale suffered and stress levels rose to new heights.
More and more, research is proving that FUN can actually be a good thing for the overall health of a company. As Maureen McKeon quotes in her article How to get from good to great – the shocking truth, “an increasing body of research demonstrates that when leaders lighten up and create a fun workplace, there is a significant increase in the level of employee trust, creativity and communication — leading to lower turnover, higher morale and a stronger bottom line.”
For event and meeting planners, fun translates into greater participation and increased overall satisfaction from attendees. After all, who wants to sit all day in a cold, sterile meeting room listening to one monotonous session after another then lunching on the infamous rubber chicken? Instead, try spicing things up with exotic locations, fine dining, and a bevy of recreational activities to keep the “juices flowing”. Hosting a corporate function on a cruise ship might just be an ideal, economic way to inject FUN into a stale program and create excitement before it even begins.
It’s time to put the fun back in FUNction and remember…nobody ever complains when they’re having a good time!
Tags: Bevy, Business World, Corporate Culture, Cruise Ship, Dirty Word, Economic Conditions, Employee Morale, Employee Trust, Fine Dining, Having A Good Time, Juices, Mckeon, Mdash, Meeting Planners, Meeting Room, Recreational Activities, Relaxed Atmosphere, Rubber Chicken, Shocking Truth, Stress Levels
Meeting planners are in extremely high demand by companies that are just starting to learn that there is a lot more to planning events and meetings than they thought. The fact that so many companies are in a position where they need to step up to the plate or pack their bags and shut the doors has proven to be extremely beneficial to meeting planners. The demand for meeting planners continues to increase and salary is climbing as a result of the skewed demand and the relatively slow uptake in supply.
For this reason alone it would seem very likely that meeting planner salaries will continue to increase over the next few years. This does not mean that the job will be getting easier. In fact, it could very well signal an increase in non-planning related tasks and possibly a fusion with other job descriptions such as office manager and/or secretary. Larger companies are likely to have more need for dedicated and excellent meeting planners and thus it would seem likely that the competition in the high end will continue to drive salaries up.
This also means that the disparity between the highest and lowest pair meeting planners will probably grow over the next decade, with corporate meeting planners in big cities seeing the largest increases while meeting planners in smaller businesses will probably experience the smallest increase in overall salary.
Companies are having to face the harsh reality that they are not viewed so much on the merits of their products and/or services as they are viewed on their public image. A large part of any company’s public image can be clearly seen in how it presents itself and where it presents itself.
Take arch-rivals Apple and Microsoft, and look at their meeting venues to see what they say about them; Apple is hip and almost uniformly presents in California these days, while Microsoft is all over the globe trying to play catch up. Why is Microsoft playing catch up to a smaller company in terms of PR? In part it is because of where the company’s hold their public events.
Here is what you need to know about how people view different kinds of destinations:
Tags: Apple, Arch Rivals, Budget, Cities In Europe, Different Kinds, European Cities, Globe, Hard Core, Harsh Reality, Major Cities, Merits, Microsoft, Midwest, Nonsense, Northwest, Personality, Public Image, Smaller Company, Sophistication, Vibe
Meetings have traditionally been held at hotels, conference centers, and other land-based public venues, but all of that is changing. The new way to host meetings and major events is to do at sea on a luxury cruise ship. Why? Because of the ABCs of meetings at sea:
These floating resorts offer all sorts of options to make your cruise a truly unique and wonderful experience.
There was an ‘s’ at the end of ABCs, and it is small for a reason. That small s stands for savings, and the fact that you will actually save a modest amount of money by opting to have a meeting at sea instead of having it in a hotel with a conference room. No more caterers, no more booking a night club for a serious mixer, no more DJs to worry about. All you will have to do is determine where to invest those savings.
Tags: Abcs, All Sorts, Amount Of Money, Breathtaking Views, Cruise Ships, Customer Service, Gorgeous Island, Host Meetings, Hotels, Island Paradise, Luxury Cruise Ship, Meeting At Sea, Mixer, Next Morning, Night Club, Open Waters, Public Venues, Rsquo, Travel Industry, Unparalleled Commitment
Companies do not have to ensure that all meetings and events are completely bland and uninteresting, even if that does have a certain old-guard appeal. Instead, consider the possibility that meetings can have elements of a party and that events could be given a theme to follow. The following ideas are not necessarily appropriate for all businesses at all times, but they may just make the daily grind a little less stressful for some:
• Holidays can be fun – Holidays can be fun, but do not go overboard. Not everyone seems to agree that celebrating holidays is fun, and some people seem more interested in complaining about cultural and religious influences than they do on having a good time. Colored napkins and other basic items that lack iconography could be appropriate and thematic.
• Colors for other purposes – There are many different non-holiday applications for colors as well. Colors can be chosen by departments or as part of promotions, and placing those colors everywhere can help build a sense of visual continuity.
• Events – Remember to take a break from the norm and relax a little bit. Some companies have discovered that short rest periods built into meetings or other events actually improve productivity instead of taking away from productivity as one might normally assume.
Tags: Applications, Break, Colors, Continuity, Elements, Fun People, Having A Good Time, Holidays, Little Bit, Meetings And Events, Napkins, Norm, Productivity, Promotions, Relax, Relaxation, Religious Influences, Rest Periods, Themed Events
If you have been looking at cruise meetings as an alternative that is not cost-effective, then you may be missing out on some of the math. Here is how you should be looking at the whole picture: even if your company does not pay for the meals and entertainment of participants at a meeting or event, then someone else might. IF given the choice between a cost effective cruise or a compensated hotel with continental breakfast, which would you choose? That’s right, you’d go with the cruise ship, and that is exactly what other people would do 9 out of 10 times.
When you consider all that cruise ships offer, they are truly a bargain destination for meetings. Those that look only at hotels and conference centers might forget this, and may be completely insensitive to the fact that they are actually costing their customers, partners, clients, suppliers, colleagues, or even branch offices to incur expenses simply to participate. This might be the cause of barriers to successful events and productive meetings, so be sure to evaluate your strategy carefully in this regard.
Also remember that cruise events are typically cost effective when measured against landlocked alternatives. The all-inclusive prices can often be lowered when booking multiple cabins, and there are plenty of compensated bonuses to be had. These bonuses, such as a massage in the spa, can be used as incentives to further enhance the profitability and success of a cruise.
Tags: 9 Out Of 10, Bargain, Colleagues, Continental Breakfast, Cruise Events, Cruise Ship, Cruise Ships, Hotels, Incentives, Massage, Math, Participants, Productive Meetings, Profitability, Regard, Spa, Success
If you are a meeting/event planner that needs to have a way to perform a self-evaluation, consider the following points:
• Don’t look at success – The success of a meeting can, and probably will, be claimed by other parties. When an event or meeting does not go as planned, the onus of responsibility tends to land on the shoulders of meeting planner. This is certainly unfair, so look at the matter analytically and discover why some things and other things do not.
• Don’t look only for failures – It is easy to think that it is easier to learn from failures than success, but this is not necessarily true. Learn from everything you can.
• Create checklists – Create checklists and try to quantify the steps to what your organization considers to be a great meeting. Isolate those factors that you can control, and focus on those. Keep records in case the blame starts to roll downhill in an unfair manner, but be wary of pointing fingers uphill.
• Compare notes – Ask others for honest feedback and ideas for improvement. Remember that doing a good job is less important than finding subtle ways to remind others that you do a good job. Show your professionalism by looking for ways to improve your performance and add to your job-related skills.
Knowing how you stack up in these ways can help you negotiate raises and bonuses more effectively.