Many meeting planners get to go on company sponsored incentive cruises as one of the perks of the job but it is also often the product of the belief that a meeting planner does need to be present for meetings or events to be well executed. Here’s what a meeting planner on a cruise should consider doing to feel and actually be useful:
• Meeting with the concierge/host/hostess and restaurant managers on a frequent basis. It might be worth stopping by and making sure that all is well and that guest requests are being met. In some cases it might be possible to take a small portion of the load off the staff and look like an all-star by fulfilling very complex or complicated requests.
• Distribute promotional material and/or schedules. If there are materials that need to be distributed or messages that need to be sent, then it might pay to get on top of those chores as early and as frequently as possible.
• Ask what else needs to be done. You might be feeling like a fifth wheel, but if you want to be invited back on the next corporate cruise then you probably need to seem as useful and as busy as possible.
• Stay out of sight and out of trouble. If there is truly little to do other than enjoy yourself then do so in a quiet manner and do not stay in any one place too long as it may make you seem as if you have nothing to do. This is certainly not the impression that you want to give.
Tags: All Star, Belief That, Chores, Concierge, Corporate Cruise, Cruise Planners, Fifth Wheel, Frequent Basis, Guest Requests, Hostess, Incentive Cruises, Job, Meeting Planner, Meeting Planners, Out Of Sight, Promotional Material, Quiet Manner, Restaurant Managers, Small Portion, Wheel
Planning meetings can be fun, but it tends to be more fun whenever the meeting is someplace exotic or interesting. What is more interesting than a meeting on a cruise ship? Possibly a meeting on the International Space Station, but at around $20 million a ticket, it is probably better to go with meetings on exotic cruise ships bound for sun drenched destinations. Surprisingly, meetings at sea are not only more affordable than blasting off into low-orbit, but they are often more affordable than meetings held at hotels. Consider the following:
Hotels are forced to compete with many restaurants in terms of quality and offerings. Today’s cruise ships bring the restaurants and hotels with them, reducing the competition and overhead associated with advertising while simultaneously increasing the power buying authority of the vendor.
Safety is job number of all cruise ship employees, while job number two is ensuring that you and your business guests have a great time. This means you get more bang for your buck on a cruise ship than you would with a hotel in virtually any city.
Top quality business meeting rooms and chambers are available on cruise ships, big and small. Most cruise ships have rooms that can be easily converted from theaters to huge meeting rooms to dance floors with relative ease as well as standard meeting rooms. It does not matter how big or small your event is, a cruise ship is perfect!
Tags: Business Guests, Business Meeting Rooms, Chambers, Cruise Ship, Cruise Ships, Fun, Great Time, Hotels, International Space Station, Job, Low Orbit, Meeting At Sea, Meeting Planning, Offerings, Quality Business, Restaurants, Sun, Theaters, Top Quality
While a large portion of a meeting planners job is to actually plan special events and other types of occasions, ensuring the event is executed properly is a vital part of a meeting planner's work. Special events need to be just that – special. They need to be memorable, and they will hopefully leave guests talking about the event for days.
The flawless execution of a special event often requires more effort than does planning. While plans and agendas may look good on paper, translating this plan into an actual event is a bit more complicated. However, when the event goes off without a hitch, everyone will want to know the mastermind behind the event of the season.
Meeting planners may be asked to provide services for special events such as award ceremonies, VIP customer events, motivational speakers, and philanthropic or non-profit events. Meeting planners must be dedicated and committed to designing, producing, and managing various special events.
By providing customers with exceptional service and meticulous planning, meeting planners can expect to have repeat customers. Again, meeting planners should keep in mind that creative and expert planning is not enough. Perfect execution of the plan is what will keep customers coming back for more.
Tags: Agendas, Award Ceremonies, Creative, Customer Events, Events Planners, Exceptional Service, Expert, Flawless Execution, Job, Large Portion, Mastermind, Meeting Planner, Meeting Planners, Motivational Speakers, Non Profit, Occasions, Profit Events, Vip
Corporate meeting planners who are in charge of planning everything from weekly meetings to annual events constantly have a lot on their plate. Because the larger events and conferences are much more time-consuming and are typically the priority as far as planning resources are concerned, it can be easy to put off planning tasks for the weekly meetings, or to simply run out of time when attempting to pull together the larger events.
If the regularly scheduled meetings are check-ins, committee meetings that stick to specific topics or other meetings that are repetitive in nature, that will make your job a bit easier; however, there is still some planning that needs to take place on an ongoing basis and that cannot simply be put in place in the beginning like scheduling the room and equipment for a year of weekly meetings.
In order to keep these weekly or monthly meetings on track while focusing primarily on your larger responsibilities, setting up as much as you can beforehand and scheduling reminders will assist you in making sure you do not forget the tasks you need to complete for each meeting, such as confirming the room reservation, arranging for room set up, organizing the food and drinks, and sending out meeting reminders to the attendees.
Set up your email program, calendar, PDA or your mobile phone to notify you with reminders and you will be able to keep your smaller meetings just as well-organized as your major annual events.
Tags: Attendees, Committee Meetings, Conferences, Corporate Meeting Planners, Events Planners, Food And Drinks, Ins, Job, Mobile Phone, More Time Consuming, Organizing, Pda, Planning Resources, Priority, Program Calendar, Reminders, Room Reservation, Scheduling
Every meeting planner needs a niche. While you are sure to continue getting clients when offering generic meeting planning services, finding a niche or offering something a little different to your clients is the best way to really make a name for yourself and stand out from the masses of meeting planners in the industry.
You may choose to cater to a specific type of corporate clients, to become well-known as a green meeting planner, become famous for your ability to plan exceptional international meetings or become the go-to planner for companies looking for exceptional quality on a budget. Whichever type of niche you choose, specializing is a great way to make your job easier, focus on work that you truly enjoy and increase awareness of your meeting planning services.
When it comes to adding special services to your meeting planning, it could be as simple as offering something inexpensive and easy to organize, such as an opening meditation with a meditation instructor. Meditation instructors are easy to find in just about any meeting destination and can help meeting attendees center themselves before getting down to business.
This is a great way to assist attendees in setting aside outside stresses and refraining from thinking about everything else going on in their lives so that they can focus on the task at hand. This will also improve productivity during the meeting, which will please your client, make the event memorable and make you look even more effective as a planner.
Tags: Additions, Attendees, Budget, Corporate Clients, Focus, Getting Down To Business, International Meetings, Job, Meditation Instructor, Meeting Planner, Meeting Planners, Meeting Planning Services, Niche, Opening Meditation, Organize, Productivity, Stresses
Understanding and respecting cultural differences is an important part of planning successful meetings for diverse clients and companies, and ensuring that you do not commit unnecessary faux pas that could have been avoided. Having a basic understanding of the etiquette used in different cultures, dietary restrictions and preferences, and some of the interesting aspects that make each culture unique will assist you in planning effective, appropriate meetings and will certainly help you make a name for your business as a respectful, culturally-sensitive meeting planning service that goes the extra mile to ensure your events meet your clients’ needs.
Expanding your cultural horizons to broaden your understanding of various cultures will also make your job as a meeting planner easier. While you may not know everything there is to know about a specific diet, a particular rule of etiquette or which days are considered most auspicious for doing business, when you gain at least a basic understanding of different cultures, it will assist you in recognizing the kinds of questions to ask and the information and resources that can help you plan a great event. It also assists you in being respectful of possible cultural differences when communicating with clients and will make finding the resources you need quicker and easier.
Tags: Cultural Differences, Cultural Horizons, Diet, Dietary Restrictions, Different Cultures, Doing Business, Effective Meetings, Etiquette, Extra Mile, Information Resources, Job, Knowledge, Meeting Planner, Meeting Planning, Planning Service
Knowing at least a little about a lot of different topics is important to your success as a meeting planner. You never know when your next client might need food planned around a Hindu diet, may insist on a LEED-certified meeting location, will ask if you can arrange to feng shui the meeting space before their arrival, or will need a space that will accommodate attendees with various disabilities.
If you have taken the time to familiarize yourself with these particulars before you ever have a client in need of them, it will make the planning process much simpler and will allow you come across as knowledgeable and sensitive to their needs.
If you also acquire a basic understanding of the ins and outs of various industries, cultures, diets and more, it will help you communicate better with your diverse clientele and will certainly increase your referrals as folks who have a difficult time finding meeting planners sensitive to their needs will be happy to tell their friends and colleagues how wonderful you are.
While it may seem like it will take a lot of time and effort to increase your knowledge base on multiple fronts, it is well worth the effort. It will make your job easier in the long run and will open the door to an ever-expanding potential client base.
Tags: Attendees, Clientele, Colleagues, Cultures, Diets, Disabilities, Feng Shui, Food Diet, Hindu, Ins And Outs, Job, Knowledge Base, Lot, Meeting Planner, Meeting Planners, Meeting Space, Particulars, Planning Process, Referrals, Success
Blogging is a great way to promote your meeting and event planning business. It is a one of the best ways to get your message out, post by post. You can also announce events, get feedback on past events, and connect with clients and vendors.
Anyone who maintains a blog can tell you that it is not always easy to come up with regular, interesting posts. Many good blogs fall by the wayside for this very reason.
But the importance of blogs should not be ignored. A study from BlogHer, a women's blog network, found that 42 million women in the U.S. alone participate at least weekly in social media of some type. Although Facebook was first on the list, blogs are the second choice with 23 million women visiting blog sites regularly. They tend to spend more "quality" time reading blogs that are relevant to their job and industry.
For bloggers, that's a real opportunity to build a strong readership by developing and maintaining a blog that develops a loyal following.
If you decide to setup a blog for your meeting planning business, here are some tips that may be of help:
Customer trust is built on job performance – yours to be exact. Are you a competent meeting planner? Do you deliver on promises? Are travel arrangements and accommodations precisely what you have led the client to believe they would be?
Your track record is your best asset. Satisfied customers are quick to speak your praises to their peers, but unhappy clients are even faster to cry about their disappointment on a sympathetic shoulder.
If you do not know the answer to a client’s question, find it or find someone who does. Clients are more patient and trusting when they sense your determination to give them the information they need.
It’s been said before but bears repeating, honesty is the best policy. If something goes wrong and you can’t deliver on services, the client needs to hear it from your own mouth and as quickly as possible. Do your best to resolve the situation or come up with a satisfactory plan B and don’t be afraid to enlist the client’s help to brainstorm over the situation. Don’t expect them to come up with a solution, however, a direct approach may make their plans more flexible in the case of disaster.
Trust takes time and energy to build and it’s well worth it. Inspire loyalty and your efforts will be rewarded.
Tags: Customer Trust, Customers Trust, Disappointment, Disaster, Honesty Is The Best Policy, Job, Loyalty, Meeting Planner, Peers, Plan B, Praises, Promises, Satisfied Customers, Travel Accommodations, Travel Arrangements, Unhappy Clients