One of the major challenges many meeting planners have is to deliver a great conference time and time again. The irony is most planners are risk adverse; I would surmise that once they have a formula that works, they don’t alter it very much.
The problem with little change is there is no portal for fresh ideas.
Below are 5 ways planners are not delivering a difference, as inspired by Jackie Mulligan, a frequent contributor to The Meeting Professional, who recently attended the MPI “Breaking the Rules Conference” in Belgium.
Don’t Have Great Content
Inspirational and fresh content is what attendees are starving for and yet, it is often not delivered time and time again.
Review the presenter’s materials well in advance and demand that they be different. Coach them and help them be successful. Set up your projector rental and microphone rentals so everyone can see and hear their outstanding talk.
Don’t Engage Your Attendees
The days of having attendees come into a dimly lit cold room, sit classroom or theater style, and wait until the bitter end to ask questions are gone.
Attendees want to be engaged with the presenters or facilitators from the get go. If they are not enticed within the first few minutes, chances are they will start checking emails on their smartphones or leave the room to make a phone call.
Hire speakers who are engaging, entertaining and informative.
Don’t Take Any Risks
How many times have you been to a meeting, event or conference and the messaging, setup and trade show floor were the same every year? Some planners don’t want to change the date, time, or anything about the meeting – in fear that attendees will protest about it.
Attendees crave change, as much as they do great content. Try something new each time you meet. Change out conference binder for iPad rentals. Change the seating in the venue to a living room style. Try gamification. You may fail, but at least you tried something new.
Don’t Elicit Feedback
One of the things most organizations don’t do enough of is gather feedback, view it and do something about it. Nowadays, it isn’t enough to use a paper survey and get to the results weeks from now.
Solicit feedback all along the way. Put the app on the rental iPads or ask people to download polling data on their smartphone. Set up a Twitter hashtag, follow comments and answer them. Feedback will make your meeting better and more user-focused.
Don’t Allow for Creative Food Options
Most conferences have their staples – rubber chicken for dinner, coffee and pastries for breakfast and boxed lunches.
Depart from the normal and try something new. Make your largest meal breakfast and at the end of the conference day, end with salad and a walk. Customize your food and drink offerings. Go local and have the local entrees as part of your selection.
“The problem with sticking to traditional formats is that the meeting journey becomes a commute. If we commute the same way all the time, we fail to notice what we are passing, what we see, and we do not think about where we are going,” stated Mulligan.
Give Hartford Technology Rentals a call today at 888-520-5667 or contact them online. Let them be your total technology partner and put their experience to work for you in selecting the right equipment to make your next event a complete success!