Tip # 1: Know your requirements
Once you know the type of meeting you will be planning for a high profile client, it’s time to get right down to it and implement the logistics. First, as the primary contact — you need to make sure you set the expectations up front regarding your role and establish solid relationships with the vendors, venues, and other stakeholders. Assigning just one person for this task means there is less chance items will be lost or overlooked when it comes to the important details.
Second, who’s your audience? The purpose of the meeting will likely determine your audience and attendees. For example, if it’s a conference for a particular industry or line of business, you’ll tailor attendee needs based on history of past events. When planning a meeting for high profile clients, it is important to remember that much of the focus will be on their attendance at the meeting and the attendee’s expectations will be higher simply due to this fact.
Tip #2: Determine the event logistics
- Size of your meeting. Get as close as you can in estimating how many people will attend.
- Dietary restrictions: Be clear to your audience as to what this means and plan ahead in order to provide these requests to the caterer or facility.
- Menu preferences
- Room Set up
Tip #3: Choose the right location for a high profile client
Just as in real estate, location, location, location applies to a successful meeting. When planning for a high profile client, security is always a concern and making sure you can make the event private if needed. Do you need a private entrance? Do you need a green room or private meeting space prior to the event? Do you need this room to have water or favorite food/drinks staged? How is the client going to make their entrance? Is this person going to be announced? Are you going to allow photography?
These are all things to consider when selecting the right location for a high profile client.
Tip #4: Pick the facility
Once you’ve chosen the right location, it’s time to choose the right setting. The meeting environment can
mean the difference between a successful, energetic audience and one that’s falling asleep in the chairs.
Take a look at cost and convenience. What is the facility offering and at what price? How do amenities and service compare? What business services will be available to you for computer use, printing, copying,
wireless Internet access? What technology can you infuse into the facility to make the meeting exciting, new and different? The goal is to impress, inspire and create an environment that will leave a lasting impression.
Tip #5: Plan for pre-meeting, day-of and day after logistics
Make sure your facility point person will be available as your contact during the event for last-minute questions and changes. Create and use checklists so nothing is left out during the planning process — and especially during the event, when things get especially hectic. Or better yet, ask the facility if it has a checklist or forms that you can use. Finally, plan for a debriefing with facility staff, planners and your organization to assess the results.
Tip #6: Security
These days security is becoming an even bigger issue in the meeting planning industry. When dealing with a high profile client you need to ask whether this client has their own security. If they do, you need to know what this encompasses and whether additional security is required based on the size and scale of the meeting. Private security is available and in some cases, you may need to work with the Atlanta Police Department to inform them as to who is in town, what the event is and services needed. It is important to make it a team effort. Working with your security team prior to the event and doing a complete walk-through of all of the venue space, entrances and exits, and the run-of-show is important in case any changes need to be made. The entire onsite staff should be vetted and identified to the security. The day of there should be no changes or surprises that security is not aware of.
As example for this particular meeting, our partner Colleen McQuone and McQ1 Meeting and Event Services, LLC Implemented a program with the Prime Minister of the Netherlands and the Minister-President of Flanders for an Economic Trade Mission to Atlanta, GA. She used these 6 tips and more for a successful event.
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