How to Plan a Meeting – Tips from Successful Meeting Planners

Everyone at one point or another has needed to know how to plan a meeting. After coordinating hundreds of Branson meetings we’ve come up with a few simple procedures to follow when planning a meeting. The first thing to realize is that there are many different types of meetings. There are Corporate Meetings, Sales kick-off meetings, Product launches, Board meetings, Creative retreats, Educational summits, Training seminars, Pharmaceutical or medical, Local association, etc. But also some other forms of meetings or events are like conventions, reunions, conferences, etc. So the way to plan a meeting begins with a few simple steps.

  • Step 1: What is the nature of your meeting? Is the meeting for learning purposes, training, informational? This helps the meeting planner (if one is necessary) or yourself (if you plan on doing this alone) to have an idea of how to plan the meeting and what your needs will be pertaining to the place and the meeting necessities.
  • Step 2: Size of group. How many people will be attending this meeting? This automatically gives the planner a specific idea of where and what facility can handle the specific size of meeting being planned.
  • Step 3: Where will the meeting be? Will it be in close proximity of the business place? Will it be in another city, town, country? Based on the location, that is when you have to really get down to the “nitty gritty”. If the meeting is in another country, and the attendees have to travel, how will they get around, will they have to charter a bus, a limousine, will they have to rent their own car? This step is a very tricky one as this is when you can basically know what you will be in charge of for the meeting. Whether you will plan the entire trip for the attendees or whether just plan the meeting and have the attendees take care of their own travel arrangements.
  • Step 4: Date? When will the meeting be held? Can the expected attendees fit this into their schedule? If it is not a required business meeting how important is it for them to come? The unwritten rule for setting dates is: “once it is not mandatory, plan it on weekends or holidays when the attendees are known to be off.” If it is a mandatory business related meeting, well then get the “ok” from the boss or superior and have him set a date which no one can miss.
  • Step 5: Based on the size of the group, the places should be narrowed down. Also, the needs of the meeting should be met. Whether the facility offers the correct Audio and visual aids, or whether they have to rent it out, they have to be able to supply it.
  • Step 5: Food is a major part of any and every meeting. Based on the type of meeting it is and how long it runs, the facility has to offer the correct food, or otherwise be able to cater out.
  • Step 6: After setting a date and finding a place, the confirmation of the correct amount of attendees participating is necessary. This way the facility doesn’t charge you for guests who didn’t attend. Once the exact count is reached at least two weeks before the event, this should be fine with the facility as most places allow changed up until two weeks prior to the event, and in some cases a week. But this keeps everything accurate and everyone on the same page.
  • Step 7: It is always recommended that you do a site visit. If not, at least go to the facility hours before the event is scheduled to make sure the room is set exactly how you want it, equipped exactly how you want it.

These few steps are vital in figuring out how to plan a meeting, no matter size or type. If you have more questions or are interested in hosting Branson meetings of your own, be sure and contact our meeting experts to begin your planning today!

If you’re looking for more meeting planning advice, then look no further!

  • Successful Meeting Planner Tips – Has planning the next company meeting been “delegated” to you? Then don’t miss these tips for the first time meeting planner to get things started!
  • Business Meeting Menus – What’s a business meeting with food? It seems straightforward, but choosing a menu can actually be one of the more stressful parts of setting up a meeting.
  • Successful Team Building – One of the common reasons for a group meeting or retreat is for team building; however without some advance planning team building exercises might be ineffective at best. Get some tips from the meeting planning experts to make your next team building event a success.