Planning a meeting in New York city can be both exciting and daunting. Exciting, as there is such a large variety of diverse venues as well as a huge amount of exposure to be gained from a successful meeting. Daunting, because the choice of venues and possibilities can seem extremely vast. Choosing the perfect location and venue should be your top priority as most other aspects should then fall into place. Holding a memorable meeting will help to motivate your attendees and you will have another successful project to add to your portfolio. Putting in place effective planning and encouraging effective communication from the beginning between all organizing parties will help to make your meeting planning a success.
The Attributes of a Successful Meeting
What are some of the ways you can ensure that your meeting planning gets off to a good start?
- Think carefully about who your target audience is so that you can personalize the meeting according to their profile
- Choose dates that are not likely to overlap with other events that are of interest to your attendees
- Choose a great location that is easily accessible by public transport
- Consider hiring a caterer for snacks and lunch time as this will give people a great opportunity to network during break times
- Choose a room in your venue with ample space and areas where people can have more intimate meetings
- Choose a room with plenty of outlets for charging devices, good connectivity/wi-fi signal and an audio-visual technician on hand
- Select a credible speaker who is relevant to your audience and if possible, someone who is a also a great entertainer
Steps to Planning a Seamless Meeting in New York
If you have access to an event planning budget, you should consider hiring the help of an expert event planner. Local event planners in New York know the best venues to suit your meeting´s needs. They will also be able to suggest smaller details that will delight the attendees. Either way, consider the following as a guideline for planning your meeting:
- Source a venue that has the above-mentioned facilities. Consider selecting one based on the technology available to clients. Attendees will appreciate a venue equipped with the latest technology and/or gadgets. Also make sure that your venue is close to hotels so that anyone attending from out of town has somewhere close by to stay.
- Let the staff at your chosen venue help you and make as many suggestions as possible so that you know exactly what services and facilities you can avail of. Keep up a good rapport with the staff at the venue. It always helps to be able to ask for their help should anything go wrong in the preparation stages or on the day.
- Have a written agenda that is circulated to your attendees 1 week before the meeting. People like to know what to expect so they can read up on the topic. They also want to know when they can sneak in some extra time to catch up on e-mails, phone calls, etc
- Start advertising your meeting to all potential attendees 3 months in advance if possible. Those who will attend from further away will appreciate an early notification as they will potentially have to book flights, trains and/or accommodation close to the venue. Be sure to remind your attendees about the meeting several times before the actual date. Encouraging people to RSVP will also give you a good indicator as to how many people to prepare for.
- If you are unable to hire an event planner, organize a team of trusted individuals who can help you set up on the day and stay on location for extra back up. Make sure to arrive early with your set up team and allocate enough time for set up and any last-minute changes.
- Plan a running order for the day of the meeting and circulate this amongst the set-up team and those staying to help during the day. This way everyone should know what is coming next and what is expected of them at any given time.
- Check up on everyone throughout the day and make sure that the staff and helpers get enough breaks. And finally, don´t forget to take breaks yourself!
Remember that hundreds of meetings, corporate gatherings and incentives are held each year in New York. Tailoring your meeting to suit the demographic of your attendees should make for a more special experience. Small touches and details will go a long way to making attendees feel comfortable and will make your meeting memorable. At the end of the day, you want your meeting to be remembered for how it made the attendees feel, what interesting people they met there and how it helped them achieve their overall objectives.