meeting planner

Thursday Buzz: Prevent Meeting Fiascos

Even the best meeting planners will come across these common problems that could lead to disaster. Also: Change up your seating arrangements to get more people engaged.

Have you ever had a meeting speaker cancel at the last minute? Perhaps he or she got an illness or missed a flight. It’s a panic-inducing moment for even the most veteran event planners.

In a recent post, Omnipress’ Big Ideas Blog provides a few recommendations for event-planning disaster scenarios.

To minimize the damage of a missing speaker, be sure to schedule sessions that run concurrently. “If you are presented with a situation where you need to fill an unexpected hole in the schedule, this extra presentation can be moved to fill the gap with minimal disturbance to the rest of the conference,” writes Matt Larson.

A last-minute surge of RSVPs sounds like good news because it means more people will be attending, but unexpected registrations can cause several headaches for event planners who have already ordered printed materials and made deals with vendors. It may be too late for significant vendor changes, so “make sure you order plenty of extra to accommodate the influx of RSVPs that tend to come right before the deadline,” says Larson.

New Ways to Sit

We’re all used to the classroom-style seating in educational settings—whether that be at annual meetings or in-house sessions. But you may be able to keep attendants’ attention and better engage them just by shaking up your seating arrangements.

The Connect blog shares several possible seating arrangements to try at your next meeting.

If you’re hosting an educational session in a large room, try multitiered seating. “The idea is to set up decking within a ballroom,” writes Erin Deinzer. “On each tier, consider large beanbag chairs for people to sit on, alongside trays to hold drinks and snacks.”

To ensure that your attendees pay close attention to your speaker, try silent sessions. “Attendees sit on communal couches while they listen to the presentation through headsets—sans any auditory distraction.”

Other Links of Note

Twitter makes big design changes. According to TechCrunch, the updates are an effort to attract new users.

Digital transformation requires vigilance. CMSWire shares tips for staying ahead of the technology curve.

Could your internal team meetings be more productive? Inc. shares three rules for shorter and more effective meetings.


Raegan Johnson

By Raegan Johnson

Raegan Johnson is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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