Meetings

Daily Buzz: Upcoming Challenges for Meeting Planners

By / May 15, 2019 (Tatomm/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

This year has been productive for planners. But if current trends are accurate, 2020 will be challenging for the events industry. Also: Set up your board for governing success.

If 2019 has felt like a good year for meeting planners, that’s because it has been: Solid economic growth combined with increased demand for events has created a meetings boom.

But looking ahead to 2020, trouble is brewing. Chris Ryall writes on Skift that the upcoming U.S. election and corporations with tighter wallets may put planners in a place of uncertainty.

“Experienced planners take these challenges in stride, but that doesn’t make it any easier dealing with demanding clients as booking windows shorten and the price of meeting spaces rises,” he says.

Lori Heller, one meeting planner who spoke to Ryall and the president of Toronto-based Heller Productions, says one of the biggest challenges is a smaller planning window.

“Traditionally, events are planned three to six months out, but we’re finding that more often than not events are being planned a month out, which isn’t ideal,” she says. “Venues, resources, and suppliers are limited when planning a month out, as is everyone’s time, which can be challenging to say the least.”

Another challenge: hearing back from venues, especially when combined with shorter planning time.

“Planners no doubt have their work cut out for them,” Ryall says. “Time and budget demands and keeping up with the latest technology and software, how they organize and manage their events, make for challenging times indeed.”

The Key to Productive Board Meetings

Governing a board is no easy feat, but if it’s not done right, it can cost your organization money and cause burnout among staff and volunteers.

“So why do we have so many poorly performing boards out there, especially since so many of them clearly want to be a force for good?” asks Vicki Hawarden on Association Success. “I think it’s simple: Most boards just don’t know how to be a good board, much less a great one. They walk into a boardroom and just follow along with no system or clear expectations.”

To be successful, Hawarden says boards need to define their role and determine their values before getting to work. Once those traits are identified, it all comes down to monitoring.

“The board should monitor the CEO to ensure the board’s expected results are being achieved and its values are respected,” she says. “If a board operates in this way, its meetings will be transformed.”

Other Links of Note

The next big social platform? Spotify. The Buffer blog explains why more and more brands are turning to the streaming giant to get social.

Cellphones can be a big meeting distraction—but also a way to engage attendees, says Smart Meetings.

Improving your team’s work life will lead to better employee retention, says Entrepreneur.

Sophia Conforti

Sophia Conforti is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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