About Meeting Planning

What is Corporate Meeting Planning?

A corporate meeting planner is responsible for ensuring the success of corporate events and meetings.  The process is extremely time intensive as it involves the planning and coordination of details from conception to completion. 

Why would we hire a meeting planner?

Organizations often outsource meeting planning for many reasons.  Whatever the reason may be, our primary responsibility is to ensure that our clients are able to obtain the success they desire at the completion of their corporate meeting.  We bring over 30 years of expertise to organize and plan your meeting.   We’ll help you source reputable vendors, negotiate the best value and pricing on your behalf, look for details in your contracts, prepare for crisis and contingencies and we’ll help support your staff during your event.

The Value of Meeting Planning

  • Reinforcing Current Relationships
  • Cultivating New Relationships
  • Fostering Collaboration
  • Recognizing/Honoring Achievements
  • Preparing for the Future/Succession Planning
  • Building Trust
  • Closing More Sales
  • Growing Professionally
  • Driving Revenue
  • Increasing Leads
  • Building Awareness
  • Improving Employee Performance 1,2,3,4

Does Corporate Meeting Planning Deliver a ROI?

According to our client satisfaction surveys and feedback, absolutely.  Industry statistics also confirm that corporate meetings deliver a positive ROI:

  • 97% of executives say that meetings deliver a return on investment.
  • 53% of executives say meetings deliver a great return on investment.
  • 86% of executives say meetings improve the bottom line. 5

How is ROI measured for corporate meetings?

ROI is unique to every organization and will be based upon your overall business goals.  For example:

  • If your business goal is to sell a product or service, your ROI may be a combination of both revenue as well as relationships (such as customer retention and new relationships with meaningful business potential). Therefore your ROI may be measured in terms of sales, revenue growth, referred new business, profitable new business relationships, and so forth.
  • If your business goal is to strengthen your reputation, then your ROI would be based on metrics such as brand awareness, social media reach or engagement, brand sentiment, speed you are able to identify and tap new markets, etc.
  • If your business goal is to educate, train or improve the knowledge of employees, customers or vendors/suppliers then your ROI would be based on factors involving productivity and recall.  For example, how quickly or efficiently can service or sales inquiries be handled?  How much is retained after training is provided within 3 months, 6 months, 12 months? Are sales cycles shortened?  Are there fewer support calls?

Basic FAQs

What’s the average cost of a meeting per attendee?

The cost depends largely upon two factors: the destination as well as the meeting type.  Based upon recent industry data, the range excluding airfare, is between $316 per day (Training/South America) and $720 per day (Meeting with an Incentive/Europe) per participant.6

What destinations are good for corporate meetings?

Meetings can be held virtually anywhere in the world! Global meetings can provide cultural experiences that are unique and exciting.  We also ensure you won’t be flying into any unsafe locations.

Do I need to know the destination where my meeting will be held?

It’s ideal, of course, but Gavel can help identify a suitable location based upon details you provide to us, such as your budget, your desired setting and so forth.

Who are some of your vendor partners such as airlines, hotels, venues, etc.?

Gavel is proud to have established many relationships around the world, but each specific program will depend on your destination.  In most cases, we have relationships with airlines, ground transportation, hotels, unique event venues, local hotspots/tourism/shopping, cultural experiences, other destination partners. 

We have already started our meeting planning internally but need help.  Can we still work with Gavel? 

Absolutely!  Give our sales team a call at 800.544.2835

Virtual and Hybrid Events

What is the difference between a virtual, hybrid and in-person meeting?
Participants of virtual meetings attend using a form of technology such as web conferencing. Hybrid events combine virtual and in-person experiences. Some attendees join using technology and other participants attend onsite. Participants of in-person meetings gather face to face at the same location. Learn more about the differences by reading this article.

Why might my organization consider hosting a virtual or hybrid meeting?
There are several situations in which a virtual or hybrid meeting may be a good option. For example, if circumstances prevent a significant number of people from attending in person, taking the meeting virtual or giving them a choice between in-person and virtual could boost attendance. That said, it is essential to keep in mind that neither virtual nor hybrid meetings offer all of the benefits in-person meetings do. Therefore, they should be supplemental in nature, not a mainstay in meeting rotations.

Why do we need a meeting planner for a virtual or hybrid meeting?
Going the virtual or hybrid route with a meeting does not eliminate the complexities that come with meeting planning. In some ways, these two types of meetings are even more complicated than in-person meetings. Why? First, technology is a huge consideration in and of itself. There are many aspects of technology to consider, including which software is best for the meeting’s purpose, how easy or difficult it is for the average person to use and the level of technical support that comes with it. Second, capturing and retaining attendee engagement is no small feat during a virtual meeting. When participants are in different spaces, especially if some of them are at home, it is easy for them to become distracted. A good meeting planner will know exactly how to address the technology piece of virtual meetings and how to facilitate engagement. They will also address every piece of the meeting to ensure that nothing is overlooked.

How should we go about choosing a virtual meeting platform?
The majority of virtual meeting platforms offer similar features and capabilities, so when deciding on one, it is best to consider what type of experience you want to deliver to attendees for each meeting. Examples include:

  • Basic webinar format
  • The ability to submit payments (if needed or required)
  • Interactive elements such as networking rooms or a virtual exhibit hall

This is one area in which a meeting planner proves valuable. At Gavel International, we work with a variety of virtual meeting platforms. We possess the experience and the knowledge to point you in the right direction.

How Does Gavel International produce a virtual meeting?
We leverage our expertise in production, logistics and industry connections to ensure that every detail is addressed and streamlined and time-tested processes are put in place. Logistics are typically the foundation of our planning approach, but it does not end there. We oversee every crucial area including the following:

Are live or pre-recorded presentations better for virtual and hybrid meetings?
The answer depends on the circumstances. Live presentations convey a sense of spontaneity (even if they are well-rehearsed) and allow attendees to interact with the speaker. Pre-recorded presentations minimize certain risks such as the speaker stumbling or technical glitches occurring during the live-stream.

Will Gavel International assist us with choosing virtual keynote speakers and entertainers?
Absolutely! In fact, assisting clients with finding top-notch, engaging and dependable keynote speakers and entertainers is a service with which we take great pride. Furthermore, we work with talent to set them – and your meeting – up for success. We have a long history of coaching talent to inspire confidence, deliver their presentation with ease and adhere to time limitations.

What is the average turnaround time to produce virtual and hybrid meetings?
It varies. The complexity of a virtual or hybrid meeting dictates the turnaround time. Typically, the higher the level of production, the longer it takes to plan a meeting of this nature. That said, we will go the distance to achieve this goal within your desired timeline.

How much does virtual and hybrid meeting production cost?
The cost of producing a virtual or hybrid meeting depends on how much many elements are involved. Complexity is the ultimate factor here. The more elements involved, the more it typically costs. Contact us for more information.

What does Gavel International bring to the table when it comes to virtual and hybrid meetings?
Our dedicated team focuses on creating, managing and executing innovative meetings, conferences, events and incentive programs that motivate, engage and inspire. As industry veterans devoted to helping our clients succeed, our client services teams commit their unparalleled expertise and resources to every meeting. You will have our support throughout the entire process, from start to finish, of planning and executing your event, whether virtual, in-person or a hybrid of both.

Agency Expertise and Experience

What’s your role as an outsourced meeting planner?

We’re an extension of your staff who is highly skilled and knowledgeable about the meeting and travel incentive industry.  You are still in control of decisions but our job is to listen carefully to your needs, find the best solutions, present them to you and help you make decisions that provide you with the best overall value.  Additionally we want to help save your company time, money and mitigate risks such as those from contracts, contingency planning, crisis, etc. so that you can focus on the other details to ensure your meeting’s success.

Why should I hire an outsourced meeting planner?

Outsourcing to an experienced meeting planning agency can have many benefits such as the following:

  • Buying Power – Having an agency that has established relationships with caterers, audio/visual companies, travel companies, convention centers, airlines, hotels, etc. can provide you with suppliers who are not only affordable but reliable and professional.
  • Industry Knowledge/Expertise – Industry knowledge is one thing, but having the complete set of skills and experience needed to successfully plan and execute a meeting event from start to finish is another. This is why working with a seasoned meeting planning agency can be critical to the creating and completing of an event that not only meets your goals but leaves a positive impression on participants.
  • Staffing Capacity/Capability – If you have limited time and/or staff working with, an outside agency can be extremely helpful to ensure that you are able to concentrate on program content while the agency focuses on the details of program planning, execution and staffing during the event itself.
  • Contracting Process Knowledge – Little details can be costly such as cancellation and attrition. Meeting planning agencies know what to look for in contracts and ensure your interests are protected.
  • Negotiation Expertise – Value and pricing are of key concern during the negotiation process. With the market being a seller’s market, negotiation is a difficult process and experienced meeting planners know what and how to ask for to ensure clients get the best value for the best price.
  • Accountability – Transparency at every stage is more important than ever and having an experienced third-party handling the reporting who is responsible for tracking, reporting and ensuring compliance ensures things go smoothly.
  • Centralized Resource – Instead of juggling multiple points of contact, you have a single, experienced point of contact who handles all the details for you.

Should I outsource my corporate meeting planning or do it in-house?

If you’re on the fence about whether or not to try making a program yourself, consider these guidelines for when to utilize outside help:

  • When you lack buying power
  • When you don’t have the time or staff resources to plan, scout locations, etc.
  • When you don’t have the destination connections necessary for participants to be able to enjoy the full cultural experience
  • When you’re unsure where savings can be made without impacting the event’s quality
  • When you’re inexperienced with risk mitigation
  • When you don’t know what details you’re missing
  • When you’re not experienced with contract clauses and review
  • When you don’t have a crisis plan in case of emergencies
  • When you need extra support services during the event

What value can Gavel bring that we can’t do in-house?

While it’s true that elements of corporate meeting planning can be performed in-house, there are also many downsides to not using a professional meeting planning agency. Here are some of the ways Gavel would make your job easier:

  • Goals and Challenges: Gavel will work closely with you to fully understand your goals and challenges, including the challenges of meeting your attendee goals. In many cases, we understand the target’s ‘desires’ better than our clients, given our experience in the industry.
  • Evaluating and Offering Locations: We have long-term relationships with hundreds of destinations around the world, thanks to our 30+ years of experience. We know how to meet your needs and desires with the place that is right for you. Plus, we’ll always work within your budget, or help create your budget if needed.
  • Unique Activities: We know your program’s success depends on whether you can create a unique and memorable experience for participants. We have highly creative account and program managers who lead our internal team, people who are ‘in-the-know’ about the latest exciting activities and where to find them.
  • Organizing Seamless Communications: Our clients tell us that Gavel excels at organization. Making sure you and your attendees have the information needed, and have easy access to it, is our specialty. You’ll learn about the Gavel Edge proprietary technology system shortly.
  • Achieving Successful Events: We think of every contingency to ensure your meeting is successful. We’re available 24/7 to make sure everything runs smoothly. Since we have ‘seen it all’, we are ready to help you—and chances are, we have a solution. What’s more, our account and program managers are trained in security issues and crisis management, so we’re prepared for any emergencies that could arise.

What separates Gavel from other corporate meeting planners?

Gavel’s greatest strength is its people and its reporting.  First, your account manager is with you from the initial conversation all the way through your program completion.  This ensures that there is continuity in your program and that you always have a single point of communication.  Second, the majority of the team at Gavel has been in the industry for over 10 years, meaning that we’re seasoned professionals.  Your project isn’t being handed off to interns or new hires who are learning while handling your account.  And finally, our reporting data is not just a printout of line items.  We understand the value of properly categorized accounting data.  Your finance and procurement teams will appreciate these reports as it is arranged into the correct spend categories.


 Examples and Outcomes

Who are your clients, and what outcomes have they achieved?

Our clients come from a variety of industries. Regardless of the size or expertise of their business, they’re all looking for the quality and dedication Gavel offers. If you’d like to read some real-world stories and outcomes, head over to our Case Studies page: http://www.gavelintl.com/case-studies/

Do you have any reviews or testimonials?

Yes. Visit our testimonials page here.