There are a lot of meeting planners out there. It isn’t surprising, given the number of meetings occurring around the country every day. However, as is the case with every career, some planners are better than others. They have honed their skills and put in the time and effort necessary to refine their craft. While the road to success can look different from planner to planner, there are nonetheless traits that mark the best of the best. Here’s a list of six marks of a polished meeting planner.
They’re called ‘planners’ with good reason—they deal with future events. There isn’t much that can be left to chance in this line of work. A skilled planner knows the kinds of details that must be worked out preemptively. Meeting planning doesn’t allow for a ‘go with the flow’ type of approach: the sooner a planner settles the details, the better.
While meeting planners deal with the future, there is more to it than that. Adaptability is also essential. Part of planning is recognizing the fact that things will not always turn out as expected. You can do your very best to ensure that your meeting will run smoothly, preemptively preventing any obstacles you can think of, but that isn’t always enough. The best planners will be able to think on their feet, adapting to the needs of the moment.
Meeting planning is not for the unorganized! Planners must be able to coordinate multiple projects at once, keeping track of a plethora of details. Since they interact with many different clients and network connections, they must constantly take notes and record information. A proficient planner can juggle multiple projects without being overwhelmed. Without organizational skills confusion will abound, details will be forgotten, and meetings will be a disaster.
The unpredictable, varied nature of meeting planning often requires long and inconsistent hours. The weeks and days leading up to a big meeting, in particular, require virtually round-the-clock availability. A planner must be committed to their clients, willing to take calls and answer questions whenever they arise.
Communication is a crucial element of meeting planning. The best planners are constantly interacting, whether with clients, suppliers, staff, or prospective clients. Multiple parties need frequent updates, and a good planner knows to be a proactive communicator. Potential meeting attendees, for example, should receive meeting details well in advance. For this to happen, however, the planner must have already established a venue, secured any necessary speakers, etc. This kind of initiative when it comes to communication is one of the marks of the best planners. What’s more, these planners excel in clarity. If they communicate in a way that leaves room for confusion, the inevitable confusion will hinder the meeting’s success. Whether in person, via email, or over the phone, the best planners are clear communicators.
There is more to meeting planning than merely securing details. Sure, that may be the most fundamental element, but polished planners know that creativity sets them apart. This is also part of what makes the job fun. It’s the excitement of finding a venue that will delight attendees, the thrill of finding a unique way to cut costs or give guests a unique experience. Meeting planning should exercise a planner’s creative muscle.
Looking for a polished meeting planner to set up your event? Contact Gavel International for more information.