Sponsored by the Royal Golf Club
As someone who has made it my career to plan business events, I’m the first one to admit that there are an incredible variety of choices facing today’s corporate meeting planners. There are so many unique meeting spaces, locations that offer once-in-a-lifetime experiences, places that are conducive for families (when they’re encouraged to tag along), and places that are known for their incredible food and beverages.
However, what I’ve learned over the years is that what matters most when planning a business meeting is listening closely to determine what those participating in a meeting really need. Because at the end of the day (or the event), your business meeting participants need to leave that meeting with a sense of purpose and an action plan to hit the ground running the very next morning.
Based on my experience, here are five tips that I’d like to offer corporate planners to consider when planning their next event:
1. Focus on the Message – More often than not, C-Suite executives host meetings to convey important information, such as the launch of a new product or service; a significant change, such as an acquisition; or to promote a strategy to reach key milestones in the coming year. When this is the goal, choose a meeting space where you can focus everyone’s attention on the matter at hand, and set out the expectations for the meeting agenda. Be very clear about the action steps that you want participants to take immediately following the meeting.
2. End with a High Note – Have you ever looked at Yelp reviews of restaurants and noticed how many of those reviews focus on the end of the meal, such as when the server brings the check? People naturally are inclined to think about how an event ends, rather than how it begins. So don’t let your event end with a whimper, and don’t let it end with bad news. If you want to motivate people to take action immediately following the meeting, leave them inspired and pump them with the energy they need to follow through.
3. Facilitate Personal Connections – Why do you bring people together? Certainly it’s a lot easier to communicate a message when you have everyone in the same room, but the truth is, people like to connect with one another, and when they do, it creates a spirit of collaboration that will help your business achieve its goals. In your event, create opportunities for people to meet each other. Even cliché ice breakers such as “introduce yourself to the person on your right” are helpful. Remember this rule: people like to hear and see their names – so don’t forget to have nametags ready as they enter, and look for multiple opportunities throughout your event to share names.
4. Focus on Natural Connections – Look for meeting space that allows you to take advantage of natural light and beautiful scenery. The last thing that people want is to be locked in a hotel room or a cavernous hotel banquet hall. Allowing people to connect with the outdoors in a meeting reduces stress and inspires positive thinking.
5. Healthy Fun – In today’s environment, it’s important to create transparent opportunities for all to have fun and connect. Go lighter on the booze and spend more on the food. If you’re going to incorporate an activity, such as a sporting event, go the extra mile to make sure everyone can feel included, and more important, feel confident and empowered. For example, many companies like to include a golf event with their meeting. If that’s a part of your culture, think about offering lessons to employees, and making good equipment available to those who are new to the game. You can never go wrong with bringing out the best in people.
Sponsored by the Royal Golf Club
The Royal Golf Club, located in Lake Elmo, Minn., in the Twin Cities’ East Metro is a new 18-hole championship golf course designed by Arnold Palmer and Annika Sorenstam. The course, located about 25-minutes from Mpls.-St. Paul International Airport, features a newly renovated clubhouse that can accommodate business meetings for up to 300 participants. Meals and appetizers can be customized to your event through Arnie’s, the Club’s on-site restaurant and bar. Our team of experienced business meeting planners will help you create a memorable event that helps your organization fuel the momentum you need to achieve your goals and objectives.