There was a time when organizing a meeting meant gathering a handful of people in an office boardroom. Now, the discipline has become more complex.
“Live events and face-to-face meetings can be a really effective way to showcase your company’s key messages quickly and effectively,” says Jane Baker, Commercial Director for CWT Meetings & Events UK. “When done properly, an event should deliver against predetermined objectives and reflect your brand in order to get the best return on investment (ROI), just as if you are running a sales promotion or advertising campaign.”
However, finding the time to organize meetings and events can sometimes be a challenge given that in smaller companies, one employee may be handling the task as part of their day job.
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“Small to medium-sized businesses (SMEs) are often successful because they have great products and services and they are led and staffed by talented and passionate people,” says Baker. “In the throes of organizing an event, alongside everything else that needs to be managed, it can be useful to work with a meetings and events agency to help keep things on budget, on schedule and on brief.”
A good tip to help balance the workload is to split your meeting requirement from events.
“Meetings are small groups that come together for a one-off to discuss matters that relate to everyday business activity,” says Baker.
Live events can often be trickier to organize, but contrary to popular belief, this does not require a massive budget. “The important thing is to ensure that the event conveys the messages clearly so that the audience takes the desired action,” Baker adds.
When writing an event brief, ensure it clearly outlines your expectations so that a proposal that meets your needs can be designed by your chosen agency. “Be sure to tell them your budget and the parameters you have set around this,” Baker recommends. “When working as part of your team, this allows the agency to fully understand what’s expected and deliver your desired results.”
It is also helpful to ask your agency to manage the payment process by standardizing the management information collected and tracking all spend on your behalf; resulting in one invoice that contains a breakdown of all costs, allowing you to identify trends or opportunities for improvement.
Organizing a meeting or event tends to look quite simple until it comes to doing it – then it becomes apparent exactly how many strands need to be pulled together to run it in a professional fashion and make it a success.
“Our experts at CWT Meetings & Events are available whenever you need them, so they don’t incur an annual salary and there is no HR implication; plus you can gain access to negotiated rates, which can help you achieve savings of up to 25 per cent on published rates,” says Baker.