Business meetings happen frequently and involve people in various time zones across the globe…
Meeting Planners bring people and places together for a purpose — always with a common objective, goal or an important decision to be made.
The role of the Meeting Planner is to work with a given (and sometimes inflexible timeline) and a complex set of logistics when scheduling important meetings. This planning must be done well in advance to ensure primary business objectives are met.
Looking at a typical executive calendar, appointments, meetings, and travel are scheduled and confirmed in advance. It’s important to get the logistics right the first time and do everything possible not to change it. Making changes can be a logistical nightmare and very costly.
The “devil is in the details”
To give you an idea of what’s involved, typically, a Meeting Planner will collect lots of information before beginning the task of scheduling. For example, the meeting day, time, location and duration are selected (with verified availability) and a placeholder is set on the calendar. The Meeting Planner will help gather a list of the required attendees, ask for a list of possible alternative attendees, get the agenda nailed down along with the collection of presentation materials and other deliverables (with a pre-determined deadline submission).
If travel is required, the Meeting Planner will begin making travel arrangements with the hotel preferences, ground transportation, limousine, registrations, VIP contact list. For international travel, Visa and Passport management is required in advance.
Onsite meetings are scheduled in a conference meeting room (sometimes offsite) based on availability and equipment required. Usually, presentation equipment is needed, and a zoom session or web-ex is scheduled. In most cases, catering is arranged based on specific meal preferences or dietary requirements determined prior to the meeting.
After the Meeting Invitation is sent, the Meeting Planner carefully tracks the rsvp’s and collects all deliverables prior to the meeting. In addition, the meeting room is prepped prior to the meeting and cleaned up after the meeting. Many times, the Meeting Planner will attend the meeting to take notes and record action items and assist with other logistics.