It’s an exciting time for events, but meeting planners are facing new challenges. Industry research finds that inflation is up, labor availability is down, and many of planners’ trusted vendor partners closed during the pandemic. Many events now require a virtual or hybrid element, adding budget and planning hours. Many planners are stretching their skills to do more with less.
That’s why some planning teams have a secret weapon to manage this new reality: A flexible, scalable meeting planning partner who plugs in only when and where needed. This helps internal meeting planning teams stay lean while meeting today’s demands.
For example, many of our clients already have their own in-house team of all-star meeting planners. We fit it into their workload like a puzzle piece, handling just what they need, at just the right time. Here are four ways a meeting planning company can help you increase your internal capacity and productivity in ways you may not have realized.
Offload Internal Events
Sometimes your internal planning team needs to hone in on revenue generating events. This was the case with one of our recent clients who needed to offload an internal event that was happening at 15 (!!) locations simultaneously across the globe in less than a month. The event was a pop-up SKO, which was originally planned to be virtual but they decided at the last minute to make it in person. This type of complex event requires immense planning and coordination — but the team’s priority needed to stay on customer-facing, revenue generating events.
In this case, their team did the venue sourcing, and then handed the rest of the planning of the high-stakes, internal meeting over to us. They stayed laser focused on their most revenue generating events, while giving the high-stakes internal event the attention it still deserved.
This can be another way to supercharge your team’s productivity: focus on the strategic elements you know you want to finalize, before turning more of the bulk planning over to your partner.
Manage Seasonality Spikes
Event and meeting planning has always been a profession that has busy times based on seasonality. But these spikes are likely to grow more intense as events become more concentrated in the spring and fall, as 20% of planners responded in a recent industry survey they were planning to move their events out of winter months due to COVID concerns, while another 20% said they were “maybe” considering it.
Many of our clients hire us to take on some key planning responsibilities during their busiest times. This allows the planning team to stay lean, while being able to scale up during key moments of the year.
Research has found event professionals’ mental health has suffered these last two years — and the busy seasons of intense pressure no doubt contribute to widespread burnout and stress. Hiring a team to manage seasonality helps our clients execute more successful events, grow their event portfolios, and protect the limits of capacity.
A networking reception we planned in California for our client’s annual event.
Fill In for a Planner on Leave
Babies don’t work around the schedule of your event portfolio! But just because one of the planners on your team is on maternity, paternity, or any other kind of leave doesn’t mean your events have to come to a standstill.
We recently plugged in to help one of our clients in this exact scenario. Their annual awards dinner and gala was their biggest event of the year, and it was back in-person in California for the first time since the pandemic. The event included morning board meetings, a reception, and the gala with presentations and fireside chats. We provided all the AV for the event, as well as comprehensive meeting planning — everything from attendee communication, safety planning, sponsor management, and so much more — from the overall strategy and agenda down to the ice sculptures.
We’ve worked with this client previously for the audio visual aspects of their events, and by collaborating with them, we were able to take on more comprehensive planning to help their team.
Meeting Tomorrow planner Joey managing registration at our client’s event in Chicago.
Add a Temporary Meeting Planning Team
Of course, some companies or associations may not have an internal meeting planning team at all, and planning responsibilities fall within another (already busy!) department. In these cases, some of our clients choose to give us the entire planning process from start to finish for specific events.
This was the case for a recent client of ours, whose annual event took place in Chicago’s gorgeous Old Post Office building. The event featured meetings, high-profile speakers, a networking reception, a book signing, and more. While we kept our client in the loop on all key decisions, we took the planning of their plate so they could focus on their other business priorities.
Are you looking for a meeting planning company to support your team? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us!