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Working with a Good Meeting Planner: A Speaker's Viewpoint

Good Meeting Planners

[This article was originally published on our affiliate site PlanYourMeetings.com.]

After 960 presentations at conferences and conventions, I have a fairly good idea of what type of meeting planner is a good client and best to work with. Here are six criteria I look for in choosing a good meeting planner as a client. 

1. DO: Planner Completes My Pre-speech Survey

Don't: A less-than-good meeting planner, even after asking them a couple times, does not get around to completing my pre-speech survey. So I ask if we can cover the Qs during a phone call, and that usually works.

2. DO: Planner Has Accurately Gauged their Audience’s Needs

Don't: A less-than-good meeting planner  offers clues if they have insufficiently gauged audience needs, including not being consistent in what they tell you about the group, or seeking to micro-manage your presentation in the pre-speech stage.

3. DO: Planner Does Not Over-Schedule Their Attendees

Don't: A less-than-good meeting planner over-schedules their attendees, which is evident in the pre-conference schedule or flyer that they’ve posted. If you’re presenting early in the conference, fine. Presenting later, in a too-packed conference, could mean that the audience is in extreme over-drive by the time you say word one.

4. DO: Planner Allows Me Free Reign with Handouts

Don't: A less-than-good meeting planner micro-manages the handouts, which might be evident in the weeks leading up to the engagement, but possibly might only be apparent once on site. Please square up the disposition of the handouts long before you step on the plane.

5. DO: Planner Offers a Good Flyer and Good Write-up

Don't: A less-than-good meeting planner offers a poor flyer and/or poor write-up, which you can discern via this year’s or even last year’s conference announcement and supporting literature. There is not much you can do here, but forewarned is better than nothing.

6. DO: Planner Prearranges the Meeting Room as Requested

Don't: A less-than-good meeting planner ignores the room arrangement request. So you have two options, 1) strive for a solid two-way understanding in advance of how you need the room to be set up, and confirm this early, or 2) arrive extra early in case a major room re-assembly is needed.


About the Author

Jeff Davidson
Jeff Davidson

"The Work-Life Balance Expert" I am a thought leader on work-life balance issues. I have written 59 mainstream books, am an authority on time management and a professional speaker, having made more than 800 presentations to such clients as Kaiser Permanente, IBM, Novo Nordisk, American Express, Lufthansa, Swissotel, Experient, Re/Max, USAA and the World Bank.

I am the author of "Breathing Space," and "Simpler Living." My books the “60-Second Organizer," "60-Second Self-Starter" and "60-Second Innovator" are popular in China, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Russia, Turkey, Italy, Poland, Spain, France and Brazil.