The six-month lead time modeled here unfortunately is often a luxury nowadays. It can be compressed into three months if need be.
Establish meeting objectives, subjects to be covered, and theme.
Determine who is to attend, including local guests and other VIPs.
Create checklist for all meeting segments and assign responsibility and completion dates.
Select several possible meeting dates and sites.
Contact CVBs, hotels/conference centers, and Web sites.
Check references from planners of recent and comparable meetings and select facility.
Inform potential attendees of date and place of meeting.
Issue media release.
Refine program and agenda.
Select topics and speakers, including AV requirements.
Negotiate and sign facilities, including F&B, meeting room(s)/time of use, other clauses (e.g., , indemnification, etc.).
with airlines, ground transportation, and a destination management company, as necessary.
Order and confirm delivery date of giveaways.
Determine shipping arrangements for materials.
Select photographer, entertainment, and security vendors.
Arrange for on-site office and communications needs, including Internet provider.
Obtain rights and permission for any material that you intend to reproduce.
Arrange airport meet-and-greet, particularly if security clearance and passes are needed.
Copy materials for distribution.
Reconfirm arrangements with all suppliers.
Send attendees information about the meeting, including facilities and location.
Ship materials in numbered boxes or containers to site and confirm acceptance and temporary storage location of materials.
Prepare name badges for all attendees.
Brief staff about on-site responsibilities.
Check inventory of supplies shipped in advance.
Hold a pre-con meeting to review last-minute changes.
Meet with facility accounting staff to confirm procedures for review of charges to master account.
Confirm the information that is to be posted on reader boards.
Provide a list of attendees, highlighting VIPs, to telephone operators. Review procedures with security staff.
Review the rooming list with the front desk and confirm all preregistered attendees; inspect rooms assigned to VIPs and attendees requiring rooms that meet ADA standards.
Check weather reports and review alternate arrival plans; coordinate airport meet-and-greet.
Plan separate post-meeting followups with your own staff and facility, and issue specific gratuities.
Send a thank-you letter to the facility.
Harvey Paul Davidson, CHME, CMP, chairman, Ad Hoc Committee, of Westfield, N.J., contributed to this timeline.