The six-month lead time modeled here unfortunately is often a luxury nowadays. It can be compressed into three months if need be.
Six Months Out
- Establish meeting objectives, subjects to be covered, and theme.
- Determine who is to attend, including local guests and other VIPs, if necessary.
- 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.
Four to Six Months Out - Inform potential attendees of date and place of meeting.
- Issue media release.
- Refine program and agenda.
- Select topics and speakers, including audiovisual requirements.
- Negotiate and sign facilities, including food and beverage, 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 materials shipping arrangements.
- Select photographer, entertainment, and security vendors.
- Arrange for on-site office and communications needs, including Internet provider.
Three Months Out - Obtain rights and permissions for any material that you intend to reproduce.
- Arrange airport meet-and-greet, particularly if security clearance and passes are needed.
Two Months Out - Determine meeting room setups.
- Order necessary signage.
Four to Six Weeks Out - Copy materials for distribution.
- Reconfirm arrangements with all suppliers.
- Send attendees information about the meeting, including facilities and location.
Two Weeks Out - Ship materials in numbered boxes or containers to site and confirm acceptance and temporary storage location of materials.
- Prepare name badges for all attendees.
Three Days Out to Post-Meeting - Brief staff about on-site responsibilities.
- Check inventory of supplies shipped in advance.
- Hold a precon 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 rooming list with 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 follow-ups with your own staff and facility, and issue specific gratuities.
- Send thank you to facility.