Pre-conference meetings with your staff, the facility and other vendors, are a must. The time to hold such meetings can vary depending on the size of the meeting, your proximity to the site, and the schedule you, the facility and other vendors determine is most convenient. At the latest, the pre-con should be held one day in advance of a meeting. Pre-cons are a time for key staff to meet each other and for last-minute details to be discussed. Even for a meeting of 10 people, a pre-con should be held. Those in attendance may include the property's general manager, the salesperson assigned to the account, convention or conference services manager, catering manager, audiovisual company representative, and others, depending on the site and complexity of the meeting.
POST MEETING FOLLOW-UP
- Hold a post conference meeting with the same people who attended the pre-conference meeting. Evaluate what worked and what did not, review the bills and solicit feedback immediately from the facility.
- Ask your attendees to provide feedback about the program content and format, meeting facility, speakers, meal functions and other special activities.
- Administer evaluations immediately after the meeting while opinions are still fresh and your staff can be present to collect the information. Otherwise, mail surveys or evaluations from the meeting so they are on participants' desks when they return to work.
- Solicit feedback from the meeting "customer." Determine if meeting goals were met, the financial implications of the meeting and steps to be taken to follow up on the results. Consider a more formal measurement tool to measure a meeting's return on investment. Some ways to approach this are:
- Consider unique goals of individual meetings that could be measured.
- Test attendees before and after training sessions to document how much and what was learned.
- Share return on investment (ROI) information with senior management.
- Provide a written report of the meeting for the files and to senior management.
- File contracts for future meetings.
- Write thank-you letters to staff, speakers, hotel staff and other vendors.