Leslie Anderton knows all about the pressures of putting together a memorable meeting. As Director of Catering and Conference Services at the Eaton Chelsea - Canada's largest hotel - Anderton has helped hundreds of planners put together successful meetings.
1. Know your event space – this will dictate what you can do and what you can’t do. Different venues have different rules.
2. Know your event team - schedule meetings with various team members at the venue to build relationships with the people that will be working at the event.
3. The venue team is the expert for their space therefore ask them for their ideas on how to make your event more memorable.
4. Understand how to guarantee guest attendance to stay in line with your budget. Keep a history of your attendance for all events since there will always be a no-show factor.
5. Apply sustainability principles to your meeting - inquire about filtered water vs. bottled water, encourage carpooling.
6. Do your research and shop around for 3 party vendors, such as florist or audio visual suppliers to ensure you are getting the best price.
7. Use feedback surveys with delegates which will allow them to have a say in what worked and what didn’t, so you can introduce new and innovative ideas at the next event.
8. Know what rewards are available to you to increase the value of the contact. You may be able to host a smaller meeting for the points earned from a large conference.
9. Ensure that your venue contact is aware of who are the VIPs and be sure to ask that they are well looked after.
10. Take advantage of online social media during the conference to encourage instant feedback and discussion. Have your event Twitter page up on screen in the event area.
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