Meeting, conference, and event planners all deal with challenges and stresses – large and small. CareerCast consistently lists the profession among the top ten most stressful jobs in the U.S., along with the military, police, and firefighters.
We polled a group of career meeting planners to find out what’s keeping them up at night lately, beyond the usual pressures of delighting guests and making deadlines. Safety and security, technology and increased competition for time and attention were highest on the list of challenges that planners face today.
With the right venue and support, planners can meet these stresses head-on.
Safety and Security
Keeping guests safe and planning for disasters is a standard operating procedure in our industry. Planners must have tight plans in place for emergency evacuations in situations related to weather, health emergencies, and (sadly) acts of violence. Working with the venue, you can create tight plans and train your staff well so that everyone can stay calm and ready if the unexpected occurs.
Technology is an essential tool. It makes presentations and experiences come alive and helps facilitate marketing, communications, and guest engagement. But knowing exactly which media to use and having the right equipment on hand for a variety of presenters with a range of devices and expectations adds a level of complexity to planners’ jobs. Cheryl Gentry, a 20-year planner and founder of Glow Global Events suggests some questions that planners should ask themselves. For example, “Is the technology I’m using as efficient as it can be? Is it cost-effective? Are my messages reaching the right people at the right times? Will we have enough Wi-Fi bandwidth once guests show up? In this growing age of concerns about data privacy, is all our communication GDPR-compliant?”
Event planner conferences and organizations and technology service providers can help you stay on top of trends and solutions and match the right tools to your guests’ needs.
Competition and Clutter
Professionals attending meetings and conferences have more choices and personal demands and distractions than ever. Breaking through the clutter and compelling people to show up and remain engaged in your meetings and events requires a higher level of creativity and tenacity. Plus, the growth of online education can give prospects a reason to stay back in their offices or homes rather than learning in-person.
Creating memorable and unique experiences will give your guests a reason to put a hold on their daily routines and travel to your event location. Cathie Kirk, Trade Show Director of the United Inventors Association, stresses the importance of choosing the right speakers, especially those people who will draw crowds and promote the event themselves. Planners have a responsibility to “exceed guests’ expectations, so they’ll refer other people to the event in the future.”
Remember too that meeting and conference attendees need to relax. Choosing a venue and activities that allow them to unplug and even bring their families along can give them a compelling reason to travel to an event or meeting.
Another way to stress less in 2019? Choose venues and partners with deep and broad experience in these “worry zones.” Kalahari Resorts & Conventions is committed to helping partners organize and execute events that enable you to sleep better at night. Please contact us about your next meeting, event, or conference.