20 details to consider when planning big events

20 details to consider when planning big events How many details do you oversee when planning a major meeting? Hundreds? Thousands? As a meeting professional, you likely deal with most of them effortlessly, which is pretty much required to get everything done as needed.

But with so many pieces to every puzzle, things do — occasionally — fall between the cracks. Your job, of course, is to ensure those situations are kept to an absolute minimum.

With that in mind, here are 20 tips to catch some of those “gotcha” moments before they occur:

1. Considering a “green” venue for your next meeting? Great, but be sure the houselights are fully dimmable. Some energy-efficient lights aren’t.

2. Use headset mics rather than lavalieres for your presenters. When a presenter turns her head while talking (and she will), you’ll still be able to hear her clearly.

3. Senior executives and VIPs often decline the suggestion to rehearse, but always retain time in the schedule for them — just in case.

4. Always conduct at least a portion of your rehearsal at full volume. It’s the only way to ensure your audio will work as planned.

5. Need to change meeting content onsite? Tell the stage manager — always your best bet to disseminate info.

6. While it may seem repetitive and cliché, starting your announcements with “ladies and gentlemen” will get your attendees’ attention.

7. To achieve shake-free camera shots, place stanchions around your video camera platforms to keep attendees at a distance.

8. Never underestimate the power of a surprise ending to enthrall your audience. Then, sit back and let the viral buzz begin.

9. For crucial show communication, build in double redundancy (e.g. Clear-Com, two-way radios, hand signals). Someday, it’ll save you.

10. Always attend rehearsals. It may not be convenient, but you’ll be able to walk away with peace of mind — or you can provide needed advice.

11. Want your big event archived? Hire two videographers and two photographers. That way, if something goes awry with one of them, you’re covered.

12. If you need to use Keynote or PPT, limit each slide to three bullets. It helps with readability, comprehension and engagement (i.e., keeping people awake).

13. Is your client writing a program script? Save time by giving them this simple intro template: “Please welcome the (Title), (Name).”

14. After your client forgets to write the intros as noted above, ask if you may make the changes.

15. Ask a presenter where he plans to walk. Simple question, but if he plans to walk in front of audio speakers, you’ll need to know that.

16. Scouting ballrooms? Make sure the houselights have a remote. Some older properties don’t, which can really hinder an event.

17. Do a sound check with everyone who will be speaking. We’ve seen big burly guys talk like Mike Tyson. Good to know in advance.

18. Always conduct a true dress rehearsal. Don’t wait until the show to discover that your CEO can’t actually change outfits in seven seconds.

19. When syncing any video content to music, know that sync licensing has become a major and expensive factor. Do your homework first.

20. When your event ends, tell the audience it has ended. Even a thanks/goodbye VOG works. Otherwise, they’ll sometimes remain, wondering what’s next.

Follow those tips and watch yourself leap right over the cracks at your next meeting!

About the Author

Bob Glickman

Bob Glickman is the president of Glickman Productions, an Orlando-based event production company that produces corporate events throughout the United States.

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