Meeting Planning Checklist

May 30, 2017 - Alana - business, corporate, meetings,

Planning an off-site meeting takes a lot of work and sometimes it can be pretty stressful. Not only do you have to keep up with your everyday tasks at work, but now you have to plan a meeting on top of everything else. We’re here to help you make the planning easy and seamless. At the end of this checklist, you will be fully equipped and ready to plan your next corporate meeting!

1. Purpose of Meeting
     The first thing you will want to do is determine a clear purpose of your meeting. Is it necessary to plan an off-site meeting? What do you want to get out of the meeting?

2. Budget
Once you determined that an of-site meeting is necessary, you will need to determine a budget.  This is one of the most important steps, because this will be crucial information for both you and the venue’s event coordinator. When you create your budget, you will want to consider building an extra 10%  into the budget for any last minute charges that need to be made.

3. Availability
Once you come up with a potential date for the meeting, you need to make sure the venue has availability. You might want to come up with a small list of 1-3 potential venues, just in case your date is not available, and to give yourself more options.

4. Site tour
Now you will want to take a physical tour of the venue(s) that has your date available. The site tour is very important because you want to make sure the space can accommodate for not only the size of your meeting, but also any audio-visual capabilities, outdoor space, breakout rooms, or any other type of specifications you will need.

5. Food and Beverage Quote
On your site tour, you will have the opportunity to take a look at the catering options (if you haven’t done so already). Now is the time your predetermined budget will come into play. When selecting menu items, you will want to keep in mind your attendees, the season, the time of the meeting, and the type of meeting. The event coordinator should help steer you in the right direction with all of these decisions, while keeping your budget in mind.

6. Book Willow Tree Grove
Uh, um… We mean book the venue that works for you. This usually entails signing a contract and putting down a deposit. Make sure you talk through the details of your event to the venue’s event coordinator. Make sure all information is clear so that both parties are on the same page, and so there are no surprises along the way.

7. Agenda
Now that your venue and menu are selected, you will want to start putting together a clear and detailed agenda for your meeting. Think back to your initial purpose of holding the meeting. Account for speakers and the message each of them will speak about. Also account for the time it will take to get through each topic. You will want to keep your presentation as interesting as possible to maintain the attention of your audience. Once you have all the details mapped out, it is important that you meet with your event coordinator to discuss the timeline of your meeting. What time is someone arriving to set up? What time are guests arriving? What time is food being served? What time are you taking a break? What type of audiovisual capabilities are you using? All of these details are key to planning and executing a successful event.

8. RSVP’s
The next step is to inform everyone about the meeting. RSVP’s are extremely important so the venue can accommodate for the proper amount of seating and catering. You can obtain RSVP’s by a simple e-mail, or  you can create a formal or online invitation. Each venue is different, but you will want to make sure you are clear on the date to submit the final count.

9. Supplies
As the meeting approaches, make sure you have a checklist and/or an empty box or bag to gather all materials needed for your meeting. This includes items such as a laptop (with the presentation on it or on a flash drive), marketing materials, name tags, or anything you can think of that you will need, that the venue is not providing.

10. Go Get ‘Em!
It’s the day of the meeting and all the planning is done! Relax, take a deep breath and enjoy the success of a well planned meeting.