Top 3 Actions to Prepare For Peak Season Meetings

Brad Langley |

GettyImages-160449169Those upcoming busy season dates on your calendar loom closer than you think.

You see, every year, organizers who plan meetings during peak season face the same issue. It’s the challenge of getting clients to make decisions early in the planning process. For third-party planners, January – April is typically busy season.

“But why focus on an event that doesn’t take place till next year?” clients always ask.

The trouble is “next year” rolls around sooner than you imagine. And in today’s marketplace, three major trends make it more important than ever to plan ahead.

  • First, hotel inventory has never been tighter. The meetings industry is thriving, and MPI’s summer 2018 edition of Meetings Outlook forecasts continued growth in 2019. With meeting attendance on the rise, event profs are enlarging their room blocks. The earlier you firm up your numbers, the better your odds of finding “room at the inn.”
  • In this favorable business climate, more events are sprouting up across industries. This is great news for planners. But it makes competition for attendees’ time and money fierce. Best to launch your websites earlier and secure the confirmation counts you need.
  • Finally, the registration process is becoming more intricate and personalized. And for good reason, too. Event profs find tailoring content to each attendee’s interests boosts registration. It also enhances attendee satisfaction and improves marketing post-event. Smart planners identify the right platform and leave time to build robust integrations with other systems, and ensure clients get the biggest bang for their buck.

Add these three trends to an already packed first quarter 2019 meetings calendar, and you’ve got a perfect storm that could batter your plans for exceptional events.

Why put yourself through this turmoil, not to mention the wasted hours and extra costs? Here are three actions you can take now to chart a smooth course for Q1 2019 program success.

1. Create a milestone marker calendar

Craft a well-defined project plan using collaboration tools, so everyone can stay abreast of milestones. Reserve milestone marker appointments on everyone’s calendar now – especially your clients. You’ll focus the team on mission-critical dates and all the tasks everyone must complete to meet event goals. A milestone marker calendar is a great way to prevent “project slide.” That’s the bunching up of vital tasks in December – when your clients are likely to be out of touch for the holidays.

2. Avoid budget overruns

Secure agreements on communication plans and creative assets by October 31. Yes, Halloween is the final deadline for sign-offs. After that, things can get scary with unbudgeted rush charges and printing and design cost overruns.

3. Review and finalize contracts covering event software needs

Halloween is the bewitching hour for Q1 2019 technology contracts, too. Nothing tricky about this. In the lead up to Peak Season, you won’t be the only one who wants to onboard new software tools, conduct training, and get help with registration or mobile app builds. Treat everyone to an easier path by not being last in line when your provider is busiest. Plan ahead and avoid the headaches as well as incremental prime-time fees.

Feel free to share this article with your clients as proof of the importance of taking action now.

The truth is, clients count on you to manage the timelines for efficient program delivery. Getting ahead of the game will build their confidence in your expertise and leave room to correct any unexpected bumps in the road.

Plan early and make this your most successful busy season yet!

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This Post was Written by Brad Langley

Clients and colleagues describe Brad as a visionary leader with endless energy and enthusiasm. He brings all that to Aventri, plus a 30-year track record of exceeding business goals at world-leading incentive and travel companies. Earlier in his...

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