Attention Meeting Planner: What is Dynamic Meeting Planning?
A BRIEF CASE HISTORY
A large pharmaceutical company asked their meeting planner to design an event around a new medical technology they were about to introduce to their sales force. They wanted the event to be a training in the new technology – a celebration of the product itself – a party that would motivate the sales force – and an introduction of the technology to the medical community at large.
When the pharmaceutical company first contacted the meeting planner, they said they wanted to hold a national sales training for a new product introduction. The planner, of course, immediately started to scan her rolodex for more remote “training” centers. Only after a more thorough discussion did the pharmaceutical company realize that they actually wanted to “celebrate” their new product rather than simply “instruct” their sales force. The planner’s selection criteria changed radically from a quiet “training center” in Wisconsin to a large Vegas style venue that would accommodate a 3000 person “celebration”. Enter the concept of “Dynamic Meeting Planning“.
DYNAMIC MEEETING PLANNING
When meetings have multiple objectives, multiple arrangements and serve different groups, however were all messaging ultimately fits together into one cohesive plan – creates the need for dynamic meeting planning. Because there are many moving parts – each part or phase can impact the other at any time and so the meeting planner must prepare to view the plan as a 3D or multi-tiered visual plan and be fluid or “dynamic” enough to change and move the parts as needed, to ensure the success of the entire plan.
Realizing that the plan needed to be multi-faceted and each of these objectives would require a different emphasis and style of arrangements, the meeting planner asked the client’s senior marketing executives to rank their objectives in priority order. After intensive discussion and debate, they came up with the following ranking:
- A celebration surrounding the introduction of their new product.
- A lavish affair to motivate the sales force.
- A training seminar to familiarize the sales force with the new product.
- An introduction of the new product to the at-large medical community.
–>Keep in mind: When planning your next event take this first step. Clearly identify your primary purpose and then rank all your other objectives in order of importance.
DEVELOP A PLAN
Their second objective was to motivate the sales force with a “lavish” affair. This objective sent the planners off on a search for the most robust, creative, and professional caterers they could find. They then went to work to engage A-list name entertainment for both nights at a budgeted, but astronomical cost the pharmaceutical company was happy to pay.
–>Keep in mind: The fundamental purpose of your event will dictate not only the details but also the budget.
WORK ON MULTIPLE LEVELS
Training 3000 sales personnel in one place over one weekend is a logistical challenge that must be carefully planned. One of the planners worked exclusively on scheduling, meeting room set-up, audio visual capability, distribution of printed materials, presenter preparation/scheduling/accommodations, and post training follow up and feedback. The planner tasked with the training element had to coordinate with the celebrationplanners to avoid conflicts in scheduling and accommodations.
–>Keep in mind: Your event objectives will often be varied and sometimes seem conflicting. A professional meeting planner can successfully coordinate and synthesize a variety of objectives.
PRODUCT INTRODUCTION TO THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY
Finally, the planners were tasked with designing a social media campaign, as well as a legacy media campaign, to simultaneously introduce the new technology to the medical community at large. The coordination of this advertising with the lavish event doubled the impact of the introduction on the pharmaceutical sales force because they were greeted by an informed medical community upon their return to their home regions.
IF YOU KNOW WHERE YOU’RE GOING…
Being crystal clear on the purpose of your event from the outset is the most important contribution you can make to the success of your event. Whether it’s training, product sales, incentives, prospecting, or all four, knowing why you want to hold an event makes all the difference in sorting out details and establishing an appropriate budget.
–>Keep in mind: If you send your professional meeting planners off in the right direction, they…WILL PROBABLY GET THERE.