Dana’s Meeting Minutes is based on the Meeting Planning Triangle. Click here for a link.
Meeting success requires writing, not just thinking about, why you’re planning your meeting.
These, of course, are your objectives and they serve two purposes to:
1. Tell you what to plan.
2. Tell you what not to plan.
Number 2 might be surprising, but objectives provide you with a great way to keep you (and those over-zealous volunteers!) from straying into the Meeting Planning Vortex. (see my definition; click here)
Write objectives that address stakeholders, the association and the industry.
Consider all the reasons you’re planning your meeting from making $xx (be specific) to creating a place where industry professionals can laugh together. Yes, that can be an objective if that is really your goal. Consider how your meeting benefits the industry and various stakeholders to help focus your thoughts. Also consider how your budget might influence your objectives.
Write objectives for every meeting, even the oldies, but goodies.
Writing objectives for a repeat meeting, the 132nd Annual, for example, might seem unnecessary. You’re having the meeting because the association has had one for the past 131 years for heaven’s sake! That meeting needs written objectives just as much as a new meeting does.
Just say NO to projects, tasks and other distractions that do not fulfill the objectives.
When someone wants you to “just do one more ______ (fill in the blank),” blame those objectives, just say NO and remind them why you must stick with fulfilling objectives.
ONE AWESOME IDEA
Do it yourself to get it done quickly.
Instead of asking your planning committee to write the objectives, you write at least three and ask them to fine-tune them. You probably know them better than they do anyway and it will save you lots of time.
To learn exactly how to write objectives, check out a blog by Courtney Muehlmeier of TEAMINGS Successful Meetings.
Information disclaimer: WANT MORE? references do not imply an endorsement for any company, product, or service.
Dana L. Saal, CMP, CAE, has been planning meetings for associations for more than 30 years. She recently decided that coaching meeting planners is now more fun than proofing BEOs, counting coffee cups and writing scripts. If you think a bit of coaching could improve your meeting, send a message via her website!