2017 brings new levels of remote communications and video technology to the world of professional networking. Believe it or not, this is great news for the meeting professional! Technology makes communication easier, but it does not engender trust on its own. Your advantage here is the ability to take in more information more quickly than ever about your potential attendees, giving you the ability to create a fully customized, personalized experience for them.
Take in some of the New Year’s Resolutions for meeting professionals and use new technologies in your favor.
Facilitate greater initial camaraderie through robust implementation of CRM.
You have more access to data about your meeting participants than ever before with social media, data aggregators and blog posts, and you also have more opportunity than ever to organize this data before the initial meeting. How far ahead of the curve would a bit of CRM put you? Serving as a secondary personal assistant to your attendees and passing along salient information that will lead to more synergy during the meeting will certainly endear you to them.
Use new communications methods to create an effective communications plan between people.
You also have more leverage than ever to get people talking to each other before the initial meeting takes place. Putting appropriate parties in touch with one another, or at least providing that information to both sides as an opt-in service, will create a more efficient process for everyone involved. Check your meeting marketing strategy for all of the major social media platforms so that you will be ready with a plan no matter which channel(s) your attendees choose to communicate through.
Do not overwhelm your members with data.
Having more data does not mean that you need to bombard anyone with information. Participants will appreciate you more for your ability to organize data than to aggregate it. Having more simply gives you a deeper pool of information to choose from. Resolve to drill down into the most salient points to deliver a useful, comprehensive report every time you are in touch with a member.
Resolve to pay yourself well for your value adds.
There is nothing worse than putting in a great deal of administrative work only to have the meeting fall through. You must value the data cultivation that you are bringing to the table; otherwise, your attendees will never respect you. Not every company has to be the value pick, and you should make it clear in your contracts that you are to be paid for each of the services that you provide in a timely manner. Make sure that if you are performing services upfront before the meeting, those bills are settled before the meeting!
Believe it or not, this will help to solidify the meeting itself. People do not like wasting their own money, and so will only agree to your contract if they know for a fact they plan to follow through.
Keep everyone engaged through imaginative meetings.
Give your attendees an experience. Make them remember you. Do not settle for the well-known, fallback plans – dig deeply into location data and features. You may have to do business with a travel agent, or at least pick up a few catalogs from your local AAA office. If you deliver a unique meeting environment, the extra time you spend unearthing the unorthodox will certainly be repaid in spades in the form of repeat business. If you want those jet-setting clients, you have to earn them. Their world is full of adrenaline and fun, which is how business should be done!