When hiring a meeting planner what should you look for? Is there any distinction between a plain-old meeting planner and a professional meeting planner? What can you expect from a meeting and event planner? What exactly do they do? Is someone who can find a venue and arrange air travel good enough? Is a meeting planner just a travel agent?
Over the past thirty years, meeting and event planners have evolved to the status of senior marketing executives. The meeting planner is expected to do much more than book hotel rooms. They are responsible for managing crucial, complex, and costly events for commercial and nonprofit organizations. If major events do not meet their objectives, organizations often fail.
A PROFESSIONAL SKILL SET
Meeting planners achieve the status of professional at Premier Meeting Services only when they have acquired the following skills through advanced education and on the job training.
NEGOTIATOR – Planners can design and execute highly complex events using multiple vendors only after learning how to measure success, create value, ask the right questions, identify common ground, and develop unconventional alternatives on the spot.
STRATEGIST – The professional meeting planner understands the elements needed to create a cohesive and comprehensive business strategy that ties together people, process, and purpose.
PROCESS MANAGER – Understands the basic principles of process improvement and learns how to fail fast and iterate better solutions quickly.
TEAM BUILDER – The planner who has achieved the level of professional at Premier Meeting Services knows how to build cross-functional, global business teams through a continuous improvement process utilizing variance analysis and evolving performance measurements.
HIRE ONLY PROFESSIONALS
When hiring a meeting planner to manage your next event look beyond venue selection, hotel accommodations, and airline tickets to the four skills above. These are the skills that elevate an ordinary meeting planner to a professional meeting planner. They are also the skills that will insure you a successful event.