An Event Planner That Goes Beyond Needs

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses,
and we wanted to invest the car.”  (Henry Ford)


A select list of event planners seem to be able to raise the bar at every event they create. They take modest budgets, mundane trainings, repetitive conferences, and mandatory annual meetings and turn them into memorable events that inspire and motivate long after the event has folded its tent. How do they do it? What separates their efforts from the run-of-the-mill meeting or training that leaves attendees glancing at their watches and texting their fantasy football group?


They understand and practice the first rule of great event planning:  Go beyond NEEDS to Satisfy WANTS
It is not enough to simply rent rooms in a clean, convenient hotel, instruct the kitchen when to feed the attendees, provide free cable, and have your training manager give the keynote. Your event will lack sparkle and your attendees will shuffle from the grand ballroom to the breakout rooms with that “been here, done this” glaze in their eyes. Great event planning requires an intuitive understanding of the wants beyond the needs of the organizer and the attendees.


Every professional meeting planner can book hotel rooms and arrange transportation to and from the airport. The exceptional meeting planner allows his/her intuition to scan the objectives of both the organizer and attendees to create event features that satisfy the wants that lurk beyond the checklist of everything that must be done to make the meeting a success.


A recent incentive trip to San Francisco was awarded to the top six regional sales managers of a hardware manufacturer in Tennessee. The planner filled the three night/four day stay with accommodations at the St. Francis, dinners at Kokkari Estiatorio, Gary Danko, and The French Laundry, a tour of Napa Valley wineries, a night out in Marin county, visits to both Google and Apple headquarters, and an immersive trip to Alcatraz.

When the winners returned to company headquarters they bragged about what a wonderful trip they had. During the festivities, however, the planner overheard them saying that their only regret was not getting to play golf at Pebble Beach. That had always been on their bucket list.

She realized immediately that although she had certainly checked off all the mandatory San Francisco vacation highlights, she had not satisfied their wants. She had failed to interview them before finalizing the trip agenda and had missed the one thing that they had always wanted to do.


When asked what makes Premier Meeting Services different from all other meeting planners, I always answer that we have developed the intuitive skills required to always Go Beyond Needs.
Our job is not over when our comprehensive planning checklist is complete. At that point, we begin to analyze the unrealized wants of both the organizer and the attendees. This process is the magic that makes every incentive trip and training meeting we organize an experience our clients remember and yearn to repeat.

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