We can envision a conference or meeting much in the same way as we may define the gears of a well-oiled machine. Only through the integration of each stakeholder, you can meet the ultimate goals of success and quality attendance. In essence, effective meeting management often revolves around capitalising on the strengths of these individuals. Much like many other best practices regarding management solutions, such a concept is frequently easier said than done. Let us examine how leveraging these strengths will ultimately result in rewarding and effective conference management.
Effective Meeting Management: Appreciating the Roles of Volunteers and Staff
Volunteers are those individuals who are concerned with promotions and relevant subject matter. Some examples of these metrics can include:
- Appreciating current industry trends
- Promoting the upcoming event to the relevant region or demographic
- Providing guidance in terms of protocol and flexibility
On the contrary, staff members are more associated with mission objectives, logistics and the overall decision-making processes. A more in-depth role that requires a discrete knowledge of the client or organisation in question. A Professional Conference Organiser (PCO) falls into this category. Some positions can include in-house staff, upper-level management, marketing and human resources departments.
Related blog: 8 Tips For Your Conference Timeline Outline
The Synergy of Roles
A well-rounded approach to effective meeting management involves bridging the gap between the two aforementioned roles. Keep in mind the several guidelines during this process. Primary variables are:
- Assessing and understanding KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)
- Assigning and clarifying discrete roles to qualified stakeholders
- Building an effective and transparent communications system during the entire project
These disparate areas can be difficult to coordinate. If consistency is lacking across the board, the end result of any meeting management technique will be disappointing. This is where the power of the PCO comes into play. Fostering cross-channel communications and building solid relationships with senior staff over time. These professionals are able to adequately address the needs of multiple conferences and events. The addition of such an expert is also an excellent means to integrate new stakeholders into the team with a minimal amount of disruption.
Any conference is partially defined by the financial outlay. Which is required when compared to the predicted ROI. In other words, a conference that proves to be a fiscal loss can greatly hamper the operations of any organisation. It is also worth mentioning that the very same organisation may be hesitant to hold future events. Potentially limiting growth and networking capabilities.
Managing any budget should be split between the assigned PCO and other decision-makers who have a direct stake in its outcome. It could also be wise to employ the rather objective perspective of the Core PCO to uncover turnkey financial solutions that may not have been observed by in-house staff.
We can see that there is much more than meets the eye in terms of creating and ensuring effective meetings. Some of the main points we have covered include:
- Understanding and defining roles of all stakeholders
- The collaboration between volunteers and staff
- Establishing channels of communication between such roles
- Employing the expertise of a Core PCO
- Taking into account the budgetary concerns (and the projected ROI) of the event itself
These topics can all be quite challenging in order to incorporate the most effective turnkey solutions. We encourage you to take a look at our in-depth ‘White Paper 4: Defining Roles in Meeting Management’ to find out the best strategies to employ at the most appropriate times.
Congrex Switzerland is an internationally operating agency delivering customised solutions. This encompasses the overall organisation of conferences and meetings, including the management of hotel rooms and strategic consultancy. Annually Congrex Switzerland organises approximately 45 events with over 73’000 delegates. Amongst our clients are international associations, governmental organisations and corporations.
If you wish to receive additional information about Congrex Switzerland, please feel free to contact us.