Professional Meeting Planners: Successful Meeting Planning


Meeting Planning Consultations

Consulting is the process in which someone offers their knowledge and expertise within a particular industry. Meeting Planning Consultants are experienced in the inception, planning, managing and execution of meetings, events, conferences and trade shows, just to name a few.  They are an extension of your vision and are hired to carry out the specifications of your meeting requirments.

How to Hire A Meeting Planning Consultant

The overall process is pretty straight forward:

  1. Find prospective meeting planning consultants from web searches, colleagues, meeting planning networks, or other typical search methods. As the operators of one of the largest meeting planning networks, GCG Event Partners, can consult directly with you as a paid service, confer with you as a free service in hopes of securing your business in the future, or can refer you directly to one of several meeting planners provided within their network.
  2. Interview prospective meeting planning consultants. Your interview should include open-ended questions that provide insight into the consultant's professional experience and how that qualifies them to manage your meeting or event. Allow the meeting planner to offer suggestions and ideas about how to accomplish the goals you have set for your meeting. Utilize their working knowlege of what makes for a successful meeting.  In the end, what you want in a meeting planning consultant is simple. You want someone who's expertise and skill set are compatable with your meeting needs. A sure way to see someone's experience as related to meeting planning it to carefully review their working resume. Look for meeting planning experience as directly related to what your needs are.  Have they worked in your particular industry in the past?  Have they planned meetings of your size before?  Are they capable of working with food and beverage and audio visual services?  Are they capable of staying within the perameters of a definitive budget?  The list of considerations is long, but your advance research will provide the desired rewards you want.
  3. Compare quotes, pricing, and experience. As a consumer of consulting services, what you are essentially buying is expert advice. Inquire as to whether or not the consultant has direct experience in the area in which you are considering hiring her for. If for example, you are looking for advice on site selection contract negotiation, you want to ensure that the prospective consultant has in-depth of knowledge in that area. Once you have created your short list of two or three candidates, you 're ready to move on to the next step. If you're having difficulty selecting prospective candidates, you probably didn't collect enough information during the interview process.  Go back to your initial list and interview your prospects again, spending more time discussing your meeting needs with them.
  4. Check those references!  It is not enough to just collect references... call on them.  References are your window into the work experience and qualifications of the person you are considering for hire.  People are generally very receptive to sharing information about consultants because they realize a consultant is only as good as the solid reputation they have built within the industry they specialize in.  Some questions to consider asking are, "When and what type of meeting/event did they work on?", "What were their strengths and weakness as related to meeting management?",  "What was their impression of the consultant?", "Did the consultant fulfill the specifics of your meeting planning needs?",  "Would they recommend the consultant to someone else for meeting planning consulting services and why?"
  5. Choose your Meeting Planner and define the terms of your expectations.  Be specific about the details of your meeting planning needs.  Talk about your method and the frequenecy in which you will communicate with each other.  Discuss you what are going to delegate to the meeting planning consultant and what you may still want to be involved in.  Consider yourself partners who's goal is the same; a successful event.

What a Meeting Planning Consultant Can Do For You

A meeting planning consultant is your link to a well established industry in which you may have some knowledge of, or you may have no direct experience in.  Consider the consultant a team member who is working on your behalf with the strategies you have carefully laid out for them.  Professional Meeting Planners are proven industry experts who can provide consultation services in conjunction with members of our network, GCG Event Partners, who are also industry leaders in providing consultation services. The two main areas in which we provide consulting services are:

  • General Consultation and Meeting Design - We act as your industry expert and connection to other industry resources. You decide how to best utilize our expertise. You control and manage your meeting or event.  We can consult with you on:
    • Timeline and goal setting
    • Floor plan /room configuration and traffic flow design
    • Speaker and evaluation planning and reviewing
    • Reviewing meeting agenda templates
    • Vendor Selection and Management
  • Budget Planning & Projections -Developing a meeting budget can encompass the entire meeting or just specific areas of a meeting. When necessary, several different scenarios can be created to explore income and expense variations to aid in decision-making.
    • We meet with you to understand your meeting requirements.
    • An initial budget is created based on your specifications.
    • We review the initial budget with you and adjust it based on your input.
    • A final budget is produced; detailing both projected income as well as fixed and variable expense projections.

Need more information?

We're here to help. Please contact our offices using our contact form or call us directly at 1-800-378-6857 to get more information.


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