7 Strategies for Handling Last Minute Meetings
Have you ever found yourself having to scramble to organize a meeting at the last minute? Wouldn't it be nice that if and when this daunting situation arose, you were well prepared with all necessary information ready at your fingertips? That's why I've developed the following seven survival strategies to help you plan for the inevitable, because you know as well as I, it's going to happen 'someaday.'
Survival Strategy #1. Question the meeting need.
Before you jump into automatic pilot to start your last minute meeting organization, challenge the request. Since deciding to hold a meeting demands serious consideration because of the costs involved, both direct and indirect, double-check the rationale for holding the meeting. Develop a few pertinent questions to ask and find out if a meeting alternative, such as a teleconference would achieve the same results.
Survival Strategy #2. Know the basics.
If the meeting really needs to happen, make sure that you plan for the basics:
- What is the purpose of the meeting?
- Where should it take place - on or off-site?
- When is it scheduled for - date and time?
- What's the meeting agenda?
- Who needs to be invited?
- What refreshments and snacks are needed?
- What specific materials and equipment is needed?
- What travel and hotel arrangements, if any, are necessary?
- What's the meeting budget?
When it comes to budget, remind your boss that good quality, last minute buying and cheap don't usually correlate. The reality is that last minute pricing may well come at a premium.
Survival Strategy #3. Develop checklists.
Checklists should be every meeting planners guardian angel. They're there to help out in time of trouble and avoid unnecessary panic. With the hundreds of pieces that make up the meeting puzzle, the only way to put them together and keep tabs on all the details is with a checklist. Become a checklist fanatic and consider having a checklist for each checklist. Cover all your bases. The more thorough you are, the greater the probability of success, even at the last minute.
Survival Strategy #4. Create a contact list.
When you need something in a hurry who do you call? These are the people who need to make up your contact list. Consider your facility needs, catering, audio-visual, etc. Compile a list with phone including cell phones, fax and email information. Keep this list updated annually as contacts and their information can change. Also include useful website resources as you find them, but remember to check them out beforehand.
Survival Strategy #5. Build relationships.
Don't wait until you need a favor from someone, rather continually find ways to build a "dream team" or support network. Build a contact base of other meeting professionals, suppliers, vendors and angels you can call on at the last minute to help you out. Take time to discuss their strategies and resources for dealing with last minute meetings, and add this information to your "survival kit." Don't forget to include your fellow co-workers who might be willing and able to help out at a moment's notice.
Survival Strategy #6. Develop contingencies.
Because your plans are last minute, the greater the chance of something not working out the way you'd like it to. So what's your backup? If you don't have one, all your original plans could be destroyed in an instant, and you'll be scrambling even more than before to put a second strategy into operation. Have a Plan B ready "in the wings" just in case you need it. Once again, the more thorough you are, the greater the probability of pulling off this miracle.
Survival Strategy #7. Learn to laugh.
Keeping a sense of humor will definitely help prevent you getting mad, angry and frustrated with those disorganized managers who leave things to the last minute and expect you to perform miracles. Learn to laugh at them and yourself to keep a saner perspective on life. If nothing else, remember that laughing is a great survival technique, which is good for your health and will help reduce stress and blood pressure levels.
About The Author
Written by Susan A. Friedmann,CSP, The Tradeshow Coach, Lake Placid, NY, author: "Meeting & Event Planning for Dummies," working with companies to improve their meeting and event success through coaching, consulting and training. Go to www.thetradeshowcoach.com" target="_new">http://www.thetradeshowcoach.com to sign up for a free copy of ExhibitSmart Tips of the Week.
Your Leadership Shopping List
'Tis the season to give. And finding the right gift to give the people on your team can be challenging.
Top 7 Tips For Writing Your Marketing Plan
A lot of people are at a loss when it comes to deciding how to approach the marketing plan process and how to stay within time and budget constraints. To make for a less stressful marketing plan process, keep these 7 tips in mind:Think Strategy First
An overall marketing strategy drives many decisions.
Entrepreneurs - 7 Business Mistakes You Must Avoid
Many mistakes can be made in business and if you are able to avoid some of them by reading and taking note of these warnings, then the time taken to put these together will be worth while. Here are some business mistakes that are common to many entrepreneurs.
7 Tips To Increase The Success Of Your Online Business
1. Outsource what takes you too long to doWhen you don't have time to do something, you either don't do it, or do it faster and make mistakes.
10 Ways to Develop A Free Agent Attitude
Whether you are self employed or you work for someone else, it is useful to have a free agent attitude. The past few years have shown us that working for someone else is temporary at best.
Top 10 Tips on How To Write About Yourself
Many people find it really hard to write for business and marketing purposes about themselves and/or their product or service - much harder than it is to write about someone or something else. If that sounds familiar, read on; in this article professional business writer Suzan St Maur shares her top tips on how to write about yourself and what you do, efficiently and effectively.
Sales Marketing: 10 Tips On How To Promote Yourself And Generate Sales
A lot of people are insecure about buying something
or doing business with strangers.To make people feel comfortable to buy from you or do
business with you, give them a little information about
yourself or business.
10 Steps for Simplifying Business Plan Financial Statements
For most business owners and entrepreneurs, preparing, and communicating the financial statement section of a business plan is like trying to give driving directions to someone who doesn't speak the same language."Numbers" is the language most investors speak.
Top 10 Ways to Start a Business For Less Than $500
We've heard numerous success stories of Internet entrepreneurs like Jeff Bezos, who started Amazon.com from his garage, using cheap plywood to construct desks.
Top Ten Tips for Participating in Online Business Expos
Are you ready for a BASH? Have you ever been a vendor or exhibitor at an expo, craft show or other offline event? Well, when you are a participant in an online bash or online expo - many of the same expo tips apply. Here are the Top Ten essential business expo tips for online events.
Ten Top Performance Management Tips
Talk to Your People Often
By building a great relationship with your people you will bring trust, honesty and information. This gives you a head start in Performance Management of your people.
No More Lists To Remember
Are the endless lists of Top-7's and Top-10's taxing your brain and your memory? Do you ever feel like trying to keep all these ideas straight, let alone apply them properly at the correct moment in time an overwhelming chore? How often do you find yourself having to review these lists? Perhaps endlessly until the next list comes out and then it's back to square one again.Wouldn't you rather live, work and be spontaneously effective, without having to pull out your "how to" lists? Just imagine for a moment beng able to live this way.
Ten Tips to Build a Culture of Inspirational Leadership
Leadership, leadership development and leadership training are "Hot" issues in today's business world. A recent Internet search uncovered over 44 million hits on leadership, over 20 million hits on leadership development and 15.
Advice for New Coaches: 10 Ways to Attract Your First Paying Client and Receive Endless Referrals
Many new coaches struggle to attract their first client. Often, these coaches are so desperate to prove themselves, they'll sacrifice their financial health to coach their first few clients for free.
The Top 10 Reasons Your Staff Wants to Quit
From an employee's perspective, management often conducts itself in ways that make no sense. When the economy is slow, jobs are few and far in between or people are fearful, staff will tolerate management behaviors and policies that are nonsensical (in their eyes) or they judge are harmful.
The Ten Best Kept Secrets For Protecting Your Business Property Against Theft
1. Locks and Padlocks - Locks on all outside entrances and inside security doors should be double cylinder deadbolts with removable collars.
Wealth Building Scams
I have some good news and I have some bad news. First the good news.
The Hidden Power Of Understanding: A Secret To Building Massive Momentum In Your Business
You're busy with your business today, aren't you?You're pushing your mind and body to the limit just about everyday to handle all the activities that need to be done. But something's missing.
7 Online Banking Success Stories
You have seen their ads and you may have wondered if they are worth a second look. What am I talking about? Online banks! Also known as internet banks, these are financial institutions who provide the majority of their banking services over the internet.
10 Incredibly important business basics EVERYONE needs to know BEFORE they start a business!
In my career, I have had a total of 3 businesses myself and a few others where I am in partnerships. Each time you start a business the basics are pretty well the same.