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Getting on the Same Page with Meeting Planners

7/30/2017 8:37 AM Eastern Last updated at 9/11/2017 12:42 AM
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You know that whether you’re working on a small business meeting or an elaborate big-stage production, technology is an essential component of every event. You can use technology to set the mood, deliver a message, or facilitate personal interaction. But does the client know all that?

InfoComm International’s Live Events Council recently published a technology guide for meeting planners. The guide details 21 tips that a live events professional can share with prospective clients to ensure that the technology brought to bear on a conference, show, or meeting delivers the expected outcomes (#14: Don’t Take Internet Connectivity for Granted).

Wallace Johnson, CTS, the council’s chair and Vice President of Business Development at MertzCrew, talked about getting on the same page with meeting planners.

What makes for good collaboration between a live events AV professional and a meeting planner?

Johnson: Good collaboration is when a client can share their goals and expected outcomes openly with the provider. When they can let their guard down and have an open and honest conversation, the provider can look at things not just from a technical aspect but to understand the project and the goals the client is trying to achieve.

I was working with a client on their annual conference, and there were multiple demographics of their audience base from all parts of the country and around the world, with various age groups, and they shared with us what their goals were and how the technology could help them reach their goals. We came back with multiple ideas, rendering concepts, and budgets to collaborate on taking out or adding various parts and discussing what the impact would be to their goals. Through this, we were able to determine digital signage as the best solution and ways we could help them measure the success of implementing this solution.

With digital signage, they supported various sponsors to get the message out to customers as well as conference branding and content that relayed the theme and messaging of the conference. With the signage, we could talk about how long and what type of content played, whether it was static or video, and what the impact was for their messaging. Based on survey responses they received from attendees, they were able to learn how engaged they were with the content and get feedback on what content they like best. That was one of the many measurable components they captured based on our feedback. The next year they knew the solution was going to be beneficial, and they used the survey to see which direction was going to be more impactful so they could expand and implement more signage at future conferences.

InfoComm’s new Meeting Planners Technology Guide provides advice on how meeting planners can work with live events professionals to enhance their events with technology. Visit infocomm.org/meetingplannerguide to download the guide.

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