New Year’s resolutions for meeting planners often focus on streamlining processes and finding ways to make events more successful. This year, however, many event planners are also incorporating changes that prioritize the well-being of attendees.
Sales manager Robin Poling recently shared some insight with Cory Falter of the InnSync Show into how meeting planning in 2023 needs to be different.
Here is what she had to say.
Meeting Planning in 2023
Planning a meeting this year may look a little different than in years past. With mental health wellness and hybrid work environments top of mind. Here are a few things to consider.
Get an Early Start on Bookings
Even though most of the uncertainty surrounding in-person events has subsided, it’s important to start planning as soon as possible. This means researching potential venues or locations earlier than usual and proactively contacting vendors for availability and pricing information. Staying ahead of the curve will give you more options when it comes time to book your event.
Robin says, “COVID has impacted everybody and caused many to feel behind. As a result, hotels are booking up fast! Pre-planning and getting dates set early is key to securing the best deals and locations. The window of opportunity for the best deals is 9-24 months.”
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Prioritize Mental Health Wellness
Mental health is becoming increasingly important for meeting planners to consider when planning events. It’s not just about providing healthy food and snacks; it’s also about creating an environment where attendees feel comfortable to take a breather from the day and connect with others.
Robin suggests incorporating opportunities for relaxation and socialization into events to give attendees a break from work-life balance. This may include activities such as yoga classes, guided meditations, or group discussions on stress-reduction techniques.
It is important for meeting planners to prioritize mental health when planning events to create a safe and welcoming environment for all attendees.
Create Opportunities for Networking
With so many folks working remotely these days, you can’t beat having that face-to-face connection.
Robin says, “you may not know your colleagues are as well as you would have when more folks were all in the office. So, getting people together to actually connect one on one is essential.”
Networking is an essential part of any successful event. To encourage people to get to know each other outside the meeting room, try setting up virtual happy hours or hosting small breakout sessions focused on specific topics of interest. You can also provide attendees with a list of questions they can use to start conversations if they’re feeling overwhelmed.
Robin recommends carving out time in any agenda for structured or unstructured networking time because that shows your attendees you’ve got their best interests at heart.
By following these tips, you’ll be able to create a successful event while prioritizing your attendees’ well-being. With a little bit of planning and preparation, you’ll be able to start the New Year off right.