By Kathryn Kosmides
Meetings at events can take place pretty much anywhere: hotel suites, coffee shops, trade show booths, and those really drab grey meeting rooms in the back of the expo hall companies pay way too much for.
Regardless of where your meeting is, the most important thing is to create a cohesive, inviting brand experience that your prospects and clients will remember.
Whether your a team of one or an event team of ten, these tips on creating the flawless meeting space are high impact yet easy to implement.
Make It Cozy
Every meeting space, regardless of location, needs to be immediately inviting and warm to your prospects. You want to make them feel comfortable and confident, not unsure and hesitant.
Is the temperature too chilly? Is there water and snacks? A phone charger? Pens and paper?
Event attendees are usually jumbled and in need of something. Take this opportunity to meet their needs, whether that’s a bottle of water or a notebook when they forget theirs.
Which leads to tip number two…
Infuse Your Brand Personality
Meeting rooms are not known for their personality and comfort. Conference rooms are plain and hotel suites can be…awkward. Your marketing team has worked too hard establishing your brand’s identity to have it brought down by boring and uncomfortable meeting spaces.
It can be as simple as adding signage to the hallway, providing branded pens and notebooks or even displaying the brand logo on available screens.
Teams of all sizes can infuse brand personality into meeting spaces - from simple providing signage in the hallway to point them in the right direction, providing branded pens and notebooks, or even just displaying your logo on the television screens.
You can take it to the next level by adding branded decor and food and beverages.
Consider every touch point as an opportunity to create a brand experience that makes everyone feel welcome.
Don’t Let Technology Let You Down
Whether you’re hosting meetings in a suite or in those expo floor rooms, you must be able to efficiently combat any technological letdowns.
This first starts in understanding the specs of the space (i.e. What kind of cords will you need? Do they provide WiFi? etc…) so there are no surprises the day of the event.
The second part of being technologically prepared at meetings at events if by simply making it efficient. Display the WiFi network and password information so all of your prospects and clients can easily access it. Is there a process to logging into it? Have a one-pager ready to explain the process.
Oh, and always have a backup mobile hotspot or other secondary WiFi option just in case the WiFi decides to not cooperate.
Basically, what we’re saying is, don’t take 22 minutes to mute a conference call.
Extra, Extra Read All About It
We’ve all been to the meeting that doesn’t have enough food, water, or what have it and it’s a free for all.
Make sure you always bring more than necessary (or at least know the closest store so you can quickly buy more if you run out).
With SummitSync’s meeting scheduler platform, it’s easy to track which meetings are taking place where and adequately stock your meeting spaces with the right amount of food, beverages, and other necessities.
Oh, and don’t forget to bring extra business cards. Someone one made fun of me for having hundreds on me, but I gave out way more than expected and it paid off to bring a ridiculous amount than not enough.
Don’t Forget to Say Hello
Have you ever walked into an event or meeting space and had no one greet you? You’re just standing there awkwardly waiting for someone to shake your hand and invite you into the space.
Entering the meeting space is the very first impression someone has with your brand. Greet your guests promptly, offer them something to drink, and ask if they need a charger or the WiFi password.
How you greet your clients sets the tone for the entire meeting. Take this time to check in with your attendees and solve any immediate problems. This will set you up for a great rest of your meeting.
As my mother always said, “The job isn’t over until it’s all put away.”
While she was referencing my inability to put my laundry away as a child, this is completely relatable around meetings at events.
What I’m trying to say is, make sure you’re prepared to enter all meeting notes into your CRM before you jump into your next meeting or keynote. If a great meeting happens but it’s never recorded, does it even really count?
While you’re at it, set a reminder to follow-up with them after the event.
Meeting Spaces Can Make or Break Your Event Success
Preparing your space for productive meetings can be as simple or complex as your brand and budget call for. Focus on providing an optimal, comfortable, and on-brand experience and you’re sure to be on your way to making the most out of your next event.