Are memories of your last special business occasion troubling you? Are you avoiding events because they take up too much of your time? Think about the last time you hosted a business event. You began with a clear purpose for meeting, the right people were contacted to participate, and the program was carefully structured; but for some reason the occasion did not function as well as you’d hoped.
To sum it up, initial planning went well; but event coordination and logistics were poorly executed.
To be successful, you should assign one individual responsibility for directing the coordination of your events. While you focus on establishing value-added content, your event coordinator (the meeting logistics expert) will focus on the details! You can use a team approach dividing the work among team members, assigning tasks with target due-dates; however, the event coordinator is the one in charge, running the show and keeping an eye on the entire operation.
The selection of an event coordinator is a smart move. Even through you remain involved in the event planning process loop, you will be free to tend to business as usual!
Your event’s ultimate success is directly linked to the coordinator’s ability to pay attention to the details! Your event coordinator will map a strategy utilizing TOP TEN – LOGISTIC STEPS:
1. Determine the best date and time to meet (verify potential dates, times, and schedules; and then communicate with vendors, presenters, attendees and special guests)
2. Select and schedule the best location to meet (consider your budget plus options for on-site, off-site, conference center, private dining room, etc.)
3. Contact and confirm all contracts (including venue, speakers, presenters, entertainment, sponsors, etc.; and communicate frequently with all regarding their role in the upcoming event)
4. Plan and map out the program schedule (including general sessions, meeting rooms, break times, break-out sessions, refreshments, meals, the press room, and other special needs)
5. Coordinate and oversee the selection of a theme, the design, production and distribution printed items (i.e., invitations, agendas, brochures, special materials, and related mailings)
6. Arrange to have essential meeting supplies available on site (i.e., handouts, evaluation forms, flip charts, markers, sticky notes, etc.)
7. Identify each presenter’s equipment needs and establish: Who? Needs What? Where? Then, verify technical infrastructure, accommodations, and arrange for on-site support
8. Verify room lay-out requirements; arrange for support to complete set-up & tear-down
9. Anticipate needs! Arrange for adequate host support available throughout the event.
10. Communicate! Communicate! Communicate! (with vendors, presenters, attendees and guests).
Having this kind of talent (a detail-oriented arranger/organizer/leader) on staff is very expensive for many businesses. If you or someone on your staff do not have the time, ability, and desire to dedicate to focusing on the logistical details required for hosting a successful business event, consider tapping into qualified resources from the Virtual Assistance (VA) industry to assist you. With advances in technology and use of the Internet, business owners can outsource event planning and coordination, as well as many other administrative duties to a VA.
You may wonder, “What is Virtual Assistance?” It is a working method which came about thanks to the Internet and information technology. A practicing professional within the Virtual Assistance industry is called a Virtual Assistant (VA). Typically, VA’s provide administrative, organization, secretarial, special project support and other niche services off-site with the use of the Internet, software, office equipment, and other current technologies. Typically, VAs contract work from their home offices and follow an established Code of Ethics and Confidentiality. VAs work to establish long term associations with their clients and remain invested in your organization’s success.
Two reputable online Virtual Assistant organizations can help you locate a qualified VA with proven event planning skill sets. The Virtual Assistant Networking Association (http://www.vanetworking.com) and the Virtual Assistant Chamber of Commerce (http://www.virtualassistantnetworking.com) each provide potential clients information, VA listings, opportunity to submit an RFP, and answers to many of your questions.
Don’t let the thought of your next business occasion fill you with dread!
When you hire a Virtual Assistant specializing in Event Coordination, you may look forward to hosting your next event with confidence! Ask a VA to pay attention to the details so you don’t have to! Remember your success is in the details!