Having your meeting start on time, end on time and have everything else simply happen on time is paramount. Here are some things I’ve learned over the past 25 years at Earle Brown to help you execute a punctual and effective meeting.
The first area dealing with timing is on the contract of the facility you are securing. You might not always know how much move-in time you need, but if you can explain to the salesperson what your needs are before your registration opens, they can help you figure out. If you hire an audiovisual company and they need to set up sound, projectors or screens, it can take a couple of hours. If the facility is providing those services for your meeting they should be set before you arrive. On the contract there will be a line for move-in time, event time and move-out time.
Closer to your event, the banquet event order should be completed that will list all the details thereof. You should take another look that the listed move-in time, registration time, event time, food service, event end time and move-out times are listed in this document. Now, depending on the building size, the staff will be scheduled for enough time to open doors, turn on lights, check temperatures and the room sets before anyone arrives.
Here are some other items to consider with timing: if the main contact listed on the event order will be in later than vendors or sponsors, make sure someone else is there to greet them from your staff other than the facility staff. Otherwise they might not spend their money with your organization next time. (I can share many stories of unhappy sponsors deciding to pull their dollars from shows all because of move-in issues.)
Another item to consider is the savings you will get by not going over your contracted time with either early move-in times or late move-out times. Each facility has different policies for extra time outside of your contract. Lastly, a possible money saver is to take only the time you need for your event. If a facility can book another group before or following your meeting, the price for the space will go up or down.
I know these items will help make your next event a success, and if you have any questions or comments please reach out. Or, if you have a story to share from your event on timing I’d love to read it!
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go and tend to the chocolate angel food cake with berries.