Time is precious, time is money. So it goes. I suppose that is true for everyone, but for meeting planners trying to shoehorn a five day conference into a Monday arrival-Tuesday departure, time is more precious than basketball all star LeBron Jame’s new contract.
Time is always at a premium, but at Special D Events we have a few tricks to buy precious minutes in a compact meeting design.
One thing we do is to publish profiles and photos of conferees in a directory that we distribute ahead of the conference. This speeds up networking, because people can sort out ahead of time those whose experience, current role, and expertise will make for a worthwhile contact. In fact, we sometimes set up a “speed-dating session,” a session early in the conference where conferees can meet five or six selected from the preconference directory in quick, ten minute “dates.”
Another thing we do sometimes is send out conference presentations in advance, in either PowerPoint or video and PowerPoint, so that attendees can view them in advance. At a two day conference, this facilitates the design of highly interactive sessions, where most of the time is spend in discussion rather than lecture. Posting the presentations on the web for downloading to registered conferees with a password is another way to make this work.
Another thing we do, in the instance of an offsite conference segment, such as a factory tour, is what we call “presentation on a bus.” We put conferees on 55 passenger luxury motor coaches with video and PA systems and have speakers deliver background and set-up information while the coaches are in route.
There are numerous other tactics that we use in squeezing out precious minutes at a short conference, but what about you? Have you any time saving tricks that you use or have experienced that you can pass along?
If so, please enter your contributions on this blog. Meeting planners need all the help they can muster!