Planning a Great Meeting by Jeffrey Babener

Jeffrey BabenerSome solid tips for planning a network marketing opportunity meeting  Planning a network marketing opportunity meeting? MLMLegal.com asked veteran meeting planner, Greg White of San Diego based Hamilton LaRonde Associates for some solid tips. Get the word out Plan the meeting at least a month in advance, if at all possible. Let your upline and downline distributors know the time and place of the meeting. Make phone calls to prospective recruits early so they can plan their schedules. The best time for meetings is after 7:00 p.m. on a weeknight or on a Saturday. If you intend to place ads in the local paper, make sure they run at least a week in advance. Also, let the company know about it ahead of time and they may publicize it or send company representatives to participate. Pick a convenient place. Most national hotel chains have excellent meeting room space. Remember to book ahead for best rates. Parking is essential, and if it’s free, so much the better. NULL

If people will be coming in from out of town, an airport hotel is always great. There are plenty of hotels near every major airport. They have shuttles for those arriving by air, and they are staffed to handle late arrivals and early departures, and often have extended restaurant hours. Keep it short, stupid Yes, the KISS principle is applicable to business opportunity meetings. Remember, these people are doing you a favor by attending. They have groceries to buy, errands to run, Little League games to watch. Keep the meeting under two hours and show that you respect their time. Keep it lively. Get to the point. All the Important Details Details, details, details! One mark of a great meeting is that things go so smoothly that nobody knows you’ve gone to the trouble of looking after the details. But as they say, it’s the little things that make the difference. Meeting planner Greg White has these suggestions regarding the small but crucial details: Seating The goal is to avoid a meeting with lots of empty chairs. Assuming a meeting for 150 people, set up the room with 100 chairs theater style (placed in the front 70 percent of the room). As a back-up, have 50 chairs stacked in an adjacent service area. Also, leave some area at the back of the room. Displays Place one 8-foot, narrow table on the front wall with a pitcher of water. This table can be used for display items, speaker notes, materials, etc. Place two 8-foot, standard-width tables on the rear wall, end-to-end, or on one side for displays. Ask the hotel to have all the tables skirted. Registration Area Place one 8-foot table in the registration area outside the meeting room. This too should be skirted. The following items should be placed on this table:

  • Name tags. These are easy to forget, but don’t. They really help people talk to one another. You can pick them up at most stationery stores.
  • Registration cards. Make sure to record who is in attendance, so you can follow up later. Either have an attendance sheet on the registration desk as people walk in or consider having a drawing or door prize as an inducement for attendees to fill out registration cards.
  • Company sign or banner. Place this near the registration area to create recognition. Remember, many meetings may be going on in the same hotel at the same time.

Hotel Lobby Make sure your meeting is on the hotel marquee of events or televised monitor. Don’t assume that the hotel will do this right. Before the meeting, double-check the monitor or sign board and be sure that the notice includes the name of your company, the time of the meeting and the designated meeting room. A nice touch is to have a host in the lobby to direct guests to the meeting area. Sound System Ask the hotel for one microphone to be set up on the podium with a long cord. The cord should be long enough to reach the rear of the room. Lapel microphones are effective, but remember to let the hotel know ahead of time. Podium Ask for a single podium at the front of the room, placed on a 6-foot by 12-foot riser. Drawing Board You’ll probably explain the compensation plan at your meeting, so make arrangements to have a chalk board or white drawing board with appropriate writing utensils or a screen for a PowerPoint presentation or video. Water Ask the hotel to supply a water station. Soft drinks ordered from a hotel get expensive very fast. The hotel should set up the water station outside the room one hour before the meeting, and should replenish it during any planned breaks. Beverage/Coffee Service If you’ll be offering coffee, order it by the gallon rather than the cup. This will save you a lot of money. And the Bill Please? Obviously, the cost of a meeting can vary widely. So, shop around. Your basic costs will be for: *Room rent, *Podium/microphone and *WhiteBlackboardScreen for PowerPoint or video presentation Big Returns “You are going to increase your investment ten-fold by paying attention to detail,” says Greg White. Your effort in planning a great meeting will be reflected in the growth and higher productivity of your sales organization.

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