Planning a Meeting
Whatever can go wrong—will!
You've all heard of Murphy's Law. It is an ever-present possibility. (Incidentally, do you know what O'Toole's Law is? O'Toole says Murphy is an optimist!)
The field of meeting planning is a relatively new profession. Trainers can learn much from association and corporate meeting planners. Don't overlook hotel sales, convention, and catering staffs, as they can be extremely helpful in planning your off-site meetings.
In planning a training session, we can refer to the oft-used "five Ws" to remind us of certain factors that have real bearing on the effect of our sessions. They are
Who—Who will be attending the training session?
What—What is the main topic to present? What are the stated objectives of my session?
Where—Where should the session be held'?
Why—Why is this particular session included? Why are these participants attending?
When—When should the presentation take place?
These are but a few of the questions that should be raised.
The aspects of meeting planning that are most relevant to effective training are developing an agenda, preparing participants for attendance, and checking the facilities. In this chapter, we'll cover these three topics in ample detail to help you avoid the problems that befall the trainer who does not prepare a specific meeting plan.
We have all had the unfortunate experience of attending meetings or training sessions that were largely wasteful of time. What were the reasons a session "bombed"?