Oh Meetings…Oh My!

It’s almost impossible to find someone who hasn’t had the experience of attending a conference or industry tradeshow. They are a huge part of education and doing business in the world today. As a matter of fact, just to give you an idea of statistics, according to the 2011 UFI Global Association of Exhibition Industry report there were 30,700 exhibitions (tradeshows) around the world which corresponds to 103 million square feet of meeting space. That also means that there were 2.8 million direct exhibiting companies who welcomed 260 million visitors. So…you get the point….meetings, conferences and tradeshows are BIG BUSINESS.

In the course of our job we often plan meetings, conventions, conferences and tradeshows.  From a logistical point of view (our point of view) we understand that you (as a guest) wants to show up, check in quickly, have clear directions regarding activities, access to food and beverage and lots of opportunity to learn, network and do business. We want all those same things for you. It’s our job to make it a seamless experience for you.

That being said, in the past we have experienced things that have gone wrong and we are realistic enough to know that even to the best of our planning ability things will go wrong in the future by sheer circumstantial hoopla’s. Someone isn’t registered, doesn’t have a badge, can’t find where they are going, missed their shuttle, couldn’t find the food, the Audio Visual equipment isn’t working, there isn’t Wi-Fi, someone needs medical attention, the guest speaker didn’t arrive…..I could go on and on and make an incredibly long list of all the potential pitfalls.

The thing is, all of these things affect the individual but each individual affects the whole. Each volunteer that interacts with a guest can make or break the “experience” for attendees. When push comes to shove, you can only take things as they come and rely on everyone to carry through the grand message to the attendees that they are important and their experience is important. So…the next time you attend a conference and there are delays, or something in your own personal experience doesn’t come across just right, take a deep breath and please remember that it takes a village to put on a conference and your patience and understanding is a really important piece of the puzzle to a great event.