Five Tips for Administrative Professionals Who Plan Meetings

By Beth Buehler

In tandem with Administrative Professionals Day on April 24, 2019, Destination Colorado would like to salute all the great admins out there who plan meetings and are part of meeting planning teams. Without their attention to detail and ability to rally the troops, many a meeting, reception, retreat and more just wouldn’t happen!

Colorado has a variety of organizations and talented suppliers (from lodging properties and venues to audio-visual firms, caterers, décor companies and photographers) to help the planning process go smoothly and result in a gathering that will keep the office asking, “When’s the next one?”

Here are five helpful tips for planning a successful meeting or event.

Utilize Destination Colorado’s website to gather information and make connections.

Destination Colorado is a nonprofit organization dedicated to making the site selection and planning experience in Colorado convenient and straightforward. Destination Colorado hosts the Front Range Trade Show in early December, which is an ideal way for anyone who plans meetings to connect with representatives of destinations, resorts, hotels and a variety of suppliers from all over the state in one convenient place. It’s all about networking in a fun atmosphere.

Plus, representatives of Destination Colorado attend trade shows around the country so they can connect with meeting planners based in other places.

Destination Colorado’s website can help connect meeting and event planners with all sorts of suppliers like photographers.

Partners can help make the RFP process easy.

Instead of having to connect with all sorts of properties and venues yourself, use Destination Colorado’s handy RFP tool, where you can indicate group size, type of gathering, lodging style desired and more. Some destination marketing organizations, especially in larger communities, also provide this service once you figure out towns you are interested in considering.

Go on site visits.

When possible, go experience destinations and properties of interest and meet with the people who will be key in staging a successful event from start to finish. See if you think the activities available make sense for your attendees and have a meal at a restaurant that is a good possibility for an off-site dinner. You get the idea!

Destination Colorado’s Front Range Trade Show is a great place to meet with property representatives, a great first step to arrange venue site visits.

Make sure the meeting or event has a clear purpose.

Having a very clear understanding of what your organization/boss wants to accomplish with a meeting or event is vital when planning. Is this a sales team meeting, an executive retreat, a client thank you event, etc.? Should it be casual, formal, indoors, outdoors, by an airport, in a city, in the mountains …? Ask questions and understand the goals and objectives. Communicate often.

Network with others who plan events.

Whenever possible, get around other people who plan meetings and events to learn and gather ideas. In addition to the Front Range Trade Show in December, there is the Meetings Industry Council of Colorado Educational Conference and Trade Show in March. Office Ninjas holds Admingling get-togethers in Denver and other cities around the United States, so watch that calendar of events as well. Ask an administrative professional you respect to lunch and brainstorm together.

Networking is a great way to meet potential partners and share information.

Happy Administrative Professional Day.  Colorado hopes to host one of your upcoming gatherings!

Photos: By Josh Gold Photography

Beth Buehler is editor of Colorado Meetings + Events and Mountain Meetings magazines, has planned numerous meetings and events and enjoys exploring Colorado.