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The green-eyed event planner - Yes… but...

You have heard the saying, "Doctors make the worstpatients?"...well, the same can be said about event ormeeting planners, "Meeting planners can make the worstconference attendees." Why? Well, because some believethey know better.

You have heard the saying, "Doctors make the worstpatients?"...well, the same can be said about event ormeeting planners, "Meeting planners can make the worstconference attendees." Why? Well, because some believethey know better. They can see (look for) the flaw(s) in themost professionally produced events and meetings. To thelayperson, the event was fabulous, to an event or meetingplanner, there will always be room for improvement. Prettyharsh statement considering that I am a meeting plannerand I belong to that group of individuals.

I recently attended a very large meeting professional conference(so recent, I have not unpacked yet). It was fourdays of networking, education, high-level keynotes andworkshops. The evenings were spent attending some fabulousreceptions hosted by suppliers that spared no expense.To give you an example of one reception (sadly I wasn'tinvited), the supplier partnered with a shoe designer andwhile the guests wined and dined, they could choose abeautiful pair of new shoes wow! Needless to say,attendees of this conference wanted for nothing. We weretreated like royalty. The meals were supplied, transportationwas supplied and friendly faces greeted us each and everymorning at the entrance to the convention centre. Thereshould have been nothing to complain about right?

Wrong! Remember I said that meeting planners or eventplanners can make the worst attendees? Well, it's true and Iwant to share with you some of the comments that I overhead.

"Wasn't the Convention Centre a fabulous facility? Yes,but it didn't have enough natural light in the classrooms."

"The food was delicious!" Yes, but did you see how farwe had to walk for our coffee breaks?"

"Wasn't that a great session? Yes, but I wish we wereseated at round tables instead of theatre style."

"Wasn't the self registration system a great idea? Yes,but there was a printer which didn't work and I had to askfor assistance."

Believe me I could go on and on and on with the nuggetsof criticism which I overheard. Remember I said wewere treated like royalty? Well, a downside of treating peoplelike royalty is that some actually begin to believe thatthey really are royalty.

My point is, that if professional meeting planners can'tplan the perfect meeting or event, then how can anyone beexpected to plan the perfect meeting or event? The answer,quite simply, is that there is no such thing as a perfect eventbecause we have no control over people/attendees/participants.We have very little control over how many will showup or how much food they will eat. We have very little controlover their moods, their appetites, or even if they gotenough sleep the night before.

You plan for the majority of the attendees. You makesure that you have planned to achieve the deliverables, thenyou add in the perks. There will always be those attendeesat your meeting, conference, wedding, or party that willnever be satisfied.

Remember this as a planner and don't beat yourself uptoo terribly when you hear negative comments. The mostimportant thing to remember is. don't stop treating peoplelike royalty, because the majority of people will appreciateit and remember you for it.

Judy Kucharuk is owner of Footprint ManagementSystems Inc. and specializes in Green Meetings and Events.For more info log onto www.managefootprint.com or checkout her Facebook page, the "Green Eyed Event Planner"

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