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Meetings and Events Guide 2014

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In a world disconnected by increasing online connectivity (surely an oxymoron if there ever was one), face to face meetings are even more important for team building, company alignment, and camaraderie.

The American Express Meetings & Events 2014 Global Meetings Forecast projects a 1.5 percent increase in the number of meetings hosted throughout North America this year. The report notes that “the number of attendees is also expected to increase slightly as companies try to maximize the overall value of each event and reduce the average cost per attendee.”

Part of maximizing participation will include more widespread use of technology—such as apps for connecting event participants and others for detailing conference programs—along with activities and sessions that encourage higher interaction.

What do you need for a successful event? Remember these three foundational suggestions:

  1. The right purpose. What would you like the outcome of your gathering to be? Is it to get your department on the same page, find a solution, plan the quarter? Start with the outcome and let that guide your agenda.
  2. The right people. Once you have your purpose, it should be easy to curate the invitee list. Which departments, teams, or key leadership members need to be at your meeting? Likewise, is there a need for outside perspective in the form of a specialist, consultant, or, perhaps, someone with a desired expertise in another part of the company?
  3. The right venue. There’s a big difference between your company’s conference room and a creative off-site venue. The need to focus or permission to think outside the box should determine what kind of venue you’ll reserve. Consider this one of the most important parts of the planning process: the right venue can enrich and enliven a team or soften and add a layer of harmony to challenging situations. Not to mention shake things up from your company’s normal day-to-day environment.

This year’s Meetings and Events Guide is chock full of excellent venues that are sure to inspire your organization with environments that range from productively soothing to fantastically fun and creative.

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