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Scioto Room
November 26, 2018
5 Tips for Planning an Off-Site Small Business Meeting

There’s nothing small about planning an off-site small business meeting.

Leaders of small businesses often put in far more time to ensure their off-site conference or meeting is as great as it can be.

Organizing an off-site meeting–on top of managing the day-to-day logistics of a small business–can be a challenging endeavor. But, if pulled off right, an off-site event can yield productive results and even improved morale.

As one of the top off-site venues for business meetings and conferences in Columbus, The Grand Event Center has assisted dozens of small businesses in achieving success. To help you become better prepared for your off-site business meeting, here are five tips to know.

Develop A Timeline

When planning an off-site meeting for your small business, it’s important to create a timeline, and dedicate yourself to following it. Before your event, include deadlines for things like:

  • Locking down a venue
  • Creating a guest list
  • Distributing invitations
  • Developing meeting content
  • Coordinating décor and catering with the event venue

For the day of the event, map out the entire agenda of your off-site meeting, including start and end times for the expected arrival of guests and organizers, food and beverage breaks, meeting agenda items and closing event.

Make sure you send your day-of timeline to the meeting attendees, so they know what to expect, and ensure their contact information is up-to-date in case there are any last-minute changes.

Ensure Details Are Properly Planned

Since time is valuable for any business leader, staying detail-oriented in the planning of an off-site event can prove difficult–plus, it’s never fun to stretch yourself too thin. If these types of meetings are a frequent occurrence in your company, it might be helpful to hire an event planner within the company.

If they’re anything more than quarterly, consider securing space at a venue that can help you plan your meeting. At The Grand Event Center, for example, small businesses in Columbus leave many of the details to us­­–we coordinate everything from on-site catering to audio/visual and overnight accommodations.

Promote Your Meeting

Once you’re ready to invite attendees to your event, it’s important to properly promote the event to maximize attendance. Options include posting signs at your place of business, advertising on local media websites, creating a press release, sending out an e-blast to those on your email list and posting about it frequently on your blog and social media channels.

Get the word out as early as possible so attendees have enough time to check their calendars and plan their trip. In the days and weeks leading up to the meeting, send out reminder messages so that guests don’t forget about it, and have ample opportunity to digest the agenda.

Follow Up After the Event

Oftentimes, a successful off-site business meeting is determined by the actions taken after it has already happened. Once your event is over, send an email to attendees thanking them for coming, and–if applicable–an exclusive business offer.

In this message, you can also provide a link to a survey allowing attendees to provide feedback on various aspects of your meeting–such as content value, venue quality and more. The results will help you better evaluate successes and improvements for future events.