Goodbye 2016 & Contemplating 2017

The rush of the Holiday season puts us all in planner mode. We are planning for our professional and our personal lives, and as planners we don’t necessarily deem January 1 as a new year.  Our new year starts when our Annual Meeting ends.  Even though we’re at the end of 2016, we are contracting, marketing, planning, selling and implementing for meetings and events that take place in 2017, 2018 even 2021 or 2025.

Even though we, as planners, work in a continuous process, we should take advantage of this time of year as our prompt to reflect on 2016, to assess and examine our successes, and our opportunities to make change for the future.  In meeting planning, as in sales, it’s the time to audit your year and the growth of your events.  Look at successes, compare historical data year over year of event registration, housing paced and actualized, F&B spend, bandwidth usage, AV spend and any ancillary usage/spend. Use this information to tweak the 2017 budget and begin a template for the 2018 budget. Reach out to your destinations and request the economic impact of your meetings on that destination, and evaluate your meetings’ worth to use when contracting future years and future destinations.

Looking at your growth year over year, and using this time for reflection, you can start making your list of what was “naughty or nice” and begin planning for the continued success of your future meetings and events.  Take this time to prepare for the new year while still being in the moment with family, friends and colleagues. Take a deep breath, pause and enjoy. Be grateful for all that you have achieved.

Wishing you much peace and happiness this Holiday Season.

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