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The Real Cost of a Bad Corporate Event

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People are looking for that “wow” factor, so it can be difficult to host a successful meeting or event. However, with the right goals defined and a dedicated team providing support, your next event can go above and beyond. According to a recent Forbes Magazine piece by Josh Linkner, live meetings in the business world are paramount to forge relationships and exchange information, whether the objective is to energize a sales force, align senior leaders, or entertain customers, clients, and partners. Unfortunately, when event planners start to look at the cost of throwing a successful event and opt to cut corners, problems start to arise. To illustrate his point, Linker outlines the two following scenarios (based on a 500-person sales meeting).

Two events, two very different outcomes…

Scenario 1: Professional planning, high quality, do it right Travel and hotel costs: $750,000 Production, AV, facility rental, staging, décor: $250,000 Speakers, content, materials: $250,000 Professional Meeting Planner Fee: $130,000 TOTAL BUDGET: $1,380,000 Linkner explains… “For this exercise, let’s assume it was a national sales meeting,” Linkner explains according to Forbes. “In scenario #1, the event is perfect. The staging is gorgeous, the content is world-class, the food and drinks are just right. The 500 sales people are charged up and know their company is rock solid and has the highest standards.”  Scenario 2: Internal planning, cut corners, try to save money Travel and hotel costs: $650,000 Production, AV, facility rental, staging, décor: $150,000 Speakers, content, materials: $100,000 Professional Meeting Planner: $0 Internal Team (time, distraction, hard costs): $100,000 TOTAL BUDGET: $1,000,000 Linkner explains…What about Scenario #2?” Linkner posts in the publication. “This should be better, since we also saved $380,000, right? Unfortunately, in this case, the meeting was amateurish since internal team members who are not professional meeting planners assembled it amidst their other daily responsibilities.”

The lasting impact of a good event… 

A well-planned event will always be more successful, and in the case of Linkner’s two scenarios, the sales team from Scenario 1 leaves the event motivated, hyped up, and prepared to crush their sales goal, which they inevitably do. In contrast, Scenario 2 had attendees bored to tears while the haphazard nature left them off kilter. The long-term impact of hosting a great professional event is sometimes hard to measure, especially when it goes well beyond monetary and affects morale and the general enthusiasm of a workforce. However, in the case of Scenario 1 vs. Scenario 2, Linkner claims Scenario 1’s sales force is well on their way to an IPO, while Scenario 2’s squad will probably start looking for a new job.

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