by Matt Alderton | August 06, 2017
You don't have to be a professional meeting planner to pull off a killer meeting. Even if you're a part-time or ad-hoc planner -- an executive assistant, for example, or an office manager -- you can execute an amazing event.

When you don't have a lot of experience planning meetings, the key to success is getting help from those who do, reports Successful Meetings Senior Editor Andrea Doyle.

"I encourage anyone who is not a full-time planner to collaborate with at least one other skilled professional when planning and executing critical meetings and events," Stacy Leitner, senior executive assistant for the City of Rancho Cordova, CA, tells Doyle. "We all have blind spots, and collaborating with others can really help to ensure success. My greatest asset as an executive assistant is the network of people in my database. I have spent a career building, investing in, and nurturing relationships to make certain I can be successful when I am asked to make the impossible possible."

Steve Allison, Ph.D., professor of psychology at Abilene Christian University and conference manager for the Christian Association for Psychological Studies (CAPS), likes to leverage convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs). "I have learned a lot from my work in the conference planning and managing world; in some ways, it has been like learning a new language," he tells Doyle. "The main piece of advice I give to part-time meeting planners is to partner with CVBs; doing so has saved me hours of work."

Finally, seek counsel from full-time planners. "It's important to go to [meetings industry] associations and ask questions," Sarah Witt, administrative assistant for The American Academy of Orthokeratology and Myopia Control (AAOMC), tells Doyle. "You can't know everything."

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Questions, Comments, Suggestions?
Contact Successful Meetings Editor in Chief Vincent Alonzo with your "How To" ideas.