Coordinating corporate events and business meetings are challenging enough when you only have to do them one time, in one location. Add in the complexity of a multi-city roadshow, and the coordination becomes exponential.
If you are planning a corporate conference, product launch, training event, or trade show in multiple states, delivering a consistent, quality experience has its challenges.
But never fear! We have some insights that will have you on the road and singing, “99 Bottle of Beer on the Wall” in no time.
Here’s my biggest piece of advice to ensure your next roadshow is a success: Assemble your own Dream Team of corporate event management, and keep them consistent for the duration of the tour.
Consistency is a primary key to maintaining your sanity, ensuring quality, and managing your budget. Your corporate event management Dream Team should have three major components:
- Internal Planning and Delivery
- Certified Meeting Planner
- Professional Corporate Event Production Company
We’ll discuss each of these in more detail, but first a word about consistency in venue for your upcoming roadshow.
Hospitality Providers & Venues
You can save yourself some money and hassle if you book your corporate roadshow through just one or two major hotel chains.
If the average attendance at each of your roadshow locations is between 300 – 500, then you have a good chance of being able to stick with one or two primary chains.
Booking multiple events with the same national chain affords you some buying power, and you’ll usually get one primary point-of-contact with the chain that will act as your Account Manager. You’ll still be dealing with each individual venue to some extent, but if there are any issues with contract or access, your dedicated Account Manager is your one-stop shop.
All of the major U.S. hotel chains have mid-sized to large hotels in most major cities, and have meeting space large enough to accommodate crowds of this size.
Here’s a list of some of the larger U.S. hotel chains that have enough size and space to cover a mid-sized corporate event:
- Wyndham Worldwide
- Marriott International
- InterContinental Hotels Group
- Hilton Worldwide
- Hyatt Hotels Corporation
Of course there are many other hotel chains (here’s a little more comprehensive list), as well as smaller, independent, or boutique hotels that could serve as a great host for your event, but this is a place to start.
If your roadshow will host crowds larger than 500 in each location, you will want to choose cities that have large enough facilities to handle your needs.
According to Cvent, the top-ten best U.S. cities with large meeting or convention accommodations are (in this order):
- Las Vegas
- San Diego
- Washington, DC
- New York
You can see the full list of cities here.
YOUR DREAM TEAM STARTS HERE
Internal Planning and Delivery
If you’re one of the lucky companies that has a dedicated meeting planning department, you already know the importance of having a dedicated team.
If you don’t, don’t fret. If possible, create a core team of associates who will consistently work through the entirety of the roadshow. It’s just so much easier when the same person does the same role in each city.
This may not be possible, especially if your roadshow hits more than a few cities, but the more consistent your “core” delivery team, the better.
It will create a sense of ease for your executives and presenters as well, as they are dealing with familiar faces in unfamiliar surroundings. Your attendees will also get the benefit of an established team who knows the drill.
If you don’t have a Certified Meeting Professional (“CMP”), or Planner, you really should get one. This is a must. A CMP can take a lot of logistics and details off of your plate. They know the ropes of how the hospitality industry works, and can be a tremendous ally, especially if you are planning a multi-city tour.
Think of your CMP as your “field marshal” while you’re on-site. If you need something coordinated with the venue, they are your go-to person.
A qualified CMP can assist you with:
- Venue Selection (NOTE: we STRONGLY encourage you to have your professional Corporate Event Production Company work hand-in-hand with your Meeting Planner on the selection of the venue, as limitations to ballroom and meeting space can greatly limit production options.)
- Coordinate Transportation (both air and ground) for your attendees and VIPs
- Manage F&B (“food & beverage”), create menus for group meals and breaks, and oversee Banquet Event Orders (“BEOs”) from the venue
- Negotiate Space with the Venue
- Assist with On-Site Registration
- Review all Charges from the Venue. The best CMPs are real watchdogs, and help protect you from potential overcharges
Professional Corporate Event Production Company
By now, we’ve established the benefits of consistency across major teams on your show.
When it comes to your event production company, think how much smoother everything will go when the same team assembles, builds and then runs your show.
- Presentations will be locked and loaded
- Videos will be tested and prepared
- Scenic elements will be consistent
- Lighting looks will be dialed in
- Music selections will be established
- And the overall flow of the show will get better and better with each round.
There is also significant cost savings that can be realized by using the same production company in all cities. In our business, the more times equipment is rented, the cheaper it gets; that gets passed on to you, and you get to benefit from the power of scale.
Plus, you and your team won’t need to invest as much time on event operations, saving you time and money.
You’ll also benefit from your event production company’s negotiation skills when it comes to dealing with each venue. While your production company will provide most of the equipment and services related to the execution of the general sessions and breakouts, there are almost always some services that a hotel requires be handled by their in-house AV company.
Your dedicated production company can communicate with them on an “insider” level, hold them accountable, and ensure that you are treated fairly by the in-house team. We have literally saved our clients thousands of dollars on shows by simply managing the in-house requirements.
Getting Better as You Go
A good event management team will also take note of the things that went well, as well as the things that could be improved and use this to streamline processes for future events. It’s a win-win for you!
Once your Dream Team has gotten a couple events under their collective belt, things will get smoother, stress will start to fall off, and you’ll find yourself enjoying the show.
Here’s to hitting the road!
P.S. Need an Event Production Company that can help you achieve your event vision? Schedule a call with me…I might know someone that can help ?