When you look at a jigsaw puzzle with every piece laid out on a table, you wonder where to start in order to complete the beautiful photo that’s on the box.  So where do you begin? Puzzle experts’ advice grouping colors together in sections and searching for straight edged pieces to create the puzzle border.

Similarly, when starting to plan a meeting, there are hundreds of moving pieces that eventually all come together to produce a well-planned and successful event.  In the beginning stages, it may seem daunting and you may wonder where to begin. What tasks are easiest and which are more time consuming? Strategize with teammates and divvy up jobs that can be handled by several people.

It takes thought and order to think through and talk about every moving part of an event to eventually produce a perfect meeting.  Below is a short list of items to use as a guideline to assembling your puzzle:

  • Location/Destination (what city/cities are you considering?)

  • Hotel/Resort (airport, city center or resort hotel?)

  • Arrival/Departure Dates (are your dates flexible?)

  • Number of guest rooms per night (do you need suites, too?)

  • Start and end times of meetings (how early or how late do you need the rooms?)

  • Style of seating and number of guests at each event (is meeting space size comfortable?)

  • Method of Reservations (rooming list or electronic link for individuals?)

  • Who pays for what (each guest pays or the company pays?)

  • Offsite activities (team building or dinners, etc.?)

  • Emergency preparedness (closest hospital, dietary restrictions, etc.?)

Don’t be left with any missing pieces!  As with any task, planning events takes time and patience.  Perhaps walk away from and return to the table, & work with teams as you think through & strategize to pull off a perfectly finished puzzle of meeting design.