Let’s first start with the definition of PRE CON/POST CON Meeting and why it is VITAL for YOUR meetings. In “hotel lingo” a PRE CON/POST CON means pre-conference and post-conference. This is a meeting you request with your conference services manager that will take place the day before or the morning of your group’s arrival. We’ll get into the POST CON a bit later.
A PRE CON meeting brings together the hotel’s department management team who will be servicing your group. At this VITAL PRE CON meeting is your
conference services manager
food & beverage manager
front desk manager
audio visual manager
Depending upon the size and type of group, you may also include the security manager, the shipping and receiving manager, the concierge, and any other department managers who could be involved with any aspect of your group.
Why is this meeting VITAL? Planning a meeting is like the game of telephone; you have an idea in your head and you tell one person who tells another person who tells another person, etc., etc. It is your job as a good meeting planner to make absolute certain that everything you have planned comes off perfectly and the only way to insure this is to meet prior to your group’s arrival and run through everything that will take place from arrival through departure to eliminate any surprises.
The truth is your group is just another group to a hotel. The only way to insure your group is known and well-looked after by every department let everyone know about your company or association, who your key players and top executives are, & the idiosyncrasies and particulars of your organization. Every group is different, and to a hotel, a group arrives and departs without a whole lot of information unless you push your group to the top of the pile and stand out in the crowd.
After all, you have spent countless hours & tons of money preparing for “show time” and although you may be completely prepared, the hotel may lack information VITAL to the success of your event. A PRE CON meeting actually dispels fears and worries the hotel may have by not knowing enough about your group. And as you know, there are hundreds of little changes that occur up until arrival day, and even throughout the meeting. Establishing connections with every department manager in advance lessens the time and troubles you could encounter when things go awry onsite, and as you know, things can and do go awry!
You may have added a breakfast, cancelled a break, changed the start or end times of a meeting and it is your responsibility to walk through the entire event, quickly, with every department manager present, so that everyone is on the same page with the exact flow of events as you anticipate them to take place. Depending upon the size and scope of your meeting, a PRE CON should not take more than 1 hour. It is FREE, it is COMMON PRACTICE in meeting planning, and it is VITAL to the success of your meeting.
A POST CON is an opportunity to meet, again, with all department managers and talk though everything that went well, and perhaps address what did not go well; food was cold, service was slow, ran out of food, room freezing or burning hot, audio visuals didn’t work, etc. At this meeting be prepared to ask for refunds and discounts on anything and everything that didn’t go according to plan. Without a PRE CON it’s hard to have a POST CON! You want to make sure you walk away from the hotel as a happy customer. After all, every hotels ultimate wish is that every customer is happy and will return again and tell others about their great experience.