by Sarah J.F. Braley | March 01, 2007

ChartOne of the best ways to improve a meeting from year to year is to examine thoroughly the one just finished, learning what went right, so you can repeat it, and what went wrong, so you can fix it.

Of the 268 meeting planners who answered an online survey in January, about a quarter (24 percent) said that they always conduct post-conference meeting before they leave the facility, while 51 percent sometimes gather the main players for a post-mortem right after the event. The remaining 25 percent do not hold a post-con before heading home. The majority of the respondents (88 percent) always or sometimes host a separate post-con with just their staffs.

To head off accounting problems, 29 percent of the sample always go over the master bill with the hotel’s credit manager before leaving, while 42 percent sometimes do. More than half (51 percent) of survey respondents said meetings-related bills generally are paid within 30 days, and another 40 percent said they are paid within two months. The remaining 9 percent settle their bills within three months.

ChartStill, squabbling over costs is common. Twelve percent of those surveyed said they dispute charges after every meeting, 34 percent do so after most meetings and 53 percent challenge costs once in a while. Just 1 percent say they never dispute the bill.

Most planners are not required to compile return-on-investment reports. Only 8 percent of respondents have to document results after every meeting, and 17 percent compile the reports after some meetings. Meeting results affect the pay of about a third of the respondents: 31 percent said their performance evaluation is linked to attendee-satisfaction surveys or ROI.






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