• maryjowiseman

Meeting Tool Box Necessities

Updated: Oct 18

Post update: I first posted this blog on 10/14/2022. I then shared the post with a group of meeting planners I am a member of (SPIN – Senior Planners Industry Network) asking for their feedback and any additions to the lists they wished to share. Their additions have now been included in this updated post. It’s obvious we all do different kinds of meetings; we all have different levels of experience and I love the collaborative spirit of the people in the hospitality industry that I’ve come to know and respect throughout my career. We are all better for it.


When I think about meeting tool box necessities, I think first about the basic desk supplies I need to maintain an office environment while on the road – whether moving from one office location to another (e.g., I worked out of our NY and CT offices in addition to my home base of MN) or on-site for a meeting.


Second, I needed to consider the bigger picture essential supplies and equipment required to keep the planning team operating effectively and efficiently when on-site.


Basic desk supplies I would ship for my own benefit included items like:


Pens and/or Pencils

Assorted Sharpie Magic Markers (thin and thick tip)

Assorted Highlighter Markers

Stapler, Staples, Staple Puller

Ruler, Tape Measure

Scotch Tape Dispenser, extra rolls

Scissors

White Out

Letter Opener

Paper clips (assorted and separated)

Rubber Bands (assorted)

Binder Clips (assorted and separated)

Push Pins and/or Tacks

Single Hole Punch

Swiss Army knife

Box Cutter

Laser Level

Post-it notes (assorted sizes)

Calendar strip

Tylenol or Advil, Tums,

Breath Mints, Candy (for registration desk)

Band Aids

Handi-Wipe Packets

Hand Lotion

Eye Glass Cleaner


I stored and shipped these items in a plastic bin (referred to as my "tool box"). Some people liked Bass Pro tackle boxes with their individual compartment adaptability and toughness as an option to the plastic bins; others liked the idea of a small roller luggage carrier.


TIP: Be careful when packing the plastic bin for shipping to make sure you’ve adequately surrounded the bin with sufficient bubble wrap. Bins have been known to crack easily when not sufficiently protected. (I learned this the hard way a couple of times.)


Now, to the second part of the supply/equipment inventory to have on hand in your office (lovingly referred to as the “war room”) when on site for a meeting. Consider the following:


Signage Hooks (non-wall tearing)

S-hooks (for hanging banners)

Packing Tape

Duct Tape

Gaff Tape (somes off cleaner than Duct Tape)

Frog Tape (painter's tape)

Velcro (double sided)

First Aid Kit

Sun Screen

X-acto Knife, Extra Blades

Safety Pins

Tide Stain Sticks

Ziplock Bags (assorted)

Zip Ties

Hand Sanitizer (spray bottle)

Rubber Mallet

Mini Screw Driver (or multiple head screwdriver)

Power Strips

Extension Cords

Remote Slide Clicker

AA and AAA Batteries

Memory Sticks

Chimes

Paper Cutter

Calculator

3-Hole Punch

Door Stops


Reams of Regular and Legal-Size Paper (multiple colors)

Envelopes (assorted sizes)

Pre-printed Note Cards/Envelopes

Blank Card Stock

Legal Pads

Name Badge Holders, Inserts, Lanyards, Alpha Dividers, Carrying Cases

Pre-printed Place Cards (alpha order)

Place Cards (blank sheets)

Welcome/Directional Signs

Fed-Ex Labels/Sleeves (pre-printed and extra blanks)

Self-Standing Acryllic Sign Holders

Uline Crates for Registration Packets

Hand-held Signs with Painter Sticks (to hold up high when directing crowd flow from room to room, event to event, waiting buses, etc)

Flat Acrylic Sign Holders (that Velcro onto foam core signs for interchangeable signage)


Printers (unless renting on-site)

Ink Cartridges

Copy/Fax Machine (unless renting)


The items above are not all-inclusive but should offer you a good start. Each and every meeting will undoubtedly have different needs; your lists will grow as your experience level and the sophistication-level of your meetings increases. The better you prepare before you leave the office, the less trouble you will have once you arrive on-site.

TIP: Pay attention to how you pack your supplies. Pack smart in an organized fashion; group like-items together. Prepare copies of inventory sheets in triplicate for each box being shipped: 1) one that you tape to the outside of the box as a handy reference when you’re unpacking and setting up your office/supply space; 2) one for inside the box just in case the one on the outside is damaged); and 3) one that you keep in your meeting binder (or elsewhere for safe keeping) while supplies are in transit.

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