Having a well thought out PLAN and a strategic and orderly PROCESS for carrying out your PLAN is imperative when planning a meeting or special event. But, PROCESS and PLANNING is not limited to just meeting planning. For instance:
I received my first COVID vaccination earlier this week and I have to tell you the system (or, the PROCESS) worked splendidly.
I was notified via email through my health care provider that registration for my age group was now open.
I followed instructions in the email on how to register.
Confirmation of and follow-up reminders were timely and well detailed.
Upon arrival directional/information/social distancing signage was in full display.
Greeters with smiles on their faces and in their voices were there to direct/instruct incoming visitors.
Sign-in was a breeze; wait time was minimal.
The shot was a snap -- barely a pin prick.
After receiving the injection, I was directed to a separate area for 15 minutes to make sure there were no nasty reactions.
Next, I was directed to staff that would schedule my second injection (21 days forward to the day), provided with a reminder card and then sent on my way -- again with a smile and a thank you.
A confirmation email with date, time and location for the second injection was waiting for me when I arrived home.
Fingers crossed there will be no ill effects from the injection, but the PROCESS worked the way it should. Everyone was professional; they knew what they were doing. They established their PLAN, they understood their goals and objectives, and they were working it.
There may have been a few kinks at the beginning of this PROCESS but whatever the issues might have been, they were quickly address and resolved making for a very good, very positive experience for something I have to admit I wasn't looking forward to.
As a professional meeting planner (and someone who wrote a book about the planning process), I am keenly aware when I’m out and about being it an event or just out to dinner in a restaurant I sit back, watch and observe. (I can’t help myself.) What I experienced at the vaccination center was well thought out and orchestrated.
I also know from experience that what one experiences in this or other similar situations is being viewed from what I refer to as the front end (or “front of the house”). For instance, when you check in at a hotel you see how the system works from one side of the registration counter – but , there’s a lot more that happens behind the scene (or, “back of the house”) to make the check-in process and your stay as hassle and trouble-free as possible.
The same was true with the vaccination process.
I could never presume to know the finite details and the level of expertise that went into all the behind-the-scene prep work by the medical professionals involved nor the precision with which they operated to make my experience appear so effortless; and then taking the process back even another step, to the development of the vaccine itself. The countless hours of research and testing there had to be to get the serum up and out the door as quickly as they were able is totally mind boggling really. These incredible people deserve our utmost thanks and support.
If you have a well-defined PROCESS and PLAN and you surround yourself with a team of dedicated, knowledgeable professionals to help you execute your PLAN, you, too, can be successful whether you are planning a meeting or special event, a vacation, a move or home renovation, or whatever it might be.
Take care. PLAN well. Be safe. Never stop learning.
Mary Jo Wiseman, CMP | Author, The Meeting Planning Process: A Guide to Planning Successful Meetings."