For hard-working meeting planners, the margin for error has decreased since the global recession while the competition in the MICE industry has increased. Thus, it's well worth it for those meeting planners who are willing to spend a few moments post-event to reach out to their team for feedback.
Debriefing meetings are set aside with your event team members to thoroughly reflect upon and discuss a recently completed event. Each event is a learning experience. So whether the direct feedback is positive or negative, the advice received at debriefing provides a great way to analyze each project and determine the successes as well as things that did not go well.
Most MICE buyers today see each event planned as an investment in their organization. Meeting planners should do so as well to strengthen their reputation and nurture client relationships.
Giving all members an opportunity to participate in a debriefing is a great motivational technique. Take this chance to congratulate or thank individuals when necessary, and encourage all to replicate a good performance at the next event. Debriefing meetings can even help employees understand that their opinion holds weight in the team for which they are a valuable player. The more that speak up throughout the debriefing, the better.
It is equally important to realize that such meetings can last a very long time, specifically for larger projects. It is imperative to get right to the root of an issue and keep the conversation focused. Don't let one employee monopolize the time and don't focus on any particular employee for too long. Preparing a pre-selected list of issues is a great way to regulate the development of the debriefing session. A debriefing facilitator can easily control the meeting. So long as the facilitator is an impartial third party, there is little risk of a critical atmosphere developing, perhaps by intimidation or defensiveness.
To begin, simply explain to your team why a particular debrief is important and how the debriefing will proceed. Review areas of productivity and efficiency as well as those that need improvement. Plan accordingly for the implementation of any changes. Then, at the end of the session, establish accountability for all new responsibilities taken on. Debriefing meetings are a smart investment for any meeting planner who wants to learn from their mistakes and profit from their strengths.
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