Achieving the Perfect Meeting Takes Teamwork

August 7, 2018 Kevin Edmunds


There’s a fellow named John Nawn who has been in the meetings industry for a long time, and he’s always been obsessed with trying to make meetings as effective as possible. And while no meeting can be perfect in attaining all of its goals to the maximum extent, that doesn’t stop John (and the many other meeting planners I know) from striving for perfection with every business gathering they create.

I checked out John’s website recently, conveniently named, and there is a lot there for planners to learn from, no matter their level of experience. But as a hotelier who partners with planners to build and execute memorable events, I was especially intrigued and motivated by one part of John’s site. Under the site’s Resources tab is a section titled Adult Learning Principles. I read it all the way through a few times, because it made me think hard about how our sales and service people at All Inclusive Hotel Group should approach each meeting that takes place at our properties in Miami, Dominican Republic, and on the eastern and western coasts of Mexico.

In that section on Adult Learning Principles, John notes that nearly 230 million people are taught each year by the adult education industry—that’s 10 times more than the college and university system in the U.S. He then talks about the fact that adult education, as practiced by each corporation and association, needs someone internally to own the process so they can align each meeting to the goals set forth by the organization’s leaders. And once a meeting is designed by the owner for the purpose of reaching those goals, there must also be attendee testing conducted after the fact to make sure the meeting helped attendees become more capable of achieving those goals.

At one point, John talks about how meeting owners need to understand what motivates their particular attendees to interact with each other and to learn. And then it hit me: Our sales and service people must make sure that they know these things as well, by asking each planner we work with about their attendees’ unique needs and desires. This way, our managers can suggest to each planner the best physical spaces at our properties for those needs, and also present the technology, culinary, entertainment and other resources we have that can help fulfill those needs.

Now, we here at AIC Hotel Group have always communicated well with planners during the planning stages in order to be effective partners for each meeting we host. But the way that John lays out the Adult Learning Principles really clarified in my mind what how we might be able to think a bit differently to help make each meeting as close to perfect as it can be. I believe that John’s words might do that for you too, so take a look his website when you have a few minutes to concentrate and absorb an interesting perspective.


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