As part of the research process that ultimately produced Convene, we conducted focus groups where our clients expressed their feedback and suggestions on how we could serve them better. Whenever the topic of technology was on the table a common theme emerged. Our clients felt “nickel and dimed” by our process. Like everyone else, we were selling technology piece by piece; somehow a projector didn’t just come with a screen and a meeting didn’t just include Wi-Fi. It became clear to us that our process was damaging both to our clients and to ourselves. Last minute tech add-ons (that were logically assumed to be included) were pushing costs over budget. Our way of selling was making them look bad. It had to change.
We quickly decided to make two major changes. Moving forward, meeting packages would include all of the technology that could reasonably be assumed would be needed. Additionally, technology consultation would be moved out of the post-contract phase and into the pre-planning process. This allows resources to be budgeted intelligently, and aligned with strategic objectives.
The most interesting and insightful product of our decision was what we had to learn in order to properly fulfill our new promise. Our research taught us that there are three primary meeting types: Informative, Generative and Evaluative. We studied the activities that comprise each type so that we could confidently anticipate and provide resources — especially technology– that are required to facilitate each type. Just as hotel sleeping rooms come with shampoo, towels, hairdryers and irons, we provide all of the necessities of a meeting room in one convenient package. No one likes being “nickel and dimed“ and it is a waste of time and energy to ask someone if they want something that you already know they are going to need. That’s why Wi-Fi access is always included. In addition, our packages increase productivity and value by eliminating last minute add-ons that inconvenience clients and bog down service teams.
All of our equipment is of a quality one would expect to find in a Fortune 500 company. As a brand standard we are equipped with Polycom communications devices, Cisco routers, Christie projectors and Crestron control panels. We also maintain fully-redundant, high-speed internet connections, HD resolution and digital signage. In addition, our technology team offers additional enhanced services like broadcasting, the ability to simulcast to every space in our facility, dedicated bandwidth and audience response systems that can help make your meetings even more engaging. Our goal is to stay ahead of the curve and bring you the latest and best products available.
We know that meetings and conferences are important business occasions. The quality of their production is a reflection on the meeting planner and the company he/she represents. If the CEO of a public company is onstage at his/her annual shareholder meeting, failure is not an option. That’s why we treat our equipment as the fine-tuned products they are. Keeping careful maintenance logs and proactively servicing our equipment insures reliability.
Our technology is built-in and “always-on”. It is ready and accessible for participants to use as needed, which is not always “as they had planned”. A meeting’s flow and the attendees thought processes are never interrupted by a lack of resources.
Last, but not least, we provide expert technology consultation as part of our sales process. We have professional, full-time technology specialists at every location. They work side-by-side with the relationship managers to insure that technology is proactively integrated with new bookings from a project’s inception. Our team aims to understand your meeting objectives and make technology recommendations to better align program productions with your strategic goals. Clients who have their own in-house tech advisors especially appreciate the ability to have “expert to expert” communications. If there is something required that we don’t yet have, our personal connections to those at the forefront of technological innovation will allow your production dreams to be realized.
We think it’s important to listen to our clients – to hear your needs, understand your challenges, and what success means to you. What technologies can you imagine that would enhance your meeting’s productivity? What do you need that you don’t already have? Please share your ideas and we’ll do the same. Maybe together we can get to a place where a meeting’s productivity and results can be guaranteed. Wouldn’t that be nice?
VP, Strategy and Research
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