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Who needs a meeting producer when we have our own communications dept?!

So I’m meeting a Brand Manager for the first time and just finished describing what meeting producers do: transform corporate messaging for sales meetings, launches, town halls, etc. into engaging live presentations that get results.

And then I get that famous retort:

Why do we need a meeting producer when we already have our own communications dept.?

Let’s compare roles…

The internal communications dept. must define the actual content of the message in collaboration with the execs that are delivering it. They are also experts at writing and refining info for press releases, company-wide memos, ad-product copy and so on.

AND they already have 9-5 jobs. Give me one example where they are not already overworked and over-stretched. This meeting stuff is always “extra”.

Everything changes when you step in front of a live audience!

It takes a varied team of experienced visual experts, script writers, music/lyric composers and entertainment producers  (all with background in live group dynamics) to transform the communications dept. content into a compelling live presentation that connects both intellectually AND emotionally with the audience.

A producer also brings fresh pairs of eyes to the event. They look at it differently and provide solutions that are not always obvious. It’s the old phrase: They can’t always see the wood for the trees. Producers are usually hired for this very reason. They can take a “manual” and turn it into a “brochure”.

Of course there’s also our knowledge of the latest advanced technology and most appropriate presentation formats to enhance the exchange of information. You need to decide on the best combination of formats:

–       solo presentation or Q + A with moderator

–       panel with moderator

–       keypad / live texting interaction

–       live and/or pre-recorded testimonials

–       Video vs slide content

As a meeting producer, I follow these rules of thumb to create a meeting that usually surpasses its’ communications objectives:

  1. Know your audience – do your research: speak with people in different depts and regions
  2. Recognize their various point of view – understand their emotional mind sets – what’s the percentage of positive attitudes vs « naysayers »
  3. Be open and honest up front – this helps them be more open to listening to your ideas
  4. Design the right setting (stage, screens, type of seating)
  5. Create incredible visual and audio support

A logical argument with the right support visuals and emotional quotient can shift the audience mind set. This impacts on attitude, culture and ultimate performance.

Conclusion – you can achieve the best results and return on your meeting investment by getting the internal communications people to work closely as one team with an experienced meeting production team.

Michael Caplan
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Michael Caplan

Michael Caplan is the Creative Director and Producer at Sensix Communications & Events, a meeting and event production company that he founded in 1979, headquartered in Montreal.

Michael possesses a brand of creativity and vision that can only come with over 30 years of experience, constantly bringing the industry to new heights. He is recognized as a leader in his field, and was honoured with the Canadian Event Industry Award for Producer of the Year and continues to lead his team with innovative award-winning work.
Michael Caplan
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