Looking to capitalize on the connections made during the Q1 event rush? Mid-year meetings may be perfect for you.
Historically speaking, the meetings and events industry has always had a busy time of year, followed by slower seasons. However, as in-person events have returned, we’ve found that the standard peaks and valleys of live events have flattened in a much more steady, constant stream of meetings.
Whether organizations are making up for lost time during the pandemic, utilizing venue credits from canceled meetings, or rethinking their event strategy altogether, there is no question that a standard event schedule is a thing of the past.
We’ve also found that, rather than simply hosting one large event at the beginning of the year, many organizations are producing a kick off event, with several smaller events, or mid-year meetings, taking place throughout the year.
But what exactly is a mid-year meeting? What is its purpose, and how can it help your organization? Keep reading to learn more.
What is a mid-year meeting?
As one year ends and a new one begins, many people make renewed commitments to their health and fitness, goals, hobbies, or professional endeavors with New Year’s resolutions. Similarly, many organizations mark the New Year by rolling out new initiatives, slogans, or procedures.
While these announcements are usually made (or more thoroughly explained) at a Q1 meeting or broadcast, touch points throughout the year are often lacking.
Enter the mid-year meeting. Mid-year events are the perfect opportunities to review goals set at the beginning of the year, share progress made so far, shift priorities (if necessary), and refocus as a team. Just as new initiatives are implemented at the beginning of the year, this is a great opportunity to reflect and take stock of how they’ve worked so far – and course correct as needed.
Throughout 2020 and 2021, we all learned the extent to which national or world events can affect the way our organizations are forced to operate. What may have seemed like the perfect sales or marketing strategy at the beginning of 2020 may have been irrelevant by June of the same year. During mid-year meetings, organizations are able to assess how the current global or national climate is impacting their business or strategy and roll out updates to their teams and shareholders as needed.
What are the benefits of mid-year meetings?
The benefits of mid-year meetings vary depending on the industry, organization, and any number of outside factors, but there are a few that always ring true
Reinforce key messaging
If key messages or initiatives were discussed during Q1 events, having a touch point halfway through the year will not only remind attendees of these initiatives, but reinforce the importance of the year’s objectives. Similarly, if there is a change in direction, this is a great opportunity to not only introduce it, but clarify what caused the shift and how progress will be measured moving forward.
Continue facilitating connections and conversations
When it comes to in-person events, we’ve found that one of the things that matters most to attendees is having the opportunity to connect and network with leaders and other attendees.
While many audience members were able to connect with new people during Q1 meetings, how can organizations help foster these connections year round? Mid-year meetings, of course!
Having multiple networking and connection touch points throughout the year will allow attendees to further establish existing connections and network with a larger number of people.
Planning more than one large gathering – whether it be in-person, virtual, or hybrid – each year helps to develop organizational culture, on-board new teammates, and align all attendees, regardless of job function or location.
Just as mid-year meetings facilitate one-on-one connections, they also allow organizations to effectively communicate to a large audience, all at the same time.
The primary purpose of live events is to effectively connect and communicate with attendees – and we don’t think this should be limited to once a year!
Making the most of mid-year meetings.
Now that we know why organizations should have mid-year meetings, let’s talk about how to make them as effective and impactful as possible.
Keep it snappy
Unlike yearly kickoff meetings, which set the tone for the entire year, mid-year meetings are a great refresher course. Be respectful of your attendees’ time and prioritize messaging and experiences that will have the greatest impact.
That being said, do not skip bi-directional communication to save time. Most attendees will want the opportunity to hear from and communicate with organizational leadership or executives. Make sure there are plenty of opportunities for formal communication (such as Q&As or panel discussions), as well as informal opportunities to connect (such as a team dinner or group activity.
Engage exciting presenters
Keep attendees interested and engaged by bringing in relevant and unexpected presenters, in addition to company leadership. Keynote speakers often have more availability as the year goes on – take advantage of their (relatively) flexible schedules and surprise your attendees with a unique presentation or experience.
Emphasize building connections
In case we haven’t said it enough, leverage your event to facilitate connections among attendees!
Whether they’re connecting with somebody they don’t see very often, reestablishing existing connections, or networking with somebody brand new, help facilitate conversations through event activities, networking booths, or informal get-togethers.
After two long years with significantly limited in-person events, we’re all eager to connect and communicate with each other more frequently and more effectively. Take advantage of mid-year meetings to reinforce key messaging, adjust strategies throughout the year, and build stronger, lasting connections!
At Encompass, we have unique backgrounds that situate us perfectly to produce high end and complex offerings. We’ve worked in broadcast television, touring entertainment, live sporting events, and countless convention facilities across the country.
We have technical design experience and a disciplined process in place that allows us to easily scale events and shift from in-person to virtual without angst. There isn’t much that’s beyond our scope and we love the intensity of putting on events!
If you’re a planner working to create an event, seeking help with virtual event technology, or simply want to learn more … we can help! Sign up below to receive our updates (we promise to keep your contact information secure and won’t “overshare”).