The 6 Steps to Group Success:
How to Help All Attendees Meet Corporate Objectives By Stella Johnson
As most planners know, when it comes to almost any type of corporate meeting, there are two
types of people. First, there is Group 1. These are the attendees getting the most out of the offsite
event or outing. This group is internalizing all the latest information in the industry. They are
bonding with co-workers and superiors in the company and inspire others to do the same in
the process. Then, there is Group 2. They are doing the opposite. They are getting the least out
of the corporate pow-wow, avoiding people, especially their superiors, and are lackluster in
assimilating with anyone. So, you have those who are on board and those who are not. How to
get them all together?
Well, planners know immediately who the members of the first group are and may naively walk
away thinking everyone else must be having a productive time, too, but that is not always the
case. To help, here are some pointers to get all attendees up to par and, thereby, meet all
The Six Steps to Group Success:
1. Buddy System: New employees at a corporate event don’t know what to expect, they
may be timid and unaccommodating. In short, they don’t know anyone and feel
uncomfortable, and out of place. To solve that, develop a buddy system. Assign a volunteer
employee to the new hire for the purpose of introducing him or her to other people in the
firm. Also, have them solve any problems that might pop up for the new employee at the
2. Trip Preparation: Spell out in corporate directives what the activities are, what the dress
code is, and if employees will have any free time during the trip. This can ease the minds
of all concerned. They will know when it is a good time to call home, run out and get
some forgotten items or just take a break, regroup, go for a walk or visit a museum or
historic site on their own. They will know what is expected of them.
3. Get Personal: Ask employees if there are any personal issues or problems at home that
might need tending to. Such issues might mean that an attendee must arrive a day later or
leave a day earlier. Accommodate those personal requests, if possible, and make other
arrangements for that person to rectify the matter. In other words, rid the attendee of any
anxiety they might be experiencing because of personal “stuff,” which we all experience
at one time or another.
4. Body Language: Quite simply, when attendees are not having a good time, and aren’t having
a successful experience, you can see it on their faces and in their walk. It’s your business
to find out why and make positive strides to correct the situation. Someone might just
feel ill and need proper attention but is afraid to say anything.
5. Be Nosey: If you ask an attendee, face-to-face, if they are enjoying the meeting, they
will, of course, respond in the affirmative. Well, delve a little deeper until you feel
satisfied that that is true.
6. Learn from the Past: Examine the last corporate event. What were the pluses and
negatives? What segments of the conference were most successful in meeting corporate goals
and why. What events went smoothly, and what events did not go as well as planned? Don’t let
corporate history repeat itself – unless it is good.