Special Message To Corporate Meeting Planners ... Go For Lasting "Level 2 Results"

Meeting planners get a fraction of the results they are capable of because they neglect an area of results pivotal to the success of their clients.  That area is "Level 2 Results."  The author describes Level 2 Results and ways for meeting planners to achieve them.

By Brent Filson - 2005

To make a difference, we must become the difference we want to make.
 
Working with thousands of leaders during the past two decades in top companies worldwide, I've helped many meeting planners make a difference.
 
However, many of you are not making as big a difference as you could; you're getting a fraction of the results you're capable of. 
 
And the trouble is, the neglected results are absolutely critical to repeat business. And, they're ripe for the picking.  
 
I call them Level 2 Results.
 
They differ from Level 1 Results this way.  Level 1 Results are those that are linked to the meeting itself: the results coming from good administration, logistics, location, speakers, events, educational programs, etc.   
 
Level 2 Results are different.  They kick in after the meeting is over.  They're about continuing the celebration, continuing the learning, continuing the networking – back on the job.
  
Moreover, Level 2 Results is about having your clients use what they learned at the meeting to actually get increases results back on the job. 
 
That's the key: INCREASES IN RESULTS ... achieving more results than they would have achieved if they had not participated in the meeting.
 
Look at it this way:
A sales meeting must eventually lead to increased sales results.  That's Level 2 Results.
 
A marketing meeting must eventually lead to increased growth results.  That's Level 2 Results.
 
A manufacturing meeting must eventually lead to increased productivity, etc. That's Level 2 Results.
 
Because Level 2 Results is missed by so many meeting planners, this is your great opportunity.  
 
When you start achieving both Level 1 and Level 2 Results, your importance to your organization is increased exponentially.  You become someone who actually helps your clients get more results.  In other words, you become a results partner to those clients, you become highly valuable and irreplaceable.
 
Here are four ways you can achieve Level 2 Results.
 
1. Target The Right Results.  Too often, planners and their clients, when first getting together to discuss an upcoming meeting, identify a theme and then, often as an after-thought, they discuss the meetings long-term objectives.
 
That sequence should be reversed: Results-discussions must precede thematic-discussions. 
 
Here are questions you can ask your clients to ensure you and they are focusing on achieving the right results at the right time for the right reasons.
 
--What results do the meetings intend to achieve? 
--Why are those particular results being targeted? 
--Do the key people associated with the meeting agree that those are the right results? 
--If they don't, how do you get that agreement -- or should you change the results? 
--If they do, how can you measure and validate those results? 
--How can the meeting get increases in the targeted results? 
--How can those increases be lasting?
 
2. Get The Right Speaker.  Motivational speakers are an essential part of the speaking industry.  But even the best motivational speakers can be counterproductive when it comes to Level 2 Results.  That's because  many motivational speakers, consciously or unconsciously, clearly separate motivation and results.
 
Sure, meetings are great opportunities to have the participants be motivated in fresh ways, but motivated people are often useless to an organization. To become useful, their motivation must impel them to take action that achieves the hard, measured results the organization needs.
 
You can bring in great motivational speakers.  They can get your audience pumped up and raring to go.  They may get you great Level 1 Results, but can they help you and your clients get Level 2 Results?
 
If they can't, you may have to get another speaker.   
 
When hiring speakers, talk to them about both levels of results.  Here are questions you can ask potential speakers.
 
–-Do you understand what Level 2 Results are?
–-Are you willing to partner with my clients and me in achieving those results?
--What specific ways can you help our participants achieve Level 2 Results?
–-How can you help insure that the Level 2 Results we achieve are lasting?
 
3. Institute The Right Action Plans.  Level 2 Results won't happen without strong, clear, simple action plans.  Action plans target specific results, the results you initially identified with your clients that needed to be achieved. These action plans must detail the actions the meeting participants will take to get increases in results in their respective areas.  Action plans, which can be developed by individuals or teams, provide guidance, commitment, and focus. 
 
Questions you can ask your clients concerning action plans. 
 
--What are the results you want to link your action plans to? 
--Who selects and validates the action plans? 
--Should there be a segment of the meeting devoted to developing and implementing action plans? 
--Who will be coordinating the monitoring and evaluation of the action plans? 
--How will senior leadership of the organization be kept abreast of the content and direction of the action plans? 
--How will the action plans be translated into increases in hard, measured results? 
 
4. Develop The Right Evaluation and Monitoring Systems. Level 2 Results won't happen consistently or won't last long without evaluation and monitoring systems.  Such systems must be agreed upon by the key leaders of the meeting and must have clear accountability and specific milestones and phase lines. 
 
Questions you can ask your clients regarding the evaluation and monitoring systems. 
 
--How do you define success in terms of the results you are trying to achieve? 
--How do you measure that success and communicate what you have measured to other people in your organization? 
--Who is accountable for instituting evaluation and monitoring systems and maintaining them? 
--What are the specific milestones you want to use as your action plans unfold? 
--What are the rewards and penalties for realizing or failing to realize the action plans?
          
Level 2 Results are not extra work.  They are central to meeting the needs of your clients and to your career advancement. Such results, coming immediately after the meeting is over and lasting for weeks, months and even years, can make a huge difference in the success of the organizations you work with.  To make a difference with these organizations, be the difference you want to make by helping institute great Level 2 Results.

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2005© The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

The author of 23 books, Brent Filson's recent books are, THE LEADERSHIP TALK: THE GREATEST LEADERSHIP TOOL and 101 WAYS TO GIVE GREAT LEADERSHIP TALKS. He is founder and president of The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. – Celebrating 25 years of helping leaders of top companies worldwide achieve outstanding results every day. Sign up for his free leadership e-zine and get his FREE report "7 Steps To Leadership Mastery"