The Meeting Planner’s Dilemma

Meeting Planner's Dilemma


You’re a meeting planner.


You and maybe your planning committee have been gathering top-notch experts and speakers from across your industry. You have multiple concurrent sessions packed with great content. There isn’t a weak spot on the schedule. But thanks to all your hard work and dedication you have a problem. For every breakout session you have, at most, only half your attendees will see it! If you have more than two sessions at a time, a large majority of your attendees can’t go to any given presentation.


In fact, you’ve done such a good job at programming that your attendees have to make a Sophie’s Choice, over which session to attend.


What if there was a way to increase your attendees Return on Attendance? A way they can get important action items from all the presentations they couldn’t attend? What if it was entertaining to boot!?


Well, I have a solution.


The Association of Legal Administrators held their Region 2 conference in Atlanta and they had this very same situation. The meeting’s planning committee decided to put their conference into action and allowed me to offer this new idea.


I wanted to solve a common problem at conferences; when presented with overlapping and competing breakout sessions, attendees often feel like they are missing out on important topics and information. While too much content is a great problem to have, I asked the question “Why can’t they get something from ALL the sessions?” So I offered up a program I call “Putting Your Conference into Action!”


What did it involve?


Interviewing all 17 breakout speakers, asking them what they felt were the two or three points in their presentation could be put into action the first day an attendee returned to their office.

Attending each and every session (yes, all 18 in the 2 day conference, not including my own opening and closing sessions!), taking notes and getting reactions from attendees.

Creating a customized full length keynote that not only informed but entertained by adding the Craig Price Realist’s Guide spin to it.

The recap session had everyone learning and laughing, while feedback was overwhelmingly positive.

“The one thing that I enjoyed the most was your closing session recap. I don’t know who came up with that idea but that was BRILLIANT!“ Jacksonville ALA Chapter President – Missy Winstead

You did a great job, Craig. We were very impressed with your closing remarks and how well you captured the speakers’ comments. ALA Richmond Chapter President – Ann Caudle

The wrap-up became the buzz of the conference and I really enjoyed meeting all the attendees and speakers. I was even able to interview two session speakers for my Reality Check podcast (subtle hint that you should listen!!).


I look forward to bringing this to more audiences. So if your association or large event would like me to wrap up their conference, please let me know.




  1. Great idea! I hate having to choose between two ( or more) great programs at a conference. Way to go, Craig.

  2. Sanaa,

    I appreciate your feedback.

    As a meeting planner, if you have any suggestions on the best way to market this program to your colleagues, please let me know.



  3. Great article. Genius idea! Everyone from planner to attendee wins with your plan. Well done!

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