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Dana's Meeting Minutes: Three Tips and One Awesome Idea for Innovative Planners

Posted By Dana Saal, CMP, CAE, Saal Meeting Consulting, Friday, February 9, 2018
Updated: Thursday, February 8, 2018

An upgrade that’s better than the Club King

Last year I introduced Dana’s Meeting Minutes, sharing Three Tips and One Awesome Idea for Innovative Planners to make your job easier, impress your stakeholders, and/or make your participants say, “I love that!”

Prompted by CareerCast’s ranking event planning #5 in its Most Stressful Jobs of 2017 list, this year’s Meeting Minutes will focus on the one who manages the meetings—you.

A recent experience reminded me how stressful meeting planning is. Out of love for a friend, I helped plan an awards gala. I got into the logistics which I haven’t done for a couple of years. In the throes of it I whined, “this is why I quit planning!” At the end, I realized that for the 30 years prior I must have been in a state of suspended stress, endlessly on high alert while juggling balls, planning how to juggle the balls, or assessing how the balls were juggled.

I still love meeting planning and am grateful for falling into a profession (at age 24!) that fits me like a glove. I have had a charmed career and I want to share what I can to ensure planners love their jobs, without burning out. (Been there, done that.)

Each month I will explore ways that you, and therefore your meetings, are continuously improving; that you’re upgrading, aiming for the Presidential Suite! My One Awesome Idea will be a challenge for you to work on until the next blog.

By the way, based on my original Meeting Planning Triangle, I devised the Meeting Planner’s Triangle, you may find helpful and which I will base my content on. I invite your input about this topic, especially if you have suggestions for improvement.

THREE TIPS (to start you thinking)

Tip #1

How are you…

·         Are you well?

·         Are you enthusiastic?

·         Do you have support?

Tip #2

Are you upgrading…

·         How are you evolving?

·         How are you sharing?

·         How are you collaborating?

Tip #3

Are your meetings…

·         Valuable?

·         Engaging?

·         Compelling?



Rest may seem a waste of time, but it’s proven to play a critical role in brain health, including allowing you to absorb what you’ve just learned, as well as sustain creative thinking.

Rest can be anything from pushing back from your desk for a few moments or taking a long walk. The point is to simply stop.

Challenge: Plan ways to incorporate rest into each day.


Most Stressful Jobs of 2017 by CareerCast.

Deliberate Rest: A blog about getting more done by working less by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, author of the book, Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less

A review of Rest—Arianna Huffington on a Book About Working Less, Resting More from The New York Times Book Review.



Dana L. Saal, CMP, CAE, planned meetings for associations for more than 30 years. She now partners with associations to think creatively, differently, and boldly about their meetings and boards of directors. If you think a bit of coaching could improve your meeting, send a message via her website.


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