4. Get down to business.
Spend the next 45 to 90 minutes taking your team though the aforementioned four questions. Make a column for each of the four lists on a large smartboard, whiteboard or flip chart and fill up each column. If the conversation stalls, tailor the responses to different areas of the event: registration, technology, budget, revenue goals, location, marketing, food and beverage, attendee experience and engagement, speakers, content, customer service, etc.
5. Narrow it down.
Put an asterisk by topics others in the room agree with and then comb the columns for common themes. Cross out and draw arrows as needed. Now go through each column and circle issues you want to pay special attention to. The goal is to amplify the right, fix the wrong, clarify the confusing and add the missing.
6. Make an improvement plan.
Now create a fifth column and label it “Core Issues.” Each core issue will have an action item assigned to a person with a deadline. The manager will need to stay in close contact with everyone assigned an action item, staying informed of the outcomes and making sure the deadlines are met. Save the list of core issues and use them for the preplanning of next year’s event to ensure the “rights” are repeated and the other three categories are improved.