Many employees think of meetings and training workshops as stand-alone events rather than focus points on a performance continuum - it's a day or a week out of the routine to establish goals, define strategies or drill skill development, then it's right back to business as usual. It's no wonder, considering that many of their supervisors and executives approach meetings the same way.
Strategic written communication is the key to changing that mindset and improving your ROI. Whether you're planning a corporate strategy meeting, a training workshop or a new employee orientation, you can increase the impact of your message with a few well-written pre- and post-event communications.
Here are a few suggestions for incorporating the power of the written word into your event planning:
- Use a written survey to pique participant interest and determine the most efficient format for a meeting or a sales training workshop.
- Send out an advance copy of the agenda and ask attendees to "prepare to share" in order to ensure a productive session.
- If you're planning a training workshop, sharing a top-line overview of learning objectives and performance expectations is a great way to capture participant attention and build interest prior to the workshop.
- Tease upcoming events in your company newsletter and on your website.
- Establish an event theme and weave themed imagery into your writing to open attendees' minds and spark their creativity well before the training or meeting takes place.
Following the event, improve retention of key points and promote positive behavioral change with strategic follow up written communication:
- Survey participants to find out what aspect of the training or meeting was most meaningful or helpful to them. Garner suggestions for future events.
- Send a written list of any action items or time lines that were established in the meeting. Send periodic progress reports to highlight areas of concern and note significant completions.
- Use your company newsletter and web site to celebrate success stories. Write as specifically as possible about how the training workshop or strategy meeting contributed to the success.
Most importantly, use written communication to express appreciation to everyone who planned, presented or otherwise participated in your meeting or training workshop, and keep them coming back for more.
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Copyright © 2006 by Sally Bacchetta. All rights reserved.