A banking industry leadership meeting is one of the most stressful plans you’ll undertake. It’s wrought with the potential of things to go wrong in front of very important people. While it’s easy to assume the level of complexity is on the smaller side, it’s the rank of the attendees that is important not to underestimate. The time away from their executive duties could be costing the company tens of thousands of dollars alone so the organization will want to ensure it’s worth it.
A good bank leadership meeting should align executives or management, strengthen the bank’s future, and leave an indelible (and largely positive) fingerprint on the business. Your success will be based on tangible results. Here’s what you need to do to ensure that happens.
Hosting a Successful Leadership Meeting for the Banking Industry
With a banking leadership meeting, you have three main areas of responsibility that will feed directly into your success. You must:
- Compile the attendee list, figuring out who plays what role and when
- Efficiently distribute the relevant resources and materials
- Create a space that facilitates meeting the goals
Now that you know the basics of what to do, we’ll break down how you can achieve even more. These are the things few people will tell you about planning a successful financial organizational leadership meeting:
Understand You Are the Planner But You Don’t Own the Meeting
Chances are although you will spend hours planning the meeting, there will be someone else taking the helm and the credit. This manager may be very involved in the planning stage, or not at all, but it’s their party and they will be publicly measured by its effectiveness. You, on the other hand, will also be measured by it but likely in the privacy and quiet of an executive’s office.
Verify Roles and Determine the Decision-making Process
Roles and the decision-making process need to be defined prior to your meeting so that things run smoothly and you adhere to the agenda. Knowing who makes final decisions on topics will also help you ensure progress toward end goals.
Your executive contact may want to place you in charge of communicating takeaways after the meeting as part of a closing communication.
Your Expectations May Be Different Than Theirs
Expect that while you are organizing the meeting, you may not be present as anything more than a speed-dial number on the day of the event. This may be very different from how you have managed other events. Find out from your executive contact just what role they want you to play the day of the meeting.
You Need to Help Achieve the Meeting Goals
Are they celebrating organizational leadership? Are they exploring the strategic vision for the next decade? Are they discussing the opportunities in entering a new market? Or perhaps they are analyzing bank income trajectories or risk assessments for the next year. Understanding the goals behind the executives’ work is essential to the meeting. Their goals become your theme and influence every aspect of what you’re putting together for them.
Successful event planners working on banking leadership meetings must understand their role in limiting the scope of the discussion at the meeting. Make it clear before and during the meeting what the goals are and how the discussion will be limited to those in order to accomplish a strategic course of action for the future. A strong agenda is critical to a successful meeting.
Rich, Engaging Content Keeps Attendees Involved
In a banking leadership meeting, there are lots of distractions – many of them coming from the office. In order to keep everyone involved, it’s necessary to use rich content. Rich content invites attendees to participate. Things like polls and surveys are considered “rich” and keep people focused on your meeting, not to mention assist them in connecting with one another.
Polls work well when they build up. Start with an easy question that everyone can answer without much thought. Then escalate into more serious topics. This allows your audience to recognize a pattern of interaction. It sets the tone for conversation, not a one-way lecture.
You can also use polls to informally understand if your goals were met by asking pre-meeting and post-meeting questions. ConnexMe is an easy to use platform that features visual polling for formal and informal polling of your participants. Attendees select their response and results appear on the screen in the form of a heat map. This helps gauge sentiment or support for an idea in an engaging and visually-stimulating way.
Since you’ll conduct polls with technology, it’s important to ensure…
Technology Must Be Secure
Your outside tech will not be approved if it doesn’t meet the stringent requirements of the banking industry. That’s why you want to work with a technology provider that is familiar with the industry and its regulations. Select someone with compliance expertise and knowledge of IT audits in the banking industry as well as cybersecurity regulations.
A mature banking technology partner also has documented, in-depth policies and processes. In truth, event planners in the banking industry should look for a partner to help them select tech that will assist them in achieving their goals. A vendor is not enough. There are too many regulations to leave your tech needs to just a supplier. You want someone to be a partner in your success.
Getting Tech Approved
If you plan on using new technology for your meeting, something your bank has not used previously, you’ll likely need to go through an approval process and security screening. As mentioned above, the banking industry has many concerns over cybersecurity. That’s another reason why it’s so important to work with a technology partner that can help provide the details of what you need during the approval process.
Begin this process as early as possible in order to ensure enough time for thorough vetting on bank management’s part. If you are comfortable with technology assessment and want to prepare ahead of time, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in the U.S. Department of the Treasury has a Cyber Assessment Tool as does the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council. But for most, working with your IT management group and your technology vendor partner, you’ll have a clear idea of whether your proposed technology covers everyone’s concerns.
Organization Involves More Than Just Circulating the Agenda
Put together the agenda and necessary materials by creating a dedicated private website, online group, or app for your meeting. This will keep everyone in touch regardless of their travels or location. They won’t need to worry about keeping track of an email or piece of paper. You can do this with an Event Management platform such as Evenium Net.
Most of these leadership meetings are broader in scope than a usual management meeting. Your agenda is likely to have more questions than answers. This is not a status report-type meeting. You’ll want to create a flow of energy that aids in creative problem solving or strategy discussion, which leads us to…
The Wrong Venue Can Impede Your Goals
Selecting the right venue is extremely important when considering costs, location and meeting space, as well as services and amenities. But it’s equally important to understand the basics of what will be accomplished in the space. Some bank executive meetings may be held at a corporate office but just as many will go off-site in order to generate new ideas and strategies.
As written in a Harvard Business Journal article entitled, “Offsites that Work”, these types of executive planning meetings “…deal with information and issues that are often ambiguous or speculative, which makes many executives uncomfortable.” Your venue will need to compensate for that.
Key Logistics Must Be Mobile
It’s likely you have a very mobile group of executives. They may not even be based in the same city, let alone country. Use a mobile app to coordinate and maintain important event information like accommodations, transportation, invitations, and registration/RSVPs. This type of mobile application will also allow them to connect prior to the physical meeting, which is essential for networking, reestablishing relationships, and garnering support for ideas.
Evenium’s ConnexMe also allows participants to send private meetings and engage with one another on a one-on-one basis making the most of their limited time together. Here’s a first-hand account from Alcatel-Lucent that had 100% adoption rate of the mobile app at their event.
Communication Means More than Presenting
Keep your attendees involved by promoting your meeting in advance and by making sure they are connected throughout the meeting through meaningful messaging and by encouraging questions and comments through an app aimed at engagement.
In an executive meeting situation, you don’t want attendees holding their questions and comments until the end. Their input is essential to discussion and should occur at the point it’s applicable and most valuable. Q&A tools can help facilitate discussion without derailing the person who’s presenting.
Selecting technology that everyone can get on board with means offering tools that are simple and easy to set up, yet informative enough to keep your attendees interested and engaged.
Help Leaders Meet Their Personal Goals
In addition to the banking strategy goals you’re facilitating as part of the meeting, there are likely individual, professional goals for each of your attendees. Organizing a leadership meeting means you also should account for their personal desires to network and be heard. The cost to the bank of having their leadership meet and take time away from their daily positions must be justified by the outcomes. Those outcomes are both personal and professional.
A successful banking industry meeting planner will select technology with collaborative tools that facilitate discussion and allow for opinions and experience to be heard. This is not a one-way broadcast the way an annual report may be presented. Leadership meetings may involve global strategies, public relations issues, tactics for minimizing the impacts on markets for things like increased interest rates, or cybersecurity.
While each of these topics requires a slightly different flow or set up, they all need tools that will help those assembled to be heard and contribute to the discussion in an effective way. Visual collaboration tools are easy to use and allow everyone to partake in the discussion even if the attendee list is quite large.
Using collaborative tools also means your leaders can begin networking prior to the meeting and begin building consensus and support for their ideas before they even arrive.
Proper Materials and Documents Should Be Electronic and Centrally Located
Ensure that attendees have access to the agenda and all documents, performance metrics, graphics, reports, and videos in one place either through a dedicated website, private group, or app.
In addition to these documents, sometimes banking leadership meetings also require voting. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is electronically but it’s important to check with your voting by-laws to make sure electronic voting is allowed.
Engagement Is Physical as Well as Mental
Based on the length of your meeting, you need to incorporate breaks, meals and snacks, and time for attendees to communicate on a one-on-one basis. High profile meetings are often very draining for participants. Additionally, their roles are pivotal to organizational success so it’s essential you provide time to “check-in” with the office as well. Otherwise, they’ll be forced to do it during the meeting and you don’t want them missing anything.
However, even if they are forced to excuse themselves for a bit, with the ConnexMe app’s “Live Feed” tab the participants can see comments from the other attendees and not miss part of the discussion.
Technology can be a major factor in a successful bank leadership meeting because of the multiple areas in which it assists. Communication, engagement, networking, travel, and organization are all facilitated with the introduction of easy-to-use tech.
If you want your next bank industry leadership meeting to become one that leaves an indelible imprint on company growth and strategic planning, Evenium can help. We know what your executives expect and we deliver even more. Our engagement and meeting tools help you increase efficiency and organization, while our collaborative features make meetings enjoyable for your participants and allow them to meet their strategic objectives.