Tag Archives: Logistics

Meeting and Convention Planners

Significant Points

* People with a variety of educational or work backgrounds can become meeting and convention planners.
* Planners often work long hours in the period prior to and during a meeting or convention, and extensive travel may be required.
* Employment is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations.
* Opportunities will be best for individuals with a bachelor’s degree and some experience as a meeting planner.

Nature of the Work

Meetings and conventions bring people together for a common purpose, and meeting and convention planners work to ensure that this purpose is achieved seamlessly. Planners  coordinate every detail of meetings and conventions, from the speakers and meeting location to arranging for printed materials and audio-visual equipment.


The first step in planning a meeting or convention is determining the purpose, message, or impression that the sponsoring organization wants to communicate. Planners increasingly focus on how meetings affect the goals of their organizations; for example, they may survey prospective attendees to find out what motivates them and how they learn best. A more recent option for planners is to decide whether the meeting or convention can achieve goals in a virtual format versus the traditional meeting format. Virtual conferences are offered over the Internet where attendees view speakers and exhibits online. After this decision is made, planners then choose speakers, entertainment, and content, and arrange the program to present the organization’s information in the most effective way.


Meeting and convention planners search for prospective meeting sites, primarily hotels and convention or conference centers. When choosing a site, the planner considers who the prospective attendees are and how they will get to the meeting. Being close to a major airport is important for organizations that have attendees traveling long distances who are pressed for time. The planner may also select a site based on its attractiveness to increase the number of attendees.


Once they have narrowed down possible locations for the meeting, planners issue requests for proposals to all possible meeting sites in which they are interested. These requests state the meeting dates and outline the planner’s needs for the meeting or convention, including meeting and exhibit space, lodging, food and beverages, telecommunications, audio-visual requirements, transportation, and any other necessities. The establishments respond with proposals describing what space and services they can supply, and at what price. Meeting and convention planners review these proposals and either make recommendations to the clients or management or choose the site themselves.


Once the location is selected, meeting and convention planners arrange support services, coordinate with the facility, prepare the site staff for the meeting, and set up all forms of electronic communication needed for the meeting or convention, such as e-mail, voice mail, video, and online communication.

Meeting logistics, the management of the details of meetings and conventions, such as labor and materials, is another major component of the job. Planners register attendees and issue name badges, coordinate lodging reservations, and arrange transportation. They make sure that all necessary supplies are ordered and transported to the meeting site on time, that meeting rooms are equipped with sufficient seating and audio-visual equipment, that all exhibits and booths are set up properly, and that all materials are printed. They also make sure that the meeting adheres to fire and labor regulations and oversee food and beverage distribution.


There also is a financial management component of the work. Planners negotiate contracts with facilities and suppliers. These contracts, which have become increasingly complex, are often drawn up more than a year in advance of the meeting or convention. Contracts often include clauses requiring the planner to book a certain number of rooms for meetings in order to qualify for space discounts and imposing penalties if the rooms are not filled. Therefore, it is important that the planner closely estimates how many people will attend the meeting based on previous meeting attendance and current circumstances. Planners must also oversee the finances of meetings and conventions. They are given overall budgets by their organizations and must create a detailed budget, forecasting what each aspect of the event will cost. Additionally, some planners oversee meetings that contribute significantly to their organization’s operating budget and must ensure that the event meets income goals.


An important part of the work is measuring how well the meeting’s purpose was achieved. After determining what the objectives are, planners try to measure if objectives were met and if the meeting or conference was a success. The most common way to gauge their success is to have attendees fill out surveys about their experiences at the event. Planners can ask specific questions about what sessions were attended, how well organized the event appeared, how they felt about the overall experience, and ask for suggestions on how to improve the next event. If the purpose of a meeting or convention is publicity, a good measure of success would be how much press coverage the event received. A more precise measurement of meeting success, and one that is gaining importance, is return on investment. Planners compare the costs and benefits of an event and show whether it was worthwhile to the organization. For example, if a company holds a meeting to motivate its employees and improve company morale, the planner might track employee turnover before and after the meeting.


Some aspects of the work vary by the type of organization for which planners work. Those who work for associations must market their meetings to association members, convincing members that attending the meeting is worth their time and expense. Marketing is usually less important for corporate meeting planners because employees are generally required to attend company meetings. Corporate planners usually have shorter time frames in which to prepare their meetings. Planners who work in Federal, State, and local governments must learn how to operate within established government procedures, such as procedures and rules for procuring materials and booking lodging for government employees. Government meeting planners also need to be aware of any potential ethics violations.


Convention service managers, meeting professionals who work in hotels, convention centers, and similar establishments, act as liaisons between the meeting facility and planners who work for associations, businesses, or governments. They present food service options to outside planners, coordinate special requests, suggest hotel services based on the planner’s budget, and otherwise help outside planners present effective meetings and conventions in their facilities.

In large organizations or those that sponsor large meetings or conventions, meeting professionals are more likely to specialize in a particular aspect of meeting planning. Some specialties are conference coordinators, who handle most of the meeting logistics; registrars, who handle advance registration and payment, name badges, and the set-up of on-site registration; and education planners, who coordinate the meeting content, including speakers and topics. In organizations that hold very large or complex meetings, there may be several senior positions, such as manager of registration, education seminar coordinator, or conference services director, with the entire meeting planning department headed by a department director.

Work environment.

The work of meeting and convention planners may be considered either stressful or energizing, but there is no question that it is fast-paced and demanding. Planners oversee multiple operations at one time, face numerous deadlines, and orchestrate the activities of several different groups of people. Meeting and convention planners spend the majority of their time in offices, but during meetings, they work on-site at the hotel, convention center, or other meeting location. They travel regularly to attend meetings and to visit prospective meeting sites. The extent of travel depends upon the type of organization for which the planner works. Local and regional organizations require mostly regional travel, while national and international organizations require travel to more distant locales, including travel abroad.


Work hours can be long and irregular, with planners working more than 40 hours per week in the time leading up to a meeting and fewer hours after finishing a meeting. During meetings or conventions, planners may work very long days, starting as early as 5:00 a.m. and working until midnight. They are sometimes required to work on weekends.

Some physical activity is required, including long hours of standing and walking and some lifting and carrying of boxes of materials, exhibits, or supplies. Planners work with the public and with workers from diverse backgrounds. They may get to travel to luxurious hotels and interesting places and meet speakers and meeting attendees from around the world, while enjoying a high level of autonomy.

Source: bls.gov, visitlongbeach.com, masacc.org, visittraversecity.com, westmemphis.org,

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Truck Transportation and Warehousing

Significant Points

•    Truck drivers and driver/sales workers hold 44 percent of all jobs in the industry.
•    Job opportunities are expected to be favorable, especially for truck drivers.
•    Many jobs require a high school education or less, although an increasing number of workers have at least some post-secondary education.

Nature of the Industry About this section

Goods and services

Firms in the truck transportation and warehousing industry provide a link between manufacturers and consumers. Businesses contract with trucking and warehousing companies to pick up, transport, store, and deliver a variety of goods. The industry includes general freight trucking, specialized freight trucking, and warehousing and storage.

Industry organization

General freight trucking uses motor vehicles, such as trucks and tractor-trailers, to provide over-the-road transportation of general commodities. This industry segment is further subdivided based on distance traveled. Local trucking establishments carry goods primarily within a single metropolitan area and its adjacent non-urban areas. Long-distance trucking establishments carry goods between distant areas.

The work of local trucking firms varies with the products transported. Produce truckers usually pick up loaded trucks early in the morning and spend the rest of the day delivering produce to many different grocery stores. Lumber truck drivers, on the other hand, make several trips from the lumberyard to one or more construction sites. Some local truck transportation firms may also take on sales and customer relations responsibilities for a client, in addition to delivering the firm’s products.

Specialized freight trucking provides over-the-road transportation of freight, which, because of size, weight, shape, or other inherent characteristics, requires specialized equipment, such as flatbeds, tankers, or refrigerated trailers. This industry sector also includes the moving industry—that is, the transportation of household, institutional, and commercial furniture for individuals or companies that are relocating. Like general freight trucking, specialized freight trucking is subdivided into local and long-distance components. The specialized freight trucking sector contained 47,600 establishments in 2008.

Many goods are carried using intermodal transportation to save time and money. Intermodal transportation encompasses any combination of transportation by truck, train, plane, or ship. Typically, trucks perform at least one leg of the trip, since they are the most flexible mode of transport. For example, a shipment of cars from an assembly plant begins its journey when they are loaded onto rail cars. Next, trains haul the cars across country to a depot, where the shipments are broken into smaller lots and loaded onto tractor-trailers, which drive them to dealerships. Each of these steps is carefully orchestrated and timed so that the cars arrive just in time to be shipped on their next leg of their journey. Though some perishable and time-sensitive goods may be transported by air, they are usually picked up and delivered by trucks.

Warehousing and storage facilities comprised 15,200 establishments in 2008. These firms are engaged primarily in operating warehousing and storage facilities for general merchandise and refrigerated goods. They take responsibility for keeping general merchandise and refrigerated goods secure and in good condition. A growing number of warehousing and storage facilities also may provide some logistical services, such as labeling, inventory control management, repackaging, and transportation arrangement.

Recent developments

Trucking and warehousing firms often provide logistical services encompassing the entire transportation process. Logistical services manage all aspects of the movement of goods between producers and consumers. Among their value-added services are sorting bulk goods into customized lots, packaging and repackaging goods, controlling and managing inventory, order entering and fulfillment, labeling, performing light assembly, and marking prices. Some full-service companies even perform warranty repair work and serve as local parts distributors for manufacturers. Some of these services, such as maintaining and retrieving computerized inventory information on the location, age, and quantity of goods available, have helped to improve the efficiency of relationships between manufacturers and customers.
Many firms rely on new technologies and the coordination of processes to expedite the distribution of goods. The use of computers to analyze work routines in order to optimize the use of available labor has led to increases in productivity. Some firms use Radio Frequency Identification Devices (RFID) to track and manage incoming and outgoing shipments. RFID simplifies the receiving process by allowing entire shipments to be scanned without unpacking a load to manually compare it against a bill of lading.

Many companies use just-in-time shipping, which means that goods arrive just before they are needed, saving recipients money by reducing their need to carry large inventories. These technologies and processes reflect two major trends in warehousing: supply chain integration, whereby firms involved in production, transportation, and storage all move in concert so as to act with the greatest possible efficiency; and ongoing attempts to reduce inventory levels and increase inventory accuracy.

Source: bls.gov, driverscdlstaffing.com, stcroixtech.org, californiacareerschool.edu, operator-school.com, brazen.in, nagworld.ca

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Dynamic Training Solutions Profile

Dynamic Training Solutions,  view each client they deal with as being unique. They prefer to adapt and design training interventions to suit each client’s exact requirements. They are proud of this flexible approach as well as the close, long-term partnerships they have developed with their existing clients over the years. Most of their business is generated via repeat business and word of mouth referrals. Their experience enables them to work with clients in both the public and the private sector.

Overview

Dynamic Training Solutions, the skills development and knowledge empowerment specialists, brings to the community of South Africa a new breath of fresh air in training and development of all people in the market. By combining old fashioned values, going the extra mile, and using cutting edge training skills software, Dynamic Training Solutions will lead the market, providing the same quality results, every time.

Dynamic Training Solutions aims to offer practical, project-based training interventions to clients in all areas. The concept is to identify projects during training programs that will ultimately serve as tangible outcomes for participants, as opposed to the conventional question and answer assessment techniques currently being implemented amongst the many that Dynamic Training Solutions produce for imparting knowledge to empower and develop delegates. Dynamic Training Solutions is an equal opportunity business making its expertise and its products available to help its customers in their own training and coaching business. Through these and other affordable products and services, Dynamic Training Solutions aims to be the number one resource for any development or skills shortage.

 

Products and Services

Although Dynamic Training Solutions is primarily a service business, they also offer products to aid their customers in training and coaching themselves. The following Services are tools used at special venues for
the best possible results:

Conferencing & Workshops

Dynamic Training Solutions produces high level business training events for the worlds leading decision makers. These dynamic and innovative training events bring together management from the most influential organisations, with top product and mutually beneficial solutions; their conferencing and workshop exclusive format enables participants to achieve the maximum amount of interactions over a two day period

Training

As one of the leading training companies in South Africa, Dynamic Training Solutions can offer delegates more than just a training course. Their infrastructure is second to none, enabling us to provide a service
to our clients that cannot be matched. Their trainers are focused to provide intense training directly applicable to your organisation.

• Is your training needs being fully satisfied by external courses?
• Do you have a group of people with similar educational requirements?
• Would you like courses that are tailor made to your specifications?

If so, Dynamic Training Solutions training can provide the exact highly tailor made training courses that meet your needs. Their keys to success include the commitment to quality by every person who is part of the team.

 

What They Offer

  • Business and Management Courses
  • Soft Skills
  • Computer Skills: Both introductory & Advance

Kurt Johnson has 15 years experience within the Logistics and Supply Chain Management field.  After leaving the SAPS in 1997, where he was responsible for the logistics function, he started conducting training on a part-time basis both corporately and publicly.

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