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Planning a conference is quite an undertaking; there are usually different stakeholders and multiple elements to consider, requiring a constant juggling act from the event planner. Breaking the process down into a checklist can help you create an efficient planning process to ensure that the events run without a hitch.
One of the most crucial part of an event planning process is deciding the location of your conference. It is important that your event takes place in a location that the attendees can reach easily to otherwise you might be risking low attendance or losing out to a competitor’s events.
If you are considering an overseas destination, it is advisable to pick a location with direct flights or flight paths with minimal connections for your delegates. This part of event planning requires a specialist. Thus, it is advisable to take on an international meeting planner, who can do a cross reference on where all your guests would be coming from and they will be able to pin point those locations that would work best as per the attendees’ convenience.
Once the destination has been chosen, it is time to move onto securing the correct venue. To do this, it is advisable to make a detailed list of everything you’d require, covering areas such as:
Finding the perfect venue can be an awfully lengthy process, especially if you don’t have local knowledge of the chosen destination. One way to simplify this process is to take consult a professional events agency. A professional events agency will help you in narrowing down the list of venues in accordance to your requirements and budget since they would be knowing the venues that they suggest, inside out.
Once you have chosen your destination, the next thing that you’d need to do is taking care of the rest of things required to host an event. Listed below are the things you need to be taking care of:
Catering – Many venues have their own recommended suppliers. In case they don’t, the professional events agency can help you out with this. It is recommended that you meet up with the catering team and make sure they understand exactly what you require. Make sure you get a get to taste the menu samples to ensure the quality of food & service.
Production – A well branded conference and high end technology put together can really set your conference apart from others. Taking advice from an event production specialist is a wise decision as they have the technical experience & expertise and will be able to offer onsite assistance.
Delegate Management – Inviting your guests and communicating the event details needs to be done in a clear and efficient manner. Today, many professional event agencies provide delegate management systems like EventsAIR that can help you do this. Through this system a bespoke branded website can be created with all your event details, invites and reminders that can be sent out directly to guests and your guests’ data can be collected through an online questionnaire.
After carefully choosing everything related to an event, it is necessary to chart out your event schedule. This needs to include the time schedule for each sub-event i.e. meeting timing, break timing etc. Additionally, keep a list and contact details of people who would managing each & every task of your event. Once this has been done, make sure to cross-reference everything with everyone so that everything holds a better chance at working according to the plan.
Expect the unexpected! Risk assess the entire event and keep a lookout for potential pitfalls and make sure you have backup strategies, wherever possible, to try and eliminate any nasty surprises on the day of the event!
The day of your event has arrived. What do you do?
Author: Sarah Hill