Practical Tips & Advice

Planning a conference

Published: 20 Aug 2010

There are plenty of things to consider when organising a meeting or conference. The following will give you an idea of what to think about when planning an event.

Venue Selection

Ask plenty of internal questions:

* Ask the Budget Holder about the location
* Request a profile of the attendees
* Is there any flexibility in the chosen dates
* Find out the purpose and what they want to achieve from the event
* Consider how the success of the event is going to be measured
* Think about how the audience are going to be invited and how will they reply
* What is the risk?

The key issues that can affect your venue are:

* Dates
* Day of week
* Timings of the event
* Complexity of turnarounds
* Setup time
* Layout and Style of your meeting rooms
* Experience of the team running the event
* Pre-event organisation
* Most of all - communication

Budget Considerations

This is not exhaustive but gives you an idea of what to look and plan for:

Costs for marketing:

* Pre Event Research
* Collateral
* Invitations
* Website
* Registration System
* Administration of Bookings
* Advertising

Event Costs:

* Venue hire
* Catering
* Equipment
* Production
* Badges
* Delegate packs
* Accommodation, Guests & Crew
* Transport of support staff & literature
* Entertainment & Speakers
* Theming
* VIP upgrades
* Transport logistics
* Webcasting, videoconferencing & interpretation
* Event management and on site management
* Insurance

Potential event income:

* Exhibitors
* Sponsors
* Advertisers
* Charging delegates

Post Event Evaluation:

* Questionnaire either online or paper
* Production of post-event replies
* Telephone feedback campaign
* Collation of replies


* Non arrival of speakers
* Costs of venue not being available (e.g. due to flooding or fire)
* Weather
* Loss of production set or literature


Find the best suppliers:

* Recommendation
* Testimonials from potential suppliers
* Speak to the venue directly
* For creative events; ask the supplier to present you with previous work


Content provided by the Event Organisers' Guide by Trinity Conferences Ltd

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