Planning a conference.Introduction
Conferences can be held for different reasons--promotional, in-company Two or more units proceeding together under the command of a designated senior. , educational or sales-based, to name a few. They can be productive and memorable but, if they go wrong, the failure can rebound rebound (rē´bownd),
n/v 1. a recovery from illness.
n 2. an outbreak of fresh reflex activity after withdrawal of a stimulus
rebound adjective on organisers and host organisations, as well as disappoint dis·ap·point
v. dis·ap·point·ed, dis·ap·point·ing, dis·ap·points
1. To fail to satisfy the hope, desire, or expectation of.
The difference between success and failure is careful and detailed planning of the whole process, from the setting of objectives to the studious stu·di·ous
a. Given to diligent study: a quiet, studious child.
b. Conducive to study.
2. observation of protocol at the final dinner.
This checklist is for those who are responsible for planning a conference, and concentrates on conferences that are run for profit.
National Occupational Standards for Management and Leadership
This checklist has relevance to the following standards: B: Providing direction, units 5, 6, 7
A conference is a gathering of speakers and delegates who meet to solve particular problems, take specific decisions, discuss or learn about issues of mutual interest, publicise Verb 1. publicise - call attention to; "Please don't advertise the fact that he has AIDS"
advertise, advertize, publicize
announce, denote - make known; make an announcement; "She denoted her feelings clearly" services to potential markets, or discuss co-operation with other bodies.
1. Establish the need for a conference
If you have never organised a conference before, be warned: relative to some other methods of achieving your objectives, planning a conference can be very expensive and time-consuming time-con·sum·ing
Taking up much time.
taking up a great deal of time
Adj. 1. . Ask yourself:
* who you want to reach
* what you want to say, ask or discuss, and why
* how and where you want to say it.
By answering these questions you will both determine whether a conference really is the most appropriate and cost-effective cost-effective,
n the minimal expenditure of dollars, time, and other elements necessary to achieve the health care result deemed necessary and appropriate. way of achieving your objectives, and establish an initial set of objectives for planning the conference itself.
2. Set up a committee to plan the conference
Conferences are best planned by a small committee, which will set detailed objectives and a business or promotional programme. Remember, however, that the committee needs to be action-oriented.
3. Appoint a Conference Manager
The Conference Manager, appointed by the committee, has ultimate responsibility for the success of the conference, and should have experience in dealing with people at all levels and a motivation for handling conferences. The Conference Manager should:
* understand every detail of what is required and cross check with the conference committee regularly
* have full authority to negotiate both over the venue, and with all external parties involved.
Enquiries should be directed to the manager when there are questions to answer, problems to solve or decisions to take.
It is possible to engage the services of a professional conference organiser. This can be expensive, but can also cost-effective for large or complex conferences.
4. Prepare a schedule
It takes time to organise a successful conference. Appropriate venues are often booked up a year or more in advance. Consequently, the Committee and Manager must work out a schedule which will allow sufficient time to book a suitable venue, find appropriate speakers and send out publicity material. The Manager must also begin to think of the many other factors to consider when organising a conference, such as:
* access and parking
* comfortable space for an unknown (although targeted) number of delegates
* presentation equipment and visual aids visual aids
objects to be looked at that help the viewer to understand or remember something
* accompanying exhibition (or not)
* method of registering delegates
* information helpdesk
* access to phones, fax or email for delegates
* catering and special diets
* range of accommodation range of accommodation
The distance between one object that is viewed with minimal refractivity of the eye and another object that is viewed with maximal accommodation. requirements.
5. Draw up a programme
The business programme (drawn up by the Committee) should meet your objectives completely. Identify a range of speakers who should be experienced, sincere and convincing. Remember that poor presentation of first-class material can destroy a conference session. Plan the presentation schedule to ensure the attention of delegates is held (people usually concentrate for 25-30 minutes maximum before needing a break). In the programme make an allowance for:
* breaks between presentations
* extended refreshment breaks
* light lunches to prevent delegates from dozing off in the afternoon session (if serving alcohol, do so in moderation)
* a few light relief presentations sandwiched between heavier presentations
* the right balance between inter-active, lecturing and discussion sessions
* the right balance between work and leisure.
Draw up a social programme as it is to the organiser's and delegates' advantage to remain together most, if not all, of the time.
6. Approach and book speakers
From the list of possible speakers identified, approach and confirm a booking with each of them as soon as possible. Once the booking is confirmed, agree the content and format of each speaker's presentation. Approach and book reserve speakers too, in case of last minute problems.
Remember to stress--and re-stress--the timing of the presentations as most speakers overrun 1. overrun - A frequent consequence of data arriving faster than it can be consumed, especially in serial line communications. For example, at 9600 baud there is almost exactly one character per millisecond, so if a silo can hold only two characters and the machine takes . At least one dress rehearsal dress rehearsal
A full, uninterrupted rehearsal of a play with costumes and stage properties.
1. is advisable--schedule a date and ensure the speakers can attend.
7. Identify your delegates
The choice of delegates is closely linked to the conference objectives and is not quite as straightforward as might be imagined. A sales conference sales conference n → conferencia de ventas
sales conference n → réunion f de vente
sales conference n → , for example, will have salespeople sales·peo·ple
Persons who are employed to sell merchandise in a store or in a designated territory. as its delegates, but who else will attend? Will you invite partners? Who will help educate your sales force--the marketing department? Technical people? External consultants? Will you invite customers or potential customers?
8. Select a venue
Once the format of the conference, the speakers and the intended delegates have been determined, the Conference Manager should provide a list of suitable venues which fall within the financial guidelines guidelines,
n.pl a set of standards, criteria, or specifications to be used or followed in the performance of certain tasks. set by the committee. Venues can be identified through personal knowledge, word of mouth or through placement agencies. Consider the location of the venue. How far will the delegates have to travel? Is it accessible by road, rail and air? Are there other attractions nearby that may attract or distract delegates?
The Manager must visit the centres to compare them and ensure they meet all specifications. It is worth remembering that hotels provide special all-in all-in adj (BRIT) (also adv) [charge] → todo incluido
all-in adj, adv (Brit) [charge] → tout compris
conference rates and are often cheaper off-season and at weekends. More recently, universities have come into their own as conference venues. Many have upgraded Halls of Residence to provide comfortable, if not lavish, accommodation.
When making a visit the Manager will obviously be given the VIP treatment. Every opportunity should therefore be taken to observe the treatment other guests are receiving. If necessary, take up references from other organisations which have held conferences there.
The conference room is of prime importance. Size of room is the obvious first consideration, but in addition it should have:
* pleasant overall surroundings
* ceiling height in proportion to the size of room (a low ceiling can depress de·press
1. To lower in spirits; deject.
2. To cause to drop or sink; lower.
3. To press down.
4. To lessen the activity or force of something. delegates)
* first class PA system (if the system is inadequate suitable equipment should be hired)
* efficient but quiet air-conditioning air-conditioning
Control of temperature, humidity, purity, and motion of air in an enclosed space, independent of outside conditions. In a self-contained air-conditioning unit, air is heated in a boiler unit or cooled by being blown across a refrigerant-filled coil and then
* efficient black-out
* easy access for frequent exits and entrances
* comfortable seating.
Have a look in the bedrooms, both standard and executive, to check that they are clean and have the facilities your delegates will expect.
Are the catering facilities adequate to cope with the number of delegates who will be attending? Ask for some sample menus. Look at the dining area.
Check how the hotel will deal with the sudden arrival and departure of your delegates. Ask how they will deal with people who arrive at 2.00 am. A separate conference reception desk can deal with this problem efficiently and can also serve as a conference enquiry desk throughout. Are leisure facilities available?
9. Advertise the conference
Now you have clear information on who you wish to attend and details of the venue and speakers it is essential to advertise the conference as widely, or as accurately, as possible. The Committee should have considered appropriate channels for targeting delegates, and identified possible advertisers, at an early stage.
10. Assemble a pre-conference information pack for delegates
When arrangements allow, delegates should be sent a pre-conference pack containing details of:
* objectives of the conference and an outline of the programme
* arrival and registration instructions
* hotel details (telephone number, map etc)
* details of what delegates are expected to pay
* name of the conference manager and assistant.
11. Get the atmosphere right
Getting the right atmosphere is vital, although there are no formulae for it. Panic and last-minute rush are obviously to be avoided; calm efficiency, courtesy, and friendliness should be aimed for. Even a well planned conference can flop FLOP - 1. An early system on the IBM 701.
[Listed in CACM 2(5):16 (May 1959)]. if the atmosphere isn't right.
12 Debrief de·brief
tr.v. de·briefed, de·brief·ing, de·briefs
1. To question to obtain knowledge or intelligence gathered especially on a military mission.
2. after the conference
During the conference, the Manager must concentrate solely on the administration of the event and the domestic needs of the delegates. The Conference Manager should have an assistant and sufficient support staff. Finally, those involved should hold a debriefing de·brief·ing
1. The act or process of debriefing or of being debriefed.
2. The information imparted during the process of being debriefed.
Noun 1. . Was the conference a success? What lessons have you learned? Add any action points to your checklist for the next conference.
Managers should avoid
* forgetting to draw up a contingency plan A plan involving suitable backups, immediate actions and longer term measures for responding to computer emergencies such as attacks or accidental disasters. Contingency plans are part of business resumption planning. to cover unexpected events, such as illness, or delayed guest speakers
* worrying about being thought a perfectionist--check and re-check the details to the extent of becoming a nuisance nuisance, in law, an act that, without legal justification, interferes with safety, comfort, or the use of property. A private nuisance (e.g., erecting a wall that shuts off a neighbor's light) is one that affects one or a few persons, while a public nuisance (e.g.
* neglecting to get feedback from delegates for analysis and review
* leaving anything to chance or assumption
* being over-cautious about making changes or deviating from plan, if the conference will benefit, or survive, as a result of such action.
Essential tips for organizing conferences and events, Fiona Campbell and others
London: Kogan Page, 2003
Event planning Event planning is the process of planning a festival, ceremony, competition, party, or convention.
Event planning includes budgeting, establishing date and alternate date (rain date), selecting and reserving the event site, acquiring permits, and coordinating transportation : the ultimate guide to successful meetings, corporate events, fundraising
American anatomist who is noted for his studies of hormones and for the discovery (1923) of estrogen.
Ontario, Canada: John Wiley John Wiley may refer to:
Successful even management in a week, Brian Salter salt·er
1. One that manufactures or sells salt.
2. One that treats meat, fish, or other foods with salt.
Noun 1. and Naomi Langford-Wood
London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1999
How to run a successful conference: proven management techniques for delivering a successful event on budget, John G Fisher
London: Kogan Page, 1998
This is a selection of books available for loan to members from the Management Information Centre. More information at: www.managers.org.uk/mic
Conferences--make them work, Bina Brown Management Today, Australia, no. 20, Nov/Dec, 2005, pp 22-26
How to find the right conference venue, Mike Cannell People Management, vol. 8, no. 2, 24 Jan 2002, pp 46-47
This is a selection of journal articles available from the Management Information Centre. More information at: www.managers.org.uk/mic
Planning a Workshop, 018
Publicly accessible computer network connecting many smaller networks from around the world. It grew out of a U.S. Defense Department program called ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network), established in 1969 with connections between computers at the resources
This is one independent example of the various companies offering free venue-finding services. Capital Conferences also assists with the booking, though organisers using this provider need to be working within a set budget level. www.capitalconferences.co.uk
Association for Conferences and Events (ACE)
Riverside House, High Street, Huntingdon,
Cambs, PE18 6EG
Tel: 01480 457595