Professional Conference Planning | Behind the Scenes
If you were to imagine the preparation run up to a large event, you will probably envision something close to chaos.
The trick to professional conference planning is superior organisation and timely planning – to keep chaos at bay!
Conferences need to be planned as far in advance. However, in reality this isn’t always possible.
There are times when planners have far less than the ideal time-period to plan and get the show on the road. This creates the necessity for pre-planning and an operational set up that means staff are ready to jump into action at any time.
- Professional conference planners are prepared by having all possible resources and options pre-selected – and on speed-dial! Multiple contingency plans are already in place – for everything from IT and media suppliers to catering to transport, logistics, vendors and entertainment, to venues.
- Teams are in place. They are made up of experienced and skilled human resources who can contribute to fulfilling clients wishes – and exceeding expectations.
- Chains of command are in place – with tight delegation channels.
Temps, or temp agencies, are ‘tried and tested’ – if capacity needs to be imported to put on an event.
- Top-down management is key. Steps are in place to make sure that teams get things done, in the right order – in time, or, as far as possible, ahead of time.
But before the well-oiled machinery can leap into high energy, super-efficient, multi-tasking:
– Step 1: It begins with meeting with the client to hash out ideas. It may be one, or many meetings. Different clients will demand different levels of involvement and oversight. Aspects such as budget are set, along with any variety and extent of details.
– Step 2: The conference planner will prepare a detailed proposal.
– Step 3: Approval and acceptance of the proposal. Contracts are signed. Depending on the type and scale of the event, all levels of admin must be done, arrangements made, contracts are signed, and contingencies formalised. The paperwork starts here….and it doesn’t end.
– Step 4: It’s a Go! This is where it could get crazy. Especially if time is short, or if vendors or contractors pull out. But if contingencies are in place, all is well.
– Step 5: The Event. Your conference planner is there to oversee everything. They are on hand to deal with any on-the-day crisis and to activate any emergency Plan Bs.
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