Planning a conference can be a daunting experience. You have to ensure that all delegates have adequate accommodation, that you have make all necessary travel arrangements and that you remember that will need meals and drinks throughout the event. For some people planning a conference is scary, there are so many amazing venues to choose from and you want to ensure you make the right choice to impress the delegates and help them come back for future conferences.
The first thing you need to do when it comes to planning any conference is to plan in well in advance. You need to ensure you have everything organised, booked and paid for and you also need to ensure you give delegates enough time to plan time to come to the event. In order to have a good attendance, you need to provide potential delegates with the relevant information a couple of months before the conference date, so they can diarise it, confirm and book their spot.
The next factor to consider when planning a conference is location. You can choose a hotel in the heart of the city, or you can choose a bustling business district, such as Canary Wharf, where delegates can still enjoy great restaurant, bars and shopping when they have some time off during the event.
Look at the facilities the hotel has to offer. Do they provide conference or meeting facilities? What about a restaurant? Do they provide on-site catering so you know the delegates will get the meals they deserve? These are important factors, because if you can get everything under one roof, you can save yourself a lot of time and frustration. The hotel will have an experienced waiting team who can work with the kitchen team to ensure the food is ready and presented on time and with complete ease. Some hotels will provide a package price depending on the type of services you are looking for, which can help you provide your delegates with a five star experience at a price you can afford.
The next step is to focus on the accommodation provided and how many rooms are available. Deeding on the number of delegates you are expecting, this could be a major deciding factor on which five star hotel to use for your next conference. Ensure the hotel can provide good quality accommodation that your delegates can get a good nights rest with all the luxury and comfort they need to help them wake up refreshed and ready to enjoy the conference.
Focus on adding some activities to the mix. You cannot expect your delegates to be stuck in the hotel day and night, enjoying the conference and then dining. You will want to arrange some form of entertainment, whether you have music while they are eating or you arrange a few sightseeing experiences during their stay so they can explore the city and all it has to offer.
Remember in addition to venue, accommodation and catering for a conference, you also need to focus extensively on the speakers you will invite. Make a list of relevant and interesting speakers that you know will add value to your delegates experience. Ensure you remember to include accommodation with the hotel for your speakers, so they are also comfortable and can also enjoy the experience.
The final tip to planning a conference is to set a budget and stick to it. You should start with a budget that you know you need to work to and then ensure the hotel also has an idea on the amount you can spend, to ensure you don’t exceed your budget moving forward.