Essential checklist for planning a conference or an event

06/08/19

So, you’ve been asked to plan a conference or event. This can be daunting but also very rewarding. Whether it’s a charity event or conference with your company, we’ve put together a checklist to have a successful day.

Budget

  • First set a realistic budget. Think about every single cost that will incur from the conference and try to be realistic. You can still have a good event without breaking the bank.
  • Write everything up in a spreadsheet. This includes every little transaction which is related to the event. If you know someone who is good with finances, you can always recruit them to give you a hand.
  • Go over the budget with your team. Make the spreadsheet public so they can add to it with any additional purchases.

Venue

  • If you can, view as many venues as possible. You want to ensure you’re getting the best location and services for your budget.
  • If you know anyone else who’s thrown a successful conference, speak to them and ask for recommendations.
  • Speak to the venue staff. Ask them how they can help throughout and what amenities they can provide. Make sure the people you speak to are friendly and helpful, you need a good team behind you on the day.
  • Choose a location that has good transport links and is easily accessible to improve turnout.
  • Try and book the venue as soon as you can to ensure the best availability.

Goals

  • Make sure you have clear goals in mind when planning the conference. You want to ensure the day follows a certain agenda. Otherwise, the topic gets shifted and people won’t be so engaged.
  • Ensure there’s clear communication with your team throughout the process. This will make planning easier and make things flow well on the day.

Speakers

  • If you are having guest speakers, try to get in contact with them as soon as possible to ensure they can attend.
  • Make sure you go over the agenda with them and perhaps do a rehearsal. Make sure everyone knows how much time they have so it doesn’t overrun.
  • Think about the flow of the day and try to alternate things so guests don’t get bored. Have a guest speaker and then do another activity before the next speaker begins. Delegates are more likely to be engaged if things are varied.

Promoting and Sponsoring

  • If it’s a larger conference, consider whether you could get sponsored. Reach out to company’s ahead of time and try to build a relationship.
  • Even if you’re holding a small event, contact local businesses to see if they’d be interested.
  • Social media is a fast and free way of promoting things. If your company has a social media expert, ask for their assistance in getting the best coverage.

Catering

  • It’s important to provide refreshments for your delegates throughout the conference. Always ensure there is water, tea and coffee available throughout.
  • A lunchtime buffet is always nice. Speak to your selected venue to see what they can provide.
  • Some venues also have break out rooms for delegates to stretch their legs and relax during breaks.

Extras

  • Think about any extra details that you might want. Discuss with your team to see if you’ve missed anything out.
  • Consider having a pack for delegates to take home. This could include information about the cause and maybe a few treats.
  • After the conference, ask delegates to give some feedback about the event. Find out what they liked and what you could do differently next time.

If you’re looking for flexible event space or hall hire in Milton Keynes, look no further than Kents Hill Park. We have excellent transport links to the rest of the country, to make it easy for your delegates to attend training, conferences and meetings. Our purpose-built facility is one of the largest dedicated training and conference centres in the UK. For more information, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team.