Your job as a MICE consultant or coordinator is by no means an easy one. What you really want to do is find ways and means to make it easier, because while wanting to be the ultimate superhero and do everything yourself is all well and good, when the day of your conference arrives, you need to make sure that everything is under control.
You may remember a previous blog of ours: Our foolproof event briefing template , where we gave you a simple yet effective event breifing template and guidlines for streamlined event briefing process. So while this may seem like déjà vu, it isn’t. While the event briefing template forms the perfect starting point (covering the who, where, what, why, when and with what budget), there are a myriad of additional factors to consider and add when it comes to a conference. This is how to create a successful conference and what to add to the event briefing template based on this conference checklist:
Establish the general specifics
Ever been faced with organising a conference and so overwhelmed by the prospect you literally don’t know where to start? Don’t panic. The best place to start is to nail down the specifics. Perhaps in this order:
Establish the dates and times of the conference.
Pinpoint the main topics and generate a name for the conference.
At this stage you need to create an initial budget, so you have an idea of what you’re working with.
Fine-tune the venue details
Your conference briefing template needs to include the venue and the finer details thereof. Some believe that the location can make or break the success of it — so here are some pointers on how to choose the best location:
Make a list of suitable hotels, conference venues and halls and contact them to establish if they are viable options. Once you have narrowed down the list of potential conference spaces, organise site inspections. Then confirm their availability for the dates and times of your conference as well as their rates (ensure that these are within the budget).
The article recommends that you “Research venue capabilities — square meterage, audio-visual and IT equipment available”.
Identify and compare all catering options available.
If accommodation will be required, investigate and compare the accommodation options.
Ensure that the location meets any parking and transportation requirements.
Once you have done or are satisfied with all the above factors, book the venue and any necessary extras.
Include your marketing plan
Marketing is a vital element of any successful conference. So you want to make sure this is mentioned in the briefing template to ensure that you get this right from the beginning:
Create a marketing plan and draw up a list of sponsors that would be ideal for the conference.
Organise the design of the conference theme and logo.
Organise the design of and then print relevant material such as tickets and invitations.
Promote event to potential exhibitors and create and implement the advertising strategy on all relevant channels.
Create and print advertising material.
Design and organise promotional merchandise.
Design and print an exhibit guide.
Organise, organise, organise.
Prepare as much as you can before the day to ensure a (relatively) stress-free conference. The reality is that you cannot do the conference alone. The first port of call, is to create organisation teams to help you with every aspect of the conference and make sure this is in the briefing template. Between you and the team you will need to:
Create a full schedule, broken down into what will happen per day of the conference, as well as who needs to do what.
Speakers will need to be scheduled on certain days and timeslots.
A final list of participants will need to be drawn up.
Organise, schedule and book any catering, entertainment, etc.
Ensure that the invitations are sent.
Ensure any equipment that is needed is either at the venue already or booked.
Hire/book any staff requirements — volunteers to help with the conference, IT technicians, audio visual experts, etc.
Conference onsite management
It goes without saying that a big part of your (and your team’s job) is to ensure smooth onsite management during the conference. Here are some of the things you will have to factor in.
You will have to liaise with the Food and Beverage manager regarding all catering requirements.
Ensure all equipment is working and has been inspected.
The article suggests organizing a “presentation committee”.
Ensure that you and your team are familiar with all safety procedures and requirements.
All activities for participants should be arranged as well as any “social programs and functions”.
Streamline the registration process
This is a crucial part of any conference so you need to make sure you do everything you can to avoid hiccups and complications. Your role in terms of registration is as follows:
Make use of technology as much as possible. Make sure that any online forms or links are updated regularly.
Create registration packages which need to reach participants at least two days before the conference.
Arrange the registration for the exhibitors.
Ensure a smooth strike
Much like a theatre set, you need to strike the venue post-conference. You really want this to be a smooth, quick process, so create a specific ‘strike team’ who have been briefed on what they need to do, so that it happens quickly and damage-free. You also want to schedule an exact date and time for this. The best would be that you facilitate the process to minimize the chance of any property damage, as you will be liable for these costs.
All this information needs to be included in your conference briefing template, and while this in itself may be daunting, in the long run it will be well worth the effort. If you are looking to create an exceptional, seamless, successful conference, and are looking for the perfect location, then look no further than Calpe. Contact us for more information and our list of phenomenal hotels in Calpe, ideal for any event or conference. With ample MICE experience under our belts, we will go above and beyond to assist you in creating a seamless, successful and memorable conference.