Planning a conference can be a difficult time for anyone. Maybe you have been put in charge of arranging your entire companies conference with multiple branches throughout the country or the world. You need to take everyone into consideration from where they are coming from and where you are going to be holding the conference, not to mention speakers, gifts and more.
A conference is an opportunity for colleagues to get to know each other and to learn during the experience. Most conferences will have key speakers who will share stories and information with the delegates so that they can take something of value back home with them and start incorporating it into their daily lives without delay.
The first important factor to take into consideration when it comes to planning a conference is to set a date well in advance. You want to plan in advance so that all delegates can make the necessary arrangements and book their space. Leaving it to the last minute is only going to cause chaos and result in a poor turnout in the long run. It’s advisable to plan a few months in advance so that you can share the news with all the branches and enable everyone to decide if this is something they wish to attend.
The next important consideration is to identify the number of delegates that may attend. You may want to only make space for a set number of delegates and once the space has been booked, then you are full. The number of delegates will determine the best type of venue to ensure that you can accommodate everyone comfortably during the event from seating to catering.
Look at different locations to choose the best options. In most instances you will choose a location that is in the same city as your head office or that is easily accessible, close to an international airport, for example. If you are planning a conference, you may want to look at hotels in the local area to identify which of them can provide you with conference facilities and then take it from there to determine which of these work within your set budget.
The venue you choose should be more than big enough to accommodate all the delegates throughout the conference. Speak to the various venues and have a look at some of the past conferences that they have catered to seeing how they have done the seating and ensuring that the seating looks comfortable for the number of people you are anticipating. The venue should be ideally located and also be able to accommodate your delegates from near and far, you want everyone staying under one roof for added convenience and also to create that unity that a conference provides.
Speak to the hotel you are thinking of using for your conference to identify how many rooms they have and whether they are able to accommodate all the guests. Remember you are going to want to put more than one delegate in a room, so identify if they have twin rooms, which can reduce the number of rooms you are going to be needing to ensure everyone has a comfortable bed for the night.
With venue and accommodation sorted, check with the hotel to identify if they offer banqueting facilities. Are they able to provide teas and coffees throughout the conference, along with lunches and maybe an entertainment evening meal?
Also look at the other facilities that they provide, such as a wellness centre or gym access that delegates can make use of during their stay.
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