Planning a business conference takes time, a solid understanding of your audience and some savvy budgeting skills. If you're planning a business event and need a little help ensuring everything's covered, we caught up with Jurys Meetings to create a Conference Planning Checklist to pave the way...
First of all, it’s good to decide what you want to achieve from your conference, and what you want your delegates to achieve during the day. Do you want them to leave feeling educated and informed, or excited and encouraged? You should have a rough idea of what’s happening, whether its workshops, networking time or talks by professionals, and why you want to do this.
The next consideration of the event is the format. Is the conference going to be a more formal style, or a more relaxed laid-back style? You should start thinking about the ideal number of delegates, as well as who these delegates will include. As your plans get more detailed, you should create a timeline for the day, allocating time to each activity, and making sure to leave time in-between for people to move between activities. This way, delegates won’t be left feeling bored or rushed.
The budget is one of the most important considerations when planning an event. It is important that you consider the budget before you start the planning, and follow it strictly. When you make the budget, you should consider what to priorities, and what can be added if there is money left over. For more help with these decisions, have a look at our blog post here. The budget should cover the venue hire, catering, all practical equipment (chairs and tables etcetera), as well as any guest speakers or entertainment and all marketing and promotional costs.
Once the main details such as date and venue have been sorted, invitations must be sent out with enough warning for people to be able to make a space in their calendar. The invitations should be concise and informative. The key information to have on is the time and date of the event, a short summary of what to expect on the day, the address (preferable with a map attached), transport information and a set RSVP date.
The last main consideration is the catering. It’s important to check with delegates for any special dietary requirements, and then you can plan the food accordingly. Also remember to plan for drinks, if there will be a reception and if drinks will be complimentary or not. For more catering ideas have a look at our post on catering options.
We hope this list helps you get started on your conference planning, and if you’re planning a business conference of event and are looking for a unique venue, get in touch with Jurys Inns to help you find the perfect location.
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