Checklist for Planning your Next Conference

Large corporations usually plan at least one major conference per year. Major retailers may provide a place for vendors to present their wares to store managers and buyers, technology companies may provide a place for staff to look at what’s happening with competition and the latest and greatest products they want to launch and health facilities will provide a place for seminars, PPE vendors and discussions on ACA. Here is a checklist of steps and items you’ll need from an event hall to personal name tag lanyards:

Date: Get creative when planning your date. Depending on what industry you are in see if there is something you can tie your conference into such as a Holiday, season or year end.

Align Date and Place: If you have a date in mind look around for the conference hall that will accommodate you. If you don’t have a date in mind find the facilities first and book the conference based on availability.

Guest List: Corporate conferences are different than industry conferences in that you will have a guest list of who will be included. There are a number of approaches you can take for your conference. You can charge a nominal fee to vendors who might participate to help cover costs in which case you want to include as many as possible. You might also want to include only key participants relevant to the overall purpose of your conference in which case you would not charge. You then decide how many employees will be invited and base this on need and who will best represent each department and/or store. If your business consists of regions, sometimes inviting regional managers is a good way to downsize for budget purposes. They can then have a regional seminar to present the latest and greatest from the conference.

Send Out Invites: Once your guest list is complete, send out invites. Prepare a package for vendors and keynote speakers to encourage them to participate. Keynote speakers will usually require payment unless they are someone within the corporation.

Checklist of items:

  • Name tag lanyards
  • Brochures covering key points of the conference as well as a message from the CEO
  • Schedule of events (can be emailed so people have them on their handheld devices)
  • Signage
  • Check-in Staff/Information staff

Whatever your industry, planning your conference concerns many factors that must all come together to make your conference a success.

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