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Conference Planning Presentation

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Conference Planning Presentation

  1. 1. Presented by Lynn Voss senior continuing education coordinator Gina Ganahl, Ph.D. associate dean University of Missouri-St. Louis, Division of Continuing Education
  2. 2.  Define the conference parameters  Select the site  Establish the preliminary budget  Set general conference schedule  Identify keynote speaker(s)  Create a marketing plan  Solicit and select session presentations  Determine & plan required & optional elements  Implement the conference  Follow-up
  3. 3.  Sponsoring organization(s) ◦ Planning committee/staff  Conference topic or theme  Participant demographics & number  Overall budget (general figure) ◦ Self-supporting vs. funded or sponsored  Length of conference  Conference dates  Location – city and state
  4. 4.  Organization’s requirements  Ease of travel to and from, and around town  Relative cost compared to other cities  Weather during conference date(s)  Availability of conference facilities  Amenities of the city  Location of the organization’s last conferences
  5. 5.  Conference center + off-site hotel ◦ Advantages:  Less expensive ◦ Disadvantages:  Less convenient for participants  Shuttle service between center and hotel needed  Fewer options available- less location flexibility  Hotel with conference center ◦ Advantages:  Convenient for participants.  No shuttle service needed  Better networking opportunities for participants  More location flexibility ◦ Disadvantages:  More expensive (food, meeting space, AV equipment, etc.)
  6. 6.  Items to consider: ◦ Hotel layout – flow of meeting rooms, general session space, meal facilities, check-in, exhibitor space, security, storage, speaker prep room… ◦ Site amenities ◦ Parking ◦ Food cost, including gratuities, & minimums ◦ Guest room attrition rate & penalties ◦ Complimentary rooms ◦ AV equipment cost or use of outside vendor ◦ Cost for exhibit amenities, i.e. pipe & drape, electric ◦ Flexibility for changing room block
  7. 7. Define Revenue Sources Define Expenses  Registration fees  Fixed expenses:  Exhibitor fees ◦ Speakers ◦ Entertainment  Meal fees ◦ AV equipment  Sponsorships ◦ Marketing  Grants & Gifts… ◦ Hotel fees…  Variable expenses: ◦ Meals ◦ Program book…
  8. 8. Major elements: Considerations:  Pre-conferences  Keynote speaker(s)  General sessions availability  Concurrent sessions  Length of sessions  Meals  Networking opportunities  Breaks  Time between sessions  Social activities  Free time  Exhibition Hall  Travel convenience  Meetings  Off-site activities
  9. 9.  Topic  Expertise  Reputation  Availability  Cost  Relationship to organization…
  10. 10.  Printed Materials:  Electronic Tools: ◦ Postcards o Email blasts ◦ Brochures o Google Word Ads ◦ Posters/Banners o Phone inquiries ◦ Fliers o Links from other ◦ Booklets organizations’ sites o Electronic calendar postings  Registration Details: Web site ◦ Fee breakdown o ◦ Early reg. discounts ◦ Modes of registration Email & mailing lists are essential for a successful marketing plan.
  11. 11. Tell everything about the conference!  Date & Location City information w/ links  Topic/theme Transportation information  Schedule w/ links  Pre-conference information Awards nominations  Keynote speakers Podcast of speakers or committee chair  Registration page Wiki or blog for pre-  Call for proposals conference discussions Hotel information w/ link Contact information
  12. 12.  Call for proposals – online or other ◦ Title & topic ◦ Description ◦ Presenter’s bio ◦ AV equipment needs  Committee selects presentations  Inform presenters  Schedule concurrent sessions  Create room schedule
  13. 13.  Required Elements:  Meeting room set-ups  Staffing, including the selection of moderators & facilitators  Sending confirmation letters w/directions & maps  Design printed materials – program book, meal tickets, etc.  Creating signage  Planning for audio-visual needs (AV equipment schedule)  Menu selection  Determine contents of program  Determine registration set-up on site  Check-in list(s), all elements of registration packet, walk-in registration forms, computer hook-ups in check-in area, name tags, supplemental information sheets, petty cash box
  14. 14.  Optional Elements:  Coordinate posters & poster materials for poster session  Plan entertainment  Establish giveaways  Coordinate with exhibitors  Exhibitor contracts & letters of solicitation  Plan field trips  Coordinate security for exhibitors & posters  Directory of attendees  CEU certificates or certificates of participation
  15. 15.  Monitoring all required &/or optional details of the previously mentioned plan  Checking & confirming with all vendors and staff
  16. 16.  Pay bills ◦ Pay honoraria, travel vouchers, hotel bills, etc.  Finalize the budget  Collate & report conference evaluations  Organize files for the next conference  Send thank you notes to key volunteers
  17. 17.  12 Establish dates & location – reserve meeting rooms  10 Prepare budget, establish fees, prepare proper forms initiating program/conference  10 Determine clientele and identify sources for mailing lists  10 Identify keynote speaker(s)  8 Order/prepare mail lists  8 First draft of brochure to Marketing  7 Proof brochure  6 Brochure printed  6 Brochure and labels to mail house in in-house mail room  6 Solicit & select concurrent sessions
  18. 18.  5 Identify keynote speakers  5 Prepare confirmation letter and pre-registration materials  3 Determine & Plan Required & Optional Planning Elements  2-3 Order printed registration packet materials  2-3 Course notes to your Quick Copy shop  2 Arrange meeting room set-up, meals, breaks, etc.  2 Arrange audio-visual equipment  2 Make travel arrangements)  1 Reconfirm all meeting site arrangements, assemble all supplies, prepare registrant list
  19. 19. Lynn Voss, M.A. Senior Continuing Education Coordinator, Division of Continuing Education University of Missouri-St. Louis lvoss@umsl.edu (314) 516-5972 Gina Ganahl, Ph.D. Associate Dean, Division of Continuing Education University of Missouri-St. Louis ganahlg@umsl.edu (314) 516-5925

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