There’s no doubt that conference planning requires strong organizational skills. When I think of all the meeting planners that I know, one characteristic that stands out is their ability to multitask. A conference planning timeline is a vital part of conference planning for a number of reasons. For example, it would be a total waste of time if you booked your off-site restaurant on a specific date for your group only to find out that there is no hotel space available for your group during on that date. Obviously, that would be a total waste of your time.
The Conference Planning Timeline Prioritizes Your to Do List
You may have read here our thoughts on the importance of conference planning checklists (if not I suggest you check out some of the related articles below). Well taking the importance of a conference planning checklist one step further, a checklist timeline would then be applied to all of the “to do” items that are on your checklist. The conference planning timeline prioritizes which items need to be addressed initially.
As I said at the beginning of this post, what would be the sense of booking a restaurant when you haven’t secured your hotel and/or meeting rooms yet. Therefore, in addition to determining what needs to get done, on what dates, it also helps you prioritize what needs to get done first, second, third and so on.
Here’s a quick and easy overview of some of the larger conference planning items and which ones you would address first:
- Hotel/Meeting Facility – obviously first and foremost you want to make sure that the venue for your conference has been selected and secured.
- Transportation – once you know your dates and you’ve received confirmation that space is available it would now be time to look at transportation requirements for your conference delegates.
- Speakers -this would be the stage to look at what outside components that you have to secure in order to fulfill your meeting’s obligations
- Off-Site Venues– it would be at this stage that you would now consider ideas for taking your group off-site. By now you should know which evenings or times are open (that you would need to fill with these types of activities).
- Tours and Attractions– while not necessarily a main component of your conference, tours and attractions can often be a draw for your conference. After you scheduled and confirm the nuts and bolts of your conference, you would now want to consider what tours are available and at what times.
- Entertainment – again this area is not necessarily the main part of your conference. But, like tours and attractions, entertainment can also play a vital role for promoting your conference or event.
Like a conference planning checklist, a conference planning timeline is also vital towards your planning. It helps you prioritize which items on your conference planning checklist would need to be addressed first and foremost.