Planning a conference is a multi- faceted undertaking that requires a highly motivated, energetic professional with specialized experience.
While there are great tools available to assist including conference planning software as well as conference planning checklists, templates and guides. The details involved with planning a conference are endless and can be mind boggling.
In so many cases the meeting planner is not only responsible for planning a conference but also for the day to day running of their own department.
Planning a Conference – Who
When thinking about the “who” you need the right personality to plan a conference. And the suitable person would be a combination of many things. First, you need a detailed oriented person with excellent communication skills, accustomed to working independently under the pressure of multiple deadlines. The person conference planning must be comfortable making critical decisions while taking into account both the needs of the organization and the needs of the delegates.
A meeting planner has to be comfortable wearing several hats. So someone with outstanding organizational and planning skills, the know how to coordinate with various area services, and is able to communicate and get the job done and without incident would fit the bill. Now that’s not too much to ask for!
Planning a Conference – What
There are so many parts to planning a conference. The “what” of planning a conference can involve accommodations, conference facilities, meeting rooms, catering, transportation, speakers, AV, gifts and so much more. And that’s not even touching upon the extensive social aspects of the conference which also require planning.
Yes, we have all planned a loved one’s party or a spouse’s work event but successfully liaising and working directly with a wide range of suppliers while ensuring the seamless delivery of all the facets of the program takes a person with a unique combination of experience and skills. A person that already has the know how to confidently address how to plan a conference. And that is why the person with the ability to work independently and as part of a team with the pressure of multiple deadlines is the key to success when planning a conference.
Planning a Conference – Where
A conference can be planned from anywhere; it just depends on who’s doing the planning. There are so many types of meeting planners and people, under different job categories, who plan meetings. There are some whose sole responsibility at work is the planning a conference or conferences for the company that employs them. There are free-lance planners that work on contract, as well as third party planners that are hired by outside clients to plan (be the go between) for them. Plus, there are PR and admin people for whom planning a conference is secondary to their primary job.
So the “where” can be anywhere. The planning can be done in big or small corporations. It can be from a home office or even the local coffee shop. Where you plan the conference is unimportant, it’s the destination city where the conference is held that is the true star of the event.
So when planning a conference, make sure organization and communication are your expertise. If you are able to trouble shoot and thrive in a chaotic environment and you love being busy, then you definitely have the right combination of skills for the job.