It might be an obvious question – what do you look for in a conference planning guide? However, you would be amazed at how many different answers I get when I ask that question to meeting planners. Which leads me to believe that conference planning guides, while offering the basics on conference planning, provide different ideas for different meeting planners.
A conference planning guide is a great resource for organizing and executing a conference. Many times I get different ideas from the various conference planning guides that I read. What I tend to do is take each of these ideas and incorporate them into my own conference planning checklist. Meeting planners, being human, tend to go about the task of organizing a conference based on their own personality type. Some are better at organizing, while others are better at promoting. Where I find a conference planning guide useful is for ideas on how to tackle conference planning tasks that I tend not to like or put off until the end because of my personality type. It helps me focus, as well as addressing those key items, when I should be (not leaving them until the end as I am known to do).
A Conference Planning Guide Can Provide New Ideas
Anyone in the meetings and events industry has probably read several conference planning guides. In addition to tips on how to orchestrate the conference itself, a conference planning guide will also provide new insights or ideas that you can introduce to your conference planning. After all, the goal is to keep conferences moving forward with fresh ideas. And quite often to a get the attendance level that you are seeking you do have to offer unique incentives for people to register.
The Following Are A Few Items That You Should Expect a Conference Planning Guide to Include:
Ideas– while this is a very general term what I think you could expect are interesting themes and decor ideas that may complement your conference. Many good books will also provide tips and tactics on how to invite people to your conference as well as some incentive ideas to help your registration process.
Budgets -while not a very exciting topic it is a very important topic. A good conference planning guide will show you how to plan all of the various components for your conference and how to assign a budget for each of those items. In the future, were going to feature some of our blog post here on how to compile a budget. It’s something that many of our readers have been asking and, especially in today’s economy, budgeting has become a vital part of conference planning (like it wasn’t already).
Logistics – breaking down each component to your conference and how to attack all of the smaller parts to make sure that the overall event goes off without a hitch. Basically showing new ways to see the trees in the forest and not focus entirely on the forest itself.
Negotiations – a vital skill for a meeting planner. Yet a person’s negotiating ability is often overlooked during the interviewing process. And don’t kid yourself, negotiating is a skill that takes time to become good at. You don’t want to appear overly forceful or belligerent. A good conference planning guide will provide tips on how to negotiate room rates, hotel contracts etc.
If you’re looking for a particular book or conference planning guide to do the job for you, then you may be disappointed in your search. However, if you look at a conference planning guide as a resource for fresh ideas and helpful hints on how to attack the various tasks involved, than you may find value in many conference planning guides. But the one take away is that a good conference planning guide is going to help sharpen your overall meeting planning skills.