For many of us, a conference planning checklist is a custom tailored document. What I mean by that is that we all have our own way of scheduling our own to-do list. There’s no doubt that a conference planning checklist helps you by breaking down all of the little components of a larger event or conference. And if anyone has ever tried to orchestrate a conference without a checklist than they probably know all too well how stressful and chaotic that can be.
A Conference Planning Checklist Will Help You See the Trees in the Forest
I know we’ve talked about event or conference planning checklist here a lot in the past. But I can’t stress enough at just how helpful a conference planning checklist can be to help put the conference itself into perspective. When I attend networking events and when I’m talking to meeting planners, a common question that I get asked is what items do I put on my conference planning checklist. My answer usually covers the basic items (which I’m going to review below), but I also stress that really the checklist should be developed around the work style of the person that’s going to be using the checklist. And really the overall goal of the checklist is to make sure that each and every component, no matter how small, gets addressed. After all it only takes one small item being overlooked to have a negative impact on your overall conference or event.
Think of the Conference Planning Checklist As a Map of Your Conference or Event
Once the overall conference itself has been planned, you should now be in a position where you can take the larger components of your conference and start breaking down the various steps that are needed to execute it properly.
The following are some basic conference components as well as suggestions on how to break down those components into smaller “to do” actions:
- conference dates determined
- rates negotiated
- meeting rooms allocated
- room setups determine based on meetings format
- equipment needed to be brought for the meeting
- speakers, outside suppliers required for meeting
- food and beverage requirements
- car company rates negotiated for airport transportation
- additional transportation requirements (shuttle bus tickets, coaches for mass transportation)
- system in place regarding flight manifests and how the car company will handle changes
- local transportation provider (i.e. airport meet and greets) selected
- determine if a local destination management company (DMC) is required
- determine free times and availability for tours
- schedule appropriate tours
- determine which dates require off-site scheduling
- determine theme for off-site (i.e. local restaurant, renting an attraction, venue)
- as in tours and attractions, determine if a local destination management company (DMC) is required
A conference planning checklist helps you take a large conference or event and break down the various components so that you can see, at a glance, what needs to be done for a successful conference. In addition to a general outline of items (as above), you also need to address the due dates and how they will fit with your overall conference. When you take the time to sit down and map out all of the components to the conference, you’ll find it helps relieve the overall stress of getting things completed. A conference planning checklist is also a great tool for delegating the various components of your meeting or conference.