Planning a company conference can seem like a daunting task, when you first attempt it, especially if you have no previous experience. Here are our top 10 tips, to help make organising your conference easier and less stressful!
When it comes to planning your event, the earlier the better! Good venues are often booked up months (if not years) in advance, so look to start planning your event at least a year in advance – more if possible.
Look to host your event in a central location, one that is easily accessible for those relying on public transport and drivers alike. Know where the main access routes are – especially the local train or underground station, motorways and airports, if necessary.
Venues often offer discounted rates for certain dates, which can help you stretch your budget further. However, make sure you check these dates are suitable for your target audience, as there’s nothing worse than getting a great discount on your venue, only to find it clashes with a religious or public holiday/event.
Know your figures and monitor your spending carefully. When it comes to deciding on your budget, make sure you include everything you’ll need to make the day a success – from catering to equipment hire and Wi-Fi connection etc. But it’s also important to know the minimum number of attendees you require, to make the event financially work for you.
Venue (and surrounding needs)
Do your homework and visit several shortlisted venues, prior to making your final decision. Ensure you select a venue that accurately portrays your branding and overall company values and standards. You’ll also want to ensure it has everything you need – whether that’s onsite catering or extra ‘break out’ rooms – and that it can actually take the number of delegates you’re looking to attract (and the option of a smaller room, if you can’t). Also, think about what your delegates may need after the event – such as a restaurant, overnight accommodation and evening entertainment.
You’ll want to ensure your catering requirements tie in well with both your agenda and that of your delegates – especially if they’re traveling a great distance to get to you. Ensure you include catering for tea breaks, lunch and dinner (if needed), as well as catering for any special dietary requirements your delegates may have.
Extras to include and those often missed
This includes entertainment, music licenses, printed leaflets and brochures, advertising and guest speakers etc., but also rates for rooms if delegates want to stay over.
Plan the entire event – importance of an agenda
It’s only by planning the overall timings of your event, that you’ll see if you’re trying to fit in too much or too little on the day. You can also see if you’re giving yourself too much to do – and if you need to budget in for extra help and support. Make sure you stick to your agenda, as running over on a particular section will inevitably have an impact on the smooth running of the remaining parts of your event.
Make sure you know the venue personnel and those who will be on hand to help you for specific needs, as well as what roles the venue staff can and can’t help you with. This will then help to clarify what extra staff you may need, to successfully run your event.
Contact before and after?
One area that tends to get forgotten, is the contact you have with delegates, before and after the event. Before the event, you’ll want to ensure they have everything they need to attend, as well as building expectation and knowing what to expect at the event. Afterwards, you’ll want to thank them and have a way to gather feedback and testimonials etc., as well as giving them information on how they can work with you in the future/future events.
Here at Grim’s Dyke, we have a range of meeting rooms and packages available for you to choose from. Why not take a look at what we have available and give us a call to discuss your specific needs on 020 8385 3103 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and see if we can help make your next company conference a successful one!