Business meeting

Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of HarcourtHealth.com and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.

Are you looking to hold a convention for your employees? Are you struggling to keep things order? Are you searching for ways to organize a looming risk for chaos?

What you need is a planning checklist. Not a simple one, but a conference planning checklist to follow to the letter.

Holding conventions and events for your people offers numerous benefits. Thus, you need to plan your steps carefully.

If you are in the dark on how to organize a conference, continue reading below.

Your Conference Planning Checklist: The Essentials

Whether it is for an employee convention or a celebration of your company’s achievement, conference event planning is a must. The success of your event is a reflection of how your company does things. Major boo-boos will reflect badly on your business’ reputation.

The answer to avoiding minor and major hiccups is a conference planning template. Take a look at the checklist below and start on the right track.

1. Settle the “Why”

At least six months before the event, begin your planning. Start by determining the “why.” Gather your partners in the office and discuss the end goal of the conference.

Do you plan to launch a new product during the event? Do you wish to create more publicity and mileage for your brand? Or perhaps you simply want to celebrate a company milestone?

Apart from identifying your objectives, you also need to discuss your KPIs. In addition, you also need to agree upon a budget for the event.

2. Assign Teams

Next, you need to create an event team and assign responsibilities. Whether you put up your own team or hire an external events organizer, you need to delegate the responsibilities.

Some of the tasks you need to delegate include safety, catering, theming, and promotions. If you choose to hire an events agency, make sure to go for one that has a solid reputation.

3. Create Deadlines

Your planning won’t work if you don’t have deadlines to follow. Create a deadline for every task that you delegate to your events team. This will give you more room to adjust your budget.

It will also give you more flexibility in terms of tweaking schedules.

But before you give them their respective deadlines, make sure your team signs them off. This will ensure that everyone is accountable for their deliverables.

4. Look for Possible Locations and Sponsors

Your next step is to find the right venue for your conference. One of the key factors to consider is the number of employees and guests that you are planning to invite. Another is the location of the venue.

Do you want a place that is close to your office? Is it alright for your employees if they travel a bit farther?

If you are looking to use the event for networking purposes, go for a location that impresses. Of course, you need to consider your budget too.

At this time, you should also start looking for possible sponsors. Corporate sponsors will help you a lot. But expect to provide mileage for their brand during your event.

5. Download Conference Planning Tools

You may also consider a little help from technology. Go online and look for different conference management tools. Though some of them require a minimal fee, the benefits are all worth it.

There is software like Eventzilla that offers event registration and automation. Pick an app or software that helps address the areas that require extra assistance.

6. Revisit Your Finances

Two weeks before the event, you need to revisit your finances. Review your sponsorship funding vs your company’s budget. This will keep you from overspending.

Furthermore, reviewing your finances also gives you more options. If you see that you’ve got the extra dough to spend, you may add additional supplies and services to further improve the event.

7. Finalize Your Topics and Speakers

This is also the time to finalize your topics and speakers. When coming up with topics, align them with your theme of the event. The theme is basically your event’s tagline.

The topics, on the other hand, are the items that you want to discuss during the event.

As for your speakers, you need to get their bios. You also need to secure their update photos. You can use these photos in your promotional collaterals.

You should also consider back-up speakers. This is important in case one of your speakers fail to appear at the event.

8. Start Promoting

Promote your event and do it the right way. One way of making noise is to create a new website for the event. This will let you connect with your employees, speakers, and guests faster.

You can also use the website for online registration. Post a countdown clock, as well as updates leading to the event date.

Don’t forget to post a schedule of the event, which visitors can download anytime. The schedule should contain all of the segments of the event.

If you wish to attract new clients, post details across different social media platforms.

9. Arrange the Catering, Security, and Registration Packs

You also need to check back again on a number of things. Finalize the menu from the catering services. Make sure that the registration packs are complete.

It is best to have additional packs on stand-by.

Check how the security and risk management team is doing. Though the venue may have its own security force, go the extra mile by covering all bases.

10. Conduct an Early Briefing (on the day)

On the day of the event, arrive at the venue several hours ahead. Take this time to do some final inspections. Make sure everything is in order.

Confirm the pickup of your suppliers. Make sure they bring their deliverables.

Brief your teams accordingly. Set up query stations who will respond to questions coming from attendees.

After the event, make sure to review your data. Send out thank you letters to your speakers, as well as your suppliers, your staff, and the delegates.

Take Care of Business in All Aspects

Now that you have a conference planning checklist, you can pull off that big event with more confidence. As for the other aspects of your business, you keep on improving day-by-day.

We have other articles that tackle different ways of helping businesses become bigger. We offer tips on managing finances, as well as protecting your company from cybercrimes.