So, you’ve been tasked with setting up your company’s next corporate conference and you think it’ll be as easy as organising last year’s Christmas Party. Without wanting to burst your bubble, we’re here to let you know that there is a little (well, actually a lot) more planning that needs to go into creating a great conference than simply making sure the seats are comfy and there is enough champagne afterwards. With that said, it can be a simple and pain-free process, especially with our event planning checklist.
We’ve put together an event planning checklist for corporate events or conference planning. It’s concise and easy to use and will help to ensure that you create an unforgettable conference.
Much like a wedding, an event or conference normally takes six months to a year to organise. Having a conference planning checklist reads much like a wedding to-do list with essential steps that need to be taken in sequence.
How important is it to have a corporate event planning checklist?
If you want your event to run as smoothly as possible, a checklist is essential. First things first, answer these three questions to know exactly what you need to do next;
1. What does my event need to achieve? What are my conference goals?
2. What is my budget?
3. When do I want my event to take place?
Knowing these three answers will give you the direction you need to continue. Once you understand what you want to achieve, how much money you have to spend and when it needs to take place, you’ll then need to decide on:
4. Where does my event need to be held?
5. Will I need speakers at the event? If so, who?
6. What would the estimated delegate cost be?
What steps to follow in conference and corporate event planning?
Knowing the answers to these initial six questions will give you a well-rounded picture of what the event will look like. Other tasks to complete after these are:
• Confirm the event theme and branding – what will the event be about and what will it’s look and feel look like?
• Create a PR and Marketing campaign – will you be doing this in-house or use a partner to deliver it for you?
• Will your event need entertainment after the conference? If so, what will that entertainment be and are they available?
• Send out invites with costs and an initial speaker line up – start piquing interest in the event and offer early bird tickets to delegates that are first to sign-up.
By four months before the event you should be able to tick all of these points off your event planning task list as completed;
• Date, Time and Venue Confirmed
• Speakers confirmed
• Theme & Branding created
• Delegates invited – including packages & cost options
As the hype continues and you get more interest in the conference over the preceding months, you should create a finer to-do list for you and your team on tasks that need to be completed. Sit down and create this plan with your team, as only you will know the nuances that need to go in to your specific event.
A few days (no more than three) before your event, make sure you do these four things. Don’t leave these tasks until the day before, we suggest leaving that day for any last-minute glitches;
• Make sure the delegate packs, goodie bags, reading material, name tags, banners and signage is dropped off at the venue ready to be unpacked on the day.
• Do a last run-through with the venue co-ordinator to make sure you are all on the same page with the order of the day.
• Confirm that you have the AV system, microphones and technology you require, confirm how the seating will be set up and how and where the speakers will be presenting from.
• Send out an email to all the delegates reminding them of the event and that you can’t wait to see them, giving them any pertinent information that they might need for the day too.
If you follow this checklist, always ensuring you inject a little fun and a lot of sense of humour into your planning, then we guarantee that you’ll host a conference that delegates will want to attend year on year.
If you need help planning a conference or event, visit our Conference and Event Management page to get more information or contact Ebony+Ivory on 011 327 6871 or email Paul@ebonyivory.co.za