Planning a large and prestigious congress in the Palace of Culture and Science? So how to set about organising it?
You want to organise a large and prestigious conference event in the very centre of Warsaw, but it turns out that it is difficult to find a venue that meets all your requirements? With us you can find the perfect venue – the Palace of Culture and Science is the only venue which ticks all the boxes.

Ideal for conference settings are the Mikołajska, Goethe and Kisielewski halls.

The Mikołajska Hall is 240 sq m and can accommodate 180 people, and the Goethe Hall is equally spacious. The Kisielewski  Hall is 260 sq m and accommodates 170 people.

The Marble Rooms, located on the opposite side, being a mirror image of the marble City Hall Room (both of which are 1150 sq m), are ideal for exhibitions and exhibition functions – you can set up stands here and locate exhibition materials. The Korczak (220 m²) and Trojka (340 m²) Halls, which additionally function as a link between the northern and southern wings – as well as the Main Hall), can also be used in the same capacity.

The adjacent halls of Korczak, Mikołajska and Sienkiewicz, constituting a certain separate part, can fulfil appropriate functions: exhibition (Korczak), panel discussions (Mikołajska) and catering (Sienkiewicz).

The Congress Hall and the oval-shaped Tiereszkowa and Copernicus halls (both 180 m²), belonging to the Congress Hall, as well as the large Mickiewicz Hall (280 sq m) located between them, will fulfil banquet functions well.

In turn, the hall leading from the Main Hall to the Marble and Korczak hall, and on the opposite side the hall leading to the City Hall and Kisielewski rooms, as well as the Sienkiewicz Hall, and several other locations (e.g. the Copernicus Passage leading from the City Hall Room to the Copernicus Hall) are the ideal places to organize the gastronomic part of the proceedings.

From the second floor, it is easy to get to the fourth floor.

The rooms on this level can perfectly fulfil the function of conference rooms for our congress. Located here are the Rudniewa, Skłodowska and Starzyński, Warsaw, as well as Broniewski and Gagarin halls.

The largest of these rooms, the Starzyński Hall, being the mirror image of the Skłodowska Hall, each have a surface area of ​​1000 m² and can accommodate up to 600 people. The Warsaw Hall, adjacent to the Starzyński Hall, on a daily basis the seat of Warsaw’s city council, is, in turn, 415 sq m and accommodates 200 people. Both of these rooms together – Starzyński and Warsaw – can accommodate anywhere between 800-1000 participants, whereas Starzyński Hall can fulfil the role of the main conference room for the congress.

The Broniewski Hall (410 m²) is ideal for exhibition functions on this floor, as too is the Gagarin Hall.

This is a brief spatial plan for the organisation of a congress at the Palace of Culture and Science. Of course, technical issues, the assembly of equipment and catering services have been taken into account.

Also taken into consideration is the facilitation of communication media: e.g., the possibility of tracking on projector screens / tele-beams of the presentation from the main conference room on both floors.

The Stages for Organising the Conference Event

The Stages for Organising the Conference Event

Planning a large international event such as a conference or congress requires the early preparation of organisational and logistical issues. A well-prepared and properly implemented conference event timeline increases the chances of creating a successful event and ensuring a positive experience for both participants and organisers. So what are the next steps for preparing a successful conference event, which should start around 29 weeks before the event’s date.

Stage 1 – planning

About 19 weeks. During this time, it is worth taking the time to analyse the information collected in the surveys after the previous event of this type, and above all setting the date of the conference event, checking if it does not coincide with other events that may draw attention away from your congress and reduce the number of participants. During the first three weeks you should also plan the structure of the conference event and appoint a chairman.

The next weeks of planning should be devoted to preparing the initial budget of the entire event, choosing a venue and checking its availability and technical capacity, which will allow for the smooth running of the conference event. A lot of time will also deal with the logotype and graphic layout that present important information about the conference event, working out the program for the whole event, conceiving the event’s final structure, and the final negotiations and acceptance of the venue.

The last four weeks of the congress planning should deal with organizational issues, such as the choice of the official transport, accommodation and catering partners, as well as price and cost negotiations with selected companies and other service providers. During this time, we also prepare a list of potential sponsors and event partners; we also draw up a mailing list with the addresses of potential conference participants.

Stage 2 – preparation

The next five weeks involve preparatory activities, such as the mailing of information to the congress participants, requesting of them to reserve their time; preparing and sending an offer for sponsors and event partners, and signing final contracts with them. At the same time, activities are underway on the program and structure of the congress: the appointment and invitation of the main and other speakers, determining the registration procedure and the selection of conference event topics, as well as working on the updated budget and the structure of registration fees.

The next two weeks should be devoted to work on the website of the conference event, including the preparation of an on-line registration which also facilitates abstract submissions, as well as the preparation of the system for the on-line booking of accommodation.

Work on the preparation of the congress over the following weeks involves the sending of invitations for registration, the processing and sending of abstracts for review, and the distribution of other important items of information, the registration of both participants and sponsors and event partners, and accepting accommodation bookings, as well as work such as the ongoing accepting of abstracts, the final development of graphic designs for all congress materials, , the ongoing evaluation and selection of abstracts and forwarding information about accepted or rejected projects, and preparation of the preliminary congress program.

After completing these preparatory stages, the next weeks are devoted to the selection of and liaising with chairs and plenary speakers, sending information to the event’s partners and sponsors, and determining exhibition spots. At the same time, the reception and on-site registration service is established, biographies of the participants of the congress are collected, the congress program is printed, along with a book of abstracts; and then there is the drawing up of the final budget of the congress.

The final weeks of the preparatory stage involve such work as confirmation and final determination of detailed orders for service providers; the development of an evaluation questionnaire allowing for post-event analysis of work, submissions and publishing. Important elements of the preparatory work are also the development and implementation of the congress signage, providing materials for participants and their packaging.

Stage 3 – implementation

The completion of all preparations, and at the same time one of the most difficult moments when any oversight can cause problems for the smooth running of the congress. During this time, there is intensive coordination of the event in the place of its organization, which includes support for the participants of the congress, sponsors, partners and speakers. It is also worth remembering to collect completed evaluation questionnaires that will help avoid any mistakes in the future.

Stage 4 – finalising things

Work on a successful congress does not stop with the last speech of the speakers. They also include preparing the final financial report of the event and finalizing financial settlements. It is good practice to send thanks to all participants, speakers, sponsors and partners of the event, as well as to analyse the evaluation of questionnaires, on the basis of which the final post-congress report is made.

Learn more about the Nobell path to your successful Conference Event
Why Warsaw is an ideal place for your international congress

The capital of Poland, Warsaw has seen an uninterrupted period of dynamic development over the past several decades. The city is an important business, academic and cultural centre. For this reason, Warsaw is often chosen as the location for various types of international conferences and congresses.

The capital of Poland enjoys excellent links with other European cities. Warsaw’s Okęcie Airport is served by high-end and low-cost airlines. Of course, the capital’s advantages do not end there. The city has a highly-developed public transport network and a thriving metro and rail system. This means that you can reach any place in Warsaw relatively quickly and easily. No car needed!

Warsaw is the perfect place to organize an international conference because of the dazzling array of accommodation options, which have something for all budgets, whether they’re exclusive, high standard, or cosy. Warsaw is also fast becoming a culinary hotspot as can be seen in the wide choice of eateries, many of which are becoming must-visit places. English is widely spoken here, and all menus have English options. There is no danger of feeling lost in this tourist friendly city.

Warsaw offers a delightful choice of cultural options and historic landmarks. Pay a visit to the Royal Castle, Wilanów Palace, or Royal Łazienki Park. Conference participants will be spoilt for choice in their free time. In addition, participants may plumb for any of the many concerts taking place every evening in the city, including theatre performances.

How should the professional preparation of the hotel offer look like for the participants of the congress and what are our advantages over global booking.com players?

All conference organizers have to tackle the logistical challenge of providing suitable accommodation for all participants. The difficulties increase with the number of participants and the distance of the hotel from the conference venue, and things get really tricky when it comes to international congresses. Failure to secure accommodation for participants is highly unprofessional, and will see its reflection in poor attendance and evaluation. As we all know, organizing accommodation independently can be problematic and much more expensive. So what we suggest is that you use the service of specialists. And we at Nobell are congress-accommodation specialists.

Careful preparation of the accommodation offer will see a corollary increase in interest in the conference; indeed, for many people accommodation arrangements are the key factor when it comes to deciding whether or to participate or not in a conference. We at Nobell tailor such offers to all requirements and budget constraints. By choosing to use the services of professionals, you can be sure that a number of factors will be taken into account, such as the attractiveness of a given hotel: price, accommodation standards, location vis-à-vis venue, and availability of transport.

One important issue cannot be overlooked, and that is accommodation costs. The Internet is filled with sites that make it easier to find accommodation and make reservations, but their role is limited to presenting available offers, without establishing closer cooperation with hoteliers and mediating in hotel contacts with the hosts of the congresses. Meanwhile, a company such as Nobell, which has been operating on the market for many years and has forged extensive business contacts, is able to negotiate more favourable rates, and, as part of the provision of comprehensive services, provides participants with transport from the airport to the place of accommodation – which is especially important in the case of foreign guests who do not speak Polish fluently and who are unfamiliar with the topography of Warsaw. Such activities contribute to a positive impression and testify to the professionalism and commitment of the event’s host or hosts.

What not to forget when organizing an international congress

The organization of an international congress is a complex process consisting of several stages. A person who has no experience in planning such events may overlook several important details. By entrusting this task to our Nobell specialists, you can be sure that nothing will be missed. Our qualified staff will take on all the responsibilities of planning and anticipating various unusual situations. They will always come up with winning solutions. However, before we get to work, we would like to share our experience with you and we would like to provide you with some practical advice on the organization of international congresses. What is worth remembering? Which elements should we pay special attention to?

Starting from the very beginning, the main theme of the meeting should first be determined. The world of science, scholarship and business present us with a lot of opportunities, and people who want to share their knowledge can do so vis-à-vis the forum of an international congress. Since we invite guests from abroad, one of the most important issues is to prepare this meeting in terms of logistics.

Item 1: check if there is no other event going on at the same time. If the dates of important congresses overlap, we can expect less attendance than we expected.

Item 2: find a suitable location/premises as a meeting point and for organizing the transport of guests, for example from the airport. In this case, you have to take into account various random events. It’s worth finding two alternative routes.

Item 3: if the congress is to last more than one day, it would be appropriate to organize an adequate accommodation for guests. A proven solution is to accommodate everyone in one hotel, although it will not hurt for the hotel to offer various price ranges so that participants can make a choice. Guests should be provided with comfortable conditions and full board.

Anything else worth remembering?

Information leaflets, posters and brochures will play an extremely important role. If we invite foreign guests, please consider the printing of leaflets, for example in English. It is also worth hiring professional simultaneous interpreters who will take on several roles during the event. At this point, you should also consider good multimedia equipment for both translators and guests: you need to have cabins, headphones, and sound systems. And when one part of the congress is over, it would be good to provide some attractions for the participants. Trips, dinners and theatre visits are all great options, and Nobell is a great organiser!

3D visualization – the benefits of being able ‘to see’ the conference venue at the planning stage

As professional organizers of conferences and congresses in Warsaw, we know how many elements details make for a successful congress: the conference room will need to be adapted to the numbers and the needs of the sessions; then there is catering, accommodation and the other individual needs of our client. Preparing the right conference room requires a lot of effort. It’s much easier to design the interior appropriately using 3D technology. Visualization of the project will streamline the preparation and rule out trial and error as all ideas will be simulated and can be seen on the screen. After all, we at Nobell visualize and make it a reality .

3D spatial visualization enables us to assess the need for and the placement of furniture and equipment during the congress. The most important thing is to put all participants in the session. Everyone must have enough space to sit comfortably, and if necessary, be free to leave, so as not to disturb others. Everyone must also must be able to see and hear the speakers. Therefore, the method of laying out all the chairs and setting up professional sound and lighting equipment is very important. In the event of a  need for lighting, the lamps must stand on stable stands. A similar situation obtains for the sound equipment: you need to optimally set up the speakers, sometimes also placing a few microphones in the audience for a speaker-audience exchange.

Visualization and spatial simulation is necessary for planning the space, and so that our client can visualize a successful event, where everything fits smoothly into place, which includes everything from stage design, table placement to catering options. All this can be checked in advance with a prepared visualization. In the event that the client would like additional gadgets, balloons, inscriptions, boards or posters, it is much easier to arrange them and choose the right colours when it is trialed by way of a virtual design. We can then prepare several variants of equipment use and offer the client a wider perspective. The visualization will also help when it comes to estimating the budget and determining all the details. In this way, the project can be mapped out quickly and efficiently, and in accordance with the client’s wishes.

Choosing a catering company for your congress

Many variables determine the success of the congress or conference. Although the most important are the substantive aspects, such as discussion topics, or invited speakers who require large financial or logistical expenditure, the event will gather poor opinions if something as simple as the food is not right. On the other hand, however, there is nothing surprising in this. A congress is like a big party and the social aspects need the right catering options.

Therefore, it’s important to make an informed choice about the catering company, especially when so much hinges on their delivery, where the quality of the food will be timely and meticulous. However, we must all do the most important work ourselves, carefully looking at and assessing the menu.

Catering companies, of course, prepare sample menus for such large events as congresses, but in addition to using their experience, the menu should be adapted to the character of our event and the preferences of guests. There is no one good solution.

It is equally important to choose the type of food served, taking into consideration the logistics of the event. If you are planning for an extended longer break between discussion panels, it is better to plumb for a classic dinner over finger food. Small portions served in convenient containers can also prove ideal for certain scenarios.

When ordering finger food snacks, it is worth paying attention to the way they are served. Currently, elegant, disposable containers and small metalized spoons are all the rage, and indeed they are ideal for serving both sweet and savoury snacks. It is worth complementing them with tartlets, platters of fruit and sweets and a drink buffet. When serving coffee, it is worth remembering to provide lactose sensitive options, such as almond and coconut milk.

A very important aspect is the preparation of a varied menu. Already on the congress applications it is worth discreetly having a field where guests can state their culinary preferences or allergies. It is always worth having a few vegetarian or vegan dishes on the menu, so that people who eat without meat or dairy products do not leave the event hungry.

Working with Nobell, all important issues will be raised at the planning stage of the congress, because we look to take care of the smallest details that together make for a successful congress or conference.

What to look out for when planning a conference budget?

An international conference/congress is undoubtedly a big event which requires a huge amount of organisational and financial preparation. When organizing such an event, it’s important to strike a balance between making sure that the participants have a wonderful time, and ensuring that the conference does not end up becoming a financial disaster.

Like any other budget, the conference budget has two sides – revenues and expenses. Let’s focus first on spending.

The biggest cost at the conference is the hiring of the venue. You can simply hire a conference room, for example at a university, but if the conference is international, participants must also have a place to stay. That’s why you should consider a hotel that has conference facilities. This is of course a more expensive option, but if we reserve a large part of the hotel for our congress, we can count on certain price discounts. The organization of conferences in a hotel usually also solves the issue of meals, coffee breaks and the conference banquet.

Another important entry in the cost estimate is the promotion of the event, which involves the creation of a website, advertising and promotional messages on social networking sites and on professional portals where information about conferences and postings are placed. In the budget, therefore, you should include payments for graphics, a web designer, and fees for advertising on websites. As an advertisement form, you can also include the conference gadgets that participants will receive, such as pens, notepads or even electronic gadgets.

The next expense is all the added attractions during the congress, for example a city tour, which is worth organising for foreign guests. Such add-ons can offer great variety to what is often a rigid agenda.

Financing the event
Of course, most conference costs are usually borne by the participants or the companies they represent. However, if we want our Congress to be attractive to the participants, also in financial terms, we should look for sponsors. If the conference is dealing with an important issue, it can be an excellent promotional forum for companies operating in the industry and they will gladly pay for the placement advertising banner in the conference room or for the opportunity for a representative of their company to make a presentation.

Hiring a professional company to organize the conference in all its detail also needs to be placed in the budget expenses. There are fees involved here, but the company needs to decide whether to save on money or time.

Catering for Conferences and Congresses – a buffet or traditional tabled gathering

There are several determinants for a successful conference. As professionals, we take care of every detail, because the satisfaction of our customers is of prime importance. In addition to choosing an important conference or congress venue, catering must be given key consideration.

Depending on the nature and length of the conference, as well as the number of guests, we can advise on and organize the appropriate refreshments, where we look to suit all tastes. Meals, for example, should also be adapted to the main theme of the conference and have a selection of showstopping dishes.

Another point for discussion is making a decision about catering served in the form of a buffet or the traditional tabled gathering, involving either a form of self-service or simply with everything laid on the table… or indeed as an occasion for waiting staff. From an environmental perspective, less food is wasted when guests serve themselves. Also, from a social point of view the Swedish table allows for a more sociable atmosphere. On the downside, there can be a bigger clean up afterwards. That’s why we propose that conferences for some groups be organized with traditional catering, whereas the Swedish table will work better when planning a large number of optional dishes.

We can also combine these two options. The main course should be served traditionally, and the desserts and hot drinks set on the Swedish table. This solution works well, because the conference participants can make conversation with other participants at the coffee and pastry points. There are pros and cons to all options, which is why it’s important for us to discuss everything with our client so as to come up with the right choice. For sure, the Swedish table will be a great solution during a session break. It is always good to get up from your chair, stretch your legs, and grab a drink and a small snack. Self-service, free access to refreshments is then organizationally justified.

Our extensive experience and consultation in the preparation of catering will allow you to choose the best option for your congress.