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.