Es importante comenzar a hacer los preparativos lo antes posible al planificar una conferencia.

La planificación de una conferencia de negocios no es algo que ocurra de la noche a la mañana. Hay lugares para reservar, patrocinadores para reunirse y oradores para participar. También hay pequeños detalles como dónde se alojarán los asistentes mientras estén en la ciudad, qué comidas se ofrecen y un mundo de otros asuntos que deben abordarse para que la conferencia sea un éxito. Si está a punto de participar en la tarea de planificación de conferencias, aquí hay algunas cosas que debe tener en cuenta.

Cuando planifique una conferencia, asegúrese de que haya una sala de conferencias reservada con espacio suficiente para todos los asistentes.

Primero, nunca asuma que puede manejar todos los detalles usted mismo. De hecho, es muy probable que no pueda hacer una lista completa de todo lo que debe organizarse sin ayuda. Por esta razón, su primera tarea como planificador de conferencias debería ser formar un comité de planificación. Por lo general, un grupo de cinco a seis personas es suficiente para organizar una conferencia anual para entre cien y quinientos asistentes. Es mucho más probable que el comité en su conjunto cubra todas las bases y permita abordar todos los aspectos clave de la reunión con mucha anticipación.

Las conferencias corporativas suelen tener un entorno más formal.

Además de armar su comité, es extremadamente importante comenzar a hacer los preparativos lo antes posible. Realmente no importa si faltan ocho meses para la conferencia de negocios. Los expertos en planificación de conferencias a menudo comienzan a trabajar en un próximo evento con diez a once meses de anticipación. Como beneficio, tendrá más tiempo para comparar precios en varios lugares de la conferencia, investigar y negociar mejores tarifas de hotel para los asistentes y también tendrá más tiempo para encontrar los oradores adecuados para el evento.

Make sure each member of the committee has specific tasks to accomplish. Each task should be prioritized and have a delivery date established. Conference planning often involves arranging tasks in a logical sequence, so that action items that must be done before other items are addressed get completed on time. With each member of the committee responsible for a specific set of items to complete before the next meeting, there is less chance of being overwhelmed with tasks as the dates for the event approach.

Always get commitments in writing. You want written verification from the hotel that your attendees will get a specific daily rate while attending the event. Also get documented and detailed information on what the hotel will provide in the way of conference rooms and assembly halls for speeches, dinners, and classes offered during the conference. The same is true for any special air or rail rates you secure for attendees. Not only will this give you peace of mind, it also makes it much easier to review the progress that has been made at each of the planning committee meetings and maintain an accurate picture of what remains to be done.

Provide exhibitors for the event with detailed instructions and guidelines in advance. Prepare a simple schematic that indicates where each exhibition booth can be set up at a conference or exhibition hall, along with information on where to ship the booth materials in advance and where to pick them up on the day they arrive to set up the exhibition. This will save everyone, including the conference planning committee, a lot of headaches on the eve of the event.

One final tip with conference planning is to expect the unexpected. No matter how thoroughly your committee plans the event, there will always be some type of hiccup. A speaker will fall ill and have to back out, or the hotel will accidentally overbook one of the banquet rooms. Draw on the collective experience of your committee to identify some of the most common last-minute issues that could arise, and decide in advance how to handle them effectively.

When the conference planning is done efficiently, it is relatively easy for an organization to host a conference, and equally easy for interested parties to attend a conference. Your goal is really twofold in nature. You want the flow of the conference to be as even as possible. At the same time, you also want to make sure that any unforeseen issues can be addressed quickly and effectively. By planning ahead, delegating tasks to an able committee, and processing action items in a logical manner, you are sure to keep the conference planning process manageable and ultimately very successful.