How to plan a larger conference

Are you looking at planning a large conference? Our team of experts has you covered with all our top tips for pulling off a large event successfully. Keep reading for a Q&A with all the insights from our experienced venue specialists..

 

What are the top 5 things event planners should keep in mind when planning a larger conference than what they usually plan for?

  1. Plan ahead – organisation will be your best friend
  2. Time and resources are very important. Make sure that there is enough time and assistance within the event planning team to ensure a successful event
  3. Ensure all stakeholders are on the same page and there is clear communication
  4. Think about location and select a destination that is accessible for all attendees, particularly if you are flying people in. To move large numbers around a destination can be costly, so make sure if you are booking multiple venues that they are in close proximity to each other and to airports or train stations etc
  5. Have a theme and keep that in mind when scoping locations to ensure a cohesive event

 

What is the most common thing you find people forget about or ignore when planning larger conferences?

Contingency dollars in your budget are important so any missed T&Cs or high AV costs are covered. With larger conferences AV costs can be substantially higher, so this is important to keep in mind. Another thing that is often ignored is what the conference room set up needs to be. Our team has had clients before that were close to booking a venue, but who then realised that to fit their delegates in the venue they would have to have a cabaret set up which would not work for those particular events- it was back to the drawing board again to try and find a new venue that has the right capacity for the desired set up! Being clear on your required set up from the get go will save you time and energy when venue sourcing. 

 

Do larger conferences typically need a longer time to plan and book?

Yes, larger conferences definitely need a longer time frame to plan and book. This is because large event capacities are generally a limited offering and there are fewer options than what there would be for a small-medium conference. As there are less options, they often book out in advance. To be on the safe side, it is great if you can be flexible with dates and it is very important to not leave booking a venue to the last minute.

 

How do you first approach planning a large conference? What should be the first thing on your checklist?

Understanding the required outcomes and the target audience of attendees is the first step in planning a large conference. Communication is very important and it is crucial that you understand the objectives of the event so that you can plan effectively. From there you can get clear on the budget, location and client brief. We recommend always sticking and referring to the client brief and doing research throughout the event planning process. 

 

What makes a large conference successful?

To host a large conference successfully, you need to be organised in advance, know your objective and be very clear on priorities and have strong communication with all stakeholders. If you don’t know something, ask and make sure everyone is on the same page. 

Event planning can be really stressful, but we are here to help. Our free venue sourcing service is a powerful tool that typically saves event planners and EAs 17.5 hours per event. There are no fees whatsoever and we are completely independent, meaning we will present you with amazing venues for your event and you can trust that we have done the research and have no bias. We exist to support you and assist in creating a successful event, big or small! For more information, contact our team of experts today.

 

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