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Conference Planning Checklist

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The Team at Experience Kissimmee is Here to Help

There is so much that happens behind the scenes when planning successful meetings and conferences. From developing an email list 18-to-24 months prior to the event to accommodation negotiations, agreements with vendors, and organizing media coverage the list is endless. But have no fear!

The Experience Kissimmee Meeting Sales team will not only help you every step of the way, but we can also provide you with a customized checklist to make sure every “i” is dotted, every “t” is crossed. In the meantime, here is a generalized top 10 list to consider when hosting your next conference:

1. Identify Possible Dates
When choosing dates for a conference, start with several options in mind. Make sure you check for similar events, industry conferences, and religious and secular holidays to avoid potential scheduling conflicts.

2. Create a Conference Budget
An extremely important part of the event-planning process, the budget should be very specific and include revenues as well as expenses.

3. Find a Venue
Once you have set dates for your conference, start looking for venues (in Kissimmee!). Make sure you think out your space requirements well in advance before you go to contract with the venue.

4. Agenda & Speakers

Start with drafting an agenda based on what your organization and attendees want to achieve from the conference. Create a list of relevant topics and then determine the speakers who will best deliver and facilitate the keynotes, panel discussions, break-out sessions, etc. Speakers are one of the main reasons people attend conferences. They not only help gain more attention for your event, but they also attract more attendees and other well-known speakers.

5. Pre-Sell/Online Registration
Conference registration is the main revenue for your event, which makes the registration and payments critical. Use the registration process as an opportunity for you to collect data for marketing activities once the conference is complete.

6. Discounts
Offering discounts is a brilliant tool to increase sales for your conference in the starting stages. One example is to offer early-bird registration. This attracts price-sensitive attendees and also gives you cash flow in the beginning stages. (And remember: It pays to meet in Kissimmee! Host your conference or event here and earn up to $10,000 for your company or association.)

7. Promotion
Create a sample guest list to target the marketing and promotional efforts to the intended audience. Promotion for your conference is about gathering new attendees and reactivating existing members in your database. This can be achieved by:
• Sending invitations to last year’s attendees
• Mounting sustained electronic and direct-mail campaigns to industry/member databases
• Placing conference dates and ads on your website
• Posting your event in local event listings
• Inviting media to cover your event

8. Inventory, Attendee Lists, & Badges
Always check in advance to see what you need for technical equipment/AV for staging/speakers. Once you have received the equipment, always make sure to test it before the event. Make sure to always supply your attendees with name badges. This will help entry management and networking at your conference.

9. Onsite Registration & Entry Management
To avoid disruption the morning of your conference, entry management should be extremely organized. The most efficient way of managing entry is with an electronic registration system. This allows you to scan barcodes on printed registration confirmations.

10. After the Conference
You should leave the venue in excellent condition. Make sure all rental equipment is picked up and you receive a signed estimate of the bill from the venue. You should also compare your budget and the money you actually spent. Don’t forget to send thank-you letters to all your speakers, sponsors, and attendees. Last but not least, consider sending out an exit survey. It’s a great way to get feedback and testimonials for your next memorable event—in Kissimmee, Florida!

Source: MeetingsNet.com