Few decisions are more significant for a conference than its date. Once it’s chosen, the organizing committee must ensure that the event occurs on that specific day because the alternative is disastrous. Rescheduling will require convincing the speakers and the participants to renew their commitment to the event—which they might not want to anymore.
Organizing a conference takes considerable preparation. It’s normal to plan 12 to 18 months ahead of time, although it’s possible to use a shorter time. However, the shorter the time that you have, the more toxic your stress will be. It’s recommended to give yourself a long lead time.
But when is the best date for your conference?
In the Philippines, conference season occurs in two periods: March to May and November to December. The weather is fine and audiences have free time because these are prime vacation days. However, scheduling your event during non-conference season can still be a good idea because the timing is a bit unusual and helps your conference stand out.
The basic rule in picking a conference date is to choose a day and time that supports your goals. For example, a conference that has a goal as serving as a launch for a product should be held on or before the product’s release.
It’s also important to consider the schedules of your speakers and target participants. It’s they that will have to adjust their schedules to participate in your event. This is another reason why long planning and preparation is beneficial.
Now how about choosing the venue?
Compared to the date, selecting a venue is less stressful. It’s easier to relocate than to reschedule, especially if people are warned ahead of time. Here are three factors to consider when picking a venue.
SPACE AND COMFORT
Your event will need to have enough room to contain the people and the sessions in written in your programme. Aside from space, the participants need to be able to discuss comfortably. A climate controlled room with air-conditioning and sufficient seats and tables are a must.
TECHNOLOGY AND CONNECTIVITY
Conferences have become extravaganzas that require good microphones and a stellar sound system at the very least. Projectors and stands are also a plus. But most importantly, the venue must have a stable Wi-Fi connection. The internet has become an indispensable help for discussion and enables the participants to share their thoughts to others outside of the event.
When it comes to food, venues sometimes set stringent policies. They may offer their own catering services and prohibit other caterers from providing food while others may not. Check their policy and see if it aligns with your goals.
ACCESSIBILITY AND LODGINGS
A venue that’s hard to get to discourages people from attending. Ensure that it has access to parking space or public transportation. Also don’t forget the needs of the disabled. For example, participants requiring wheelchairs need ramps to help them enter. Additionally, speakers and attendees that come from faraway places need a place to stay that’s near and convenient to the conference.
Just like the date, find a venue that meets helps your objectives and programme.
With the date settled and a venue reserved, it’s time to talk about the budget. Subscribe to be quickly informed on the next installment!