As you prepare to go on site there are a number of details, that if attended to now, will save time later.
The Event Specification Guidebook
This document is absolutely essential… it is your “conference bible” and contains everything that you may need to know on site!
- In short bring anything you think you might have to refer to on site. There is nothing more frustrating that needing some information that you know is sitting on your desk back at the office
- My personal preference is to make 2 copies –
- One is for me – electronic and on my tablet
- The second copy (a virtual duplicate) I leave in the registration area or the conference secretariat so others can check information if the need arises and I am not available – usually a hard copy
- Colleagues also put theirs on their IPad or tablet
Clear directions is a must! When you did your site inspection you should have paid some attention to where directional signs are needed. This can be reconfirmed with the hotel in preparation for going on site but some of the signs required… there may be options
- You may need to have signs made and place them on easels on site
- Some facilities use electronic sign boards, in which case you will need to arrange wording with the facility
- You may want to use electronic signage
- You may want to include a banner
Regardless, you want to find the best visibility for the signs and in many cases you may choose to included your logo and/or conference theme on the signs you produce so attendees know they relate to them
- What type of signs are required?
- Directional signs
- Information signs – registration, pre registration, messages, etc
- Meeting room identification
- Special services such as transportation, shuttle service, guest hospitality suite, etc
- Other general meeting information
Remember, signage alleviates that lost feeling for attendees – clear, attractive signage helps participants feel at home.
The Pre Con Meeting
- The pre con meeting is held as a final check list, a dry run to ensure everyone is on the same page
- Once the conference begins, you, the facility and your other suppliers are all part of the same team, with the same objectives – run this conference in a seamless, efficient manner.
During the pre con meeting,
- The facility can reconfirm your needs: everyone gets the opportunity to examine set up requirements one last time, double check timing and timelines, ask questions about any item that has not been covered in the written instructions
- You can reconfirm information needed by the facility and clarify details and procedures
- Who provides the water in the meeting rooms, who refreshes the rooms and how often
- Chain of commend is clearly identified: get names and numbers – extensions and beepers of anyone who will have responsibility for your meeting, especially evenings and weekends.
Wrap It Up
This is where it is the easiest to lose control
- Rental equipment must be returned
- Signage collected
- Packing up all materials and shipping home…
- Tips need to be paid… there is no rule here with regard to tipping… a lot depends on the service provided, the number of events, the number of meeting rooms and the complexity of your set ups and changes. Couple that with the demand placed on the service people and the duration of the meeting
- You might also want to meet with hotel staff and other major suppliers before you head for home. This gives you an opportunity to review billing and catch anything before it is finalized as well as have a discussion with your service providers on what worked well and what could have used some improvements.
- It is the time to dot your I’s and cross you t’s while you are still on site and things are still fresh in your mind