Planning a great conference is not an easy feat. Starting from a breakfast panel discussion to a multi-day annual meeting arranging a conference is not so easy. It really requires huge planning to execute it successfully and making it a glorious even. It takes huge research, sourcing, booking, scheduling and most importantly organising. Basically these academic conferences are mainly for the researchers to discuss their work. It involves several discussions, presentations and academic paper work published. Together with academic or scientific journals conferences provide an important channel for exchange of information between the researchers.
- Be Organised: This task is going to be time consuming, so resources required may be beyond you. Make very sure that you can make agreement with your line manager, that you will need resources more than you think to have. All these stuffs would be recognised as a part of the work you do. So management and proper organising capacity is henceforth very necessary.
- Get Professional Help: As this conference is academics oriented, so chances of getting sucked with management or organisation may occur. Try to collect help from practical side of things. There are several companies and conference arrangers re-available in the market. Try to get in contact with them and use them for arranging successful conferences.
- Take Delegates Perspective: Be honest and truthful. People don’t go for papers. They simply meet the researchers in order to exchange or share ideas. Quality papers forms the skeleton yet easier one will make people to be more interactive and exchange ideas and meet other researchers.
- Budget Planning: A good budget is perhaps the most crucial factor in making a conference successful.
What are the financial goals for meeting?
- To break even or to produce the profit?
- Does the organization have a specific revenue goal to meet?
- Benchmark against meeting histories when available
- Evaluate and revise projections regularly
- Know the budget well and be prepared if needed to cut expenses
Good things are not for free, so charge a bit. Cost per individual delegate will provide professional help. Budget doesn’t mean eventually that it have to be cheap as cheap sounds nasty. Set such a rate of fee that it covers the coffee, tea and a decent lunch and also helps professionally. Budget should be made beforehand of the preparation of the conference organizing.
- Keep it tight: It is not necessary to have lot many people taking part in the conference. Even it’s been seen that too many conferences are even run with very less people or may be a chair and an organiser. That’s it. Where one makes final binding academic decisions and the other makes organizational ones. Yes there may be other doing stuffs like local organisers selecting restaurant, paper selection and committee etc. So they are not running it, it’s you are running and making and planning the conference to be successful. Unnecessary extra involvement of crowd is avoided and makes it a tight and packed scheduled conference.
- Be Selective: It’s very easy to have predatory publishers offering one or more predatory publishes. These sound great yet they expense a huge amount for running such conferences and talking to high level topics. Even you may have to fly them and run conference on sponsorship. Therefore it is to be noted that the chances of these conferences to go back to the universities is very rare.
- Site Selection: Involves the following considerations:
- Location and accessibility
- Downtown, suburban, resort etc.
- Proximity to airport, Interstates, trains, subways etc.
- Cost and availability of parking
- Scheduling the meeting
- Avoid religious, state and national holidays.
- Ask for other groups scheduling in the same place for residence
- Basic schedule of meeting should be drawn beforehand
- Site inspection
- Request references from groups who have recently used the property
- Is the property accessible for attendees with disabilities?
- Is there sufficient space for your conference?
- What about the general cleanliness and furnishing with decorations?
- Is airport transportation provided?
- Embrace Technology: Make sure that the rooms have audio-visual technology and at the same time keep it secured during the sessions. Using a software for organizing your conference site will help you receive, manage, distribute and arrange papers and other things.
- Time management: In a worse condition, a person should be taking 45 minutes for a 20 minutes presentation. Also make sure proper management of time and to keep on time is maintained. If needed go to personal spaces and ask them to stop. Even the last speaker on the chair should be on time to give their presentation.
- Make sure of the payment: Though it may sound astonishing but many at times it happens that people try to get free. People often try to sneak into the speakers. Make a compulsion of no ticket no show. Registration fee must be charged.
No matter how perfectly it has been planned or how perfectly it’s been organized but proper execution and a successful conference presentation is very important. So an event list should be prepared and handed over the team members to make it sure and successful.