What are the main objectives for hosting a conference? What are the essential activities that have to be carried out in order for a conference to be held? Answers to these questions will highlight the main points of the conference and all tasks to be carried out before a conference commences.
A basic checklist for planning a conference is outlined below. These are but generic details that can be applied to all conferences irrespective of venue or size.
Venue: Is the conference to be held within the organization premises, or is it to be held in an external location?
Budget: Would there be any payment toward the venue or will it be free of expenses? If to be paid, what is the budget allocated for the venue? What are the terms of payment? (e.g., Hourly / Half day / Full day packages)
Time: (From -To) Time management is something that is very important when organizing a conference. This point on the checklist would be the time scheduled for the conference to start while indicating the duration of the conference. It should also indicate the number of days the conference will be held.
Head count: This would be the number of people who will be attending the conference, including the host and/or organizer. At times, invitations will have to be sent out months in advance for prospective members to confirm their attendance. If a fee has to be collected for the same, this will give the organizers time to collect the attendance fee for participation and accommodation for the members.
Agenda: Why is the conference being held? The agenda is based on the objectives of the conference. It highlights the essentials of the main content of the conference. An agenda has to be planned well in advance, with a list of key speakers and time durations, with outlines of topics each will be covering. An agenda requires a checklist in itself and may be considered a checklist within a conference planning checklist.
Conference committee: In case a conference committee is required to oversee tasks or vote in favor of or against a particular mode of action for the conference, a conference committee will have to be set up. It is essential to know which members will form this core conference planning team.