To help you get started planning your next staff conference, we have compiled 10 important questions you should work through. These will help you identify what you need to do and what support you will need to source.
- What are your conference objectives?
Defining your conference objectives will give your planning the direction it needs and help you answer the next nine questions.
- What are your likely delegate numbers and their background?
How many staff is the conference for? Where are they based? What is the profile of the group such as age, gender and interests?
- What is your budget?
The budget will determine whether you need to seek sponsorship or contra support for some elements of the conference, and if staff may need to pay for optional extras.
- What dates do you want to stage it?
You will need to consider event clashes, availability of your preferred venues, weather, how many days are needed, budget and dates of public holidays.
- What city do you want to have it?
Where your staff are located, budget and your conference objectives will help you work this out. If one of your objectives is to acknowledge staff for a great year, you may consider a conference in a fun destination.
- What do you want in the conference agenda?
A good agenda for a staff conference should feature an address from the company leader about the vision and values, guest speakers, fun team building activities, break-out workshops for corporate training and evening entertainment.
- What venues do you need?
Your conference agenda, delegate numbers, city and budget will be a good starting point. This will give you an idea on what space, facilities, room set-ups and technology are required, plus what venues meet your needs for accommodation and group activities.
- What transportation is required?
This will include the transportation of your staff to the city or town of the conference plus any transfers to and from airports, conference venues, accommodation and group activities.
- What catering is required?
What is the theme of the conference? What packages can the venue and accommodation provide for meals? Do any of your delegates have special dietary requirements? What level of extravagance does your budget allow?
- What information do you need to collect and communicate?
An online registration system can be very effective in compiling RSVPs, transportation, dietary requirements, feedback to help you finalise the conference agenda and financial transactions.
Kathryn Laslett, Conference & Events, Corporate Challenge Events