Organising Events

hints and tips to help you organise the perfect event

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Visit Guildford - Business - the Conference and Hospitality Group are members of the Meetings Industry Association.

Jane Evans, Chief Executive of MIA comments: "Preparation is the key to success in organising your event.  You must cover all requirements of your brief and some the brief fails to mention.  Making notes and keeping a record will ensure you know who and what should be where and when and who is responsible for all actions".

Questions to ask when organising and event....

It is crucial to ask the right questions.  Initially, what is the event's budget? How many people are expected to be attending? What is the desired duration of the event and what time of day should it begin and end?  Indeed it may be an event that continues over several days so accommodation will also be important.

So at the outset you need answers to the following:-
  • What is the objective of the event?
  • How will its success be measured?
  • What is the budget?
  • What is the event duration in days?
  • What is the preferred date of the event?
  • What are the timings of the event?
  • How many delegates are expected to attend?
  • What is the format of the event i.e. will breakout rooms be required and what seating arrangements are preferred?
  • Are there international delegates that need accommodation?
  • Will there be any disabled delegates or speakers in attendance?
  • What level of accommodation is appropriate?
  • How many guest speakers will there be, if any?
  • How many in house speakers will there be?
  • Are there to be breakout sessions.  If so how many and how many people will they need to accommodate?
Inviting Attendees

You will need to promote the event to delegates.  You may need to print invitations and build a web page providing additional details.  Tell delegates how to RSVP - there are a number of options, post, telephone, email or online form.

Also consider refreshments, catering, speakers and entertainment requirements.  it may be up to you to determine these.  Find out in advance so that you know what you are expected to do.

What to look for during a venue showround

Get the venue right and you are at least half way to organising a successful event. This is why accreditations such as AIM are so important.  As well as appealing to the delegates that are attending the event, you will also need to assess the location - Accessibility of facilities, in particular whether they are accessible for disabled people and east of access to the venue.

Get to know the team

You will rely on the venue's event team for a large proportion of the event delivery, so you must be sure you can rely on them.  Their enthusiasm and willingness to be flexible to your needs is as important as their experience, so make sure you get to know them as much as you can and don't be afraid to ask as many questions as you need.

Presentation Capabilities

By the time you begin to select a venue you should be aware of most of the facilities you will need. Make sure you check all aspects of your event programme are possible at the venue.  Ask for a demonstration of technical equipment; does the sound system cover the whole room evenly? can the venue support any audio visual equipment you may bring in? Can the stage be seen clearly from all angles?

So to summarise....
On your visit to the venue, review the following:
  • Ease of access
  • Parking
  • The Welcome
  • accessibility of meeting/conference space
  • Disabled access routes
  • Capabilities of the meeting room