These are general guidelines to keep in mind concerning what needs to be done and when. You may be on a tighter deadline, or have luxurious amounts of time (lucky!). Generally, you should start planning three months in advance so your attendees can arrange their schedule, speakers can begin to prepare their presentations, and you can relax a bit. Every program is different, so adapt this timeline as needed.
ORGANIZE MEETING NOTES AND MATERIALS AND REVIEW YOUR TIMELINES
Once you’ve established the framework of your meeting and know its general requirements, you’re ready to contact hotels and discuss planning specifics. You’ll find it helpful to set up an organizer with sections for the various planning steps, so you can keep all the meeting information in one place.
Some suggested section titles include:
Schedules, Audiovisual equipment, Budget, Food and Beverage, Contacts, Recreation, Rooming list , Speakers, Ground transportation, Entertainment, Event communications, Spouse programs, Meeting room setups ,VIPs
3 TO 5 MONTHS OUT
•Determine the objective of your meeting
•Get your budget approved
•Check calendar of events taking place near your desired venue to avoid conflicts
•Book meeting site and necessary hotel rooms •Speak to Meetings Director or Sales Manager about menus and meeting room needs
•Set up master account for meeting charges and determine who can sign for charges
•Invite speakers and provide scope of desired presentation
•Make travel arrangements
•Decide on any marketing needs; begin creative development
AT LEAST ONE MONTH BEFORE EVENT
•Confirm menus, room setups and supplies in writing with your Meetings Director
•Reach out to speakers/vendors to check on their presentations (they’ll likely need urging)
•Inform hotel of guest arrival time so front desk can be properly staffed •Order gifts and amenities
•Order signs and printed materials •Introduce any marketing materials into market
•Mail agenda and any brochures to attendees; suggest a dress code and arrival times
For a full list of to do's, download our PDF below
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