In the previous blog, under the category “Organizing Conferences”, we looked at reasons why people organize conferences. In the next series of blogs, we will be taking a closer look at the process of organizing a conference. We have divided the process into various phases namely: setting up the organizing structure, planning the conference, publicizing the conference, running the conference and evaluation of the conference and organizing process.
When organizing a conference, whether it is a small regional conference or large international conference, it is particularly crucial to pay attention to the details that make up the conference. There are details that need to be considered when organizing a conference such as; how the conference will be publicized, how will the delegates be registered, choosing the right location, finding the right venue etc.
Each conference has its own unique challenges and organizing a small regional conference is different to organizing a large international conference. Smaller regional conferences are often easier to organize as many of the participants are already known to the conference organizers and to each other. Organizing international or national conferences that usually extend over three or more days require a lot of man power and financial resources.
Organizing a conference requires a lot of work and requires months or even years of planning in advance. Before your start organizing a conference, ask yourself if you should be the one organizing this conference and is your organization or company the right entity to organize this conference. Is there enough resources, financial and manpower, to organize this conference? Is there someone else or some other organization that is better equipped to organize it? Consider if there are other, better, ways of achieving the goals of the intended conference.
As the organizing process goes along it will be necessary to maintain control of the various conference details, this is best accomplished by keeping a list of each phase of the planning process that needs to be completed. The list will include tasks that need to be done and dates by when they need to be finished.
Organizing a conference may be intimidating at first but remember to utilize the help of your fellow workers or team members, the more tasks that you can delegate the better. Our next blog will cover the process of setting up an organizing structure to help with the planning phase of the conference.
Resource: Community Tool Box: http://ctb.ku.edu/