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Conference Organizers Workshop Planning Your Event Elsie Cabrera, CMP Manager, Sales & Conference Activities IEEE Meeting & Conference Management (MCM)

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Presentation on theme: "Conference Organizers Workshop Planning Your Event Elsie Cabrera, CMP Manager, Sales & Conference Activities IEEE Meeting & Conference Management (MCM)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Conference Organizers Workshop Planning Your Event Elsie Cabrera, CMP Manager, Sales & Conference Activities IEEE Meeting & Conference Management (MCM)

2 Workshop Agenda How to develop a conference timeline Creating request for proposals (RFP) –hotel/venue –audio visual supplier –destination management company (DMC) Negotiating – how to get the best deal Food and beverage planning Hotel room block management Summary 7-Feb-142

3 How to Develop a Conference Time 7-Feb-143

4 How to Develop a Conference Timeline Begin by considering all tasks and dates required in planning your event IEEE and OU requirements –Sponsorship requirements –Budgeting requirements Building your technical program –Abstract Submission –Paper Submission –Peer Review Process –Notifications 7-Feb-144

5 How to Develop a Conference Timeline Visa process Registration Searching for a Payment Card Industry (PCI) vendor Early Registration Deadline Onsite Registration Activities Review Contractual Obligations and incorporate into timeline Deposit due dates Contract room block review dates Cancellation dates 7-Feb-145

6 How to Develop a Conference Timeline Exhibit management Exhibit Decorator Floor Plan Prospectus (selling document) Payment Due Date Booth Assignment (date) Other functions Social functions Tours & Transportation Assign tasks to committee members Managing your conference timeline is crucial 7-Feb-146

7 Sample Timeline 7-Feb-147 TimingDate Completed (x) Action/Description (IEEE-required actions are bolded.) ResponsibilitySubcommitteeComments 18-24 months prior to conf Agreement (MOU) between conference sponsors Note: All Contracts & MOUs with a value of $25,000 or more must be reviewed and executed by IEEE Procurement. 18-24 months prior to conf Appoint General Chair; establish Local Organizing Committee (LOC); notify sponsoring organization(s) of General Chair 18-24 months prior to conf Initial meeting of conference committee to select conference name, theme, location, date, venue Note: Check for potential conflicts with other IEEE conferences LOC 18-24 months prior to conf Contract with IEEE Conference Management for conference venue contract site selection & contract negotiation, registration management, conference logistics, etc. LOC 18-24 months prior to conf Contract with conference venue and overflow hotels if needed (send out RFP, review proposals, negotiate contract) Note: All Contracts with a value of $25,000 or more must be reviewed and executed by IEEE Procurement. MCM 18-24 months prior to conf Submit IEEE Conference Information Schedule to IEEE Conference Services for listing in the Conference Search Database and Call for Papers LOC 18-24 months prior to conf Submit Conflict of Interest forms to IEEE Conference Services LOC General Chair & Treasurer 18-24 months prior to conf Submit IEEE Conference Budget Forms (Summary, Income, Expense & Social Functions) to IEEE Organizational Unit for approval LOC Treasurer / MCM

8 Sample Timeline cont. 7-Feb-148 TimingDate Completed (x) Action/Description (IEEE-required actions are bolded.) ResponsibilitySubcommitteeComments 15-18 months prior to conf Create theme and logos.LOCMarketing 15-18 months prior to conf Obtain domain name and create web siteLOCWebmaster 15-18 months prior to conf Develop Advertising program/publicity (brochures, post cards, ad pages, posters, etc) LOCMarketing 15-18 months prior to conf Develop promotion plan for booth at current year's conference (table top display, give-a-ways, etc.) LOCMarketing 15-18 months prior to conf Research magazines & trade publications to advertise in. Note publication deadlines. LOCMarketing 12-15 months prior to conf Hire Decorator for exhibits (send out RFP, review proposals, negotiate contract, create floor plan) MCM 12-15 months prior to conf Create Exhibitor Prospectus (application, floor plan, additional selling information) for distribution at current year's conference MCM 12-15 months prior to conf Create Sponsorship and Advertising Opportunities for distribution at current year's conference MCM 12-15 months prior to conf Review and reconfirm hotel and meeting facilitiesMCM 12-15 months prior to conf Meeting of Conference Committee, preferably at conference site MCM / LOC 12-15 months prior to conf Preliminary planning of off-site events, tours, etc.MCM / LOC

9 Creating Request for Proposals (RFP) 7-Feb-149

10 Request For Proposal (RFP) What is it? The RFP is a request for a quote for service –identifies the goals and objectives –provides a profile of the group –provides historical data When writing an RFP, think about it as the first step to negotiating a contract Consider what you need vs. what you want –needs are non-negotiable –wants can become the basis for negotiations 10

11 Hotel RFP A hotel needs as much information as possible so they know what is important to the event Dont assume a hotel will have space available later –be sure to include all space requirements at the start Be specific about the number and type of guest rooms required –number of rooms needed at varying rates government vs. standard; –upgrades for VIPs Dont be overly optimistic about the block; you will pay if you fall below the allowed shortfall Event history, if available, is invaluable to the negotiation process –establishes the value of the event to the hotel –reduces risk to the hotel by demonstrating solid history 7-Feb-1411

12 Hotel RFP What It Should Include Group profile (who/what the event is about) Preferred event dates (pattern and any flexibility) Number of attendees (if possible, include attendee profile) Meeting space requirements (i.e. setup of each room, # of people, accessibility) Preliminary schedule of events Estimated food/beverage functions Room block pattern (days/number of rooms per night) Concessions (i.e suites required, parking passes, etc.) Specify if you plan to use your own a/v supplier Conference history (past locations, actualized room pick up, food/beverage spend) Date when proposals are due Decision date 7-Feb-1412

13 Sample Hotel RFP 7-Feb-1413

14 Sample Hotel RFP

15 Audio Visual (A/V) RFP A/V is critical to the event Cost should always be considered, but should not be the most important criteria Clearly communicate as much detail as possible about your technical needs The needs of the event will determine what vendor to use 7-Feb-1415

16 Audio Visual (A/V) RFP What It Should Include Event name Dates, time, location Preliminary schedule of events –Rooms assignments and setups A/V requirements per room (i.e. projectors, screen, podium, microphones) Concessions (what you would like) Date when proposals are due Decision date 7-Feb-1416

17 Sample Audio Visual RFP 7-Feb-1417 DATEBEGINENDEVENTLOCATIONROOMSET-UP# of PaxA/V & Telecom Needs Wed, 17- Sep-2008 8:0012:00 Region 4 Executive Committee Meeting Hilton Beaumont & Belair U-Shape for 15 with 10 chairs in rear of room for observers 25 1-Screen with dress kit 1-Projector with appropriate VGA cable 1-AV Cart 1-Powerstrip to the Projection Cart 1-Power Strip for each 6' table in the U Wed, 17- Sep-2008 8:0017:00 MGA Student Activities Committee HiltonBeauport U-Shape for 25 with 10 chairs in rear of room for observers 35 Wed, 17- Sep-2008 13:0017:00 Region 4 Long Range Strategic Planning Hilton Beaumont & Belair Exsiting Set-Up25Existing Set-Up Thu, 18- Sep-2008 8:0017:00 Region 2 Committee Meeting Congress Center301 A/B U-Shape for 40 with 20 chairs in rear of room for observers 60 1-Screen with dress kit 1-Projector with appropriate VGA cable 1-AV Cart 1-Powerstrip to the Projection Cart 1-Power Strip for each 6' table in the U Thu, 18- Sep-2008 8:0017:00 Region 4 Committee Meeting Congress Center302 A/B U-Shape for 40 with 20 chairs in rear of room for observers 60 1-Screen with dress kit 1-Projector with appropriate VGA cable 1-AV Cart 1-Powerstrip to the Projection Cart 1-Power Strip for each 6' table in the U Thu, 18- Sep-2008 8:0017:00 Region 7 (IEEE Canada) Committee Meeting Congress Center303 A/B U-Shape for 40 with 20 chairs in rear of room for observers 60 1-Screen with dress kit 1-Projector with appropriate VGA cable 1-AV Cart 1-Powerstrip to the Projection Cart 1-Power Strip for each 6' table in the U

18 Destination Management Company (DMC) or Professional Conference Organizer (PCO) RFP They save time, research, and money DMCs/PCOs offer a wide range of services including –tours –transportation –convention staffing –Extra services (i.e. entertainment, décor) Use a local DMC/PCO –obtain recommendations from the hotel, convention center, or the citys visitor bureau 7-Feb-1418

19 Destination Management Company (DMC) What It Should Include Detailed information will allow the DMC/PCO to develop a program and pricing specific for your event. Details should include: –Group profile –Event services desired Offsite event shuttles (buses, mini vans) Tour program (which days, time frame, cost) Offsite event location selection and planning (gala dinner, reception) Airport transfers –Budget –Anticipated attendance –Conference dates and location (venue name) –Specify if you intend to have an exclusive tour program –Date when proposals are due –Decision date 7-Feb-1419

20 Sample DMC/PCO RFP

21 Negotiating How to Get the Best Deal 7-Feb-1421

22 Negotiating How to Get the Best Deal Negotiating is the process leading up to the point of contracting Many items are negotiable most of the time The ability to negotiate depends on your knowledge of the meeting (history; size, scope; profile; revenue generated for the facility) Recognize that are vendors/suppliers are in the business to make money, you should understand how each vendor makes its money (sleeping rooms, f&B, a/v, ancillary) 7-Feb-1422

23 Negotiating How to Get the Best Deal Negotiate items that are important to your group first –You can ask for more, but everything has a price Never say yes to the first offer –suppliers rarely put their best offer first and will usually come down in price Vendor consolidation leads to better pricing Utilize vendors who have an established relationship with the conference and/or IEEE or have been recommended –discounts offered for repeat business Get all that you have negotiated in writing 7-Feb-1423

24 Negotiating Tools IEEE has standard templates in place to help get you started –Hotel contract templates –Meeting Management company template You will need to negotiate pricing, concessions, function space, and other details specific to your conference Using the established templates creates more efficient and timely execution of the contract Templates are located –http://www.ieee.org/web/conferences/organizers/contract s.htmlhttp://www.ieee.org/web/conferences/organizers/contract s.html 7-Feb-1424

25 Food and Beverage Planning 7-Feb-1425

26 Food and Beverage Planning (F&B) Understand the conference history for attendance at meal functions –do the majority of delegates attend the functions? –what type of meals are ordered? (i.e. buffet, plated, or boxed) –are the meals additional purchase items or included in the registration fee? Hotel/venue considerations –understand how the venue counts delegates at meal functions (i.e. by plates used or by seats) –does the venue prepare for 5% more than guaranteed? 7-Feb-1426

27 Food & Beverage Planning (F&B) Menu Selection Tips Consider the location and setup of the meal function space Select the menu prior and compare to the conference budget –remember to include tax and service charges If the standard hotel menus cost are prohibitive, inquire to customize a menu to fit your budget Try to offer local cuisine as part of the conference meals if possible 7-Feb-1427

28 Food & Beverage Planning (F&B) Menu Selection Tips If you have parallel events with meal functions, utilize the same menu For smaller events, consider hosting joint meal functions to eliminate additional service charges Inquire about menus ordered by other groups in- house at the time of your event –bulk ordering creates better discount –reduces labor for the venue Review your advance registration activity to determine guarantees 7-Feb-1428

29 Communicating Your Details to the Venue Prepare and send detailed event specifications that include –Day and date of the function –time the room should be setup and how (i.e. theater, schoolroom, u-shape) –food and beverage selections and counts –room assignments as well as published start and end times –a/v and electrical requirements The venue will translate the information into a format known as a banquet event order (BEO) for review and signature Ensure the BEOs correlate with your specifications –communicate any discrepancies immediately –once signed, these become the contract with the venue Conduct a pre-conference meeting with the hotel to review all the beos once onsite to be sure the needs are interpreted and captured correctly 7-Feb-1429

30 Meeting Specifications

31 Room Block Management 7-Feb-1431

32 Room Block Management Keep an Eye on the Contract Many hotels require conferences to pick up at least 80% of the contracted room block Monitor the room pickup regularly and assess if reductions/increases in block are required –increases may not be available or may be at higher rates before increasing, confirm that it is necessary –reductions may incur penalties If fall below the contracted room block –attrition charges may apply –concessions may be reduced or eliminated –meeting space allocation may change due to the size of the group and space charges may apply All changes to the contract should be agreed in writing by both parties (hotel and conference chair) by creating a contract addendum 7-Feb-1432

33 Room Block Management Tips for Success Understand the conference pickup pattern –How far in advance do delegates normally make their reservations? –Monitor and compare the pickup to the previous years to determine if you are on target –Confirm the following have made their reservations VIPs (ie. award winners, plenary speaker) Authors/speakers Committee –Compare hotel rooming list to conference registration list(s) 7-Feb-1433

34 Summary There are many components to planning a successful event The timeline is key to staying on track to meet deliverables Always keep an eye on the contract terms Dont be afraid to ask for help from an expert; there are many resources available –Event management professionals –Convention visitors bureau –Destination management company –Audio visual suppliers 7-Feb-1434

35 Questions?

36 Resources and Tools Conference Organizers website www.ieee.org/web/conferences/organizers/index.html Attend Panel of Conference Organizers and visit the website for review of presentations www.ieee.org/web/conferences/organizers/poco/index.html Utilize a professional management company www.ieee.org/go/mcm Convention Industry Councils Accepted Practices Exchange (provides industry best practices and standard templates) https://www.conventionindustry.org/apex/accepted.htm – 7-Feb-1436

37 ContactEmailPhone Elsie Cabrera, CMP Mgr. Sales & Conference Activities e.cabrera@ieee.org+1 732 981 3428 7-Feb-1437 Website: www.ieee.org/go/mcmwww.ieee.org/go/mcm Email: mcminfo@ieee.orgmcminfo@ieee.org IEEE Meeting & Conference Management (MCM) 445 Hoes Lane Piscataway, NJ, 08854 U.S.A.

38 THANK YOU 7-Feb-1438


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