Six Tips for Successful Conference Planning

Organising a conference can seem a daunting task the first time you are asked to do it, but if you follow a few basic steps, it will all go off without a hitch.

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Planning Ahead

Realistically, give yourself a minimum of six months. Unless your building is big enough to host a conference, you will need to source a venue, decide on how big your conference is going to be, decide on the theme and arrange food for your delegates. You need to know what the theme will be before you do any of the other things, because that will determine everything that follows. Use a spreadsheet to make sure you’ve covered everything. You can get examples from the conference management companies Dublin has to offer.

Organise the Timetable

How many speakers do you want? How long do you want them to speak? Build coffee breaks into your timetable and a lunch break if it’s an all-day conference. You’d be best providing lunch for delegates so that you can keep them close by. That way they are more likely to be back for the afternoon session on time. Have back-up speakers in case someone falls ill on the day.

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Cancellation Policy

According to Smashing Magazine, it’s important to set a cancellation policy early on so there are no arguments. For advice on this, you could contact conference management companies Dublin.


Choosing the right venue isn’t just about somewhere that suits you. Think about what your delegates will want. You could contact experts for advice – when it comes to conference management companies Dublin has some that can help.


You will need to balance the ideal venue with the overall cost and your budget for the conference. Remember to include the cost of the speakers if you are going to have to pay them.


A vexed issue nowadays, with so much concern about sustainability and printing. Get your speakers to send them to you in advance, and if you have a lot of documentation to go with the conference, let your delegates know and email them out, asking them not to print but read them from their tablets on the day.

Check and double-check that you’ve got everything you need, right up until the day, and you’re set.