CDC/OERs/Meetings and Conference Management/MCM Tutorials

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CHAPTERS: Introduction | The Planning Process | Fin. & Contract Mgt. | Facilities & Services | Logistics | Programme | Summary

Primary Content Developer: Victor Paa Kwesi Mensah | List of other contributors here



Learning Objectives

Introduction to Events

Introduction to Meetings

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Determining the purpose of the meeting (event)

  1. Goals and objectives of the host organization
  2. Goals and objectives of the meeting/event

Identifying relationship of meeting (event) to organizational strategy

  1. Working with organization staff and/or volunteers (unpaid staff)
  2. Whether the event is being produced by the organization itself or by a third party
  3. Strategic partnerships and alliances
  4. Role of the event in the event host’s financial picture (e.g., the budgetary philosophy of the organization)

Identifying stakeholder needs, expectations, and desired outcomes

  1. Characteristics and demographics of meeting participants, including whether they are required to attend or not
  2. Market analysis
  3. Awareness of cultural diversity issues (e.g., accessibility, holidays, food preferences, protocol)
  4. Roles and responsibilities of stakeholders

Preparing program outline (e.g., topics, content, potential speakers)

  1. Characteristics of types of meetings (events)
  2. Program formats (e.g., colloquium, seminar, workshop)
  3. Adult learning principles
  4. Meeting (event) agenda

Obtaining and analyzing statistics and historical information related to meetings (events)

  1. Methodology for data collection
  2. Quantitative data
  3. Qualitative data

Design program details that meet needs of participants

  1. Learning styles
  2. Needs assessment

Identify successful criteria for evaluation of meeting (event)

  1. Who defines success (e.g., board of directors, customers, conference coordinator, exhibitors, suppliers, attendees?)
  2. How to evaluate
  3. What to evaluate, including goals and objectives of the meeting (event)
  4. When to evaluate
  5. Return on investment (ROI)

Preparing comprehensive timeline (project plan) for meeting (event)

  1. Steps to consider (planning timeline, event timeline, post-event timeline)
  2. Required time for each step (lead time)

Preparing meeting (event) specifications

  1. Meeting specifications (e.g., dates, times, number and type of guest rooms, meeting rooms)
  2. How to use a specifications guidebook

Developing marketing plan for meeting (event)

  1. Integrated marketing plan components (e.g., advertising, direct mail brochures, publicity, sponsorship)
  2. Market research questions

Assessing technology requirements

  1. Technology resources (e.g., using the Internet for research, communication, e-commerce)
  2. Hardware (e.g., PCs, servers, printers, digital cameras) and tools (e.g., cell phones, two-way radios, fax machines, pagers)
  3. Software applications (e.g., site selection, rating forms, match-making programs, audience response, database management)
  4. Security and safety concerns (e.g., firewalls, password protection, back-up technology)

Creating marketing materials for the meeting (event)

  1. Content for marketing materials
  2. Production of marketing materials
  3. Production of on-site materials

Creating, leading and managing project team

  1. Selection, identification, formulation
  2. Delegation
  3. Communication skills (written, oral, visual)
  4. Interpersonal skills


Identifying ancillary revenue sources and/or cost savings opportunities

  1. Sponsors
  2. Advertising
  3. Exhibitors
  4. In-kind, barter, trade-out
  5. Rebate and/or assessment

Developing budget for meeting (event)

  1. Currency conversions
  2. Budgeting methods (e.g., zero-based budget)
  3. Forecasting of revenues and expenses
  4. Cost categories (e.g., fixed, variable, direct, indirect)
  5. Accounting fundamentals (e.g., balance sheet, income statement)
  6. Data that will support the budget (e.g., past event information, number of participants)

Determining fees for participation, if any

  1. Break-even analysis
  2. Costs per person
  3. Fixed and variable costs
  4. Perceived value and/or return on investment

Conducting Request for Proposals (RFP) process

  1. Components of an RFP (e.g., information to give to a facility)
  2. Criteria to determine the individuals within an organization that should review responses received
  3. Process for conducting the review
  4. Criteria for selection of the supplier
  5. Techniques for obtaining bids

Negotiating contracts

  1. Components of and terminology of contracts including fine print and references to other documents
  2. Value of program components; opportunities for possible negotiation
  3. Contract agreements (e.g., terms, conditions)
  4. Legal implications (e.g., financial, liability, risk, attrition; Sarbanes Oxley equivalents; privacy laws)
  5. Methods of dispute resolution

Securing appropriate types and amounts of insurance

  1. Types of insurance (e.g. liquor liability, event cancellation, general liability, fire / legal liability)

Managing resources within budgeted guidelines

  1. Cost containment
  2. Room pick-up
  3. Modification of the budget plan
  4. Expenditure approval process

Ensuring completion of the payment and/or billing processes

  1. Billing timetable
  2. Gratuities/tips/service charges
  3. Reconciliation of master bill
  4. Processing of invoices
  5. Taxes (e.g., VAT, tax exempt status)


Determining the appropriate geographic location for the meeting (event)

  1. Peak and off-seasons for geographic areas, domestic and international
  2. Holiday calendars and seasonality considerations
  3. Competing events
  4. Support services from the Convention and Visitors Bureau/Tourism Board
  5. Special planning considerations for international meetings
  6. Who attendees are and their demographics
  7. Impact of transportation costs
  8. Accessibility by various types of transportation (e.g., group, air)
  9. Infrastructure of location (e.g., public transportation, taxis)
  10. Cost factors that influence the decision (e.g., transportation costs)
  11. Tying the location to the goals and objectives of the meeting
  12. Union considerations
  13. Internet resources

Determining the appropriate venue for the meeting (event) (e.g., hotel, convention centre,conference centre)

  1. Tying the venue/facility to the goals and objectives of the meeting
  2. Differences among types of venues/facilities
  3. Venue/facility services
  4. Union considerations
  5. Accessibility issues
  6. Internet resources
  7. Identify the types of services required for a successful meeting (event)
  8. Registration staff
  9. Exhibition services contractor
  10. Decorator
  11. Audiovisual (A/V)
  12. Transportation
  13. Security
  14. Catering
  15. Guest programs
  16. Special events
  17. Destination management company (DMC/PCO)
  18. Recreational activities
  19. Exclusive vendors/tying
  20. Production companies
  21. Entertainment and/or speakers
  22. Translation/interpretation services

Conducting site inspection to determine viability of location and venue including potential offsite activities

  1. Site inspection process
  2. Convention and Visitor Bureau/Tourism Board
  3. Ethical business practices

Conducting a pre-meeting (event) briefing (pre-con) with suppliers and facility providers

  1. Identification of briefing participants
  2. Topics to be covered (e.g., expectations, VIPs, Banquet Event Order [BEO] changes, program overview)
  3. Review of event specifications guide

Coordinating security procedures with venues

  1. Crisis management plan
  2. Emergency plan
  3. Special needs (e.g., protestors, VIPs)

Planning, ordering, and overseeing technology requirements for the meeting (event)

  1. Hardware and software requirements
  2. Web-based reservation tools
  3. Web-based conferencing tools and techniques
  4. Audience response systems
  5. Audiovisual (A/V) including Wireless Internet audience response systems
  6. Electrical power requirements

Conducting a post-meeting (event) review (post-con) with suppliers and facility providers

  1. Identification of review participants
  2. Topics to be covered (e.g., final billing, lessons learned, recommendations)


Establishing invitation and/or registration procedures for the meeting (event)

  1. Pre-registration delivery options (e.g., fax, phone, on-line, paper)
  2. On-site registration operations
  3. Registration software options
  4. Special requirements of attendees (e.g., accessibility, allergies, special needs)
  5. Pre-selection of specific sessions and functions by attendees
  6. Payment procedures and/or options
  7. Emergency contact information from attendees
  8. Cancellation and no-show penalties (e.g., credit issues)
  9. Attendee policy

Assessing risk management issues in order to determine needed insurance and operations

  1. Internal communications plan
  2. Risk management issues (e.g., fire safety, emergency action plan, serving alcohol)

Determining exhibitor booth assignments and setup process for exhibits

  1. Exhibit prospectus
  2. Service contractors
  3. Union guidelines
  4. Lead retrieval systems
  5. Space usage requirements
  6. Booth and/or stand types
  7. Exhibit service kit
  8. Booth assignment techniques (e.g., first -come-first -serve, priority points)
  9. Security
  10. Physical setup and dismantle
  11. Exhibit rules

Securing transportation arrangements for the meeting (event)

  1. Tour and travel agency services
  2. Official service providers (e.g., airline, car rental, shuttles, limos)
  3. Destination management company (DMC) and/or professional conference organizer(PCO)

Managing the housing reservation process

  1. Incentives for booking the block
  2. Reservation review date
  3. Cut-off date
  4. Rooming list
  5. Third-party housing (e.g., housing bureau, housing services)
  6. Housing form
  7. Self-made reservations
  8. Room guarantees
  9. Attrition clauses
  10. Tracking housing pick-up reports including audit and verification
  11. Technology-based tools to manage housing

Identifying security measures required for each facility and/or meeting (event)

  1. Level of security associated with meeting (event), attendees, and/or sponsoring organizations

Communicating travel arrangements for participants to get to and from an event site

  1. Group policies
  2. Staff travel
  3. Ground transportation options for attendees
  4. VIP travel
  5. Cut-off dates
  6. Discounts
  7. Visa, immigration, and currency

Managing all aspects of food and beverage functions

  1. Service styles (e.g., American service, English service, butler style)
  2. Menu planning
  3. Types of functions (e.g., buffet, breaks)
  4. Types of beverage service (e.g., cash bar, combination bar)
  5. Recycling including for non-human consumption; handling of containers
  6. Room setup
  7. Special dietary needs (e.g., kosher, vegan)
  8. Banquet Event Orders (BEOs)
  9. Guarantees
  10. Food trends

Preparing and reviewing housing reports in a timely manner

  1. Components of a housing report (e.g.,types of rooms blocked, number of meeting rooms used, overall attendance)
  2. Timing of a housing report
  3. Housing pickup report
  4. Attrition clause

Determining the setup for function rooms including seating and audiovisual (A/V) requirements

  1. Meeting space assignments
  2. Setup configurations (e.g., chairs, tables, audiovisual (A/V), staging)
  3. Function room space requirements
  4. Food and beverage function seating requirements (e.g., how many chairs)
  5. Seating arrangements (e.g., protocol)
  6. Types of tables and chairs
  7. Accessibility requirements
  8. Equipment requirements in relationship to room setup (e.g., audiovisual (A/V), sound)

Coordinating the shipping of materials to and from the meeting (event) site

  1. Freight carriers/freight forwarders
  2. Customs brokers
  3. Private couriers
  4. Common carriers
  5. Truckload or less -than-truckload (LTL) – refer to APEX Glossary
  6. Packing lists
  7. Labelling and packing
  8. Tracking and tracing

Tracking and recording continuing education credits earned

  1. Certificate of attendance
  2. CEU/CLE/CME policies and procedures
  3. Attendance tracking software


Reviewing goals of meeting and determine details of program to meet those goals

  1. Advisory committees
  2. Supplier feedback
  3. Client and/or sponsor feedback
  4. Attendee feedback
  5. History of previous meetings

Securing speakers

  1. Types of speakers
  2. Speakers bureaus
  3. Knowledge experts
  4. Industry trends

Manage the contractual relationship with speakers

  1. Intellectual property rights (e.g., audio tapes, handouts reprinted in proceedings)
  2. Marketing speaker products (e.g., books, tapes, recordings)
  3. Contractual fulfilment
  4. Speaker ready room

Securing entertainment for the meeting (event) (e.g., music, artists)

  1. How to deal with agents and promoters
  2. Production companies
  3. Music licensing
  4. Service providers
  5. Contractual fulfilment
  6. Rehearsals
  7. Green rooms

Determining food and beverage arrangements that support program objectives

  1. What meals and breaks need to be covered?
  2. How to determine quantities required
  3. Costs associated with food and beverages
  4. Food and beverage formulas (e.g., drinks per person)

Arranging ancillary programs in conjunction with the meeting (event) including pre-and post-meeting activities

  1. Sightseeing tour programs
  2. Educational seminars
  3. Guest programs
  4. Children’s programs including day care
  5. Liability insurance

Determining audiovisual (A/V) needs

  1. Cost of audiovisual (A/V)
  2. Audiovisual (A/V) formulas (e.g., where to place a screen)
  3. Types of audiovisual (A/V) equipment
  4. How to determine size and/or quantities based on room size and setup
  5. Audiovisual (A/V) equipment terminology (e.g., brand names used in place of generic terms
  6. Technology capabilities

Arranging media and public relation activities for the meeting (event)

  1. Industry and local media
  2. Press releases
  3. Press conferences
  4. Press room


Summary goes here ...