What do Conference Planners really do?


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By Go Ask eve

Conference planners are multitaskers.

That is one thing we certainly know.

There are many names for this role, from conference planner, corporate events coordinator, event planner and everything in between!

As an event planner, you get to bring people together and create an inspiring experience. However, the work of a conference and events planner can be demanding with many changes in the build-up to an event. Communication is a key factor within the planning process, being your client’s point of contact for their event means having to communicate well with all other colleagues/suppliers that one detail change could impact.

We are always one step ahead, that is a key to being a successful event and conference planner. From remembering key information about specific clients, coordinating suppliers and managing the running of successful events – we do it all.

"Arguably being an event coordinator or event planner is one of the best jobs in the world."

The main quality and skill you need to have above the rest is organisation. With an organised structure to day-to-day life and always having a plan B, a conference planner can be successful. With conferences and events, there is always the potential for something to go wrong. From catering deliveries being cancelled, train strikes, traffic and of course the dreaded ‘C’ word!

It is essential to look after your health and wellbeing. Many conferences and event planners can work long hours and days leading up to major events. Ensure to enjoy downtime and self-care. Having to be on the ball all the time can be exhausting at times, so make sure to look after yourself.

Let’s start from the beginning and talk through the stages of a conference planner’s role:

Getting to know your client

First things first, to be a successful conference planner you need to ensure that you bond with your client to be able to understand their requirements inside out. Setting aside the time to create a genuine relationship with your clients, will make everyone’s lives easier and lead to happy guests. Arrange coffee catch-ups, and drinks and get to the bottom of exactly what they are looking for in their conference.

  • What is the goal?
  • What are they trying to achieve?
  • What are their companies’ values?
  • Who is their target audience?

Once you know this, you are on the best path to being a fantastic conference planner.

Questions, questions and more questions:

Don’t be afraid to ask them. Not leaving anything to chance is the best practice you can introduce. If you don’t fully understand or want to question something… ask! It is the best way to ensure you are on the same page as your clients throughout the planning journey.

Share the love (your specialist events knowledge)

Often clients will ask for your advice. This is absolutely right, as a conference planner is an expert in what they do and they do this day in, day out. Share every inch of your expertise with your client. Often this makes it much easier for the client and you build up their trust in you. Be confident, you know your venue and space best and offer advice and guidance.

Trust your tribe

The great thing about the events industry is that we have some wonderfully passionate individuals who love what they do. From chefs, operational staff, entertainment providers, florists, and audio-visual companies. Organising suppliers who you know and love, will not only make your life easier as a conference planner but your client’s life easier too. To know that your event is in safe hands is a relief and it can leave you to focus on the important elements.

Discuss the Plan B, C, D (and so on!)…

Have a backup for your backup. The best advice there possibly is! Ensuring you cover all eventualities when booking a conference is important. There is always the chance for a surprise on the day of the event, by covering this and creating a risk assessment, you reduce the risk of anything going majorly wrong on the day of the event.

Adding your touch

If you are a conference planner who doesn’t run the actual event itself on the day, it is important to ensure you allow the client to see you are checking everything is as planned before leaving the specialist operations team to run the event. Do a walk-through with your client to ensure they are happy with everything and don’t require anything else from your end.

Customer service goes further than delivering the event

Feedback is one of the most valuable parts of being a conference manager. Hearing that your client and their guests had a fantastic event makes all the stress worthwhile. By going that extra mile, you are ensuring a successful event. Be sure to stay in touch with your client and offer a loyalty scheme to book your venue again.

Events play a big role in the success of a company. Ensure to use our top tips to stay ahead of the game and be successful in all you do and above all, enjoy your job!

Read more about 41 Portland Place and the event spaces that it has to offer, here >