Convention Planning Checklist

Convention Planning Checklist

Lila Cailles

What are the things you should do when planning a convention?

  1. Set your goals
  2. Set a convention date
  3. Determine the budget
  4. Define a location
  5. Collaborate with a committee
  6. Keep track of the attendees

Being tasked with organizing a convention can be daunting. Not knowing the first thing about planning a convention can potentially lead to disastrous outcomes for the event. Some problems you may encounter – apart from technical issues – are disorganized sessions, unbearably crowded venues, disgruntled speakers, and many more.

If your company, or organization has given you the job of organizing a convention, then you shouldn’t immediately back down from the challenge. Don’t let your fears outweigh your desired outcome of a successful event. You just have to take it one step at a time, to make the task more manageable for you.

Continue reading to learn about the things you need to do when planning a convention.

Set Your Goals

Your company or organization probably has a good reason why they want to organize a convention. As an organizer, it’s your job to truly understand your company’s goals.

For example, a company who wants to introduce their innovations and new initiatives would likely want their clients to know how it can benefit them. As an organizer, you should be able to highlight these goals and agendas in the convention itself.

Having these goals in mind can subsequently help you meet your company’s expectations. This would also allow you to consider your target audience and find effective ways to make the right people know about these intentions.

Set A Convention Date

A convention date encircled on a calendar


When setting a convention date, it’s important to identify other events that might coincide with yours. Take time to research about the different events happening near your chosen location. Are there any similar themes to yours? Aside from that, you would also have to take note of the various holidays that can affect the availability of the most important guests and keynote speakers.

Some tips you can follow with setting a convention date is knowing the schedules of every important person who would be part of the event. You would also want to pick a date when you would most likely be able to attract a larger audience.

Determine A Budget

If you’re a first-time convention organizer, you might have a tendency to get lost without a budget to guide you with each cost item. While it’s a noble thought to only want the best outcomes for the convention, you should always keep in mind that you’re working on a limited budget. After all, expensive doesn’t always equate to quality.

A good starting point would be for you to estimate the cost of the event. You need to take into consideration several items such as the venue, promotional materials, and other related services. If you think you’re on track to experience a cost blowout, you should step back and think of more affordable alternatives for the event.

Define A Location

World Trade Center Metro Manila


Your convention planning checklist wouldn’t be complete if you haven’t set a location. Without a proper venue, there is a possibility of the event getting canceled altogether.

In securing a venue, you have to inform the venue providers of every detail about the convention. They would definitely need information regarding the number of attendees, the nature of the convention, and the like. Having these information would help venue service providers determine what hall or room to recommend for the event as well as the appropriate seating arrangement.

From the perspective of the convention’s guests as well as its attendees, you also have to ensure the venue is convenient enough for them to go to. You have to ensure the venue is accessible enough and fairly easy to navigate from wherever people may be coming from.

Collaborate With A Committee

Planning a convention with a team is always more convenient than doing it alone. Not only does this lighten the burden for you, but it can also open up opportunities for better suggestions and ideas.

When gathering a group of people to form a committee, you have to ensure that the skill sets are varied enough to accommodate many aspects of the convention. This allows you to ensure that you’re delegating each task to only the most qualified people for the job. With this in mind, you may need people who know how to handle financial planning as well as the publicity aspects of your event.

Keep Track Of The Attendees

A full event at a conference


A sure way to properly keep track of your attendees is by setting up an intuitive registration system.

Nowadays, the most convenient way of doing this is through online channels and forms. However, you should also keep in mind that not everyone may have access to these types of online avenues. As such, you should be able to allot some space in the venue for walk-in attendees who would be interested in the event.

Some suggestions you may want to adopt include setting up a registration booth outside the venue to be manned by a particular group of people. You may also want to establish a platform for pre-registrations, especially for your guests and possible keynote speakers.

Key Takeaway

Planning a convention doesn’t have to be daunting as long as you know the basics. In these kinds of events, one of the first things you should consider is the intentions of your company. Having this in mind would help you pan out all the other aspects of the event, such as the number of attendees, budget, location, and the like.

The guide above has hopefully equipped you with an adequate checklist in order for you to begin organizing a proper convention.

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