BUSINESS EVENTS MANAGEMENT: HANDLING THREE DIFFERENT CONFERENCES
Choosing the right venue for an event is essential in ensuring the event’s success. Two of the main considerations that professional conference organizers (PCOs) and event management companies) (EMCs) should consider are the functionality of the venue and its suitability for the event’s creative purpose (Van der Wagen 2010). In the same manner, Wale, Robinson and Dickson (2010) provides the following factors as some of the things to consider in order to ensure that the attendees’ or participants’ needs are met: target market; venue theme and ambience; venue capacity; venue reputation; venue availability; and venue catering (Wale et al. 2010). Moreover, logistics should also be considered (Shone and Parry 2004)
In this regard, this research aims to identify the importance of business events management and conduct a spatial and functionality analysis on three different conferences.
In a small conference with workshops and forums, a conventional multi-purpose room would be enough, especially if the delegates number only around 100-200 persons. It should not be too small that the delegates will be crowded. According to Luckham (2011), the place should not be too big that some parts or sections of the conference room or hall will not be occupied, making them useless. Instead, this type of gathering should be held in a place that pleasant, yet not very formal. Also, as suggested by Lamont (2005), small conferences frequently benefit from the spaces donated by the supporting association with which one of the advisory member is a subordinate. In addition, retreat houses may be willing to charge less for space as a facilitating group. As well, small conferences can be realized in libraries, group discussions, town lobbies, or comparable offices (Davidson and Rogers 2012).
For a medium-sized conference conducted over three days with opening plenary session and 6 to 8 concurrent sessions, a different space is also needed. A bigger space is needed, especially if the conference has social networking activities with 600-1500 delegates and 50 exhibitors (Bhe et al. 2004). As suggested by Davidson and Rogers (2012), numerous medium-sized conferences that have 600-1500 delegates are held in inns or hotels. Most hotels have huge assembly halls and various meeting rooms that serve as gathering offices. The hotel can also serve meals and snacks, which is part of employing the proper etiquettes in business (Allen 2010a). Hotels will likewise hold an endless supply of visitor rooms at a unique collection rate for meeting members. Clearly, none of these administrations is free, yet the ease of having every one of them in one place provides convenience (Bhe et al. 2004). Different probable outcomes for a medium-sized conference may be convention centers or a hotel's conference hall. These are frequently close to a few huge inns that will hold conferences at less expensive (Davidson and Rogers 2012).
For a major international 5-day conference with plenary and concurrent sessions and social networking activities each day, a larger hall is needed to accommodate the participants. According to Luckham (2011), a larger hall is necessary if there will be 3,500-5,000 delegates and 400 exhibitors. This could be an auditorium, a larger hall of the big hotel, or the biggest hall in the hotel (Davidson and Rogers 2012). This kind of size can be considered the biggest hall that can fit the number of participants, which is at a maximum of 5000 persons. Lastly, although there are meeting rooms, there should be a public area in the same building. There should be a communal gathering place for the delegates to release the stress and to relax from the workload of the seminar. Also, the shared space might be a place where guests can trade deals and conduct business transactions with some people (Allen 2010a).
For an events management team to be able to cater to the needs of its participants attending a small two-day conference and to provide functionality at its best, they should first plan out the flow or sequence of events in the said conference (Luckham 2011). It is also crucial for them to identify the specifics of the reported business activity. In this regard, the ‘specifics’ automatically means for the team to first identify the kind of activity that will be held—a seminar workshop, training workshop, forums, and others (Luckham 2011). Coming up with team members who are fit for the team is also a must (Luckham 2011). On the other hand, resource speakers should have a very credible track record and should be able to talk about the topic in a comprehensive and information (Bhattacharya 2014). After coming up with a team, the technicalities must be st up—the equipment, venue, participants, and others (Allen 2010b). Proper communication should also be disseminated to all the people involved at least a week prior to the date of the event (Allen 2010b).
Supposing that an events management organizing team will be handling a medium-sized conference to be conducted for three days with an opening plenary session, with six to eight concurrent sessions daily and social networking activities with delegates of approximately 600 to 1500 and exhibitors of 50, the venue should be much bigger than the venue utilized for the small conference. Members are also expected to be from across the globe or the country, so they are to be accommodated at a nearby hotel for their convenience during the three-day-long conference (Davidson and Rogers 2012). However, if the venue for the said conference is spacious enough to accommodate all participants, then they should be housed there. Just like in small conferences, Luckham (2011) suggests that the organizing team should be well prepared months before the event. The resource speakers, as well as the participants, should have been informed at least three weeks prior to the event. Luckham (2011) also suggests that alternative plans be created in case of emergencies that might occur within the duration of the said conference.
With regards to organizing a major international five-day conference with plenary sessions, concurrent sessions, social networking activities, closing gala dinner, and awarding ceremonies with 3,500 to 5,000 delegates and 400 exhibitors, a much larger and spacious venue should be utilized with better quality facilities and a more conducive and presentable ambience (Luckham 2011). It should, just like any other conference, maintain proper decorum and good observation of rules as it is an international conference where people from across the globe are expected to attend (Allen 2010a). Alternative plans for the organizing team should be strictly observed, and standard operating procedures need to be followed with very minimal errors and lapses (Allen 2010a) .
For smaller conferences, few tables and chairs are needed. A small whiteboard could be suitable since the delegates are just a few (EventScotland 2006). Sounds and speakers may not be that big. However, it should be strong enough for the attendees to clearly hear the conference proceedings. Moreover, all around arranged meals and snacks are essential to a fruitful gathering (Allen 2010a). The events management team should figure out what should be served and how much it will cost (EventScotland 2006). They should assign someone to be the head of the food committee (Baum et al. 2009). Typically, caterers will permit up to 10% more than the number indicated in the contract for it should be ensured that this is clear in advance (Luckham 2011). For small conferences, clean leftover meals can be offered to the participants so that they won’t need to buy food when they get hungry after the conference. Food can also be offered in a buffet or in packed meals (EventScotland 2006). Moreover, for the guest speakers and participants, an organizer should make sure that the hand-outs and seminar kits are provided before the conference starts.
For a medium-sized conference, 100 or 200 hundred tables will be enough depending on the sizes of the tables. As suggested by Luckham (2011), each table may have 10-15 chairs, and it should be ensured that the number of expected participants will be considered. Also, one medium-sized projector screen may be enough for this kind of conference (Allen 2009). They should just ensure that the projector screen can be seen by everybody. Furthermore, a buffet should be used since packed meals are too chaotic when having too many delegates (Allen 2010a). Again, it should be ensured that the things needed for the speakers, exhibitors, and representatives are given before the conference starts (Allen 2010a).
When organizing a major international five-day conference with around 6000 delegates, thousands of tables and chairs are needed (Lamont 2005). These tables can be longer so that they can be occupied by many people, especially when having group activities. Sounds and speakers should also be big enough that the speaker’s voice can be heard by the very last person in the hall (Davidson and Rogers 2012). Also, since the hall can be too big, a whiteboard could not be seen by some. In this case, an organizer should provide the participants with computers, laptops, and connectors since the guest speakers will likely present a PowerPoint presentation (Bhattacharya 2014). To be sure, the events management team can also prepare at least two projector screens, and just use a splitter to connect each other (Lamont 2005). With regards to the food, most of the international conference’s delegates are from various countries, so meals should be in a buffet (Luckham 2011). The table of the food should be properly skirted as well. If possible, the session hall and the dining hall should be separated.
Managing events requires the coordination, planning and running of people involved with teams and features that come together in creating every sort of event. Certain activities require various teams to work together and external suppliers are not an exception to that. The success of business events would depend on each team.
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