To Do for Conference 
__set the date(s) 
__set the daily start and end time(s) 
__determine the location 
__book the venue(s), social activities and workshop rooms 
__determine a preliminary list of potential participants, staff/volunteers and presenters 
__book a block of hotel rooms for participants, staff/volunteers and presenters 
__book audio visual equipment and technicians 
__decide on a theme and outcome for the event 
__send a “save the date” email to potential participants, presenters and staff/volunteers 
__create promotional plan – email campaign, web site, print materials 
__put a place holder announcement on web site with preliminary details 
__develop a conference daily schedule of events 
__recruit internal (staff/member) speakers 
__book the key note speaker and other speakers, request workshop descriptions and presenter profiles 
__select and order presenter’s gift(s) and/or prizes 
__book flights, rental cars or other transportation 
__book the caterer and get menu suggestions 
__gather print and web copy for designer – logo, pictures, presenter profiles, workshop descriptions, conference schedule, promotional copy 
__plan the registration process – deadline for early bird and final registrations, create/enter data into database, create/upload information for web registration 
__create a supply list, order supplies that need lead time 
__start planning brochure – printing deadlines, graphic artist booked 
__design welcome packages and ice breaking exercise 
__order printing: brochures, t shirt printing, trinkets, banners/signage etc. 
__web page uploading/design – registration, information on the location (map, weather link), hotel room booking, conference schedule, key note speaker and other presenter’s profiles. 
__distribute brochures 
__determine workshop room assignments, create audio visual needs list and workshop room layouts (classroom, theatre, pods) 
__publish workshop descriptions and finalized workshop schedule on the web site 
__start early bird registration 
__finalize participant, presenter and staff list 
__finalize the menu 
__finalize the audio visual equipment booking 
__confirm with the cater the final count of meals required 
__create signage 
__finalize task lists/instructions for staff/volunteers 
__finalize instructions for presenters 
__create name tags and welcome packages (schedule of events, maps, tickets, paper, pen, trinkets, instructions) 
__create organizers supplies kit (stapler, scissors, painter’s tape, markers, card stock, blank name tags, extension cord(s), pens, paper clips, sticky notes) 
__arrange for shipment of supplies 
Copyright © 2007 Joni Rose and Suite 101. All rights reserved. Any unauthorized use will constitute an infringement of copyright. 
Read more at Suite101: Conference Planning Checklist: What to Remember to do When Organizing a Training Conference 
Planning a Conference 
Conferences & Institutes (C&I) staff can help you develop an integrated and unique program appropriate to the issues, the audience, the setting, and your discipline. Your expertise in instructional content combined with our expertise in program management will ensure that your event is a success on all levels. 
Your conference will be assigned an experienced and knowledgeable program team that will remain with you from start to finish and assist you in every aspect of conference planning, including: 
Program Development 
 Setting clear goals and objectives for your program 
 Establishing timelines 
 Identifying, corresponding, and drafting agreements with speakers 
 Producing instructional materials 
 Preparing abstract books and conference proceedings 
Publicity and Promotion 
 Planning and implementing a promotional strategy tailored to your program’s needs 
 Preparing price quotes 
 Designing, producing, and distributing a brochure that will effectively convey information about your program to potential participants 
 Hosting and designing a conference Web site 
 Planning and organizing e-mail campaigns and maintaining e-mail lists for future use 
 Drafting and executing press releases and public service announcements 
 Creating mailing lists of potential participants and maintaining those lists for future use 
 Offering secure Web registration and secure credit card processing 
 Collecting fees 
 Acknowledging registrations 
 Preparing participant name badges 
 Reproducing and assembling information packets 
 Providing staff for on-site registration services 
 Maintaining roster of participants 
 Collecting abstracts 
 Arranging exhibits, displays, or poster sessions 
 Coordinating banquets and receptions 
 Planning tours and field trips 
 Overseeing photography, special awards, and recognitions 
 Awarding University of Illinois Continuing Education Units (CEUs) or Continuing Professional 
Development Units (CPDUs) 
 Providing comprehensive on-site management and trouble-shooting for your entire event 
 Providing continual and current enrollment tracking 
Financial Management 
 Preparing budgets and financial statements 
 Performing break-even analyses 
 Helping you establish appropriate registration fees 
 Ascertaining required start-up funds 
 Researching outside funding sources 
 Obtaining estimates for services 
 Soliciting bids 
 Communicating with vendors 
 Expediting all conference bills 
 Tracking income and expenses from start to finish 
Facility Coordination 
 Helping select and inspect the conference site 
 Negotiating and writing contracts 
 Serving as a liaison with meeting facility staff 
 Configuring meeting space 
 Arranging for housing and meals for attendees 
Post-Conference Wrap-Up 
 Evaluating program and providing follow-up findings 
 Writing and distributing thank-you letters to speakers and other contributors 
 Processing post-conference payments, such as for travel or speakers, and other expenses 
 Providing a detailed financial report 
 Maintaining mail and e-mail lists of attendees for use in announcing future programs