Tips for planning a good conference

If you are required to plan a business conference, event organizer or not, it can turn out to be one of the most important events of your career. One mistake and you could lose your reputation, your boss's respect or even your job.

Your job may include finding the venue, arranging the flight information, booking hotel rooms and producing a complete catering menu. The best way to stay on top of conference planning is to make sure you have the basics covered right from the beginning.

A good conference should include several different offerings for the attendees. The basic offering could include:

  • A golf course or souvenir shop
  • A relaxing bar
  • At least one restaurant that serves excellent food

It's also important to ensure that prices are reasonable. Not everyone at the function will be able to afford the same expenses, so they should have some amenities that are in line with their budget.

Plan for the correct number of attendees
If you plan your conference for 50 attendees and there are actually 100 that arrive, then you will have problems on the first day with the catering company providing food for only half of the people at the conference. Always get an accurate count of the number of people attending, either with using the employee database at work or by requiring everyone attending (except your boss) to RSVP at least 4 weeks before the event. This way you give the catering company enough time to change the volume of food and also give you enough time to notify the venue and any other providers of the change in number of attendees.

How far is your conference venue from the airport?
Another item to consider when finding a venue for your conference is the distance from the airport to the venue. If it is too far, then the attendees will be bored and frustrated with the long car ride or may get lost if driving themselves. If it is too close, then you are risking the danger of having the sound of a plane fly overhead during one of the speeches. The best bet is to have it within 16 kilometres of the airport but no closer than 8. It may also be advisable to have cabs available with drivers for all of the owners and partners, as well as a bus for the regular attendees so that no one can get lost on route.

Finding the best conference venue
Finally, when you are looking for a venue, it is important to use a website that can help you make the best choice based on the services you need and the amenities you desire. For easy access to information on different conference venues in South Africa, visit The Africa Conference Directory at

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