Planning a conference is a daunting task even for those who may have some experience in planning meetings and events. It is also incredibly time consuming and we understand that clients often simply do not have the time on top of their primary role within their organisation to fully focus on all the details involved in the planning and execution of events such as these.
What is a PCO?
A professional conference organiser (PCO) specialises in the planning, management and execution of conferences, seminars, and other similar events. Typically, they work as consultants for academic, professional, and not-for-profit associations. They will provide a full event management service including abstract management, venue liaison, financial management, supplier liaison, programme formation, marketing, sponsorship and exhibition sales and liaison, delegate management and onsite support, to name a few! This is by no means an exhaustive list, and there are many services a PCO can offer to help you run a successful event.
But how can a PCO help you?
Yes, so technically everybody has the basic tools they need to plan their own conference. Maybe you can do a bit of Googling and find out the basic steps involved and some examples of ‘the finished product’. You may ask a colleague or two if they will help you with a bit of the admin involved. But very quickly you are likely to find that the task is larger and more time consuming than you had anticipated. By appointing a PCO, you can get back to what you do best, and we will get to work doing what we do best! Here are some of the areas where your PCO will really come into their own.
Where to start?
Once you decide to run a conference, it may seem like an impossible task to decide where to even start! How do you recruit committee members and how often should the committee meet? When do you need to start asking for abstract submissions? What should your marketing strategy be? These are all questions that can be easily answered by your PCO. We have a tried and tested process which can be adjusted for each client’s individual timeframe. Perhaps you have a year until your conference, perhaps it’s 5 months – the same process will apply with tweaks here and there to accelerate the process if need be. The important thing is, we are always there to help guide you on what’s next.