6 tips for planning your conference
Organising a conference can seem daunting, which is why at Yarnfield Park our dedicated events organisers and professional team work hard to support you at every step of the way. Our goal is to provide all the information and support you need to make your event run smoothly. But if you’re not ready to pick a venue quite yet, here are a few tips to help you get started.
1. Know your budget
Depending on the type of conference you’re organizing, you may have a per-guest budget, a total spend budget or a mix of both (for example if you’re selling tickets and also have sponsors). It’s essential to be very clear about how much you can spend on each element of the conference so that you don’t find yourself scrabbling for last minute budget increases or cancelling key elements.
2. Understand your core needs
A few things will be absolutely essential to making your event a success, and many others will be nice to have. As an example, at Yarnfield Park we offer 300Mbps WiFi and have 400 parking spaces, both of which are free for conference guests to use. We also serve Costa coffee. Now, while the coffee is excellent, it’s unlikely to rank higher than the other two.
3. Don’t pay more for features you don’t need
If you’re planning on keeping your guests indoors the whole time, don’t pay more for access to parkland. If you’re planning a single day event, trust your guests to organize their own accommodation if required. At Yarnfield Park we pride ourselves on offering flexible packages so you only pay for the services you need.
4. Book early
Book the venue, accommodation and food as early as you can. In event planning, it really is true that the early bird gets the worm. Some event organizers book their venue and plan years ahead. This not only gives them first choice of suitable venues and dates, it also lets them secure the best prices.
5. Confirm everything in writing
This applies to both suppliers and attendees. Some may prefer to plan over the phone, but that shouldn’t stop you sending a follow up email which reads “to confirm what we discussed on the phone earlier today we would like…” Having a clear record of your decisions will help both you and them, as well as making it much easier to chase up any late or missing elements.
6. Ask for help and ask questions
Many of the suppliers, caterers and venue staff you’ll be working with will be experts in their fields. They won’t expect you to know everything they do, and most will be more than happy to be asked for advice or further information while you’re making decisions. At Yarnfield Park our professional team are here to answer questions on any aspect of running your conference with us, so if you’ve got a question, please don’t hesitate to call us on 01785 762605.