Planning your event
The Conference Team at Launde Abbey will be on hand to support you through every step of your conference or meeting, but please use the notes below as a guide to help you in your initial planning.
1. Appoint a project manager to co-ordinate the event
Administration will be easier if someone is in overall charge of the event. There will probably be a team of people involved in the event, but finding someone who is organised to co-ordinate all the aspects of the event will help things run more smoothly.
2. Decide upon a theme or title for the event and design a programme
This will help you when you are speaking to sponsors, speakers and venues and will allow you to see if timings are appropriate.
3. Arrange sponsorship
If you require sponsorship or financial backing for the event ensure this is in place prior to booking speakers and venues as there may be cancellation clauses which could prove costly if you are unable to go ahead.
4. Finding a Venue
It is important to plan well ahead of your conference or meeting. If it is a large conference and you are expecting people to travel long distances or give up large amounts of time, you should book your date, time and venue at least a year in advance to allow participants to make appropriate travel plans. Popular venues will usually take bookings at least a year in advance, so this is not unusual and some may even require more notice at busy times of the year.
Ensure the venue is appropriate for the type of event you are organising. Discuss your requirements with the conference team before making a final booking. This should include details of the meeting room layout you are planning, equipment required and additional syndicate room requirements. Get to know the conference staff and if possible visit the venue to get a feel for the location and facilities available.
Consider your catering requirements. Organise appropriate refreshment breaks and choose your food according to the requirements of the event.
5. Investigate Speakers
Ensure your speaker is available on the day(s) you have chosen and determine if overnight accommodation is required for him/her. Discuss how they will travel to and from the venue and who will be responsible for arranging this. Check what equipment or props your speaker will require. Will they be issuing handouts or other materials and how will they be produced?
6. Marketing the Event
Consider how you will make people aware of the event. Will it be by invitation only or will you need to advertise it to a wider audience? Ensure marketing is done in good time to ensure there are no last minute panics.
7. Organise the administration of the event
Ensure that accurate records are kept of bookings, including the contact details of participants, special requirements, ie, overnight accommodation, diets, mobility issues or disability. Confirm the details to participants, speaker(s) and venue. Brief event staff on the details of the event. Arrange cancellation insurance and ensure the venue staff are aware of any changes to the programme and final numbers. Any special diets or unusual catering requirements should be notified in advance so there are no surprises on the day.
Collate all registration forms, badges and other equipment, ready for the big day. If possible visit the venue to finalise the event. Check equipment is in working order and that all presentations and papers are ready.
8. On the Day
Ensure the events team arrive at the venue at least 1½ hours prior to the start of the event. Make a final check on equipment and confirm that the staff are aware of their roles and are ready to receive participants ½ an hour prior to the start of the event. Make sure all registration materials and name badges are visible and that participants will be able to find you within the venue. Ensure there are staff on hand to provide help to participants throughout the event.
9. After the event
Ask delegates for feedback to ensure you determine the satisfaction levels of participants and to enable you to make possible improvements and gain ideas for future events. This can be done on the day or by follow-up letter afterwards. If you are booking further conferences this could be a useful way of getting participants to sign up for these in advance.
Our expert chefs are able to offer different levels of buffet lunch to suit your own individual requirements, including specific dietary needs. For residential guests our dinner menu is very comprehensive. Evening meetings or receptions are also possible if required.
Wherever possible we use locally-produced food in our kitchens, including fruit and vegetables grown in our own kitchen-garden.
Refreshing Fairtrade tea/coffee and pastries or home-made biscuits are available mid-morning and delicious tea and cake are served mid-afternoon. Continental and cooked breakfasts can also be provided for early morning meetings.