Forward planning is the best way to ensure the success of your conference or event.

Beginners guide to event planning

Here are some useful tips to ensure your planning gets off to a smooth start.

1. What do you intend to achieve from your event?

  • List the key things you'd like attendees to gain from the experience. (This will help you determine the number of the other factors below.)

2. What's your timeframe?

  • Book your event early, to ensure availability of your venue of choice
  • Work backwards from that date in order to make sure that all the milestones along the way are met.

3. What resources do you have access to, and what extras will you need to source externally in order to accomplish your goals?

  • How much will your event cost?
  • What about contingency for any unforeseen expenses?
  • Are you charging admission to recoup the costs?
  • Need budgeting assistance? Our Conference Coordinator can work with you to develop a budget, and maintain a running sheet for your event including timings, audio-visual, catering and any special requirements.

4. Who will attend?

  • What numbers do you anticipate? (Allow for minimum and maximum delegate attendance)
  • How will attendees be informed: personal invitation, advertising, brochures, marketing campaign (media plan)?

5. When will the event be held?

  • Have you checked religious and public holidays?
  • Taken into account the weather and season? 
  • What's the work pressure like at that time of year?
  • Are there other concurrent events you need to consider?

6. Is accommodation required?

  • Even if it's a one-day meeting, out-of-town delegates may require overnight accommodation
  • Easy access to the venue is a must, and will also minimise transportation costs
  • Check hotel booking conditions, e.g. preferred conference rates, payment terms, minimum and maximum room blocks and room release policies

7. Have you familiarised yourself with the venue?

  • Have you compared what's available to your own list of requirements? (e.g. Audio-visual equipment, access to high bandwidth, etc.)
  • Bear in mind what facilities you might need - for plenary sessions, break-out rooms, lunch, dinner, morning and afternoon teas or exhibition space
  • A site inspection is important if you're using more than one room, so you can consider how traffic through the facility is managed

8. What are the catering requirements?

  • Attendees' dietary requirements?
  • Different food suits different events - consider when you'll be breaking for food, and what food and beverage is appropriate at the end (morning/afternoon break, lunch, cocktails, banquet, etc.)
  • Will delegates be sitting or standing for the breaks?

9. What about theming and entertainment?

  • Have you a theme in mind? Our theming specialists can work with you to bring your concept to life, or come up with an entire concept of our own
  • We can book acts of any description for you, tailor-make a night of fun in the convention centre, or you may simply wish to make the most of the many exciting entertainment options available in the adjoining SkyCity Hamilton precinct.

Contact an Event Coordinator

Once you have created your checklist, contact an Event Coordinator to work through your plans.

Phone: +64 7 834 4908