To understand the role of conference managers one needs to first understand why you need a conference. This will set the pace for knowing how important the role of the facilitator is.
How are professional meetings conducted?
It is through a conference that a professional meeting is usually conducted. It could be for various branches of a company or a group of domestic service providers. It could also be scaled up to the international level. At each stage, one will need people who are so resourceful that they are able to handle the entire event smoothly. The skills that they must have include planning, organizing up to the minutest details and also doing follow ups at the end. A conference can be of any size and has unlimited scope. Today, many corporations feel the need to outsource the work of conference managers to take advantage of their experience in handling events.
What is expected of a facilitator?
Normally, conference managers who have conducted several such events will have the expertise, experience and contacts with vendors who are also a part of the deal for successful events. The domain will include a slew of things to be done on a public level, unlike a meeting, which is more internal in nature. A professional agency that handles this sort of work will handle many things like:
1. Booking of venues/ alternate planning if anything goes wrong.
2. Fixing of date, time and sending the advances, signing of contracts.
3. They will be in charge of inviting speakers, getting delegates and guests, and organizing the schedules.
4. In case the conference is happening in an out-of-town venue, then one will need accommodation and conveyance facilities.
5. Support agencies such as car rentals, hotel bookings and shuttles for reaching the venues should be arranged properly
6. Integrity with all the participating members of the conference
7. Hire a single project manager for the event
8. Registration of delegates will be managed with name tags and badges
9. The managers will liaison with all the venue owners and vendors
10. Sourcing of merchandise, handling the distribution, looking at special dietary requirements and beverages of guest speakers.
11. Entertainment will also be handled
12. Project manager will remain on-site until the event is over
Understanding the event
A company that provides the conference managers will make sure that they understand the event to execute the entire plan appropriately. They will handle publicity and media for the client as well.
They will discuss:
1. Purpose of the conference
2. Pre-fix the desired result
3. Make efforts for post conference support to the client
4. Holding the event management with registration, financials, recording of the event, creation of the website for the event.
In Australia, there are a few specialized companies that offer their services for conferences all-year round. They have comprehensive solutions to deal with the nature of events due to their experience and background. The coordinators and managers will also try to complement the in-house team and ensure that the event is a success.