You’ve been asked to organise an important event – it’s not in your job description, you’ve not studied event management for three years at university and you’ve no experience.

You know that to be a success, this event needs a professional at the wheel – so you’re going to have to make an unbelievably strong case to the powers that be and those that hold the coins.

Appoint a professional conference organiser for your next event – it will be worth every penny!

Professional Conference Organiser (PCOs):

1. Are event strategy experts. They will deliver on set objectives, which they will help define, ensuring your event is great success – leaving you to get on with your day job, which is presumably already full-time.

2. Offer a ‘pick and mix’ menu services that you can select from to suit your needs, capacity and budget; you don’t have to blow the budget or lose control of your event. More than this, a PCO will help you with your financing:

‘If you are organising an event which delegates are paying to attend, an event organiser can help you to set a realistic delegate fee by drawing up some budget modelling. This will help you find areas where you can save money and will tell you what your financial status will be if your numbers turn out to be lower or higher than expected.’

Suzy Howes, Suzy Howes and Associates Limited

3. Know the best venues and event suppliers and will be able to get you the best facilities, services and deals.

4. Advise on event logistics, whether that’s organising travel to a venue or during the event; making sure everyone and everything is in the right place at the right time.

5. Can assist you in attracting sponsorship and help to produce a win-win partner package.

6. Provide creative input; design the event architecture/programme, book speakers, collate papers/posters etc; provide social programmes or unusual entertainment themes or team building activity ideas.

7. Provide strategic, targeted promotional activity to populate your event with the right delegates/guests and use the full spectrum of marketing tools, from public relations, polls and surveys, apps, satisfaction questionnaires etc to develop engagement programmes to optimise the event’s impact and longevity.

8. Take care of all or some of your event administration and registration needs; be they comprehensive or straight forward, online in advance with payments or simply a welcome desk on the day of the event. For example, they’ll collate dietary requirements, mobility/access requirements and make sure any special needs of any guests are met without issue.

‘Using an organiser can really pay off in terms of added value for your delegates: the sort of feel-good stuff they’ll remember as part of the excellent experience they had at your event. A good organiser will be equipped to offer your delegates quick last minute printing of that key handout, boarding pass, train ticket; and a locally based one will be armed with lots of tourist information for guests to pick up, will know exactly where shops, banks and pharmacies are and where to buy that particular souvenir.’

9. Can look at how you can implement your CSR policy through an event, or make an event sustainable.

10. Are able to support you with as much event administration as you need. Don’t underestimate the time it will take to plan and host even the smallest of events; to do something in-house, using up internal capacity, is truly false economy and most likely a decision you’ll at best, reverse and at worse, live to regret!

On the day, you can focus on being the best host and putting on the best show – because you’ll have been able to sleep leading up to the event knowing that you’re in safe hands.

If you are looking for a PCO for an event in Cambridge, please do talk to us, we’d be delighted to introduce you.

‘Your setting up meetings with several PCOs has been incredibly helpful for several reasons, enabling me to think about the process of organising an international conference, from looking at the big picture to the fine details; the questions asked in discussion were very insightful. Meeting a range of PCOs also brought home the importance of finding the right partner to work with, to have a good match of personality and company philosophy.’

Matthias Landgraf, Lecturer, Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge

Meet Cambridge regularly works with PCOs, local and national and is also a corporate member of The Association of Professional British Conference Organisers (ABPCO)

Working with a Professional Conference Organiser (PCO) who is a member of ABPCO – The Association of Professional British Conference Organisers – provides you with the assurance that your conference or event is in safe, professional and capable hands. The only UK membership organisation representing individual PCOs that require members to demonstrate their professional experience and supporting evidence of their quality standards in service delivery before they may become members and display our coveted logo as a quality mark.

Meet Cambridge can help you find a venue and host the perfect event in Cambridge.

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