Lisa Borquez

As an Event Guru, Lisa works with both clients and speakers in handling the details and logistics of their events, helping to ensure that each event booked will be a success for everyone involved....

On Target Program Planning Timeline

Typical convention and program planning time line for an annual meeting of a large educational group.

6 years
  • Solicit site proposals
  • Establish convention bureau contacts
5 years, 10 months
  • Schedule site inspection trips to review and evaluate facilities
5 years, 6 months
  • Gain board and/or site selection committee for site approval
5 years
  • Convention dates and site finalized
  • Approve and sign contracts
      Negotiate room rates
      Finalize major housing blocks
      Finalize convention center hold
3 years, 6 months
  • Site inspection trip
      Finalize supplemental housing
      Inspect convention facility
      Review hotel public space and rooms
      Initiate supplier contacts and negotiations
3 years
  • Finalize facility/hotel arrangements
  • Update files
      schedule periodic review of files
1 year, 6 months
  • Site inspection trip
      Ascertain city activities, information, maps, etc.
      Inspect hotel public space/rooms
      Review information about convention bureau forms/procedures, temporary help, equipment rental, media contacts, events, support literature, VIP contacts, hospital lists and contract for local labor unions (set-up and A/V)
      Shuttle buses
      Tour/special event company
      Telephone company - message desk/phone equipment
      Decorating company - drayage/equipment
      Entertainment
      Auto Rental
      Airline (prime carrier), post-tour
      Local host committee: spouse's program, local VIPs, dining guide
      Local printer
      Duplicating company contact
      Banking arrangements
      Audio/Visual supplier
      Security firm
      Photographer
      Emergency services
      Child care
      Local labor unions (set-up and A/V)
  • Develop budget
1 year, 3 months
  • Submit budget to Finance Committee
1 year
  • Get budget approved by the Board of Directors
  • Appoint Planning Committee
      Set Planning Committee meeting date/location
  • Complete attendance promotion plans
      finalize marketing plan
10 months, 2 weeks
  • Event stationery printed
10 months, 1 week
  • Assemble Planning Committee material; include
      Schedule of events
      Agenda
      synthesizes of program/course evaluations
      Resource materials/contacts
      Worksheets/instructions
      Philosophy/background information/theme
      Educational program direction/curriculum
      Deadlines/time frames
      Committees/staff performance criteria
10 months
  • Convene Program committee
      complete background materials
  • Select suppliers
      obtain information for show suppliers
  • Draft exhibitor prospectus
9 months, 2 weeks
  • Approve and distribute program committee minutes
  • Develop program topics/formats
9 months
  • Topics/speakers selected
      Setup session/speaker files (names, contact info. and biographies)
      Setup space diary
  • Exhibitors' prospectus printed and mailed
      Setup exhibit files
8 months, 3 weeks
  • Draft invitation letters to speakers
8 months, 2 weeks
  • Confirmation letters sent to all speakers
8 months
  • Begin booth contract processing
  • Draft exhibit services manual
      Obtain order forms from suppliers
7 months, 2 weeks
  • Reminders to speakers concerning dates/contracts
  • Mail first press release to related organizations
7 months
  • Mail exhibitor services manual
  • Assign session rooms/advise speakers
6 months, 2 weeks
  • Order mailing lists and labels
  • Order name badge/inserts
6 months
  • Place advertisements in organization and industry publications
  • Complete social program
      Finalize banquet and hospitality arrangements
5 months, 3 weeks
  • Proofread and amend direct mail brochure
      Review with program chairman
  • Reminders to speakers about course materials
      Begin printing course materials
5 months, 2 weeks
  • Edit page proofs (galleys) of direct mail brochure
  • List on-site needs
  • Registration portfolio bids submitted
5 months, 1 week
  • Review and approve printing of brochure
  • Activate registration system (computer)
      Hire temporary registration clerks
5 months
  • Distribute direct mail brochure
      Print, label and mail brochure
      Mail copies to committees, suppliers, respondents, inquiries and speakers
  • Register individuals
      On-site registration form printed
      Process computer registrations
      Mail confirmations
  • Order convention supplies
      Order registration portfolios and all other supplies
      Order published materials
      Mail request forms to speakers for required A/V equipment and housing
4 months, 3 weeks
  • Commence weekly registration reports
4 months
  • Prepare initial A/V summary
  • Mail direct mail brochure or short reminder
3 months
  • Order printed course materials
      Inventory course materials
  • Send reminders to speakers concerning A/V, set-up requirements and session handouts
2 months, 2 weeks
  • Mail final reminder or brochure
  • Mail awards banquet invitations and tickets
2 months, 1 week
  • Site visit planned
      Make appointments with contractors, facilities, etc.
2 months
  • Mail special invitations
      VIP reception
      Speaker reception
  • Process speaker/staff room reservations
  • Finalize on-site arrangements
      Appointments met
  • Review convention center schedule
  • Review hotel facility scheduling
  • Set menus, timing and entertainment
  • Finalize registration temporaries and equipment
      Draft set-up instructions
  • Hotel schedule and instructions
  • Convention center instructions
  • Decorator instructions
  • Order A/V equipment
  • Order signs
  • Order registration personnel
  • Order flowers
  • Order shuttle bus
  • Final program copy due
  • Carrier ordered and scheduled for shipping materials to convention site
6 weeks
  • Mail final instructions to facilities and suppliers
  • Take program copy to the printer
1 month
  • Decide all on-site staff needs
  • Review final program page proofs
3 weeks
  • Have final program printed for distribution on-site
  • Receive/review supplier's versions of final instructions
2 weeks, 2 days
  • Pack for shipping
  • Carrier picks up convention materials for transportation to site
2 weeks
  • Process on-site staff schedule
      Finalize staff schedules
      Brief staff
5 days
  • Travel to meetings destination
  • Transport last-minute materials
4 days
  • Final walk through meeting facility to confirm details
  • Set-up staff meeting office
3 days
  • Start exhibit setup
2 days
  • Prepare registration materials
1 day
  • Pre-con meeting with facility staff
During the Meeting
  • Conduct/manage the meeting
      Educational programs
      Extracurricular programs
      Social functions
      Business meetings
      Invoice review/gratuities paid
      Post-convention tour under way
      Review of all billing
  • Conduct on-site evaluation
  • Announce date and location of next meeting
1 day post
  • Post-con meeting
2 days post
  • Return home
2 weeks post
  • Send thank you letters
      Speakers, committee and VIP letters
      Suppliers and facility
1 month post
  • Evaluate meeting
      Synthesize subjective remarks
      Print copies of reports for new committee resource workbook
      Review/pay statements from facilities and suppliers
  • Post-convention report
      Send registration computer print-out to exhibitors
2 months post (maximum)
  • Pay all outstanding invoices



Source: Professional Meeting Management, third edition, published by the Professional Convention Management Association

On Target Program Planning Timeline
Posted December 5th 2011
Typical convention and program planning time line for an annual meeting of a large educational group. 6 years Solicit site...