If you are about to plan a large-scale meeting or are just curious about the world of professional event planners, take a look at the top five questions GCFA’s meeting planners are asked.
1. I am planning my first large-scale meeting. Help!
No problem! Our meeting planning professionals have decades of experience to draw upon to help you get started on the basics for your next meeting with over thirty participants. Keep these in mind as you begin your pre-planning.
The scope of the event – What are your goals? How would you define “success” at the end of your meeting?
Timeline – Pre-event, during the event, and post-event estimated dates and deadlines?
Location - Will attendees travel by plane or car? What size venue will you realistically need?
Budget – How much do you have to spend? Will you charge registration fees?
2. What is an “RFP” and what should I include in one?
A Request for Proposal or “RFP” is a solicitation by your organization to potential suppliers. You ask for a service (hotel guest rooms, meeting space, food, and beverage, etc.) and prospective vendors submit business proposals to offer you that service. Send out an RFP to potential venues and vendors as soon as you have confirmed dates. Give a detailed overview of your group, preferred dates, and offer multiple options such as – the number and type of hotel rooms, food, meeting rooms/space, and all other relevant meeting details. List concessions you would like (breakfast included, suite upgrades, etc.) and non-negotiable contract terms (ex. 80% attrition). Provide a due date, decision date, and your contact information.
Review proposals submitted and remember to negotiate what is important to you.
3. What should I consider when negotiating with a venue for our meeting?
Hotel room rates
Meeting space costs
Food and beverage minimums
And more …
4. I have planned the goals of my meeting. I have a venue chosen. Now, what do I do?
The nitty-gritty work of meeting planning logistics begins now. Planning ahead will help your meeting run smoothly. Liaison with hotel or convention and other vendors and clarify as many details as you can. Here are some particulars to consider.
What are the meeting room set-ups with audio/visual requirements?
What signage and other vendor services will be in place?
Does attendee registration capture all the information needed for the vendors and the program itself?
Are there changes that need to be made to the rooming list?
Is ground transportation arranged for arriving flights?
Are food and beverage numbers and dates/times confirmed?
There is a lot to consider; however prior planning prevents poor performance!
5. There is so much to do for our upcoming meeting! Can you clone me so I can get everything done?
We cannot clone you, but we can help you! GCFA’s meeting professionals can help manage the event logistics for your organization so you can concentrate on making sure the goals of your meeting are accomplished. We can provide complete on-site management, on-site attendee registration, auditing services and review of bills on a daily basis. Our meeting professionals can ensure vendors are living up to their contracts and deal with problems that arise. Our registration software and mobile app can save you money and make it easy to keep track of and communicate with your participants.
GCFA’s Travel and Meeting Planning Department can help you to focus your time and energy on doing God’s ministry by taking care of the administration of your meeting, event, conference, or assembly. From pre-conference RFP, site/venue location and travel arrangements to conference support including development of registration websites and post-conference billing and invoicing, we make event planning easy for you.
Contact GCFA Connectional Relations at (866) 367-4232 or ConnectionalRelations@gcfa.org for more information.