Expert’s Perspective: Convention Planning Checklist

Image courtesy of picjumbo.com

Image courtesy of picjumbo.com

Attending any convention is an exciting but exhausting experience. Between travel, long days, the content and information you absorb, and don’t forget the social events, it can be hard work!  I’ve been planning, working and attending convention events for 20 years and have learned some tricks along the way to enhance the experience.  In this series I will share with you ways to get most out of your event experience.

Savings and convenience:
•    Register early for your convention to take advantage of discounts, incentives, contests etc. the event may be offering.
•    Book your flight and hotel as soon as possible, in today’s travel environment flights and hotels frequently become sold out.  With a hotel, you can always cancel an existing reservation if your plans change but if the hotel is fully booked you will be forced to find other accommodations.
•    If you are looking for additional savings and don’t mind having a roommate, ask if there is a program to match you up with others looking to share a hotel room – you will save 50% on your hotel bill.
•    Your hotel website will likely have airport transportation information available so go to the site and determine your best option:  taxi, free hotel shuttle, airport shuttle.  Some airport shuttles require advance reservations so book early but first look online to see if the shuttle’s website offers a discount code or coupon.

Study the agenda like a college course catalog:
•    When you receive the agenda, take time to study it in detail, identifying all of the classes that interest you.  If you are unsure a class is right for you, call and ask for more information so you know what to expect.  The next step is to create a daily schedule of every event and class you want to attend, keeping in mind to plan for a little “down time” to go back to your room to relax or just sit quietly and take in all that you have learned.
•    If your event offers an app, be sure to download it onto your device before you arrive as it will provide you with the most up to date information and notification of any changes.
•    Read the agenda carefully as many of the sessions may be repeated throughout the event to give you a chance to attend all of your top choices.

With a little preparation you will be able to get the most out of your Convention experience!

Phyllis Gafric
Phyllis joined Proforma in May of 2012 as the company’s Meetings and Events Manager, responsible for planning and executing all Proforma events, including Convention, Million Dollar Club Trip and Regional Meetings. Phyllis has worked in the hotel, tradeshow and meetings industries for over 20 years managing events ranging from 50 to 15,000 attendees. A native of Cleveland, Phyllis enjoys many of the activities Northeastern Ohio has to offer. As a fan of the outdoors she loves playing tennis, golf and taking her dog Valley for long walks in the park.

AboutPhyllis Gafric

Phyllis joined Proforma in May of 2012 as the company’s Meetings and Events Manager, responsible for planning and executing all Proforma events, including Convention, Million Dollar Club Trip and Regional Meetings. Phyllis has worked in the hotel, tradeshow and meetings industries for over 20 years managing events ranging from 50 to 15,000 attendees. A native of Cleveland, Phyllis enjoys many of the activities Northeastern Ohio has to offer. As a fan of the outdoors she loves playing tennis, golf and taking her dog Valley for long walks in the park.

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