Planning a Conference 3: Nuts and Bolts

Underpinning a great event is well-considered planning, and this short blogpost will introduce some of the tools I am using to ensure that the conference is successful.

One of the most effective tools I use is a work breakdown structure, which looks something like this:

Of course, it’s great when everything goes to plan – but often it doesn’t, and for that creating a risk register in advance is incredibly helpful. Whilst I generally over-think contingency plans (most of which I never use), when they are called into action it is a huge relief to have something in place.

In this version of a risk register, the probability of a risk occurring is rated from 1 (high) to 5 (low), and the same format is used for the impact of the risk. The example above shows an event which is currently possible and – if it were to happen – would have a monumental impact on our conference. Therefore, I have recorded the risk as medium, but will revisit this as we approach March and I have access to updated information about the Covid pandemic. In both the Work Breakdown Structure above, and this Risk Register, it is essential to allocate individuals to each task so that delegation is effective.

Finally, keeping track of money is essential for any project. I use this simple outline to keep me right:

For an event which is going to be repeated (such as a school open evening or a particular school trip), investing time in keeping accurate records of planning is incredibly worthwhile as you are banking a resource to draw upon in the future.

My next blog in this series will be after Christmas – so in the meantime, if you are interested in the conference I am organising, click here for more information.

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