The advent countdown: How to plan for a conference during the festive season
There’s always a lot going on at this time of year, from rushing to get the month’s work finished before the holidays to shopping for gifts. This doesn’t leave much time for conference planning, but you must find ways to organise your time and get the essential jobs done. Here are some festive conference planning tips to help you make the event a success and somehow still stay sane:
- Make lists for everything. You need a dedicated list for your conference, containing tasks that need to be done and the order they need to be completed in. Put deadlines on each but be realistic, otherwise the pressure could be just too much. You should also make separate lists for everything else you have to do before Christmas – this can help you get your priorities right and make you feel more in control of everything.
- Put a team together and delegate. No conference can be planned in its entirety by just one person alone, especially not in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Trying to do everything by yourself is a recipe for a pre-Christmas nervous breakdown. Instead, gather together a crack team of your best people and delegate jobs to them – making sure to check in regularly to reassure yourself that jobs are actually being done. It might be a good idea to put together a larger team than you would normally, as everyone else is likely to be as busy as you in the run-up to Christmas and each team member will only be able to handle a certain amount of responsibility.
- Book everything well in advance. If your conference is taking place soon, you absolutely need to have everything from the venue to the catering nailed down now. This busy time of year means that your chosen vendors and partners may already be booked up, so get a move on if there’s something important still lingering on your list.
- Embrace the season. Just because it’s a professional event, it doesn’t mean you should be ignoring the time of year or putting it off until later. If you’ve ever been to conferences in Leeds, you’ll know how much the city likes to celebrate Christmas – it would be practically cruel to your delegates to run a festive-free conference will all the celebrations going on outside the confines of the meeting room. Allow some festive elements to enrich your event, from mince pies during a break to a Christmas tree in the break room – you could even use Christmas-themed games as ice-breakers at the start of the conference.
If you need a conference venue in the coming weeks or in the New Year, consider making use of the facilities for conferences and meetings at Weetwood Hall just outside Leeds city centre. Facilities are spacious, comfortable and able to adapt to your needs, as well as having easy access to transport links, high quality accommodation and hospitality.