Looking ahead - why associations need to plan events years in advance
28 January 2018
Posted by: Katie Spackman
Rhiannon Thomas, Business Development Manager at Central Hall Westminster explains why it's crucial for associations to start planning their event at least three years in advance.
In today's fast-paced world when decisions can be made in an instant and registration for an event is just a mouse-click away, it may seem contradictory to be talking about planning something years in advance from now.
But this is just what associations need to do when planning their own event. You have no doubt heard the phrase, 'fail to plan, plan to fail' and this is never truer than when planning an association event, particularly a large one with an international element.
Most associations look to plan their event at least three years in advance, and for good reason.
Larger association events always require a much longer lead time due to their multi-faceted components from finding sponsorship and recruiting stakeholders and speakers, to picking the destination country and the venue within it.
Often association membership will only make up 20% of the funding required for its essential events and therefore enough lead time needs to be built in to raise additional sponsorship which could include exhibition stand sales.
To pitch opportunities for involvement to potential clients, conference organisers need to be ahead of the game in establishing relevant, forward-thinking and appealing content - including finding the best guest speakers. This all takes time too and can only be undertaken effectively via a coherent marketing and communications plan which should include elements such as promotion of the event, creating an interesting itinerary and creating and collating content.
Amid all this preparation, the success of an event depends upon how well the organiser secures the best destination with the ideal venue that has great travel connections and an adequate number of hotel rooms. This is one reason why central London has won so many high profile association events in recent years.
The future for association events in London is looking positive and Central Hall Westminster is proud to play a part in it.