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How do I manage on-site activities?

The on-site management team works closely with the facility staff and other vendors to help the conference run smoothly.

  • Hire an event-management service, if necessary.
  • Hold pre-conference meetings.
  • Set up an operations plan at the conference.
  • Hold daily meetings during the conference.
  • Hold post-conference meetings.

Hire an event-management service

Many conferences hire an event-management service. They can help plan and manage the on-site activities for your conference.

Hold pre-conference meetings

Required Task for Conference OrganizersPre-conference meetings are important for planning and communicating with everyone who is running the conference. Schedule pre-conference meetings to review information about the conference location, activities, and program.

  • Meet with your staff before you leave for the conference.
  • Meet with your team, the key staff from the meeting location, and conference contractors at the conference site.

Set up communications before the conference

It is important to have a good communications plan for your conference.

  • Set up a conference office where you and your staff can meet, make phone calls, and store and retrieve meeting materials. Large meetings may have an office suite in the convention center or hotel.
  • Tour the facility. Report any damage to the meeting manager and prepare a written report.
  • Arrange for walkie-talkies or use cell phones to allow staff members to talk to each other.
  • Provide staff members with a list of phone numbers for key team members.
  • Provide the meeting team with special shirts or other clothing so that they are easily identified by staff and attendees.
  • Set up information kiosks and message centers for meeting participants. This can be a simple cork bulletin board or a computer station.
  • Set up wireless access or a Wi-Fi lounge where participants can access the Internet.

light bulbCheck for areas where cell phones don't receive calls (known as dead spots) before the conference so that you can avoid them if you need to talk to other staff members.

Monitor conference activities

During the conference, the on-site management team ensures that the conference runs smoothly. Check for:

  • Room layouts
  • Audio-visual equipment
  • Food and beverage

Hold daily meetings with your team, the key staff from the meeting location, and conference contractors. Schedule the meetings at the same time every day. During the meetings, review the past day’s activities and plans for the next day.

Schedule post-conference meetings

Required Task for Conference OrganizersA post-conference meeting held on site at the end of the meeting is an important source of feedback. Meet with your staff, key facility staff, and contractor personnel. You can then follow up with a separate meeting with your staff only.

  • Discuss what worked well and what didn't work.
  • Provide compliments and constructive criticism.
  • Discuss what can be improved.

Who do you talk to at IEEE?

IEEE is ready to help. If you have questions about managing on-site activities, please contact IEEE Meeting and Conference Management (MCM) at

Do you have other questions about organizing a conference? Please see IEEE Conference Organizer Contacts.

Do you have feedback on the information on this page?

  • Is there missing or incorrect information?
  • Do you have a tip to share?

Please send your feedback to IEEE Meetings, Conferences & Events (MCE) at

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