Conference Planning How-To and Examples

One of the events I look forward to every year, other than my mom’s birthday and the anniversary with my wife, is the ISACA Los Angeles Chapter Spring Conference. Every year around March or April, several hundred participants take part in this three-day get-together at Hilton Universal City. Over the years, we have provided our membership with solid programs that have delivered great education values. At the same time, the organization committee has had many wonderful individuals who volunteered their time and made the conference event as excellent as it is today.

I first got involved with the conference organizing committee back in 2001. It was a much simpler event to plan for back then but has since gotten more sophisticated over the years. Even with its growing sophistication, the conference is still being put on by a group of volunteers, not by professional conference event staff. I surmise when you have great leadership and dedicated volunteers within the organizing committee, anything is possible. That said, we are no professional event planners and everything happens in the conference is an opportunity to learn and to fine-tune. For those of you who are planning or thinking about planning similar events for your organizations, I have something that might help.

Generic_Example_Conference_Organizers_Manual

Generic_Example_Conference_Project_Plan

I have posted two documents on this blog that give an overview of what we have to do for this annual event. If you don’t have such documents in place and would like to refer to something to start with, these two documents together could be a decent starting point. I had to remove the proprietary information from the original planning documents but the resulting documents can still be helpful. Putting on a conference is a project, and the typical project management principles and planning discipline can only help.

I hope you will find these documents useful for your planning endeavors. If you have any questions about how we plan the event or would like discuss any planning aspect further, please feel free to leave your questions here or contact me directly.

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