18th March 2010
Behind every successful conference is an exhausted and happy conference organiser. If a person possesses good organisational skills and multi-tasking abilities, here is a good opportunity for a unique career.
Let us take a closer look at a Conference Organiser Job. Given below are some details of this career.
The prime responsibility of this position is to plan, organise and co-ordinate conferences which are conducted for a range of purposes. The number of participants attending can vary – from a small group to a couple of hundreds. An organiser should research, negotiate and book appropriate venues, make arrangements for the required equipment such as PA systems, audio-visual equipment, overhead projectors, video players etc. Equipment will also vary according to the type of conference.
In the case of a residential conference, the organiser is also responsible for making accommodation arrangements for all delegates, including transport arrangements – if necessary. If the conference calls for external speakers or resource persons, all facilities for them need to be taken care as well.
A vital responsibility of a Conference Organiser Job is to discuss with the client and plan out a budget for the event. This duty plays a vital role as every aspect of the event needs to be taken into consideration. Once budgets are approved, it is also vital that the organiser keeps within this budget till the end of the event.
Marketing the event will also be one of roles in this position. It will require writing press releases and designing advertising materials, sorting out mailing lists, brochures etc. Prior arrangements need to be made at the venue, with the organiser conducting meetings with the venue staff to have them briefed on the proceedings, catering plans etc.
A Conference Organiser Job calls for this person to be present full-time when the event is in progress to handle any unforeseen situations that may arise. There can always be possibilities when a speaker is late and some re-scheduling will have to be done in order to keep the event in progress, until the speaker arrives or an alternative is found. There can be many incidents similar to this, thus the presence of the organiser on-site is very vital, from start to end of the conference.
Most conference production companies will always prefer to recruit a graduate for such a position. These companies select graduates from a variety of disciplines, thus an applicant’s chosen degree subjects are irrelevant when applying for a Conference Organiser Job. They will certainly look for applicants with strong interpersonal skills and preferably some experience.
There are certain career conscious people who would like to switch careers; conference production companies have no restrictions on entering the career. Many professionals who have been working in the fields of hotel conferences and banquet management tend to move into these companies in search for a career change. Another alternative will be to start in a secretarial role and gradually gain the necessary experience to organise conferences; other required experience can include sales, marketing or experience from a media background.
If you are an adult with experience and would like to take over a Conference Organiser Job with a degree, it will be advisable to first check out the university entry requirements, as there might be exemptions for mature students with work experience.