EVENT MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATIONS SECTOR CASE STUDY

Overview

AGR (Association of Graduate Recruiters) is the independent, not-for-profit organisation dedicated to supporting employers in all aspects of graduate recruitment. Each year they host an annual event for over 500 attendees, which is the flagship event of their marketing calendar. Limited in time and resource they needed a provider who could manage the entire event undertaking.

Activity Schedule

Conference Care met with AGR approximately 10 months before the conference, in order to discuss their requirements, objectives and expectations so that these could be implemented from the initiation. AGR shared feedback from the last event in order that we could action the comments to develop and improve the event year on year.

Production Schedule and Project Plan

We submitted set designs, in keeping with marketing material and conference requirements developed with MCL, our Audio Visual partner. The set needed to be multifunctional as by day it had to convey a formal and corporate business meeting ambience and by night it was an extravagant backdrop for the gala awards dinner.

We formalised our scope of service on how we would organise the event, who was responsible for each component and where applicable who were Conference Care's supporting suppliers, outlined from the initial meeting through to the live delivery.

AGR had a conference planning team made up of external board members, who met regularly to assist with the event planning and programme development. Conference Care were invited to sit on the panel to offer support and advice to help shape how the event felt and ran.

Pre Approval Quotation and Project Plan

AGR required a sophisticated online delegate registration tool, which encompassed and managed all booking criteria in a simple and straightforward manner. We built a bespoke online registration site, branded to their corporate branding and in line with the conference specific logos.

The site contained all information about the event including the conference programme: package options and fees, breakout sessions, exhibitors and floor plans, satellite hotels, keynote speaker biographies, maps and travel instructions, award ceremony criteria, booking terms & conditions and contact/query information. The system captured data from delegates, to produce all confirmations and reports allowing real time status of registrations at anytime. It allowed the whole booking system to be completely paperless, an initiative AGR were keen to adopt as part of their environmental criteria.

Production Schedules

Two different production schedules were created, one for the planning stages and the other for the live event. This critical path highlighted all key milestones and deadlines to ensure that everything was in place for the live event. For the live event, an event schedule was created and detailed all of the intricacies that needed to happen from start to finish.

Project Budget Breakdown

A project budget breakdown was created, showing the individual cost of each element of the event project allowing complete transparency between Conference Care and AGR.

Content Budget

We provided cost effective solutions, to maximise budgets. We made recommendations about the conference programme in order to gain optimum use of the meeting rooms that had large stage sets in order to make full use of the investment.

Local event staff were employed to assist with the live show, such as stage & set builders and registration staff. Where possible badge holders are collected and re-used for both budgetary and environmental reasons.

Live

Conference Care has been working with AGR on their Annual Conference for over 10 years. The relationship has been built over time on trust and satisfaction. Wherever possible, we use the same staff for planning and the live delivery, which AGR insist on. This gives them peace of mind that the continuity of excellent service standards remains.

With many external speakers forming the conference programme, last minute slides and alterations are expected. The live delivery team are well versed at putting speakers at ease, explaining the equipment and managing rehearsals in a concise but effective manner.

 

Creative Input and Maximising Engagement

Conference Care offered creative input to AGR at all stages of the event process. We suggested a way for AGR to gain an additional revenue steam for the event - we recommended that tables for the Gala Dinner be available to purchase, allowing companies to effectively host a table and invite their key guests to sit with them all evening, offering an excellent networking opportunity. This was a huge success and many companies were keen to take advantage, providing AGR with a substantially increased income.

Post Agreement

Each member of the conference planning team hosted a meeting at their offices, this meant travelling around the UK. Conference Care attended all planning meetings as well as the live event delivery in Newport, South Wales.

Logistical Challenges

Due to the large number of attendees, all delegate accommodation cannot be housed in the conference venue. The solution to this is offering a selection of nearby satellite hotels. This causes an additional logistical challenge for Conference Care's event team to ensure all guests are transported between the hotels as per the programme at the correct times over the course of three days.

Events Cascade and Measurement

Conference Care requested, as standard, a de-brief meeting. During this meeting we reviewed all elements of the event, including venue, administration, level of service and support.

We worked with a supplier to obtain detailed delegate feedback about the event. Results were gathered and analysed in readiness for the subsequent review with AGR. The results were encouraging, many people rating the event Very good or Excellent, with the majority planning to attend next year.

Expectations

Conference Care was the key manager and driver in delivery of the Annual Conference & Awards Dinner. AGR expressed their appreciation for Conference Care's expertise and maintain they could not and would not run the event without our services.


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