Planning a Conference – Where do you start?  

Whether it is for three delegates, or three thousand – planning a conference can be a daunting task. There are a lot of items to consider to ensure a successful, efficient and smooth meeting that will leave a lasting impression on those in attendance. Here are a few tips to help you make that meeting memorable.

Conference tipsWho will be there?

Being the organizer of a conference, meeting or workshop means you need to be very sure of the guests attending it. Firstly, where are they coming from? Often, delegates are flying into OR Tambo International hence it is vital to select a venue that is close to the airport, and perhaps offers a free shuttle service to the hotel. Guests of a certain stature may require a dedicated and more personal transfer to the hotel or even a meet and greet service when they walk through OR Tambo’s arrival doors. This is obviously down to one’s individual taste, but planning for all possible outcomes will assist you greatly.

Why is the conference taking place?

Are you planning a casual discussion in a formal environment, training your team or trying to plan the next year’s strategy – understanding what the meeting is will determine the foundation of how it will take place? A chat that can happen in a boardroom with little or equipment (such as a projector or laptop) is a far throw from a seminar where each delegate receives their own notepad, pen and Wi-Fi access and the venue is kitted out with start-of-the-art audio-visual tools that included a stage, PA System, Projector and even video streaming facilities. It’s imperative to consider if the venue can accommodate these needs.

What’s happening after it?

Delegates may decide to head home straight away however, there are options to think about such as perhaps certain individuals requiring an overnight facility in the hotel’s accommodation or they might want to enjoy leisurely drinks at the bar or café on the property. Often, to create a more intimate atmosphere where the public is not present, dedicated banqueting packages may be requested. Ease the formal nature of the conference by creating a fine-dining function just for your guests and let them stay the night so as not to have any worry about driving home. It may lead to a memorable event.

What are the finer details?

People like to feel that they are personally catered for and not just another delegate in the group. It’s vital to consider everybody’s individual taste, dietary requirements, and expectations. Either, you can try your utmost to create a package that suits everybody globally or even better, provide for those individual needs such as Halaal, Kosher or other meal restrictions.


If you would like to host your conference at Birchwood Hotel, please contact us at



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