The different steps to organize a congress

Une convention au C.I.D

The organ­iz­a­tion of a con­gress requires sig­ni­fic­ant human and mater­i­al resources and rep­res­ents a con­sid­er­able budget. This event brings togeth­er spe­cial­ists in a pro­fes­sion­al field to study, debate and exchange. The qual­ity of the event has an impact on the per­cep­tion of the pub­lic (del­eg­ates) towards the organ­iz­ing insti­tu­tions and asso­ci­ations: the stakes are high.

The expect­a­tions of attendees and speak­ers change over time: the event ven­ue, con­tent and dis­tri­bu­tion meth­ods must be per­fectly in line with the chal­lenges that the industry is facing today. This is why it is import­ant to be well informed about the trends and best prac­tices to fol­low. Wheth­er you’ve already organ­ized a con­fer­ence or it’s your first event of this mag­nitude, organ­iz­ing an event of this mag­nitude is not an easy task. Here are some step-by-step tips to ensure that noth­ing is left to chance.

Les para­sols sur la plage de Deau­ville ©Jac­ques­BASILE
Deau­ville — Hôtel Nor­mandy***** Resort bar­rière — jBasile 


Organ­iz­ing a pro­fes­sion­al event of the mag­nitude of a con­ven­tion requires the form­a­tion of an organ­iz­ing com­mit­tee. The choice of the mem­bers who will accom­pany you must be done accord­ing to their com­pet­ences and their habil­it­ies in the field. Then come the dis­tri­bu­tion of the dif­fer­ent tasks in which each one will be respons­ible and involved. A good organ­iz­ing com­mit­tee greatly facil­it­ates the organ­iz­a­tion of your convention.

The cre­ation of spe­cific­a­tions dur­ing the organ­iz­a­tion of your con­fer­ence allows you to determ­ine the main stages of the event. To do this, the organ­iz­ing com­mit­tee must answer 6 ques­tions: Why? Why? What? What? How? Who will be there? When? Where is it?

Why are we organizing a conference?

This is the reas­on for cre­at­ing your con­fer­ence. Why are you tak­ing the trouble to organ­ize such an event? What is your ulti­mate goal? Your choice will define the mes­sage you will deliv­er at the con­fer­ence as well as your budget.

The question of “What” in the organization of the conference

This is where you determ­ine the theme of your con­fer­ence. The title of the event must arouse curi­os­ity to make the pub­lic want to come to your con­fer­ence. To be effect­ive, the chosen theme should be top­ic­al or address sub­jects from a new angle. The object­ive is to meet the needs of the del­eg­ates and your tar­get audi­ence for the con­fer­ence you are organizing.

Organizing a conference: The “How”

How to organ­ize a con­gress? The answer to this ques­tion lies largely in the real­iz­a­tion of a budget for the con­gress that you wish to organ­ize. You start look­ing for solu­tions for the organ­iz­a­tion­al, admin­is­trat­ive and logist­ic­al aspects and estim­ate the cost of each area of expendit­ure of your future con­gress. This step is cru­cial to the suc­cess of your con­gress. Need to increase your budget? The search for spon­sors or part­ners can rep­res­ent an addi­tion­al source of income.


The “Who” helps you choose your target: delegates, exhibitors, speakers, partners .… for the congress

For a suc­cess­ful con­gress, it is neces­sary to define the main tar­gets: your del­eg­ates, your part­ners, your exhib­it­ors, your speak­ers… Your mes­sage will not be the same depend­ing on the receiv­er. Your speech will be dif­fer­ent if you have to approach a poten­tial part­ner or invite a renowned speak­er. Once you have defined the tar­get audi­ence for the con­fer­ence, you will be able to eval­u­ate the num­ber of guests and par­ti­cipants for your event. This data will allow you to refine your search for a recep­tion venue.

When should your conference be held?

On what date will your con­fer­ence take place? Over one or more days? Remem­ber to check that no oth­er con­ven­tion or sim­il­ar event is tak­ing place at the same time as yours. It is also strongly advised not to hold your con­fer­ence on pub­lic hol­i­days or dur­ing school vaca­tions, with some exceptions.

Take the time to check the sports or polit­ic­al cal­en­dars… Organ­iz­ing a con­gress on the day of the World Cup final or dur­ing the second round of the pres­id­en­tial elec­tions can be dan­ger­ous for the edition.

Where to organize a congress?

The choice of ven­ue is of para­mount import­ance when organ­iz­ing a con­fer­ence. The des­tin­a­tions sur­veyed must offer spaces adap­ted to the num­ber of par­ti­cipants: A con­ven­tion cen­ter or an exhib­i­tion cen­ter was designed to host medi­um and large-scale events. A Villa or a hotel will lend itself to the organ­iz­a­tion of more intim­ate events. In all cases, the selec­ted ven­ue must be eas­ily access­ible by your audi­ence. The accom­mod­a­tion capa­city is also to be taken into account if the con­gress takes place over sev­er­al days.

If you have little know­ledge of the loc­al eco­nom­ic fab­ric, take advice from the recep­tion ven­ue: it works through­out the year with a pan­el of qual­ity and reli­able loc­al ser­vice pro­viders (cater­ers, secur­ity ser­vice, recep­tion staff…)



Les Planches de Deauville
Les Planches de Deauville

Prepare the congress program

The theme of the con­gress must not be lost sight of when plan­ning the pro­gram: con­fer­ences, work­shops, product present­a­tions in the exhib­it­or area…

The repu­ta­tion of the speak­ers will max­im­ize the par­ti­cip­a­tion rate. You will also have to define their speak­ing time and their order of appear­ance. If pos­sible, plan for speak­ers to make up for any last-minute cancellations.

Communication during your congress

A good com­mu­nic­a­tion is essen­tial for a qual­ity con­gress. It is there­fore neces­sary to pre­pare a com­mu­nic­a­tion cam­paign before, dur­ing and after the con­gress in order to attract and interest the desired tar­get audi­ence. To make it more con­veni­ent for your audi­ence, invit­a­tions for your con­gress should be sent out 6 months before the start date of the event. If you are a com­pany, make sure to respect your graph­ic iden­tity when com­mu­nic­at­ing, to rein­force your brand image. You can pro­mote your event through dif­fer­ent chan­nels such as

  • A well ref­er­enced web­site ded­ic­ated to your congress,
  • Social net­works are very good com­mu­nic­a­tion chan­nels for your congress,
  • a pro­mo­tion­al video, etc.

At the time of the congress: anticipate and prepare for the unexpected

Events of this kind often encounter unfore­seen cir­cum­stances. The import­ant thing is not to be caught off guard when it hap­pens. Rely on the know­ledge and expert­ise of the ven­ue and its event team: a pro­ject man­ager, a sales rep­res­ent­at­ive, a stage man­ager and a whole tech­nic­al team will accom­pany you.

Post-congress: what to do?

Once the con­gress is over, the com­mu­nic­a­tion “assess­ment” of the edi­tion begins: videos, testi­mon­ies, best-off, photo reports, thanks to part­ners, sur­veys among del­eg­ates, exhib­it­ors, speak­ers… Gath­er as much data and inform­a­tion as pos­sible in order to approach the next edi­tion with confidence.

Would you like to organ­ize your con­gress in Deau­ville, in Nor­mandy, just two hours from Par­is? It’s an excep­tion­al set­ting that will delight your par­ti­cipants and your speak­ers! The city already hosts many events, some of which have an inter­na­tion­al scope. Do not hes­it­ate to con­tact us for more information.


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