If you’re hosting or convening an event for your sector or area of expertise, there are many benefits to working with a professional conference organiser (PCO).
PCOs have the skills and resources to take care of all the conference details, allowing you to focus on the professional programme content — saving you time, stress, and in the long run, money. PCO Amy Abel dives into the critical role they play in ensuring conferences run smoothly and leave a lasting impression on attendees.
PCOs can look after all financial aspects, including preparing budgets used to mitigate financial risk, receiving income, paying expenses and managing GST. With support from Tourism NZ and your local convention bureau, PCOs can prepare a feasibility budget to show you how you can achieve financial viability for your sector’s conference.
PCOs have huge networks of contacts and suppliers, including venues, caterers, audio-visual suppliers and exhibition build companies. They also have a clear understanding and expectation of what these services should cost to ensure you don’t pay more than you need to.
When planning a conference or event, PCOs are well aware of task timelines and when decisions must be made for actions to be completed. There will be some areas where your input will be needed, and through regular planning meetings, PCOs can advise on what may be required to ensure all key deadlines are met.
Many tools are available to enhance the conference experience, from event management/registration software to apps, virtual platforms and lead management tools. PCOs have already researched these tools and have teams trained to build and implement any technology that may benefit your event.
PCOs will look after you right through to the delivery of the event. They will be on-site to ensure everything runs smoothly, giving you time to enjoy the event and network with your peers.
Get in touch with your local Convention Bureau who will be able to recommend PCOs you can approach to provide a proposal. No conference is the same, so be prepared to have an initial meeting to help the PCO gather some key information from you to assist with putting together an initial proposal and pricing.
Once you start working with a PCO, you’ll realise you’ve got great support behind you, which can lead to better financial outcomes and long-lasting professional relationships and friendships.