The Conference Cure: What it Takes to Develop a Successful Life Sciences Event

Jan 15, 2020

By Laura Rudberg, Manager of Events at MassBio

In a recent blog, we discussed what companies should keep in mind when preparing for their next event. But, to take that a step further we wanted to dive deep into the logistics – How much space do you need? Does the venue provide food and beverage, or will you have to contract an outside catering service? Is audiovisual equipment included? Hosting an event is no small feat, but this checklist will take you from planning to execution so you can deliver an extraordinary event for attendees.

  • Registration: What is your expected registration? Despite what the numbers say, you can assume it will be 20-30% less than the final count.
  • Space: Are you hosting a board meeting, training session, or conference? You want to make sure there is enough space for attendees, but also want to make sure the room looks full.
  • Room Setup: Consider what room layout you need when choosing a venue and see what options they have available: Theater Style, Banquet Style, Hollow Square Style, Classroom, U-Shape, Conference Style, Team Tables, etc. If your event is interactive you may need tables and a smaller space; if you secured a reputable speaker for a keynote, auditorium style may be a go-to.
  • Food: Catering options will vary based on the venue you choose, so look to the pricing. Is it included in the overall cost? Is it priced per person?
    • Hotels will have their own catering
    • Conference Centers typically have their own company, but confirm if catering is included in the price or if there is an added fee
    • Public Venues often have more options to choose from, but, you must choose from their contracted providers.
    • Additional taxes and fees many hotels and event venues have expected, and unexpected fees. Taxes and gratuities, while usually expected, may be more than you realize. Some venues also charge administrative fees. Read all your contracts closely so you can budget for, or in some cases negotiate these fees.
  • Equipment: Is all the equipment you need included, or do you have to bring some/all of it in? Some venues will also provide the option to rent. Think: chairs, tables, linens, silverware, plates, cups, easels to display signage, pens, and notepads. Make a list of everything you will need from registration to close and see what the venue offers.
  • AV: Hotels and conference centers often have in-house AV, or you can partner with a production company of your own choice. See what your event needs are and make sure they have a package to match it. For public venues, you may need to provide your own equipment or upgrade an existing offering to meet your needs.
  • Wi-Fi: Regardless of the size of the event, all attendees will look for Wi-Fi. Confirm this is available for your event and check to see how it is priced.

Hosting an event of any size is a complicated endeavor, with many moving parts. That’s why at the MassBioHub we handle all the logistics so you can focus on what you do best – improving patient lives. Learn more and book your next event with us:

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