Building Your Event Agenda

Event Planning

A well-planned agenda is a driving factor in generating conference attendance. Your planning process will once again begin by answering a set of questions followed by a brainstorming session to solidify agenda items.

Review initial considerations and begin creating the agenda:

What is the length of the conference?
Review last year’s agenda:
Set Up and Tear Down

Build in adequate time pre and post event for set up, move in and tear down times

General Session/Plenary:
Meal functions:
Special Events/Activities:

Strategies for a successful agenda brainstorming session:

Find a quiet space away from work
Include all key people in the brainstorming session
Clearly define the objective and desired outcome of the brainstorming session before you begin
Prepare your tools:
Have the mindset of "no idea is a bad idea"
Designate one person as the idea recorder. Consider using sticky notes that can be attached to the flipchart and easily rearranged.
Use one flipchart per day of the conference.
Review your “Initial Agenda Considerations” listed above and use it to help you start building your agenda
Be sure to consider audience draw for critical events.  For example, don’t put your biggest function on the last night, if you foresee that many attendees will leave prior to the event.

Creating your printed piece:

Typically, you will create a tentative agenda for your initial marketing pieces and/or web site. Then you will gradually fine-tune the agenda over the planning period. Be sure to advertise your agenda in as many places as possible to gain the greatest exposure.  

Tentative agenda should include:

(Note: Consider printing both a detailed agenda, as well as an "Agenda at a Glance" which solely outlines dates, times, titles and locations.)

Final Program Agenda Should Include:
Detailed schedule of sessions, activities, meals, breaks and other events:

Tips and Tricks

If your venue moves between locations/regions think about ways to incorporate the local flavor to your conference

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