Program and Conference Planning Guide

Your step by step look at developing and executing a successful program.

  1. Needs Assessment: What are the gaps in knowledge, skills, patient care and need for reinforcement of standards of practice identified by the target audience?
  2. Representation of the target audience on the Planning Committee
  3. Assign an administrative team to help the Planning Committee achieve its goals and objectives
  4. Articulate conference goals and objectives and link them back to the target audience and to academic (U of T) and affiliated institutional goals
  5. Review and understand U of T accreditation standards and guidelines. Know how deadlines impact key decisions
  6. Develop a budget projecting all potential expenses as well as revenue from all sources
  7. Decide if sponsorship funds will be solicited and develop a sponsor prospectus
  8. Choose date for program/conference checking that it avoids competing programs and holidays
  9. Invite and confirm faculty as soon as a date is firm
  10. Research and contract a suitable venue considering costs and risk
  11. Develop a marketing plan in consultation with PR or marketing administrators if possible
  12. Launch a website to market details of the conference/program (or develop a specific web page on an existing website)
  13. Commence a direct email campaign with announcing the date, theme, location, invited keynote speakers
  14. Open registration
  15. Communicate with faculty and sponsors on a regular basis providing them with key updates
  16. Provide potential attendees with a full conference outline
  17. Submit the accreditation application including budget, evaluation form, needs assessment, complete program agenda
  18. Make decisions about the logistics of the conference/program: Content, audiovisual supports, registration package, food and beverage
  19. Ensure that sponsor participation complies with U of T Commercial Support Guidelines
  20. Develop acknowledgements and signage
  21. Run the event ensuring that the audience is able to easily and effectively provide feedback and evaluation
  22. Review the comments and evaluations; finances
  23. Schedule a Debrief meeting with the Planning Committee and Administrative Team within one month post-event to discuss successes and challenges; plans for the future
  24. Provide feedback to key stakeholders including faculty and sponsors
  25. Maintain a connection to learners by providing summarized content and plans for future educational offerings. This can be done on a website and through social media.