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The importance of having a professional conference organiser

Many committees, who take on the task of hosting and planning a conference or event, do so over and above their “day job” as an academic, medic, or professional in their field of speciality. Therefore, there may be a knowledge gap, manpower or time shortage, or a combination of all of these factors.

This is where a PCO can help.

But what actually is a PCO?

Basically, PCO is just an acronym for Professional Conference Organiser. That is a company that mainly specialises in the planning of conferences, events and meetings. It is about conferences and events management which serves as their core business activity, not for a secondary service. Because of this, people who are in need of their services can assure that the event is managed in a very professional manner if a PCO is engaged.

A PCO, such as Promaco Conventions will offer a wide range of services and skilled support and will offer these as a complete service, if this is the level of support required. Alternatively Promaco Conventions offers their services individually to manage specific aspects of the event that the organising committee wish to outsource. Promaco Conventions is happy to manage as much or as little of the conference that the committee requires.

A PCO is a professional company with dedication to providing the best in planning and hosting conferences as their everyday job. Professional Conference Organisers have its goals of providing the standards set by their customers (which, too, are busy professionals) when it comes to quality of service they are providing. Not only, but especially in the field of their specialty, like academic or medical. In this kind of job, a PCO is what for those busy professionals from dedicated sectors, who cannot afford the time to plan and organise an event, can be the best option they have to collaborate with.

Why organise a conference?

Conferences can play a vital role in the life of an organisation such as an association. A well run conference creates valuable professional development and networking opportunities for participants, and it gives the association a higher profile in the sector. Conferences can also generate much needed revenue for an association, which can be reinvested in member services.

While larger associations may have the resources and expertise needed to organise conferences in house, many medium and smaller associations need to enlist the help of a PCO. Choosing the wrong PCO for your organisation can turn your conference into a nightmare and drastically reduce any return to your association, so buyers should beware.

A PCO can be brought in at different stages during the planning process. However it is recommended that a PCO be appointed as early as possible, as their experience and expertise can ensure you avoid the many pitfalls and unnecessary expenditure, which are frequently encountered during the early stages of conference planning.

In the earliest stages a PCO can offer advice, help, knowledge and administrative support in both venue research and feasibility, as well as in establishing a preliminary budget, short-listing suppliers, and developing a time line for the planning and organisation of your event. They can also offer help in the preparation and presentation of bids to win a congress for a particular destination; this may be in partnership with the local convention bureau if appropriate.

Below is a list of various items a PCO can take care of for you:

  • Websites and online registration systems

  • Marketing Programs

  • Business Plans

  • Media Plans

  • Budgets and Cash Flow Preparation

  • Risk assessment and Public Liability

  • Sponsorship

  • Audio Visual Setup

  • Theming and Set Design

  • Accommodation Room Block

  • Exhibition Management

  • Delegate Boosting

  • Program Coordination and Speaker Management

  • Publication/Brochure/Printing Management

  • Financial Management

  • Mailing List and Data Management

  • Contract Guidance

  • On-Site Management

  • Secretariat Services

  • Venue Finding and Contract Negotiation

  • Abstract/Paper management

A PCO can also manage the whole financial side of your event. Collect income and pay invoices on behalf of the conference and provide you with regular updates on how you are tracking compared to the budget. At the conclusion of the event the PCO will also provide you with a financial report and all the invoices you will need for reporting purposes to the board.

However not every PCO offers the same and has the same approach, therefor it is important that you identify the most appropriate PCO for your needs. It is helpful to seek information from a number of companies. The process would normally involve various steps:

  • Production of a tender document

  • Obtaining of preliminary information on accredited PCOs

  • Creating a shortlist of suitable PCOs

  • Distribution of the tender document

  • Evaluation of tender documents

  • Reference checks on prospective PCOs

  • Presentation and interview

  • Selection of PCO

Why should you choose Promaco Conventions?

We give you only the best. Promaco Conventions can provide your conference with the most comprehensive and professional organisation and management service in Perth and Switzerland. With vast experience at both the national and international levels, our fully trained and experienced staff will handle all of your conference requirements.

We lighten your load. Directed by your Executive Committee, Promaco will shoulder responsibility for all aspects of the administrative and secretarial work throughout the organisational period and during the conference itself. We ensure that all committee decisions and activity schedules are carried out, and all you need to do is point the way.

We give you ‘value for money’. Promaco does not sub contract any of its management services, and there are no hidden charges for the extra effort we put in. The attention we pay to all the details of your conference is included in our management fee, as part of our professional service.

We offer you personalised service. On appointment, we will make sure to get to know your needs and customise our services to your requirements. Getting to know your goals and objectives on the event is very important to us to make sure we get you what you want.

We go the ‘extra mile’. At Promaco Conventions, we ensure that each event receives our full, personal service at all times. By always going that extra mile, we maintain the highest standard in all that we do, and earn our reputation as the a very professional conference organiser.

Promaco Conventions was established in 1987 to provide professional management services to associations or organisations planning a conference and/or exhibition.

At Promaco Conventions our objectives are:

  • to provide the best possible service to our clients at all time;

  • to become personally involved in the event as if it were "our own"; and

  • to always maintain high professional standards

Don't be afraid of taking on the role as a conference chair or committee member, we are here to help!

Contact us now and we make it a breeze for you to organise a professional conference.

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