This scheduling timeline for a large international meeting and exhibit was adapted from a project management template, with 18 months lead time. There are typically more than 250 tasks on the template.
17-18 Months Out - Set objectives, meeting/exhibit dates, locale, theme, and format. - Conduct site visit. - Set preliminary budget. - Select freight company. - Negotiate hotel rates and blocks, sign hotel. - Negotiate fares with official airline. - Select ground operator. - Select official car-rental agency. - Assemble exhibitor lists. - Set registration fees and policy. - Define promotional strategy. - Prepare first calendar notices and press releases for exhibit.
16 Months Out - Arrange insurance coverage. - Develop logo/graphics theme. - Select exhibit service contractor. - Establish exhibit space rates. - Produce exhibit floor plan.
14-15 Months Out - Invite and confirm key speakers. - Determine preliminary food and beverage requirements. - Negotiate menus and prices. - Select translation equipment, if needed. - Mail first exhibitor promotion, if needed. - Adjust exhibit floor plan (continuous). - Prepare and mail first meeting announcements and promotional materials to prospective attendees.
13 Months Out - Get speakers' AV needs.
6-7 Months Out - Produce and mail second promotion to prospective attendees. - Begin processing registration forms.
4-5 Months Out - Prepare and mail third promotion to prospective attendees. - Adjust budget. - Confirm AV and translation requirements. - Assign speaker locations/times.
2-3 Months Out - Adjust budget. - Open host-city bank account. - Finalize session schedule and room assignments. - Select andwith AV supplier. - Produce and mail exhibitor services kits; include AV order form. - Finalize F&B schedule. - Finalize translation personnel and equipment, if needed. - Determine on-site staff needs. - Determine security needs. - Order office and communications equipment needed on-site. - Order signage. - Compile exhibitor directory. - Finalize on-site computer requirements for registration. - Review processing and billing activity with hotels.
1 Month to 6 Weeks Out - Print conference guide. - Print workbooks. - Submit daily schedule to hotels. - Produce badge and ticket stocks.
3 Weeks Out through Day of Meeting - Set up on-site office. - Pack and inventory materials. - Assemble registration packets. - Finalize F&B guarantees. - Make pre-event preparations on-site. - Supervise meeting on-site.
Post Meeting - Pack and inventory materials. - Reconcile finances. - Do a post-budget performance review.