Author: Amber Cunningham, Sales and Conference Planner, University of Calgary– Meetings and Special Events
With the summer conference season winding down, I can’t help but think to myself “I survived!” and I’m sure that many of you are feeling a similar relief as the fall semester begins.
The University of Calgary had re-launched their conference model in 2013 with me as their sole conference planner. As we had taken the previous year off offering conference services, we didn’t know what to expect. We had no plans of advertising for the first year, wanting to keep things small and build from there. Now being September, I am proud to say that we had a booming first season back with our conference bookings hitting the double digits! Looking back on what was a very successful season, here are my top three learnings for next year:
Work those connections-
Working at an academic institution comes with its fair share of personal interactions. It really pays to get to know people in the various departments that make your University function; and who knows when you’ll need a contact in Groundskeeping or Electrical?
Hire an assistant-
You may not think that you’ll need one, but if my experience has taught me anything, it’s that a little extra help is always a good thing. Someone to be in the office sending out proposals and contracts while you’re on-site is invaluable.
Rework your schedule-
If you are working all weekend, take Monday off. There is something to be said about catching up on lost down time.
I am looking forward to the 2014 conference season; it’s going to be great!