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Conference Planning Tips
We realize most of you who are planning conferences or seminars are doing so as a volunteer to your professional organization. And it may be the first time you've ever done this! So we have a few tips for you from the speaker's perspective that should help you out.
- Plan ahead! The speakers at Cadastral Consulting are often booked 9 to 12 months in advance, so waiting until the last minute will usually result in a disappointment. If we are available, your cost will often be greater due to increased airfares at short notice, or changes to travel plans we have already made and paid for.
- Our costs are based on you choosing "off the shelf" courses. We are sometimes asked to create whole new subjects for a conference, but please realize the "R and D" costs will be yours, and this is often more expensive. It requires adequate advance notice to create a quality program, and especially additional time if detailed information for state board approval must be provided.
- While we are very flexible in our course lengths, please understand that asking to have a full day course done in an hour or two is not fair to your attendees, and often results in a very poor review of what otherwise could be a very good seminar. A recent trend has been to try to squeeze several courses into one or two days, under the guise of saving money. This has never turned out well for us or for your attendees. The biggest criticism of this practice is that the students feel they "did not get their money's worth; too much crammed into too little time."
- Cadastral Consulting will not bid for seminars. We are adamantly opposed to this unprofessional practice in both surveying and in seminars. So please do not ask.
- Cadastral Consulting will always require a written contract and a non–refundable deposit. The deposit is used to purchase advanced (and cheaper for you) airfare, which is almost always non–refundable to us. Our proposal will always include the following items, unless you specifically request a change and/or we agree to other arrangements.
- Sleeping rooms
- Per diem (meals and incidentals)
- Parking at home airports
- Rental car, taxi, or shuttle to access your site
- Speaker fees
- Handout masters (digital or camera ready)
- Our proposal will not include:
- Copies of handouts
- Binders for copies
- Audio–visual equipment, except as noted in the contract
- Meeting rooms
- Be sure the meeting rooms are conducive to a good learning experience for your attendees. A good room will have these characteristics:
- High ceilings
- Dimmed lighting capabilities
- Large screen
- Large dry–erase boards with markers
- Ample room for access, registration, and general mixing.
- Good visibility from every seat (hotel seating plans differ greatly, so tell them what you want). We always recommend classroom style seating (tables for every chair), and we discourage round tables — someone is always sitting backwards or otherwise uncomfortably.
- Wireless microphones
- Power strips in speaker's area.
- Cadastral Consulting speakers do not like to use a raised podium or stay tied to a lectern. So leave room for us to “roam” in the front of the room.
- Be sure to have someone introduce the speaker, and to be a contact for us if we need any last minute changes to the set–up or the schedule.
- If your State Board requires prior–approval of courses, be sure to get this process started early enough. While we are willing to adapt some materials to their requests, we cannot completely change a course to suit their demands. We suggest you find another subject that is satisfactory or ask for a customized course (although that may cost more due to the time investment). If the Board is arguing about the validity of a subject, we will provide you back–up materials or ideas, but we will not fight the fight for you.
- If you need other planning services, we have many years of experience to aid you in producing a quality conference.