How to organise a symposium or a scientific conference?

Organising a symposium is not something you do on your own. It requires a lot of preparation. Do you need any tips? Then read this step-by-step plan with the most important things to keep in mind when organising a symposium or scientific conference. The action plan contains the following steps:

1. Make a plan
2. Determine and monitor the budget
3. Choose a date and location
4. Map out a plan of actions
5. Communicate

Below, we will discuss each of these themes in more detail in the step-by-step plan.

Make a plan 

Solid preparation is absolutely indispensable. That’s why it is highly recommended to plan ahead. Determine the objective and target audience months prior to the symposium. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What do you want to achieve with the symposium?
  • Who do you want to invite as speaker(s)?
  • What kind of symposium are you talking about?

Well-founded answers to these questions will be useful for you later on, during the further development of the symposium.

Determine and control the budget

In order to avoid a financial hangover, it is important to consider a budget right from the very beginning of the planning process. Make an overview of the fixed costs and the variable costs. Engage Visit Bruges Convention Bureau to request price quotations from different providers and compare. Naturally, all of this takes time, so here it is also advisable to start the budgetary planning early enough.

Is your budget ready? Then, as a precaution, add 10% to 15% of unforeseen costs! That way you will have enough margin to make your symposium a success within the budget.

Where and when? 

When choosing the date and location for your symposium, take into account holiday periods, trade fair periods and other events in the city. Let Visit Bruges Convention Bureau find the perfect location for your scientific conference in historic Bruges.

Some elements that play an essential role are:

  • How many guests are you expecting at your symposium?
  • How do you expect your guests to reach your symposium? Do they come by car, public transport or taxi?
  • What seating arrangements do you have in mind? Auditorium, banquet, cabaret, cocktail, U-shaped, etc.

Would you like to know more about how to choose the best location for your symposium? Then read the following article including a handy checklist: 'How to find a good location for an event?' 

Create a roadmap for your programme

Create a roadmap for your programme 

A roadmap is a written sequence of actions of your planned activities, like a manual so that all parties involved know exactly what to do before, during and after the symposium.

Would you like to know more about preparing a roadmap? Then read the following article: 'How to create a roadmap?'

Meeting & Incentive Guide


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