From Conference Budget Planning to Cash-Flow Management: The many Tasks of the PCO

by | May 19, 2016 | Blog

Organising a one-off conference can be quite challenging. This says nothing in terms of those who must tackle this task on a frequent basis. Although logistics and planning are certainly key concerns, it can be argued that both fall under the broader concept of conference budget planning strategies. The issue here is that such a concern is particularly multifaceted and unfortunately, individuals may have neither the time nor the resources to address this need. This is where the power of what is known as a Professional Conference Organiser (PCO) becomes particularly useful. Let us examine what defines this role in greater detail before illustrating why a proactive stance is essential to help avoid cost overruns.

The Benefits of Proactive Conference Budget Planning Strategies

A Professional Conference Organiser is dedicated to proper budget planning and cash flow management strategies as well as other critical concepts when planning for an event. The primary benefit here is that he or she is able to provide their full attention to the task at hand.

Related blog: The Role of the Professional Conference Organiser (PCO)

This can help to minimise the chances of accidental oversight and as a result, even the most stringent of budgets will normally be catered to. From hands-on techniques to appreciating the best practices aligned with the discrete requirements of a conference, there will be little left to chance. This brings us to another point. Why is proactive fiscal oversight so important?

Why Opt for a Professional Conference Organiser?

Let us imagine for a moment that an upcoming gathering will be attended by more than 1,000 individuals and an additional 30 guest speakers are expected. If we assume this as far as the project has gone, there are several advantages that a Core PCO can provide to the organisation in question. Some of these include (but are absolutely not limited to):

  • Assessing the feasibility of the venue
  • Addressing event staffing
  • Researching and preparing for off-site accommodations for guests
  • Dealing with the registration process
  • Acquiring third-party equipment such as audio-visual technologies
  • Assessing discrete payroll requirements for the event
  • Liaising with other stakeholders during each step
  • Professional conference budget planning

These and other roles will enable the PCO to develop a very hands-on approach when dealing with the concerns leading up to (and during) the event itself. This is crucial, for any on-the-fly changes can be made as are necessary. Of course, such a stance can dramatically reduce cost overruns.

Maximising the ROI of the Conference

Another proactive role that is taken by the Professional Conference Organiser is that their initial efforts will pay off in the long run. From strategic consultancy and logistical coordination to even addressing the transportation needs of the attendees, such a seamless integration offers a powerful networking tool.

This level of efficiency will additionally impress the visitors themselves. We should never forget that the return on investment regarding a conference and meeting management is much more than fiscal alone. It revolves around attracting third parties and possibly securing future contracts.

Cash-Flow Management

So, it is clear to see that the Professional Conference Organiser is concerned with innumerable facets of an event. Although a Core PCO can be appointed at any time, it is wise to secure such services earlier as opposed to later. This is especially true considering conference cash-flow management.

Related blog: Effective Conference Cash-Flow Management

Cash-flow planning is basically defined as anticipating the flow of cash into and out of an event’s budget. An example of a good cash-flow plan is the ability to pay invoices on time and track when income will be received. This enables you to fund expenditure such as marketing collateral and registrations in line with your event timetable. Managing the cash flow is vital to the success of any event and is an important way of foreseeing any event problems or possible cash shortages.

In order to learn more we encourage you to download our in-depth White Paper 5: Conference Cash-Flow Management.

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Congrex Switzerland is an internationally operating agency delivering integrated solutions especially for non-profit clients. This encompasses the overall organisation of conferences including the management of hotel rooms and the strategic consultancy of associations. Annually Congrex Switzerland organises approximately 33 conferences with over 73’000 delegates. Amongst our clients are international associations, governmental organisation and corporations.

If you wish to receive additional information about Congrex Switzerland, please feel free to contact us.

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