You can really decide to appoint a PCO or Professional Conference Organiser at any stage during the conference planning process, it really will depend on the type of support or services you feel you need from a PCO. If for example you simply want a Professional Conference Organiser to assist with management of abstract management and delegate registrations then you may feel that bringing a PCO on board part way through your planning is suitable. Make sure to always work with an IAPCO accredited PCO.
Related blog: 9 reasons why smart planners choose an IAPCO member PCO
It may have been your intention to manage all aspects of planning yourself within the committee or academic establishment using fellow colleagues and support staff but after embarking on the planning process, the scale of what is required has exceeded the resources you have available or the event scope has changed and grown. Most PCO’s will be happy to become involved part way through the planning process.
However, Congrex Switzerland would advise those considering embarking on hosting a congress to engage with a Professional Congress Organiser right at the very outset of planning, as early as possible, before you have even perhaps considered a venue or location to hold your event.
Why appoint a PCO as early as possible?
At the very earliest stages of planning the PCO, with their extensive experience and expertise, can offer advice, help, knowledge and support in conference management and administrative management in many areas including destination management, pros and cons, venue feasibility, as well as advising on financial aspects relating to the proposed conference.
Related blog: The Role of the Professional Conference Organiser (PCO)
The Professional Conference Organiser should very much act as the “glue” that brings all the many parties involved in creating a successful conference together. It ensures important dialogue across these groups and thus offer a clear time line for the organisation.
A PCO can be a valuable resource to organising committees who do not have the time or other resources to take on the hosting of a major event without external support.
For more information please download our White Paper 1: The Role of the PCO – Professional Conference Organiser