Talk to us about your project

A guide to corporate conference planning

A guide to corporate conference planning

When attending a corporate conference, you can often overlook all the hard work and planning that has gone into the event to make it happen. In this blog we draw upon our 30+ years of experience in conference planning to look at what really goes on behind the scenes when planning a conference – resulting in our useful Guide to Corporate Conference Planning!

Corporate conferences are gatherings organised by companies for various purposes, such as sharing information, networking, training, or celebrating achievements. They bring together employees, stakeholders, industry experts, and sometimes clients or customers. These events serve multiple purposes, including disseminating important company updates, fostering collaboration, promoting innovation, and enhancing the company’s brand image.

The purpose of corporate conferences can vary widely depending on the specific goals of the company. They may include:

Information dissemination: Companies use conferences to share updates on business strategies, product launches, financial performance, and other key information with employees and stakeholders.

Networking: Conferences provide opportunities for attendees to network with colleagues, industry peers, potential clients, and partners. Networking can lead to valuable business connections, collaborations, and partnerships.

Training and development: Many conferences include workshops, seminars, and training sessions aimed at enhancing the skills and knowledge of attendees. These sessions may cover topics such as leadership, technology, sales techniques, and industry trends.

Motivation and inspiration: Conferences often feature keynote speakers, motivational talks, and presentations by industry leaders aimed at inspiring attendees and reinforcing company values and goals.

It’s important to know how to effectively plan a corporate conference to ensure that it’s a success first time. Proper planning will help ensure the business achieves its event objectives, delivering it with impact and effectiveness. A well-planned conference is more likely to attract attendees and keep them engaged throughout the event. Effective planning helps allocate resources such as time, budget, and manpower efficiently, minimising waste and maximising return on investment. Ultimately, a successful conference reflects positively on the company, reinforcing its reputation as a well-organised, innovative, and professional organisation.

As an experienced corporate conference agency we have helped design and plan hundreds of conferences for well-known brands. From events in the UK, to Europe and Worldwide, our experienced team of event planners, production team and technical crew are knowledgeable professionals, on-hand to ensure your corporate conference is a success, wherever it takes place.

How to plan a conference

Corporate conferences play a vital role in facilitating communication, collaboration, and professional development within companies. Effective planning is essential to ensure that these events achieve their objectives, maximise engagement, and contribute to the overall success of the organisation.

Planning a conference requires careful consideration of various factors to ensure its success.

Here’s our 10 key steps on how to plan a conference and what businesses need to consider:

  1. Define Objectives and Goals:
    • Determine the purpose of the conference (e.g., training, networking, product launch).
    • Set clear and measurable objectives that align with the company’s overall goals.
  2. Budgeting:
    • Establish a realistic budget that covers all expenses, including venue hire, catering, marketing, speakers’ fees, and audiovisual equipment.
  3. Selecting Dates and Venue:
    • Choose dates that accommodate the schedules of key stakeholders and potential attendees.
    • Consider factors such as country, seasonality, holidays, and availability of the desired venue.
    • Select a venue that can accommodate the expected number of attendees, considering where they may be travelling in from, and offers the necessary facilities and amenities.
  4. Creating an Agenda:
    • Outline the conference agenda, including keynote speeches, breakout sessions, workshops, networking opportunities, and social events.
    • Consider the balance between educational content, networking opportunities, and leisure activities.
  5. Identifying Speakers and Presenters:
    • Select speakers who are knowledgeable, engaging, and relevant to the brand, conference theme and objectives.
  6. Logistics and Operations:
    • Arrange transportation and accommodation for attendees if needed.
    • Coordinate audiovisual equipment, signage, seating arrangements, and room setup.
  7. Content
    • Create compelling content, including professional PowerPoint presentations, teaser videos and consider filming on the day to capture the event.
  8. Registration and Attendee Management:
    • Use a registration platform to manage attendee registrations, joining instructions, logistics, and event details.
  9. Risk Management and Contingency Planning:
    • Identify potential risks and develop contingency plans to address them, such as inclement weather, technical issues, or last-minute cancellations.
    • Ensure compliance with health and safety regulations, accessibility requirements, and emergency procedures.
  10. Post-event Evaluation:
    • Collect feedback from attendees, speakers, and other stakeholders to evaluate the conference’s success and identify areas for improvement.
    • Analyse key performance indicators such as attendance numbers, engagement levels, and return on investment.


Ultimately you want the conference outcome to be successful, to receive positive post-event feedback, excellent overall engagement levels and for it to have been delivered on time and within the budget. Following a systematic process for ‘how to plan a conference’ will ensure that this outcome will be achieved.

The importance of a well-planned corporate conference

The value of conferences and working with experienced conference planning experts lies in the ability to create impactful and successful events that achieve business objectives and leave a lasting impression on attendees.

But what exactly is the value of an event agency and what do you as the client get for your money?

Expertise and Experience:

Experienced corporate conference planners bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the table. They understand the intricacies of conference planning, including logistics, venue selection, vendor management, and attendee engagement strategies. Their years of experience enable them to anticipate challenges, navigate complexities, and find creative solutions to ensure the smooth execution of the conference.

Strategic Planning:

Corporate conference planners work closely with clients to understand their goals, objectives, and target audience. They help translate these objectives into a comprehensive event strategy and agenda that aligns with the company’s vision and mission. By leveraging their strategic planning skills, conference planners ensure that every aspect of the event contributes to achieving the desired outcomes, whether it’s increasing brand awareness, generating leads, or fostering meaningful connections.

Access to Resources and Networks:

Experienced planners have established relationships with a wide network of vendors, suppliers, venues, and industry professionals. This network allows them to negotiate favourable contracts, secure services, and access exclusive resources that may not be available to others. They can tap into their extensive network to source professional speakers, unique entertainment, delicious catering, and engaging promotional materials that elevate the quality of the conference and enhance the attendee experience.

Efficiency and Cost Savings:

Working with corporate conference planners saves time, money, and resources for businesses. Planners streamline the planning process, manage budgets, and identify cost-saving opportunities without compromising on quality or impact. Their efficiency and expertise help minimise risks, prevent costly mistakes, and maximise the return on investment for the conference.

Innovative Ideas and Creativity:

Experienced planners bring fresh perspectives, innovative ideas, and creative solutions to the table. They stay abreast of industry trends, emerging technologies, and best practices in event management, allowing them to incorporate innovative elements into the conference design.

Whether it’s incorporating interactive workshops, immersive experiences, or modern technology, conference planners infuse creativity into every aspect of the event to engage attendees and differentiate the conference from competitors.

Well-executed conference planning can help a business to achieve their objectives and elevate their brand. Businesses can achieve success through:

  • Enhanced Brand Visibility and Recognition
  • Lead Generation and Business Development
  • Knowledge Sharing and Education
  • Employee Engagement and Motivation
  • Strengthened Relationships and Loyalty
  • Market Differentiation and Competitive Advantage

Our conference planning checklist

As part of our guide to corporate conference planning we are providing a conference planning checklist to help you achieve success:

  • Agree business objectives and set goals
  • Formulate your project team
  • Secure a budget, including a contingency

If sourcing an external event agency:

  • Submit a written brief
  • Discuss your exact requirements
  • Review the agency’s proposal and budget
  • Appoint agency and build a collaborative relationship

If planning in-house:

  • Source, secure and contract with a venue
  • Communicate date to attendees
  • Create an agenda and content outline
  • Plan AV and staging requirements
  • Arrange transportation and logistics
  • Guest management including attendance and dietaries
  • Plan food and drink with venue, including a tasting session
  • Complete all health and safety and necessary risk assessments
  • Continuous budget management and tracking
  • Always factor in a rehearsal the day before
  • Plan for the unexpected on the day and never assume!


Corporate conference planning with FMI

FMI Agency are UK and overseas corporate conference planning experts, based near London. Whether you’re seeking to announce major company changes, thank employees for an amazing year, or seek to drive strong future performance, a well-managed corporate conference can make all the difference.

When it comes to generating engagement with your audience and a meaningful return on investment through corporate conferences, we’re an event management company you can trust to deliver. We place engagement at the heart of all our events and will work closely with you and your team to deliver a memorable conference.

We organise corporate conferences in London, the UK, Europe and globally for some of the world’s biggest brands, and we’re winning their business because we know it’s the little touches that make the big difference.

We’re trusted by some of the largest automotive companies to set the stage for their key events of the year. Aviation company, Heathrow Airport, trusted us to deliver their employee recognition conference, with their CEO rating it as “the best yet”. And for eight years in a row, we’ve delivered Targus’ EMEA conference in some stunning locations from Portugal to Dubrovnik and Prague, with recognition from their marketing director for focusing on the finer details year after year.

We can take the pressure off when it comes to conference planning. Our in-house event management team will tailor the level of service required based on what our clients require –from venue finding and research through to event theming, staging, presentations and AV production. As a digital-first agency we can support your corporate conference with audience engagement via digital event services, interactive breakout sessions and online delegate registration websites.

Conference planning support

If you have been tasked to plan a conference but are time poor, resource pressured or focused on other priorities then get in touch to see how we can help. We will have an initial informal conversation to ensure there is a good fit between your business and ours. So go ahead, reach out using the form below and let’s start planning your conference.


Get Started

Tell us about your project

Let's explore together how we can help elevate your business

Our latest news

Explore for engagement industry insight, thought leadership and news.

Like what you see?
Get in touch!