Definition of MICE

Understanding MICE - Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events

Conference Management 101: A Complete Guide

MICE is an acronym that represents the key components of the events industry - meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions/events. This sector plays an integral role within the broader tourism and hospitality industries.

The MICE industry consists of many moving parts - participants, sponsors, planners, committee members, venues, accommodations, and more. Globally, it generates millions in revenue each year by bringing people together to achieve business, political, academic or cultural goals and drive profits.

Meetings refer to general business meetings between companies, teams, or organizations. Incentives are performance-improvement programs companies use to motivate employees. Conferences allow professions to assemble to learn and network. Exhibitions and events encompass trade shows, corporate events, seminars, and conventions.

By organizing MICE events, the aim is to create value by growing businesses, increasing visibility, strengthening relations, and boosting revenue. This guide provides tips and strategies for planning and managing all aspects of the MICE industry.

Types of Events

Conference Management 101: A Complete Guide


A conference is a formal event that usually takes place over several days and mostly occurs on an annual basis. Conferences gather people of common interests and are typically organized for business, academic, or political purposes. Conferences generally involves presentations, discussion and networking opportunities.


Congresses bring together leading figures and professionals for informative talks and sessions on specific topics and fields. Congresses foster knowledge-sharing similar to conferences and conventions are set at regular intervals such as annual congresses.


Conventions are large-scale events organized in attractive locations for a variety of purposes, usually based on a certain industry, profession, or fandom. Conventions can be informal on occasion, offer interactive experiences, often cater to specific professional or fan communities and open to the public.


Forums stand as platforms for vibrant debates on pressing topics such as current news, politics, the economy, academic and scientific advancements. Experts and participants come together to dissect and discuss various issues, making them highly relevant to public interests.


Primarily led by political entities, summits address critical public issues. While they draw extensive media coverage, access is typically by invitation, ensuring a focused discussion environment.

Exhibitions and Trade Shows

Exhibitions and trade shows are large-scale and expensive events. Exhibitions are expensive and taking place over several days where businesses, from SMEs to established brands, showcase their offers and serve as hubs for networking and business relations. Exhibitions and tradeshows are often include supplementary talks, workshop, symposium, etc.


Seminars are designed for educational purposes where one or more experts delivering an instructional presentation on a specific topic. Seminars can cover professional or academic subjects target specific groups of participants, such as senior students or company employees. Attendees can ask questions within the purview of the topic in a semi-formal.


Symposiums are larger gatherings, often involving multiple speakers and presentations. Symposiums are more formal in nature compared to seminars. When the number of attendees rises from a small group to a few hundred or even more, an event usually transitions from being considered a seminar to a symposium. Due to the size and formal nature of symposiums, interaction is usually limited, with queries confined to a select few participants.


Workshops small-scale sessions offer hands-on training with a limited number of participants, led by led by industry or academic experts. They cater to specific skill sets anda re higly participative.

Product Launches

Product launches are critical for a new product's successful market entry. Product launches generate a lot of buzzes and can be extravagant with creative themes and graced with the attendance of important figures such as celebrities, influencers, and media personnel.

Board Meetings and Shareholder Meetings

Frequenty among publicly listed firms, board meetings focus on business reviews and critical decisions. Shareholder meetings share insights on performance, future plans, and company strategies. Their frequency varies based on company activity.

Executive Retreats and Incentive Programs

Executive retreats and incentive programs combine business-related discussions with leisure, often held at luxurious locations. These events span 3 to 5 days and require meticulous planning, especially in terms of accommodations, transportation, and catering.

Appreciation Events

Appreciation Events are designed in a casual format to celebrate and Show gratitude to clients or employees, fostering stronger relationships in the process.

Company or Organization Milestones

Company milestone events are organized to commemorate accomplishments such as achieving a specific objective, marking a notable anniversary, concluding a challenging project, or celebrating any other noteworthy milestone. These events can range from intimate gatherings to grand celebrations with media presence.

Team Building Events

Team-building events are designed to enhance team spirit and morale. These activities encourage team members to spend time together, share experiences, and bond in informal settings, often outdoors.

Definition of a Conference

Conference Management 101: A Complete Guide

A conference is a formal gathering designed primarily for discussion, knowledge sharing, and networking. Often spanning several days, conferences typically occur on an annual or regular basis. They cater to specific interests or sectors, such as business, academia, or politics. Attendees come together to exchange ideas, learn from experts, and collaborate on shared objectives. Most conferences are ticketed events, limited to registered participants, where presentations, workshops, and panel discussions form the core agenda.

In different regions, especially in Europe, the term "conference" has broader implications, including various types of professional or interest-based meetings, from small, specialized symposiums to larger, comprehensive gatherings.

Types of conferences:

The most popular type of conferences is the academic conference or scientific conference, business conference and political conference. There are other type of conferences such as There are a many types of coneferences such as Technical Conferences, Educational Conferences, Cultural Conferences, Environmental Conferences, Health and Medicine Conferences, Non-profit and Philanthropic Conferences, Religious Conferences, and Trade Conferences.

Academic Conferences:

An academic conference is a specialized type of conferences focused on a specific scientific field of discipline. Often organized by universities, educational institutions, scientific societies or organizations. Academic conferences focus on gathering Academicians, scholars, researchers, and students to present papers, share their latest research results, and engage in discussions. Organizers of scientific conferences aim the spreading of research findings, methodologies, discussions on latest developments and build academic communities by networking activities.

The scientific conferences provide a platform for academics to receive feedback, collaborate on future research projects, and stay updated on the latest advancements in their discipline. Academic conferences accompanied by the publication of proceedings such as book of abstracts, full papers or journals. The academic conferences play a pivotal role in the advancement of knowledge and the fostering of academic communities worldwide.

Please check the article “How to Plan a Perfect Conference: Step-by-step Checklist for Success” to ensure you a successful academic conference.

Business Conferences:

Business conferences unite professionals, experts, entrepreneurs and leaders to discuss trends, challenges and opportunities in their field. These organized gatherings are often initiated by trade associations, communities or major corporations in the industry. The goal is to educate and inspire attendees through keynote speeches, breakout sessions, and networking events. Participants gain insights into market shifts, emerging technologies, and new applications in their sector. Business conferences also provide a stage to showcase products, spark partnerships, and foster collaboration on new and innovative solutions. Business conference's attendees can expect to learn about: The latest global industry trends and forecasts, the new technologies and best practices, networking and business development opportunities. The key elements of organizing a successful business conference are including renowned speakers, planning engaging sessions that align with objectives, and providing ample opportunity for networking.

Politic Conferences:

Political conferences convene politicians, policymakers, activists and the public to discuss critical governance issues and shape future policies. These organized gatherings focus on political ideologies, strategies, and solutions. By bringing stakeholders together, political conferences drive pivotal decisions, declarations, and changes in political direction. They serve as platforms to debate and negotiate on pressing policy matters.

The key elements of organizing an impactful political conference are: Setting clear objectives tied to current policy issues. Curating engaging sessions with influential speakers. Facilitating productive debates and discussions. Encouraging consensus building. Enabling key policy decisions and declarations. Garnering media coverage and public awareness.

Difference between Conference and Event

The primary difference between a conference and an event lies in their scope and purpose. An "event" is a broad term that encompasses various organized occasions – from personal celebrations like birthdays and weddings to larger corporate functions, and yes, even conferences. In essence, every conference is an event, but not every event is a conference. Conversely, a "conference" is a more specific gathering, typically formal, that often spans several days. These meetings are designed to bring together individuals with shared interests, be it in the realms of academia, business, or political endeavors.

Conferences vs Congresses: Key Differences Between Event Types

Conferences and congresses are often used interchangeably, but there are some key distinctions in their format, formality and purpose.

Congresses tend to be more formal events, held within comprehensive, multi-day programs featuring parallel sessions and speakers. Conferences offer more informal networking and discussions between attendees sharing common interests.

Other differences include:

Scale: Congresses are typically larger than conferences.

Duration: Congresses are longer than conferences and can last multiple days, even weeks.

Purpose: Congresses focus on academic learning and knowledge sharing. Conferences emphasize networking and community building.

Topics: Congress topics are narrow and specialized. Conference subjects are broader.

However, there is overlap in how the terms are used: In the U.S., "congress" often refers to government/policy events. "Conference" is used more broadly. In Europe, "congress" may denote events held by professional/academic societies.

When planning any large-scale event, define your purpose, topics, schedule and target audience to determine whether a conference or congress format suits best.

Conventions vs. Conferences: Key Differences Between Event Formats

Conventions and conferences are common event formats that share some similarities but also have distinct differences in their purpose, audience, structure, and scope.

Conferences are organized around a specific profession, industry or academic discipline. They aim to share knowledge through presentations, discussions, and networking. The audience has related interests or roles.

Conventions attract a more diverse group around a common interest, hobby, or fandom. The atmosphere is lively and interactive with exhibitions, product displays, cosplay, games, contests etc.

Other key differences:

Size: Conventions can be massive in scale, some topping thousands of attendees. Conferences are usually smaller, under 2,000 people.

Location: Conventions utilize large venues like convention centers. Conferences can be held at hotels or conference centers.

Structure: Conferences have scheduled speakers and sessions. Conventions have open floor exploration.

Content: Conferences focus on lectures, research, and workshops. Conventions offer entertainment, socializing, and shopping.

Consider your audience and goals to determine the ideal format and event type either a conference or convention, or even a congress.

Definition of Conference Management

Conference management refers to the oversight, coordination, and execution of all the organizing, planning, and logistics for a conference event. It involves arranging the venue, vendors, transportation, catering, program development, marketing, and budget management. During the event, the conference manager monitors team members' progress on tasks, handles any onsite issues, and ensures smooth operations. Conference management can be handled in-house by a company's staff or outsourced to a third-party "professional conference organizer" (PCO). The conference manager plays a crucial role in proactively managing all details throughout the conference planning process and onsite during the event to drive a successful outcome.

Types of Conference Management

Conference Management 101: A Complete Guide

There are 3 common types of conference management, depending on the resources or preferences of the conference owner:

In-house management

In-house conference management refers to handling all planning and execution internally using a company's or organization's own staff and resources. This gives the conference owner maximum control but also requires dedicating personnel, effort, knowledge and experience. So using conference management software like meetinghand will safe time, effort and transfer valuable know-how.

Hybrid or Joint-management

Hybrid or joint conference management combines internal staff and external planners or PCOs. Owners can have their team handle what they specialize in while outsourcing other elements to professionals. This provides a balance of control, resources, and expertise for successful conference management.

Third-party or outsourced conference management

Third-party or outsourced conference management involves hiring an external professional conference organizer (PCO) to manage logistics, vendors, marketing, onsite operations, and other aspects. This leverages outside expertise but can be more costly.

Popular Conference Types

Conferences can be organized for a variety of reasons, but there are three popular types of conferences:

Academic conferences focused on research, innovations, and new findings like scientific, medical, or technology conferences.

Business conferences centered around industries, professions, or companies such as trade shows, corporate events, and seminars.

Non-profit/fundraising conferences aimed at raising awareness or funds for specific causes.

What Is the Process of Conference Management?

Conference Management 101: A Complete Guide

The conference management process covers hundreds of steps, tasks, and duties that must be planned, managed, and executed to ensure success.

The key phases are:

  • Build your conference identity: Define goals, themes, target audience, and branding to establish the conference vision and messaging.
  • Make a financial forecast: Create a budget detailing the estimated venue, catering, marketing, staffing, and other costs to guide spending.
  • Develop conference program: Plan agenda, schedule sessions and speeches arrange entertainment to provide value for attendees.
  • Promote your conference: Market through emails, social media, and ads to generate awareness and drive registrations.
  • Set up an online conference management system: Build a website and registration platform to collect information and payments from attendees.
  • Arrange and coordinate suppliers: Hire and manage vendors like caterers, A/V teams, and transportation to deliver required services.
  • Manage conference onsite: Oversee operations, registration, presentations, and food service during the event to ensure smooth delivery.

Just to take a broader approach, we can outline the main elements of the conference management process below:

  • Craft a Comprehensive Plan: Begin with a detailed master plan which includes
  • Set Clear Objectives: Determine the primary goals of the conference. Decide on a suitable date and venue.
  • Assemble Your Team: Identify key individuals: from core team members to committee representatives.
  • Task Allocation: Regularly review plans and delegate tasks to your team.
  • Develop a Timeline: Design a timeline for completing various tasks.
  • Select Speakers & Entertainment: Send out invitations to potential speakers and plan entertainment if required.
  • Curate a Guest List: Decide on your attendees and finalize the guest list.
  • Determine Registration Details: Decide on registration categories, set pricing, and offer special deals if applicable.
  • Engage with Third-party Suppliers: Collaborate with vendors and suppliers as per your conference's needs.
  • Travel & Stay Coordination: Liaise with hotels, airlines, and transportation agencies for smooth participant travel.
  • Invest in Tech: Opt for conference management software to streamline operations.
  • Digital Presence: Launch a dedicated conference website and a user-friendly mobile app.
  • Manage Registrations & Payments: Decide on a reliable method for registrations, submissions, and payments.
  • Send Out Inviting Communications: Draft engaging invitations for your participants.
  • Keep Everyone Informed: Regularly update participants, authors, or speakers about essential details.
  • Onsite Operations & Logistics: Plan the onsite activity schedule and prep your team for execution.
  • Finalize Event Infrastructure: Inspect the venue's décor, furnishing, and necessary equipment (like presentation tools, seating arrangements, and AV equipment).
  • Participant Kits Preparation: Assemble kits which might include event booklets, goodies, social event passes, and more.

However, if you want to learn about the entire process of organizing a conference, here is an article that provides a comprehensive 100+ step checklist and details on executing each phase of conference management

"How to Plan a Perfect Conference: Step-by-step Checklist for Success".

Types of Event Management

The most common types of event management are based on the resources or preferences of the event owner.

In-house management

Refers to handling all event planning, logistics, and execution internally using a company's or organization's staff and resources.


  • Maximum control over every aspect of the event, like programming, vendor relations, and budgeting.
  • Cost savings by not hiring external event management agencies.
  • In-depth knowledge of company culture and objectives.


  • Requires dedicated event planning and operations personnel and time.
  • It can strain resources if the event is large or complex, like a conference or concert.
  • May lack external expertise in certain event-related areas like production, decor, or catering.

Hybrid Event Management:

Blends the benefits of in-house event planning and execution with outsourcing certain elements to specialized vendors or agencies.


  • Offers flexibility in choosing which event tasks and components to manage internally vs. externally.
  • Can tap into external expertise where needed for event marketing, décor, staffing, etc.
  • Retains a level of control while getting expert input on specific event elements.


  • Requires clear communication between internal event teams and external vendors.
  • This might result in higher costs if a mix of resources is not managed efficiently.

Outsourcing Event Management:

Delegating specific elements of the event, such as programming, logistics, or execution, to specialized vendors or agencies.


  • Allows for focus on core competencies while experts handle tasks like catering, production, and staffing.
  • Access to broader event resources and innovations in décor, activities, technology, etc.
  • Scalability to suit different event sizes and scopes.


  • Relinquishes control over outsourced event components.
  • Requires managing multiple vendor relationships.
  • There is potential for quality variations between different vendors.

Digital Event Management Platforms:

Refers to online platforms or software solutions specifically designed to host, manage, and execute virtual or hybrid events.


  • Enables the hosting of events without physical venue constraints, reaching a global digital audience.
  • Cost savings on venue, travel, and event production expenses
  • Provides analytics, engagement tracking, and instant feedback capabilities.
  • Automates processes like registrations, payments, and live streaming.


  • Requires robust internet connectivity for organizers and attendees.
  • This can miss the networking and personal touch of in-person events.
  • Technical glitches or platform limitations can disrupt event flow.

Who is a conference manager?

A conference manager is the person responsible for overseeing all the details and execution of a conference event as per a predetermined plan. Their role involves monitoring team progress, resolving issues, and ensuring smooth operations.

Conference management can be handled in-house or outsourced to a professional conference organizing (PCO) agency. Those with expertise in event planning and coordination often take on the conference manager role.

Conference Manager Responsibilities and Duties;

  • The conference manager handles numerous responsibilities across all stages of conference planning and execution:
  • Conference Planning: Develop schedule and program, coordinate speakers, select venue, and manage vendor relationships
  • Conference Promotion: Create conference website and registration pages, run email and ad campaigns, facilitate social media marketing
  • Conference Logistics: Arrange participant travel and lodging, oversee onsite setup and operations, manage A/V, catering, and staff
  • Conference Budgeting: Track costs, manage vendor payments, and monitor registration revenue
  • Conference Execution: Run registration desk, oversee sessions and speakers, and handle any onsite issues
  • Conference Wrap-up: Collect feedback, share takeaways with stakeholders, and send thank you's

Their oversight across critical details before, during, and after the event is key to ensuring conference success.

Difference Between Conference Manager and Event Manager

Conference Management 101: A Complete Guide

While an event manager oversees planning and execution for events like weddings, parties, and corporate functions, a conference manager focuses specifically on multi-day events focused on an industry, profession, or academic discipline.

Key Differences:

Conference managers work with schedules, sessions, and speaker coordination

Must understand the needs of attendees at a lengthy multi-day event

Requires knowledge of the target industry or field to inform content

More complex vendor relationships with venues, caterers, and A/V over several days

So while event planning skills transfer, conference managers require specialized expertise. Their oversight of all details is crucial for complex, multi-day events to succeed.

What Essential Skills Do You Need for Successful Conference Management?

Conference Management 101: A Complete Guide

Managing a conference requires more than just budgeting and logistics. Conference organizers need to develop core skills to ensure smooth execution. While some competencies may be innate, dedication and practice can help sharpen them.

Communication and Teamwork: Teamwork is essential for any business; event planning is rarely a one-man show. However, running a conference relies heavily on collaboration. Strong interpersonal skills are key for working with speakers, vendors, and staff. A positive attitude also motivates the team.

Good Decision-Making Abilities: From venue selection to program scheduling, informed decisions streamline conference planning and troubleshoot issues. Wise judgment is crucial. Doing so will optimize all of your conference procedures.

Problem-Solving and Adaptability: Event organizers must be able to think on their feet. Any number of unexpected problems may arise during your event, so you must be able to act fast and harness your ingenuity to come up with last-minute creative, flexible, and ingenuity solutions.

Attention to Details: When organizing an event, paying attention to even the tiniest details may make a big impact since it ensures that every component is properly organized and all conference elements align seamlessly for a polished attendee experience.

Good Time Management Skills: Juggling the many moving parts of a conference requires top-notch organizational skills. Prioritizing tasks helps maintain productivity against tight deadlines.

Leadership Skills: Rallying staff towards the conference vision involves assigning clear responsibilities and motivating progress. Delegation and follow-through are essential for all event planners.

Organizational Skills: Events are highly choreographed performances, and event planners must make sure every phase or component goes according to plan and keeps a successful flow.

Tech Savvy: Event planners must make use of event management software tools in order to save time and effort in the age of advancing technologies that make our jobs and lives easier.

Conference management software automates time-intensive planning tasks for conference organizers. When selecting a platform, key factors like expected attendees, sessions, and conference days should be considered to match software capabilities. The ideal solution will provide robust, configurable features tailored to conference needs, like agenda-building tools, speaker management, and session scheduling.

MeetingHand offers cutting-edge conference management with 24/7 customer support and automation of critical tasks like registration, abstract submission, payments, engagement, event marketing, and analytics. Our complete platform simplifies conference planning and management by streamlining tasks like website and app creation, vendor management, promotion, and onsite logistics.

Discover how MeetingHand's powerful solutions can optimize your conference planning and execution by booking a demo or starting a free trial today.

The Critical Role of Proper Planning in Conference Management

Conference Management 101: A Complete Guide

Strategic event planning is crucial to achieving key conference goals like reducing costs and boosting attendee satisfaction. It also helps mitigate reputational risks, since poorly planned events can damage a brand. When initially planning a conference, first identify your objectives and target audience.

Well-defined goals serve as a roadmap, providing focus and direction. After setting objectives and the attendee list, decide on themes, speakers, venue, accommodations, and other details. Comprehensive conference planning covers assembling a team, delegating tasks efficiently, establishing communication channels, prioritizing critical activities, meeting deadlines, and choreographing event flow.

The smooth execution of each segment contributes to overall conference success. Additionally, savvy organizers anticipate potential issues and have contingency protocols in place to address them swiftly. At the end of the day, all event organizers want their events to be successful, and strategic, meticulous planning makes all the difference.

Understanding the Role of Conference Management in Today's Industries

While every business sector might not delve into conference management, those that do witness the plethora of advantages it offers. Decisions around conference hosting often hinge on robust financial backing, dedicated human resources, and a discerning audience that showcases genuine interest.

Well-managed conferences are not just educational arenas; they are strategic tools for brand amplification. In the realm of meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE), such gatherings account for a substantial portion of annual global revenue. By harnessing effective conference management techniques, brands can carve out a niche identity, strengthen their association, and position their domain—be it a city or even an entire nation—as a go-to destination for international events.

It's noteworthy that industries like real estate, transportation, commerce, and academia often pivot around the fulcrum of conferences. Hence, mastering the nuances of conference management becomes imperative for sustainable growth in these sectors.

The Immense Value of Conference Management

Effective conference management provides tremendous benefits that make the time and effort worthwhile. Some key advantages include:

Increased brand awareness: Highly visible opportunities to promote your organization to engaged audiences.

Revenue generation: Registration fees, vendor booths, and sponsorships create profitable income channels.

Lead generation: Connecting with potential customers or partners in a dynamic live setting.

Partnership building: Conferences allow networking with other organizations and forming strategic relationships.

Thought leadership: Showcases an organization's insights, expertise, and innovations to establish authority.

Engagement - Attendees can actively participate through sessions, Q&As, and hands-on workshops.

Prestige - High-quality conferences elevate an organization's reputation and influence.

The conference industry generates over $500 billion in revenue annually across sectors like tech, healthcare, academia, and more. Conferences also provide immense value for host cities and countries.

With proper management, conferences can drive immense visibility, credibility, and business growth. However, poorly executed events result in wasted time and resources. Meticulous planning and oversight are crucial to maximizing conferences' immense organizational benefits.

Conference Event Manager Role

The conference event manager handles oversight and execution across all stages of conference planning and delivery.

Key Responsibilities:

Coordinate conference sessions, speeches, and panels based on themes/tracks

  • Source venue, and vendors and manage relationships
  • Develop schedules, and timelines for all conference activities
  • Oversee logistics like registration, A/V, catering, staffing
  • Manage communications with speakers, attendees, sponsors
  • Monitor budgets, registrations, expenditures
  • Troubleshoot any issues arising onsite
  • Overseeing vendor relationships, venue logistics, budget tracking
  • Developing the speaker/session program
  • Managing promotion across email, social, and ads
  • Building the conference website and registration
  • Supervising onsite registration, presentations, catering

They monitor planning progress, troubleshoot issues, and ensure smooth event execution through their diligent oversight of critical conference details from start to finish.

These responsibilities require skills in organization, attention to detail, problem-solving and stakeholder management. Conference event managers ensure seamless execution.

Conference Emcee/MC Role

The conference emcee or master of ceremonies serves as the public-facing host during conference programming.

Key Duties:

  • Welcome attendees and deliver opening remarks
  • Introduce keynote speakers, panelists, and presenters
  • Facilitate transitions between sessions and tracks
  • Make important program announcements
  • Engage the audience through stage presence
  • Deliver conference closing remarks

The MC role requires understanding the conference agenda and flow to smoothly guide participants through the sessions. Their hosting sets the tone and keeps attendees informed and engaged.

Comprehensive Conference Management Process

Successfully managing a conference entails methodically executing tasks across distinct phases.

Planning and Logistics

  • Set conference goals, themes & target KPIs
  • Develop a budget encompassing venue, catering, and rental costs
  • Source optimal site venues based on expectations
  • Content Development

Define submission guidelines and speaker criteria

  • Review proposals, and select presentations
  • Schedule conference sessions and speeches

For a detailed understanding, see our guide on "How to Master Abstract Management: The Ultimate Checklist for Academic Conference Success?"

Promotion and Registration

  • Design website and registration portal
  • Market events through email, social media, ads

To maximize your event reach and registration, check out our blog post, “How to maximize your event's reach: A Conference Marketing Checklist

Onsite Preparation

  • Print badges, signage, and conference guides
  • Hire and brief event staff
  • Test A/V equipment


  • Manage vendors, speakers, and registration
  • Ensure smooth operations
  • Troubleshoot issues

For a complete 100+ step checklist and additional details on executing a successful conference, see our guide: "How to Plan a Perfect Conference: Step-by-Step Checklist for Success"

Comprehensive Conference Management

Managing a conference involves extensive pre-planning and oversight, as well as smooth execution.

  • Set conference objectives, identify the audience, and draft the agenda
  • Select venue, forecast budget, and source vendors
  • Define the submission process and criteria
  • Review proposals and develop the conference program
  • Promote via email campaigns and event website
  • Sell tickets and monitor registrations
  • Print programs, signage, and prepare materials
  • Manage logistics like catering, A/V, and staff
  • Oversee smooth registrations and presentations
  • Troubleshoot any issues arising onsite

The conference manager handles these oversight responsibilities across the planning, promotion, preparation, and execution stages - ensuring seamless delivery leading up to and during the event. Their diligent coordination of all the conference elements contributes directly to an impactful and successful attendee experience.

Conference Manager Salary and Compensation

Conference management offers lucrative compensation in the events industry. As per recent data, the average conference manager salary in 2023 is:

  • United States: $96,000 per year
  • Canada: $104,000 per year
  • Australia: $128,000 per year
  • United Kingdom: $62,000 per year
  • Germany: $85,000 per year
  • UAE: $240,000 per year

Salaries can vary based on:

  • Years of event planning and management experience
  • Industry specifics like corporate, academic, healthcare
  • Scope and scale - large multi-day conferences
  • Geographic region and cost of living

The highest-paid conference managers oversee large-scale events, travel regularly, and leverage niche expertise. Their oversight across the planning, promotion, and flawless onsite execution of conference events commands significant compensation.

Conference Management Training and Education

A range of options exist for building conference management skills - from university degree programs to online courses and certifications.

Academic Programs

Reputable event management academic programs are offered by institutions like:

  • University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • Metropolitan State University Denver

Online Courses and Certifications

For flexibility, many professionals opt for e-learning solutions like:

  • Coursera Specializations
  • International Institute of Modern Management Course

Industry Associations

Major associations that offer training, insights, and networking for conference professionals include:

  • Meeting Professionals International (MPI) - Leading global conference industry association
  • Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) - Key organization for business events
  • International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) - Global exhibitions resource
  • National Association for Catering and Events (NACE) - Catering Education
  • International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) - Facility management focus

Getting involved with associations enables staying updated on the latest industry best practices.

Blogs and YouTube Channels

Free education is also available through resources like The Meeting Pool YouTube channel and Eventopedia blog.

Outsourcing to Conference Management Companies

Conference organizing is time-consuming and requires relevant expertise; it takes a lot of strategy, planning, and teamwork behind the scenes to ensure all the pieces are in place.

Organizations often turn to external specialists for end-to-end conference planning and execution:

Professional Conference Organizers (PCOs): Expert agencies exclusively focused on conferences - from intricate planning to seamless onsite logistics and everything between (Services include: venue sourcing, program development, registration, marketing, vendor coordination, staffing, and budget management.)

Destination Management Companies (DMCs): Specialists for conferences across specific geographic regions. Offer expertise in local venue options, vendor relationships, and travel logistics.

Benefits of Outsourcing Include:

  • Time/Cost Savings - Avoid dedicating internal resources
  • Proven Processes - Leverage established playbooks
  • Staffing Flexibility - Scale up/down as needed
  • Specialized Skill Sets - Tap expansive expertise

Optimized along those lines provides an overview of companies to assist with conference management and the benefits of partnering with specialists.

What is Conference Management Software?

Conference management software is a tailored solution designed to streamline the complexities of organizing professional gatherings. Central to its core capabilities are tools for registration, scheduling, speaker management, and attendee engagement. It simplifies administrative tasks, enhances participant experience, and provides real-time insights for organizers.

Event vs Conference Management Software

While general event management software offers broad functionality for various types of events, conference management software is specialized, incorporating features specific to conferences like abstract submission, peer reviews, agenda scheduling, book of abstracts, proceedings, and academic networking. The latter is optimized for the intricacies and scale of professional conferences, providing more targeted functionality.

In-person vs Virtual vs Hybrid

Each event format demands unique features from conference management software. In-person events require robust check-in and on-site interaction capabilities. Virtual conference tools emphasize streaming, virtual networking, and digital engagement. Hybrid systems combine these features to offer a cohesive experience for both physical and virtual attendees.

Paid vs Free vs Open Source

Paid conference management software often offers comprehensive support and advanced features, while free versions might be limited in scope and scalability. Open Source solutions provide customization opportunities but may require technical expertise. Considerations include long-term value, support needs, and the potential for customization.

Importance of Using Conference Management Software

Employing conference management software is pivotal in an era where efficiency and experience stand paramount. It not only automates mundane tasks but also elevates the event's professionalism, enriching the attendee journey and providing organizers with a competitive edge in a bustling market.

Choosing the Right Conference Management Solution

Selecting the right conference management software involves understanding your conference's requirements and identifying must-have and nice-have features. The best conference software is easy to use for both the attendee and the organizer. There are basic steps to selecting the software that makes you and your attendees happy, such as outlining your event goals, requesting demos, comparing pricing models, and evaluating post-event analytics capabilities.

Systems vs Software vs Platforms

Conference management systems encompass a comprehensive infrastructure for event planning and execution. Software may refer to specific applications within this system, while platforms often denote a suite of integrated tools accessible via the web, providing a centralized hub for conference management tasks.

Common Software Issues

Common issues with conference management software include limited customization, inadequate technical support, and challenges with user adoption. Risks involve system downtime, data security vulnerabilities, and a poor user experience that could impact the event's success.

Key Selection Considerations

When choosing conference management software, important factors include ease of integration with existing systems, robust analytics to track event success, quality of customer support, scalability to accommodate growth, and the flexibility to cater to various event formats.

Streamline Your Conference with MeetingHand

As discussed, advanced conference management software centralizes tools to simplify event planning and promotion while optimizing attendee engagement.

MeetingHand provides an end-to-end solution tailored for professional events:

  • Intuitive Registration Forms: Customizable registration flows, promo codes, and payment processing
  • Effortless Abstract Management: User-friendly tools to manage call for papers, submissions, review workflows, and decisions
  • SEO-Optimized Pages: Ensure events stand out on Google search rankings
  • 360 ̊ Conference Experience: Engage audiences with branded apps, websites, automated emails, and more
  • Agenda Scheduling: Drag and drop sessions, keynotes, and tracks
  • Event Marketing: Promote through automated emails and social posts
  • Conference Proceedings: Create conference proceedings from the collected abstracts and papers.

Trusted by top universities, leading research associations, global brands, and professional conference organizers worldwide. With an intuitive interface and dedicated support, MeetingHand makes executing impactful conferences easy, regardless of your technical expertise.

Request a Demo or Start for Free to see how MeetingHand can be easily tailored and scaled from small workshops to large international conferences.