Conference Planning Software

Written by Serena Berger
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You may be surprised to discover how you can use software to assist you in planning conferences. Some software packages enable you to have web-based conferences, but this may not be viable when you are organizing a conference for hundreds of people. Communicating with a dozen people in a chat-room interface can be difficult--more than that becomes impossible. Alternatively, you can use software to aid you in putting together a conference where people can interact face to face.

Software That Can Aid in Conference Planning

Some conference planning software packages include a number of modules to provide an integrated solution to many of the issues related to meeting planning. These include anything from printing registration badges for participants to tracking payments. Some software packages will send an email confirmation to participants as soon as their registration information has been processed.

There are also tools that facilitate organizing transportation, both ground and air. The software can help you keep track of when participants are arriving so that you can arrange to have them picked up at the airport if you so desire. You can also organize ground transportation between the guests' hotel(s) and the conference center. A key feature of many software packages is that they enable you to generate reports that can later be analyzed so that you can see what organizational problems, if any, existed.

As security becomes more of a concern, some conference planning tools combine hardware and software so that guests' credentials can be easily and accurately verified. Some software will print a barcode onto participants' credentials, which can then be scanned to verify the individual's identity. This can also be used to track which participants did not show up to particular events. You may find that it will be worthwhile to eliminate certain sessions in subsequent years or that you need to have a talk with a certain employee who used the conference as more of a vacation than a learning opportunity.

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