Any major conference, as you already know, normally requires a lot of time and thought, patience and preparing every day from breakfast through to bed-time so that each component is covered very carefully and that nothing is left out! For instance
Transport Arrangements and airport transfers
Procuring conference bags
The checking-in task at your hotel and conference/workshop registration
Invitations to an event must be planned and sent out several months ahead of time, especially if there are overseas delegates included as attendees need to arrange their flights, their leave if needed, what clothing to pack and what papers they may possibly will need along with a host of other crucial issues
All of us understand the usefulness of digital means to send out invitations it being an age of technology and efficiency and speed in everything we do is of the utmost importance so get this arranging out of the way first!
Your invitations could be themed and this will likely add an element of fun to the coordinating. The following illustration however would be far better hand made and posted, better yet hand delivered by a Court Jester (there are various actors who do this for a living) providing your conference is for local people this theme might be anything arbitrary like Medieval Days vs the 21st Century. The welcome evening event might be set in Medieval times dcor, definitely costume, food and drink the invitation could be created on parchment and worded in genuine Medieval language for example, composed as a rhyme and always retaining a little of the mystical theme
More practically, electronic invites may very well be prettied up with Photo Shop or the like and will be just as impressive the artists amongst you might know!
Airport transfers are sometimes a nightmare when flights are coming in at varying times what works really well is that some of the car hire companies run a service offering what they call Disposal Vehicles. These work out more cost effective and are at your disposal, literally for the day and evening if necessary, tripping back and forth. Contact your favourite Car Hire company for more details. These companies also offer a door to door shuttle or you might have one large group arriving en-masse in which case you would contact a private bus company or tour operator.
Conference Bags and Name Badges
There are companies who handle both these aspects and make life so much easier simply e-mail them your logos and required wording and select from a wide variety of conference bags and lanyards and different styles of name badges to fit within your budget
At large conferences, there is a very efficient electronic form of identification where delegates simply wear name badges which have been pre-programmed with necessary details, and these are bar coded for quick scanning at the registration desk at an event.
Check in at the hotel venue
Not to reduce the value of any of the above information, many conference organisers still rely on manpower, for no matter how marvellous hi-tech is, it cannot replace the personal touch and in this fast growing technological world, we should never forget that the personal touch is still essential to our comfort we are all still human and we all still have the need for being nurtured!
The PCO or company organisers should have their own desk at the venue for registration, and personally handle this aspect, hand out conference materials, name badges and gifts while for room check in, the hotel has their own very organised system for quick check in, handing out of keys, maps of the venue where called for and possibly offer a porter for luggage.
Where the organiser or PCO is on site for the duration of your event, he or she or they will be your contact person or people, (its good to have a nanny when its impossible to handle everything yourself!) and these people will liaise all issues between you and the hotels various departments, or with outside suppliers, team builders, entertainers, photographers etc. Use them to your advantage.