Meeting Planning Services
Whether you invite 50 people or 500, planning a conference or seminar can be challenging. Costs incurred to conduct a conference, including the cost for our services, are generally covered by participant registration fees and may be supplemented by grants, exhibit fees and vendor support.
Our office offers various levels of meeting planning services, from basic to full service. Depending upon your situation, you can contract for the services your program needs.
Basic service satisfies the state requirement for our office to collect and receipt monies for continuing medical education programs. All bills and charges related to your program will be paid out of your program revenue. It is your office’s responsibility to initiate the forms and paperwork. Services would include:
Budget Development and Monitoring
Our office can handle all aspects of conference finances including managing income and expenses. Detailed knowledge of the University of Florida paperwork and procedures will expedite getting all of your speakers and vendors paid promptly and properly. Upon conclusion, we’ll provide an actual budget and reconcile all expenditures so that you will have a complete financial record – right down to the penny!
If you’ve ever been involved in the registration process, you know that it can be complex and time-consuming such as writing receipts, recording credit card transactions, reconciling deposits, maintaining databases, and making name tags. We’ll handle it all, from the first phone call to the last minute registrant. Registration entails issuing receipts, mailing a letter to each registrant communicating additional conference details and confirming their registration, and recording all financial and registrant information on a database.
We can provide participant lists and sign-in sheets.
All invoices related to your program will be processed through our CME program account.
Full service lets you concentrate on the program content and leaves all the other logistical tasks to our professional staff. Services would include all of the “Basic Service” items plus meeting logistics, audio visual operations, speaker arrangements, soliciting support, printing and graphics, promotion and publicity, registration services, travel and transportation, and record maintenance.
We handle hotel arrangements beginning with site selection process through the contract negotiation for various amenities such as guest room blocks, meeting space, meal functions and other special services as required. Due to the volume of events we manage each year, we have experience with negotiating significant rate concessions from hotels and other vendors.
Audio Visual Operations
We will schedule, order and coordinate the operation of audiovisual equipment for your group. Rental of AV equipment can often run into the thousands of dollars and with hands-on management, we can negotiate maximum service at the most reasonable price without compromising quality.
Once your planning committee has identified and invited the speakers, we can send confirmation letters and required forms to arrange honoraria and travel reimbursement. We also let the speakers know the requirements for the course syllabus and the date that all the material is due, which assures that enough time is devoted to organizing and arranging a course syllabus. We also send and collect from each speaker the Full Disclosure Form so that any conflicts of interest can be resolved and made known to the audience.
Our office recognizes the value and significant contribution that pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers and other commercial organizations make to financially support continuing medical education activities. We can supply you with a list of commercial organizations that could underwrite part of the cost of producing the program. We can notify those representatives who have expressed an interest in your program area, soliciting commercial support, an opportunity to exhibit, or both.
Printing and Graphics
We coordinate and design production of printed announcements, brochures and course syllabi, all with a design tailored specifically to your group. If desired, we’ll arrange to have customized materials such as notebooks, portfolios, canvas bags and other specialty items created for your participants. Due to the volume of events that we manage each year, we have negotiated some competitive prices on printing and copying.
Promotion and Publicity
The key to a successful event is getting the word out to the right audience. We work with you to identify and obtain the right mailing lists to reach the widest audience and get the greatest postal discount that our bulk mail permit will allow.
We can also prepare and disseminate conference announcements to associations and trade publications for their “Calendar of Events” section. A conference web site exclusive to your event can be designed. Online registrations can be accepted and links established to other websites such as your hotel. Let us help you generate widespread publicity for your conference.
Onsite Registration Services
In addition to the registration processing services outlined in the Basic Services section, we are available to assist you onsite at your event with participant registration. On-site registration service can entail having CME staff members present to register walk-ins, serve as the liaison with the hotel for meeting details, and check meeting and banquet room set-ups.
Travel and Transportation
Our staff can arrange for speaker travel and reimbursement of expenses, and make arrangements for charter buses, field trips, airline and hotel reservations, rental cars and other travel needs as required.
We’ll maintain detailed records for you from year-to-year and, if your conference is a repeat event, this will especially help your organization develop a conference history to serve as a guideline for future planning and help you budget more accurately.