Owing to the significance of professionalism in sports, it is important to consider organizing for a freelance professional conference focusing on sports. The event is targeted to last for 2½ days and attract a lot of partners from all over the world. The budgeted costs of the event will be £425 but the accommodation expenses will be paid at an extra cost by the delegates because the event is anticipated to attract most of its participants from local residents of London city who will not need to live within the venues of the organization. The event is anticipated to indirectly produce very high revenue to the association sector because it will create the highest level of awareness and attract more sporting persons. This cannot be achieved by merely organizing an ordinary conference. However, the company will attempt to achieve the best outcome from the event. This will be achieved through a well planned, budgeted and very convincing event. The planning of activities and events in the conference is aimed at deriving the best out of the conference.
Venue and Timing
The first step that I will consider in organizing for the conference as a freelance professional organizer is the venue of the conference. As theory and practice suggest, the venue of an event plays one of the most crucial part in the path towards the success of the conference. The venue should be capable of attracting the required delegates at an affordable cost and be convenient for all events. Most importantly, a professional conference should be located at the place that is suitable to the kind of profession related to the conference. For instance, freelance conference for sports being held in rural areas where people have not embraced the use of technology and sports does not seem lucrative. In the same token, tourism conference is most lucrative if located in a tourist attraction area or city (Davidson Cope, 2002). The professional conference organizer of the event in question will therefore choose the most suitable place for the organization of Sporting activities. This will be in places where sporting activities are most relevant and the level of technology and internet use is very high.
From a very keen evaluation of all possible places for the location of the conference, I have considered London as the most appropriate location for the freelancing professional conference. This is because London is the most convenient locations in the UK. The convenience of London is due to its remarkable level of sports and sporting technology and the high population that has been realized over the past. London has the best and attractive facilities including accommodation facilities and attractive building structures (Appendix 1). With increased population, high level of technology and increased internet use, London has become a central hub of freelancing activities in the UK. What happens in London regarding freelance industry is what business people refer to as industrial clustering (Weber and Ladkin, 2003). Freelance conference in the city will therefore be one of the most yearned for events in the UK. There are always hungry sports men and women in the UK seeking to know more and more about sports, and each of them would wish to benefit from it. The event will therefore attract the most delegates than most other cities in the UK. This will be of great importance to the sporting association sector.
In arriving at the choice of the venue of the event, I have consulted several destination management companies, some of which guarantee the event a constant collaboration in all the freelancing events that will be held by the association sector in the UK. The information provided by destination Management Company in London is highly reliable and convincing. Furthermore, the convention services manager is well acquainted in London and lives in the city (Lawson, 2000). Before placing a bid for this event, I have carried out a thorough research on the destination and it has been noted that the number of sports-interested people in London form a substantial number of individuals. London primarily meets nearly all, if not all the magnificent seven aspects of a good event venue. The number, size, and quality of the meeting rooms and halls in London are magnificent and give the best chance for the delegates to enjoy enough rooms and enough space. The accommodation available in the organization is also the best; with good quality and size. As usual, the food and beverages offered by most hotels and restaurants in London for the purposes of events are the best in London. This also makes London one of the most important locations. The chosen venue hotels also possess facilities that can easily separate delegates from ordinary hotel guests. Furthermore, London hotels provide audiovisual capabilities that make the event livelier and drive the information of the conference home.
The event is scheduled at a time when the world is revolutionizing in the use of technology and the internet in sports. It will be held during the weekend when most of the sports persons are free from tight schedules and all delegates are available for the conference. This will enable the event to run smoothly and be attended by the desired number of delegates (Lawson, 2000). It won’t be held just in any ordinary event but during December holidays when schools are closed for Christmas break. This will allow delegates in the organizations to get a little more fun and exciting opportunities to exchange Christmas gifts. The main intention of adding fun and excitements in this event is to increase the interest of delegates on the conference and to enable them contributes positively towards the achievement of the goals of the organization. Since timing is an important ingredient to a successful professional conference, the timing of most activities in the conference have been placed mostly in the morning hours when individuals are cheerful, lively and fresh.
Furthermore, the event will be organized at a time when there will be no major events occurring in London. This is because the occurrence of two simultaneous events undermines the attractive of the destination. Accommodation may also increase as a result of two events occurring at the same time. This may limit the number of delegates attending the event from far distances (Rogers, 2008). However, this may not be a major threat because the delegates of the conference will be mainly from within London. This adds to the advantage of having a venue with a good and desirable proximity. Another issue concerning the timing and place of the event is the peace experienced in the UK in general and London in particular. The conference will be held in at a place and time when peace is prevalent. This enables the event to go on smoothly and without being interrupted. On the contrary situation where events are interfered by insecurity and unrests, losses may occur during the event and the organizing company may also lose the confidence of its stakeholders.
Choice of Accommodation option
There are many accommodation options for the company to choose from. While it seems plausible to use conference and training centers, civic venues may not be appropriate owing to the professional nature of the event (Rogers, 2008). There are also other options such as purpose-built conference centres, academic facilities and other unusual venues such as sporting centres. The conference organizing have chosen the kind of accommodation options very carefully, considering the fact that most of the delegates will not be accommodated at the expense of the organizing team.
The main venue places in London for the conference will be hotels. This may be costly but is more attractive to most delegates. One of the most important strategies of the event is to attract the highest possible number delegates. The target for the professional conference is 500 delegates which is only attainable if the relevant accommodation facility is attained. Therefore, choosing hotels as the venue offers the best opportunity for the event to attract many delegates. Hotels are also more often visited by local who don’t plan to stay in the hotels at night but prefer to go home after the event. In this case, hotels are appropriate places because the organizing company does not have to pay for accommodation services for most of the delegates. The transport facilities to the chosen hotels are also perfect. As usual, London’s infrastructure is very appropriate for travelling (Weber and Ladkin, 2003). There are good transport links which can be used by delegates to report to the conference without being late.
Suggested conference programme
The two and half days conference will broken down into a chain of events that will be managed and organized by the professional conference organizing team (Rogers, 2008). These activities will be categorized into either afternoon or morning events. Most of the official programmes that form the sole purpose of the business will be held in the morning while the entertainment sessions will into the afternoon and evening hours. There will be intervals of breaks and core business activities that are aimed at keeping the delegates fresh and never get tired. Below is a draft of the activities’ programme that will be used as a guide throughout the conference.
|7-8.30 am||Arrival of delegates||Event organizer|
|8.30-9.30 am||Introduction of delegates||Event organizer|
|9.30-10.30 am||Explaining the purpose of the conference||Manager of one sports association|
|10.30-11.00 am||Tea Break||Meals Chief Assistant|
|11.00-1.00 pm||Core-business of the day: introducing the purpose of the conference||Guest speaker 1|
|1.00pm-2.00pm||Lunch break||Meals Chief assistant|
|2.00pm-4.00pm||Discussions and idea sharing||Event organizer|
|7.00-8.30 am||Delegate’s arrival||Event organizer|
|8.30-10.30 am||Core business: Talk from guest speakers||Guest speaker 2|
|10.30-11.00 am||Tea break||Meals Chief Assistant|
|11.00-1.00 am||Talk from guest speakers||Guest speaker 3|
|1.00-2.00 pm||Lunch break||Meals Chief Assistant|
|2.00-4.00 pm||Discussions||Event organizer|
|7.00-8.30 am||Delegate’s arrival||Event organizer|
|8.30-10.30 am||Core business: Talk from guest speakers||Guest speaker 3|
|10.30-11.00 am||Tea break||Meals Chief Assistant|
|11.00-1.00 am||Talk from guest speakers||Guest speaker 1|
|1.00 pm||Delegates leave at their pleasure||Event organizer|
The key speakers of the conference are to be chosen from the most important and relevant sectors of the UK in general and London in particular (Swarbrooke, and Horner, 2001). The most important guests for the conference will be speakers from the sports sector who possess good knowledge and experience about sports. They will be 4 keynote speakers in total. One of them will be a key leader in the UK sports association and another one will be professional sports analyst. The other two guests will be a key football star and a successful coach from one of the most well-performing sports clubs in the UK.
The purpose of the key speakers is to promote the theme of the year and encourage sports as a key element in the development of sustainability in the society (Swarbrooke, and Horner, 2001). They will use their knowledge and skills and share their experience with the delegates so as to articulate the year’s theme in the coming sports events and the development of a promising society in terms of sports and its related events.
Marketing plan for the conference
The Conference Theme
The conference’s theme for the year is to promote sports for all. This is to be branded as the ‘“sport for all”. This will be boosted by ideas and contributions from the guest speakers who have the best kind of knowledge and skills to drive sports to the best heights commercially and in terms of entertainment.
Sports associations are to become the leading supporters of sporting commercial business and entertaining events. They focus on improving sports to meet customer needs and increase its market share. Customers in this case are the direct and indirect beneficiaries of the event including fans, sports men and women as well as coaches and referees. The strength of the sports associations include the use of research and innovation and the good image it has. Strength is that the market share is higher than those of other competing entertainment businesses.
The targeted customers are millions sporting people across the UK as well as individuals who engage in exercises in their daily lives. The value customers place on sports is quality and features of the entertainment event. Sportspeople require conferences and workshops that may help them boost their career and raise the standards of sports.
Sporting associations face competitions from rival entertainment sectors including music, arts and cinemas. People often choose the best time to spend their leisure time and sports are one among many of the entertainment activities. In either case, there is a commercial gain from the events. In order to keep sports as the most preferred entertainment event, it is important for sporting associations to boost its market share by such marketing activities as conferences.
The sports association’s internal environment consists of strengths and weaknesses and as mentioned earlier, the major strength is use of research and innovation and the good image it enjoys. The weakness is that sports are associated with persistent injuries of sportsmen and women. The external factors include the threats and opportunities (McDonald, 2006). The threat is that there are rising rival competitors who may pose a threat to their market influence such as music industry. The opportunity of the sporting association is the use of new technologies to increase the quality of its products and develop new products.
Selected marketing strategy for the conference
The conference will be marketed in many ways. One major marketing strategy is internet marketing whereby direct mails are sent to the potential delegates so as to inform them about the event (McDonald, 2006). In this case, the conference organizers will send e-mails to some of the known delegates and guest speakers as a marketing strategy for the event.
The conference to be located in London will be the most lucrative of all conference activities to be held in the UK. The kind of choice of venue, timing, guest speakers, hotel room accommodation and marketing strategy makes the event a perfect event ever witnessed in the history of the UK. While the event organizer understands the importance of conference halls as a convenient venue, it considers hotels as a unique venue that claims the top priority of event planners. As such it has become necessary that the organizer of this event has chosen a hotel as a meeting place for the delegation. The purpose of the event is a great steppingstone to the success of the conference. This year the theme is sport for all. This will attract people from all walks of life and boost the sport to great heights. Therefore, it is with great optimism that the conference organizer presents the conference bid with rather than a matter of assumptions and trial.
Davidson, R & Cope, B 2002, Business Travel: Conferences, Incentive Travel, Exhibitions, Corporate Hospitality and Corporate Travel, Harlow: Pearson Education Ltd.
Davidson, R & Rogers, T 2006, Marketing Destinations and Venues for Conferences, Conventions and Business Events, Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann
DiPietro, RB, Breiter, D, Rompf, P and Godlewska, M 2008, “An Exploratory Study of Differences among Meeting and Exhibition Planners in their Destination Selection Criteria II”, Journal of Convention & Event Tourism, vol. 9: 4, 258 — 276.
Kim, SS, Chong, K and Chung, KY 2003, “Convention industry in South Korea: an economic impact analysis ‖”, Tourism Management, vol. 24 no. 5, pp. 533-541.
Lawson, FR 2000, Congress, convention and exhibition facilities: planning, design and management, Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.
McDonald, M, 2006, “Strategic Marketing Planning: Theory and Practice”, The Marketing Review, vol. 4, pp. 375-418.
McCartey, G, 2008, “The CAT (Casino Tourism) and the MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, Exhibitions): Key Development Considerations for the Convention and Exhibition Industry in Macao‖”, Journal of Convention & Event Tourism, vol. 9 issue 4, pp. 293-308.
Nelson, R 2008, Developing a Successful Infrastructure for Convention and Event Tourism, Oxford: Routledge.
Oppermann, M 1996, “Convention destination images: analysis of association meeting planners’ perceptions ‖”, Tourism Management, vol. 17 no. 3, 175-182.
Rogers, T 2008, Conferences and conventions: a global industry, London: Elsevier/Butterworth-Heinemann.
Swarbrooke, J and Horner, S 2001, Business Travel and Tourism, Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.
Weber, K and Chon, KS 2002 Convention Tourism: international research and industry perspectives, Binghamton: The Haworth Press.
Weber, K and Ladkin, A 2003, “the Convention Industry in Australia and the United Kingdom: Key Issues and Competitive Forces‖”, Journal of Travel Research, vol. 42, pp. 125-132.
Whitfield, JE 2009, “Why and How UK Visitor Attractions Diversify Their Product to Offer Conference and Event Facilities ‖”, Journal of Convention & Event Tourism, vol. 10, pp. 72–88.