Through the years, the Salem Convention Center has had the privilege of hosting thousands of successful meetings and events ranging in size and scope. We understand that whether you are new to the event planning process or a seasoned pro, the primary goal is always the same: to create a seamless and rewarding experience for your organization and attendees from beginning-to-end. To help achieve this, we've put together a handy meeting and event planning guide to help make your meeting or event in Oregon a success. Feel free to adapt it to meet your unique objectives and stay on track. 8-12 MONTHS BEFORE EVENT Establish primary objectives of your event. Estimate approximate event costs along with attendance to create a budget. Research potential scheduling conflicts and select optimal event date. Narrow down top choices for location and vendors then schedule appointments. Research and create lists of potential speakers and corporate sponsors. 6-8 MONTHS PRIOR TO EVENT Book the meeting venue. Form an event committee & sub-committee chairs i.e. marketing, finance, etc. Create an event page on company website announcing dates and time. Book event vendors including caterers, entertainers and AV services. Identify and confirm speakers, presenters, and sponsors. Set up accounts for meeting charges. Put together a working draft of the event schedule. Inquire about necessary permits, licenses, insurance, etc. Reserve a block of hotel rooms for event participants and out-of-town attendees. 3-5 MONTHS PRIOR TO EVENT Develop and order printed materials (i.e. signage, invitations, programs). Create and launch online marketing and publicity plan. Make travel & accommodation arrangements for event team and presenters. Meet with event caterer and form a custom menu. Meet with A/V providers and secure necessary equipment. Arrange for special parking and security needs. Meet with event venue to configure your floor plan. Set ticket prices and registration logistics. 5-8 WEEKS PRIOR TO EVENT Send reminders to registered attendees, support staff, speakers, sponsors, and vendors. Send out press releases announcing keynote speakers and event details. Finalize sponsorships and donations. Confirm travel and all A/V and tech needs from all presenters, exhibitors, and sponsors. 2-4 WEEKS PRIOR TO EVENT Check in with all vendors to confirm menus, equipment, schedule and room setups. Finalize schedule, presentation/speech topics. 1 WEEK PRIOR TO EVENT Send reminders and updates to all participants. Confirm outside equipment orders. Send final registration numbers to the caterer, the venue. Confirm arrival times and event duties with support staff and volunteers. Conduct a final registration check and order name badges. 3-5 DAYS PRIOR TO EVENT Inspect printed materials, signage and message boards. Send out as many final payments as you can. DAY BEFORE EVENT Do a walk through the venue to ensure signage is in place and registration tables are stocked. Assemble a master copy of all handouts, phone numbers, keys, extra parking permits, and guest lists. Touch base with each committee chair to ensure their team is ready. DAY OF EVENT Inspect all meeting spaces one-hour before use. Call on our team of professionals should you need any assistance. POST EVENT FOLLOWUP Make any outstanding payments to event vendors, speakers and hired staff. Document all receipts, registration records, lists, etc. Promptly send correspondence to all event participants thanking them for their involvement Conduct a post-event survey with attendees, speakers, sponsors, and volunteers. Meet with event venue to tie up any loose-ends, review charges, and provide feedback on your experience. We hope you found this checklist to be helpful. Please feel free to customize this to meet your unique needs and check-off items as they are accomplished! About the Salem Convention Center The Salem Convention is known for it's attractive and flexible workspaces, quality catering services, state-of-the-art technology, attention to detail and our signature 'all-under-one-roof' approach to make the overall experience as simple and convenient as possible for organizations that choose to host their event with us. Since our facility opened in 2005, nearly a million event attendees from around the state, region, nation and across the globe have traveled here to attend multi-day conventions and conferences and one-day or half-day workshops and meetings. 14 different meeting and conference rooms totaling 30,000 square feet have been configured into countless combinations of exhibit, classroom, seminar and convention spaces. Add to this our dedication to sustainability, our new LEED Silver certification, clean and inviting meeting rooms, stunning architecture, a desirable location in the heart of downtown and convenient amenities like the adjoining 193-room Grand Hotel in Salem and Bentley's restaurant, we believe our venue exceeds expectations every time. For more information, contact us at 503-589-1700 or Email Us directly. You can also click here to submit an RFP.