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HHS Conference Procurement and Planning Tookit

Procurement and Planning Requirements and Guidance for Conference Hosts

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Appendix 1:  HHS Conference and Meeting Planning Checklists

Checklists on this page:

Conference Plan Checklist

Conference Plan Item




Establish budget


Provide Procurement on meeting requirements to acquire meeting planner contractor, hotel and/or vendors


Identify Project Manager Leads


Identify Planning Committee


Identify Conference Committees & Assistants


Assign roles and responsibilities


Establish Deadlines


Establish Action Plan and Timeline


Identify conference objectives and theme


Identify modes of promotion and advertising


Identify attendees


Identify speakers


Secure facilities and rooms based on attendee and speaker count


Establish meeting format


Develop themes and tracks for each session


Design and Set  session schedule and duration


Establish strategy for popular session overflow


Develop audio visual equipment and technician lists


Develop IT equipment and technician lists


Assess computer software needs for laptops


Establish target dates for registration and sleeping room cutoffs


Establish date for hotel guarantees


Approve draft agenda


Approve draft and final convention brochure


Approve draft and final Conference Pre-Registration Website content


Establish date for pre-registration, registration and on-site registration


Design database for registration tracking


Develop webpage for registration, documents, and  conference information


Determine webpage email address to receive agenda suggestions


Meet with all committee leads on a recurring basis


Discuss/resolve outstanding conference issues


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Structure Checklist





Determine session goals


Finalize conference theme


Finalize agenda


Examine schedule and format


Assign presenters to sessions


Nominate keynote speakers


Develop conference announcement for participants


Develop conference brochure logos, colors, art work


Conference Program Guide draft due for review


Prepare work plans and checklists for Committees, Leads


Structure goals to tracked sessions


Develop system for Logistics Committee to monitor registrations


Develop system for monitoring preregistration for tracked sessions


Identify networking opportunities, leisure events, special learning sessions


Set learning goals and milestones for presenters and speakers


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Hotel Checklist





Site research, bidding, and selection


Site inspection


Hold pre-conference meeting with hotel and technicians


Establish agenda times for each function and rooms


Crosswalk agenda times, function, and capacities with hotel BEOs


Confirm meeting room seating arrangements


Establish break out rooms, capacity, seating configuration


Establish overflow strategy for breakout rooms


Establish meeting room for Conference Office at hotel


Establish internet cafe


Establish master account


Arrange sleeping room block


Issue guarantees and final numbers


Monitor contracts for hotel


Finalize master audio visual equipment and technician report times


Review master hotel account for sleeping rooms


Reconcile final invoices


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Participants Support Checklist

Participants Support




Develop communications plan for participants


Conference Pre-Registration Website Online


Mail formal invitations to attendees


Provide a list of Managers & Supervisors to Vendors


Pre-Conference Online Registration Available


Final List of Attendees Due to Vendor


Final Date for Hotel Registrations


Final Date for Pre-Conference Online Registration; Notify Attendees


Mass mailing of convention brochure


Mail invitations to speakers/VIPs


Provide registration brochure


Provide final agenda


Provide information on hotel, transportation, and activities


Develop participant master list


Generate correspondence/calls for individual problems


Print name badges


Print breakout session ID passports for admission and tracking


Match pre-conference & hotel registrations by name, business unit, date


Pre-conference Registration Report


Corrections to Pre-Conference/Hotel Registrations


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Speaker Checklist





Finalize key note speakers for final agenda


Identify Instructors for breakout sessions


Finalize session speakers


Confirm audio-visual equipment needed by presenters


Arrange speakers' fees and expenses


Provide conference materials for review


Provide guidelines for presentations


Secure recorder for learning sessions


Keynote Speaker for Opening Remarks


Contract with special event speaker


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Vendor Checklist





Identify types of exhibitors


Identify the number of poster board stands needed for poster sessions


Specify printing budget and vendor


Have emergency plan -- doctor, nurse, hospital contacts on hand


Accessibility backup plans and assistance sight, hearing, mobility


Finalize audiovisual equipment


Establish subcontractors for special equipment -- computers, printers


Select and procure supplies


Obtain area maps and guides


Obtain a list of restaurants, convenience store, and local retail


Obtain a list with contact information for taxi and shuttle bus service to and from airport and hotel 


Obtain a list with schedule  and cost for the use of public transportation




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Materials Checklist





Print final program and agenda


Assemble and reproduce background papers


Compile and reproduced list of participants/vendors/speakers


Compile list of presenters


Compile bios for main speakers


Assemble and reproduce speakers' papers


Package conference materials


Create and reproduce CDs -- learning tools


Distribute materials to participants


Conference Check-in Area Setup


Message Board Center


Delivery Conference Bags/Portfolios to Hotel


Deliver Name Badges for Attendees to Conference Check-In Area


Provide Welcome Sign at entrance of Conference area


Provide Conference Program Guides


Provide Bus Stop signs


Table Talk discussion cards


Provide United States flag for main stage


Conference Check-in Staffed


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Special Services Checklist

Special Services




Schedule tours


Negotiate contracts for evening entertainment


Plan poster session on learning tools


Ensure transportation available back to campus for emergency situations


Provide Photographer with suggested formal and informal poses


Provide tape recording of key note speaker


Provide one Luggage Tag per attendee


Conference assistants communication during conference


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On-site Support Checklist

On-Site Support




Final Planning Meeting with Conference Assistants


Brief session monitors on tracking attendance -- collect passports


Load presentations on laptop computers


Set up rooms for Workshop Sessions


Select and brief staffing team for registration


Provide Conference Office at meeting site with equipment/furnishings


Laptop computers with network laser printer


High-speed photocopier (collate, double-sided, stapling)


Cases of three-hole punch paper for copier


Five skirted tables, eight chairs, three trash cans


Conference Check-in Area Setup


Message Board Center Available, Centrally Located and Staffed


Delivery Conference Bags/Portfolios to Hotel


Deliver Name Badges for Attendees to Conference Check-In Area


Provide Welcome Sign at entrance of Conference area


Provide Conference Program Guides


Attendance Tracking at Workshop Sessions


Technical Support Available for Breakout Rooms


Conference Assistants work Bus Stop Pick Up Point


Provide Bus Stop signs


Table Talk discussion cards


Select and brief staffing team on trouble-shooting


Conduct pre-conference briefing with hotel staff


Inspect facility for room set up


Deliver materials to site


Register all participants


Supervision logistics in each room and resolve problems


Distribute name badges and table placards for speakers


Collect Evaluations


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Post Event Checklist

Post Event




Reminder email  attendees completion of online Conference Evaluation


Prepare Final Attendance Report


Review and finalize hotel bill




Deliver Breakdown of Costs document


Provide Conference Breakdown Checklist


Draft Conference Evaluation from and post on Conference Website


Deliver Standard Operating Processes and Procedures document


Compile Standard Operating Procedures documents from Vendors


Compile evaluations


Provide a report of Conference Evaluation statistical analysis


Post conference photographs on Conference website


Write report of accomplishments


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Related Information

Chapter I – HHS Conference Standard Operating Procedure

Chapter II – Conference Cost Drivers

Chapter III – Programmatic Considerations

Chapter IV – Contracting Considerations



Content created by Assist. Sec./Financial Resources-Grants/Acquisition Policy
Content last reviewed on July 29, 2014