Would you recognize these 5 Conference Management Productivity Eaters?

Albert Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Yet, many of us in the event planning and conference management industry do this very thing. We find ourselves working harder, entering information twice, and missing out on opportunities.

Don't believe me? Let’s break it down into 5 areas where you are probably losing productivity.

Information Isolation

“My team is the ONLY team with ALL the information.” Sound familiar? The time we spend making phone calls to other departments, sending emails back and forth, or chasing down that one person adds up quickly. What could you do if the time your staff spent IMG_7854.jpgcommunicating details and last minute changes dropped to 0?

Accurate Bed Count

My guess? Money is being left on the table. Aside from sitting at your desk and manually counting the number of beds, do you have a quick way to pull up an exact count of how many overnight rooms are available at any given time? Let’s talk about generating a room list. Chances are these lists are created on spreadsheets. Recording the movement of a guest from one room to another falls to counter staff that don’t realize the impact it could make, to the final bill for example, when not recording the change.

Creating a complete BEO or Function Sheet 

From my days in conference management, this was one of my most dreaded tasks. It took me the better part of a day to create Function Sheets with all event details for each group coming in for the next week. Digging through notes, emails, and folders, a full day! Who has time for that? There were so many other things that could be done. Creating a complete BEO/Function Sheet with just a few clicks of the mouse would be perfect. Please and thank you.


Yes, let’s talk about invoicing. “I love digging through folders to make sure each post-it note is accounted for on the final invoice,” said no one ever! Just start with the original estimate and go from there. Oh, wait. Sorry that isn’t an option. A estimate is one thing. The final invoice is another and never the two shall meet. Here’s hoping you caught all those additional charges and bedroom changes.


You love your job. You really do, but every job will have tasks we grumble to complete. Reporting is one. This director needs a report on lost business. This director wants a financial report showing items sold for each cost center in catering. Then you need to know what your forecasted revenue is because it’s budget time. Oh, and did we mention your sales team is pushing to fill in open spaces so they need to know when overnight rooms and conference spaces are available?

We'll just catch up with you in a couple of weeks.

These areas are vital to the successful management of a conference services department and chances are pretty good you are doing a lot more work than necessary with each one. Not to mention two or more of these are all happening at the same time; you have become the master juggler.

So knowing these areas are productivity eaters, why do we continually put up with the frustration of working with multiple systems, double entry, and constant errors?

Why do we continually work harder and not smarter?

If you could cut the time a task in one of the areas takes, why wouldn’t you? What other projects could you accomplish? What is that time worth?

What are you waiting for?

Laura Lafferty

Written by Laura Lafferty

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