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John swarbrooke Kimberley Stace Business Tourism In our group we were given the task of organising a three-day conference for a company that will take place in Greece, with 200 delegates from different European countries. There are 6 members in our group and I have found working together as a team both difficult and challenging, yet very beneficial in teaching me to appreciate the issues involved in team work and developing my team working skills. The main thing I have learnt is to deal with the unexpected and find ways to cope and handle certain situations that have arisen throughout the past 10 weeks. One member of our group is from France and for the last 4 weeks has returned home. We have found it very difficult to keep in contact with her and keep her involved in our progression. Due to this we decided it would be easy to do the work ourselves as a group and try to keep her updated with what was happening. We have tried to do our best to accommodate her in the presentation which again was hard because she's expected home the day before and of yet have heard nothing from her. Being able to also communicate with her in person is hard due to the culture difference. She finds it very hard to understand what we mean and what is being explained.
There are many destinations and facilities in Greece with the capacity to cater for a three-day conference. Making a final decision was dependent on many factors, for example if they had enough rooms both single and double, if they had the facility to hold a conference, if breakfast was included, entertainment facilities available, things that made the facility stand out from the rest of the many in Greece, if the facility would appeal to 200 delegates and finally if the price was negotiable to a reasonable rate. There were many problems with being able to communicate with different conference facilities, and trying to negotiate a price and package. Many of them wouldn't communicate on phone due to difference in language and of us being unable to understand each other and communicate our purpose of calling. When a facility had been decided on to hold the conference all communication was dealt with through email. Which was challenging because it made the process long and hard to get moving. Many emails were sent back and fourth just discussing and negotiating coffee prices and whether they would include that in the room price which was time consuming. A problem arose when the destination that had been decided on and that the conference was being developed around wasn't replying to emails that were being sent and the process was driven to a halt due to lack of important information being received.
There is also the entertainment and partner programme that need to be arranged, and whether food, lights, music, flowers etc are included in events such as a Greek night. In conclusion I have found that from organising a conference event for 200 people there is a lot of factors to take into account and a lot of different things to be arranged, these range from the coffee provided for coffee breaks to the rooms and flights available at certain times to certain destinations. The most important aspect to take into account is problems that may arise and how to deal with them practically and quickly without causing disturbance to delegates. It is important; I feel to always have a backup plan, a contingency plan for everything that you have to deal with. For example anything from flights being delayed, loosing passangers, loosing delegates, transport breaking down, transport not turning up, delegates canceling, food not being prepared on time, equipment breaking to illness can be dealt with. If any possible situation that occurs has a contingency plan you will be able to deal with it effectively. Organising any business event is challenging because there is so much involved, however I feel it is easily handled if every aspect is broken down and thought about in a organised process. It is very rewarding when every factor from budgets to hotel rooms falls into place, every possible problem is evaluated and the event comes together for the organiser.
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