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The Group Travel Leader Going on Faith Select Traveler

Pre-Con Meetings a Must

As experienced meeting planners hopefully most, if not all of us schedule a pre-conference (pre-con) meeting with the important parties that are critical to making your event, conference or convention a success. This meeting is a culmination of the many previous phone calls and meetings discussing the details of your event with the appropriate parties.

The attendees at this pre-con meeting include the personnel from the host hotel, convention center, conference transportation and the local Convention and Visitors Bureau if they are involved. An agenda is usually created with the meeting planner and convention service managers at both the convention center and host hotel. It is important to have all department heads and key staff members to be in attendance.

The pre-conference meeting begins with introductions of all attendees and an overview of the organization and the event that is taking place by the meeting planner or the senior staff member. The convention services manager then moderates the meeting covering the timeline of the entire event including Activity, location, time, setup, audio visual needs.

The meeting planner is responsible to question or bring up items of concern to any of the department heads. Below are some common topics that are discussed:

Host Hotel

Convention Service Manager

  • Timeline for any events at the hotel
  • Housekeeping special requests
  • Security, First Aid & Evacuation Plan


Front Desk supervisor

  • Peak hours for arrivals and departures of delegates
  • Check in process, including staffing, Event Hotel Keycards, if applicable
  • Bellman for luggage, Shuttle Service hours of operation and travel area
  • Security
  • Evacuation Plan


Food & Beverage

  • Review any meals that take place at the hotel, including menu, special dietary concerns, meal Meal counts and beginning and ending times for service
  • Restaurant & Bar Hours of operations
  • Notify trends of your delegates and potential peak usage outside of the Event


Convention Center

Convention Service Manager

  • Contact information including cell phone
  • Hours of operations before, during set up, days of the event and tear down
  • Timeline for all events
  • Exhibit hall setup, including pipe & drape, carpeting, audio visual, registration area and staging Special requests and needs
  • Security, First Aid & Evacuation Plan


Food & Beverage Manager

  • Meal counts and dietary needs for delegates
  • Room set, including number of seats per table, lighting and stage setup


Audio Visual Staff

  • Review event order
  • Stage lighting, Audio Visual Screens
  • Podium Microphones, Lavalieres
  • Conference Monitors



  • Schedule times of transportation for the event
  • Motor coach pickup and drop off areas
  • Special need delegates

The listing above is not meant to be all inclusive, but to highlight some of the more common areas that are usually addressed. This pre-con meeting provides you the opportunity to set the expectations and tone for all key staff partners who are critical for your success. All involved now have been updated on the course of action that will take place over the next few days and will hopefully save you countless hours of worry and concerns along with helping you create a memorable experience for your attendees.


Joe Cappuzzello is responsible for locating host cities for the annual Small Market Meetings Conference, as well as for Select Traveler, African American Travel, Going on Faith and Boomers in Groups travel conferences. He is the president and CEO for each of these organizations. He can be reached at 330-337-1027 or at