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Tendering for a Professional Conference Organiser (PCO)

To supplement the services provided to you by NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau and your own administrative team, you may wish to consider the appointment of a Professional Conference Organiser (PCO) to manage all, or part of, your event.

A PCO is a company which specialises in event management and acts as a consultant to your conference organising committee. The PCO enacts the committee's decisions whilst using their experience and knowledge gained over many years in the business. Control of the event remains with the committee whilst the PCO acts as ‘project manager’ to ensure the administration runs effectively, leaving you more time to concentrate on the programme's content.

Do you need a PCO?

If there are elements of conference management for which you cannot provide the knowledge, resources (financial or human), time or technical facilities, a PCO can handle these for you.

PCOs offer expertise in area such as delegate management and registration, sponsorship and exhibition sales, marketing, programme development, abstract management, financial management, concept design and creation, event production, onsite management and gathering post event feedback.

When do you need a PCO?

A PCO can be brought in at different stages during the planning process but it is recommended that you consider your needs at the outset. The experience and expertise of a PCO can ensure you avoid the many pitfalls and unnecessary expenditure often encountered during the early stages of planning a conference.

How much does a PCO cost?

PCOs rarely publish set fees as they tailor their services exactly to suit your requirements (and your budget!)

Investing in PCO services, for all or part of your event's management, can not only ensure the smooth running of your conference but may also save (or even make) you money in the long run. Effective marketing can boost your delegate attendance and securing the right sponsorship can make or break the event, so an initial investment to bring in the professionals may pay dividends!

How can NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau help?

We work with a number of PCOs based in NewcastleGateshead who offer many years of experience in the conference business. If you wish to consider using their services, the Convention Bureau will submit your requirements to those we work with, inviting them to tender to manage the required elements of your event.

We will then collate the proposals (with supporting costs) for your consideration and, if appropriate, arrange for you to meet with the PCOs of your choice. To enable us to prepare the brief for the tender process, please indicate the services you think you may require on our form - click here to download the form.

To participate in the Conference Ambassador Programme, or to find out more, even if you don’t have a specific event in mind, please contact Caroline Reed, Conference Development Manager, T: +44 (0)191 440 5759, E: caroline.reed@ngi.org.uk.

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