09. Initial Announcement

Once you have set a date and selected a location to hold the forum, an initial announcement should be distributed to industry. The question is how do you determine who should receive the announcement? One way is to use the names of members of specific societies or associations. Another way is through advertising in publications. But perhaps the best and most effective way is through word of mouth. A major responsibility of the champion, organizing committee members and speakers should be to promote the forum to their colleagues, companies, and any affiliated organizations.

Another question that will need to be answered is, how long before the actual forum do you make this initial announcement? This really depends on how long it takes to make all necessary meeting arrangements. However, between two and three months should give everyone sufficient time to prepare. When making the initial announcement these items should be declared:

  • Date of the forum
  • Location and cost of the forum
  • General description and purpose of the forum
  • Directions to the facilities
  • Accommodations in the area
  • Means of registration and payment
  • Where to look and who to contact for more information

With the advent of the internet several years ago, this tool is an excellent way of keeping forum additions and changes up to date without having to make additional mail-outs. Also, online registration with credit card processing is an efficient and easy way to process registration forms.

Lessons Learned:

  • Do all you can to promote the forum
  • Always disclose forum specifics during initial announcement
  • Give everyone enough time for preparations from the time you make the initial announcement
  • Use the internet when possible for forum information and registration