The brief: International IT company Citrix Systems has been running annual 'solutions conferences' for the past four years, and aimed to attract upwards of 250 delegates to the 2008 event in the Danish capital. The one-day itinerary was to be split into a main plenary session in the morning and a range of break-out talks in the afternoon, followed by an on-site networking reception.
Challenges: Having run similar events over each of the past three years, the client was keen for the day to be seen as a forward step from previous conferences. "It was important that everything was perfect on the technical side - this is a major player in the IT world, after all," says Soren Petersen, account director at local agency PS Communication. "The event also needed to keep delegate interest high throughout the day, so there had to be variety in terms of the spaces and set-ups. As with any annual event, expectations are upgraded every year."
Solution: Seven months of planning went into the conference, to ensure logistics ran smoothly on the day. "If the itinerary says 10.30am then it has to be 10.30am, otherwise everything else on the day suffers," says Petersen. The key to getting things just so, however, lay in listening to the client. "A big part of it was understanding exactly what was wanted," he continues. "The collaboration and communication we had with the client was very good, so we were able to find a flow to the day that really worked."
With regard to the space used, both the main hall and the break-out areas feed off from the Bella Center's large balcony area, not only making things easier for the technical crew but providing a natural focal point for delegates. Citrix has a large number of partners in the IT industry, and these companies were able to set up exhibitor stands on the balcony.
Execution: Some 300 delegates attended the event - local attendees were able to drive while others flew into nearby Copenhagen Airport, which is just ten minutes by car from the Bella Center. After a brief registration process the main conference began at 11.00am, continuing until 12.30pm, when a buffet lunch was served in the venue's Bella Vista Restaurant. A further three hours of break-out sessions followed on at 1.30pm, before guests were invited to attend an informal drinks reception on the balcony area. The day went according to plan. "We look a lot at the technical side of things," says Petersen. "If you avoid disasters with microphones, lights, plasma screens and so on, things generally go smoothly, so it was a problem-free conference."
Verdict: "The Bella Center worked really well, particularly in terms of location," says Kurt Svenson, regional marketing director for Citrix Systems. "The airport was close to the venue for people arriving from overseas, and the break-out spaces were effective - we'll definitely be using the venue again."
Client: Citrix Systems
Group size: 300
DMC: PS Communication
Date: 29 May 2008
Venue: Bella Center, Copenhagen
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