Helpful tips when planning CPD events

Helpful tips when planning CPD events

25 Apr 2022

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A CPD event is a great way to develop and enhance skills amongst employees. It plays a key role in building a more efficient work environment and helping with employee engagement. You have to make sure that the type of event is right if you want to see the desired results among your team members. You should develop an effective training plan to set yourselves up for the best event possible in order to maximise its effectiveness.

In this article we aim to outline what are the different types of CPD events, what are the five C’s of event planning, what are the important things to focus on when planning a CPD event, and where to find Event Planning Courses.

What are the different types of CPD events?

The available options for training and to develop your skills has grown significantly over the years. The different types of training can notably affect the amount of information you can retain, and not all learning environments may be suited to your learning style. When it comes to CPD events, there are many different types of learning activities to consider, and we have listed some below:

Event type 1 - A speaker session

Is a live, in-person or virtual discussion about a specific topic. Usually a speaker session is delivered in the format of a guest speaker presentation or a panel discussion.

Event type 2 - Networking opportunity

An event that allows you to interact with other business professionals to form connections, seek advice and learn new skills. They may help you to look for a new job, meet or recruit new clients, find potential capital for your start-up business and meet professionals from other industries.

Event type 3 - Conferences

Organisations plan and hold conferences with targeted audiences and provide them with information on a relevant topic. Conferences typically have multiple sessions. They are usually held at a venue such as a hotel, beginning with a keynote session and then offering breakout sessions by topic.

Event type 4 - A seminar or half-day activity

Much like a conference, seminars are also held with a targeted audience with the aim of sharing information on a specific topic. Seminars are usually shorter events, which last anywhere from a couple of hours to a few workdays. They typically have single or multiple speakers and generally keep all participants together in the same space. Find out more information about CPD seminars here.

Event type 5 - Workshops

A training workshop is much more of an interactive type of training, where participants would usually carry out a number of training activities rather than passively listening to a lecture or presentation. Find out more about CPD workshops here.

Event type 6 - Trade shows and expos

Organisations may choose to host or sponsor a trade show to reinforce their image as an industry leader among those who attend. Event planning for trade shows typically involve negotiating sponsorship rates for booth space, advertising, promotion, and speaking opportunities where companies can speak. Trade shows are usually held in large spaces, with hundreds of products and services being showcased.

Understanding the different types of CPD events

CPD tips - What are the 5 C's of events planning?

The process of planning events from start to finish can be divided into 5 basic phases, which are called the 5 Cs. These are:

 1. Concept - When you conceptualise your events, you need to consider:

  • Why you are holding your events
  • Who will be in attendance
  • When it will be
  • Where it will be
  • What will happen at the event 

Focus on the details and drill down into each of the above points. Take the time to understand every aspect of your events.

 2. Coordination - This will typically be the lengthiest parts of the process, there will likely be quite a few things you need to cover. In the Coordination phase you’ll be looking at:

  • Deciding on a theme
  • Nailing down a solid budget
  • Searching for a venue
  • Drawing up an itinerary
  • Sourcing equipment
  • Coordinating transport and accommodation
  • Planning caterers / decorators
  • Booking entertainment / speakers / activity
  • Risk assessments & security
  • Contingency plans 

Throughout the coordination part of the process, you need to ensure all your bases are covered.

3. Control - Make sure to stick to your plan as far as possible. If you start to go off track and get distracted, then you will most likely be wasting either time, money, or both on resources. It will be helpful to draw up a timeline before you start planning and set yourself clear targets for the day.

4. Culmination - Events culmination refers to the day itself. Your events have come to fruition and it’s time to get the show going. Typically, this phase involves communicating with staff and suppliers. You should consistently check on timelines, security and ensuring everything is set up.

5. Closeout – This is what happens after the event is over. This can include ensuring the venue is clean and closing off with any caterers, speakers, etc. 

How to plan successful CPD events

What are the important things to focus on when planning CPD events?

The first thing to focus on when planning CPD events is to set clear objectives of what you hope to achieve. Once you have decided on the objectives and target audience, it’s time to look at the logistics of the day. We would recommend the following steps:

  1. Allocate a budget - You should aim to draw up a financial plan for the events and consider if it makes financial sense for your organisation to host. If all of these factors align and you think you can reach your goals within the budget you have assigned, then;
  2. Pick your venue and date – Once you have drawn up a budget for your events, you will know how much of it can be allocated to your venue. Think about how many people will be attending and plan around what venues have the capacity to fit everyone. It’s crucial to have a date decided upon early in the planning process, so you can book the venue well in advance.
  3. Focus on marketing the event - Make sure you plan specific and targeted marketing so the intended audience are made aware that your CPD events are occurring. You can create a hashtag to push on social media so potential delegates are able to find all relevant information in one place. Remember, you need to persuade your target audience that your event is relevant to them in order for them to want to attend.
  4. Get security booked for the day – Depending on the size of the events sometimes security may be needed and so it is important to reflect on this point, where necessary, to make sure your CPD events runs smoothly.
  5. Plan your program – It is important to have a detailed plan drawn up of how you want the day to be conducted and when you want certain speakers to be delivering their training. It might be useful to liaise with the speakers at this stage and see what their availability is like on the day and if someone is only available for a specific time of the day then you can plan around it.
  6. Confirm sponsors, exhibitors, and speakers – Talk to your speakers for the event well in advance so you can plan the day layout in good time. This will help determine what quality educational content you will be teaching on the day. You may wish to start securing sponsors for your event to help with the general funding of the activity, and increase your budget or profits for the event where this is suitable.
  7. Identify and select tech tools – There are tech tools available that help planning events, and also post event communications and follow up activities that can be considered that you should be considering. Many of these tools are designed to help with events registrations, and there is an abundance of live-streaming software and digital video equipment available to record the relevant training.
  8. Issue invitations directly to intended attendees – Now that you have checked off most of the planning, it’s time to send out invites to all of the organisations and individuals that you would like to attend. You have to make your target audience aware that your events are happening well in advance so they can plan around attending. 
How to run a successful event

What makes a successful CPD event?

One of the main factors to consider when planning successful events is the goal you’re trying to achieve. In order to measure the success of your event, you must first have decided what you’re hoping to get out of it. Once this has been decided, you will have a measurable method of determining whether it was successful.

You should also make sure you pick the right team so you are surrounded by people at the event that will help you reach the intended goal. Another great way to make sure everyone is satisfied with your CPD events is to ensure there is a clear focus on the educational value that the event is providing to the delegates.

What are CPD Certificates of Attendance?

When an individual has attended an approved CPD certified event, a CPD certificate of attendance can be provided as confirmation that the activity has been attended by the individual to support their Continuing Professional Development requirements. These CPD attendance certificates can then be logged, stored and recorded on an individuals personal CPD record for their professional body, employer or association. To find out more about CPD Certificates of Attendance go here.

Find CPD Event Planning Courses

There are thousands of different courses, workshops and seminars available in our CPD Course Catalogue. You can search by industry or by using the CPD search bar to find relevant learning for your ongoing professional development.

CPD accreditation for your professional events

We hope this article was helpful. The CPD Certification Service is the leading and largest CPD accreditation organisation working across all industry sectors. If you provide training courses, workshops, eLearning and events that may be suitable for Continuing Professional Development, please contact our team to discuss in more detail.

CPD News Team

For more information from CPD News Team, please visit their CPD Member Directory page. Alternatively please visit the CPD Industry Hubs for more CPD articles, courses and events relevant to your Continuing Professional Development requirements.

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