Automating Conference Logistics

CadmiumCD’s new Logistics Module promises to streamline conference planning like never before, allowing event planners to manage scheduling, room setup, and resources from a single, easy to use platform. The Logistics Module also integrates with CadmiumCD’s other products, such as Harvester and Abstract Scorecard, so planners can manage every aspect of their conference within a single framework.

To determine what a good Logistics Module should include, CadmiumCD conducted research into logistical needs. Based on that research as well as input from our current clients, we’ve come to the conclusion that logistics should cover scheduling, room management, resource management, and team member management.

Here’s an overview of how the Logistics Module will work to automate your conference planning.

Key Terms

With any system, there are specific terms that might sound confusing until you know how they work in the context of the Logistics Module. Let’s take a look at some of the important terms you’ll need to know.

Function: Within the Logistics Module, a function incorporates all of your logistics data: date, time, room, team members, physical and human resources, and presentation data. Functions are date, time and room specific and can be either session based (one overarching session and individual presentations within that session), or it can be a one-to-one ratio. Functions can also be items such as breaks, set up/teardown, or conference events, things that you might not want to include in your public schedule but still need to manage behind the scenes.

Physical Resources: This is fairly self-explanatory. Physical resources are all of the physical items that you need to use during your event. This could include food and beverages, all audio-visual equipment, or electrical equipment.

Human Resources: This includes all of your staff members, volunteers, and third-party vendors, though it does not include speakers or presenters.

Conflicts: The Logistics Module checks for conflicts against date, time, room, and any people associated with a function. It will check either when assigning a presentation within the Scheduler or when the function is saved, so you will have the opportunity to correct errors in your scheduling. Logistics automatically sends data to Harvester, so if you’re working in Harvester, you’ll be alerted to any conflicts with scheduling that might arise.

Making Scheduling a Breeze

The Logistics Module includes several scheduling tools to help you organize your event’s schedule and resources.

The Drag and Drop Calendar is best for an outline view or skeleton schedule for your conference, when you don’t have specific presentations but know the basics of when specific types of presentations will happen. You can create function types, color code them, and then drag and drop them onto a timeline. The drag and drop calendar lets you set duration of function types. You can also use this to set room types and capacities. Once you drop onto the timeline, it will create a function with that date, type, and room. You can also adjust durations on the calendar, and when you do so, it will adjust it in the function.

If you have migrated data from Scorecard to Harvester or have imported presentations that don’t have a date/time associated with them, you can use the Presentation Scheduler. You’ll need to create your functions first, then come to the scheduler and follow the step by step process to assign presentation to those function. The Presentation Scheduler shows you any conflicts that have occurred, and can be used for one-to-one presentations or for sessions.

The Team Member Scheduler incorporates all staff, volunteers, third party vendors, but not speakers. It also uses a step by step process to let you assign staff members to functions. In the scheduler, you would check the role that needs to be assigned. A quantity box will appear, and you can enter that you need two staff and one security officer, for example. When you click next, it then prompts you to select a function to assign those roles to. The scheduler will assign just the role to a function, not individuals, though if you know a specific staff member will be in a certain role for a particular function, in the function editor you can assign that individual to that role.

The Resource Scheduler is used to assign physical resources to a function. Resources are grouped by type, so you’ll define those types when you first set up the Function module. Think of types as an overarching category, such as food and beverage, A/V equipment, electrical equipment. In the scheduler, you can choose specific items grouped by those types to assign to specific functions.

Additional Scheduling Options

The Logistics Module includes other ways you can create schedules aside from those four major schedulers. You can mass create functions in tandem with the drag and drop calendar or on its own. If you already know the specifics of particular functions, such as board meetings, you can use the mass creator to assign the rooms and times to those meetings en masse and automatically create them.

On the Function Tools page, you can see all of the functions that you’ve created. Once you’ve assigned presentations or resources to a function, icons related to that function will turn green. The functions without assignments are red, so you can know at a glance which functions still need work. You can also unassign all presentations, human resources, or physical resources with a single click if you need to just start over fresh on a function.

You can also schedule within the Function Editor. Once you create a function and click to edit, you’ll see an overview of the function. You can go into this screen and edit the details.

Making Management on the Show Floor Easier

Boost is an add on feature for the eventScribe mobile app that lets you access your logistics information through the app while you’re on site. Depending on your role, you’ll be given additional options within the app that regular attendees won’t see to let you do things like contact vendors directly, check room layouts, react to problems, and contact your team members directly through the app, as well as create and assign tasks.