Conference Management

WSU Professional Education (WSU-PE), a division of Washington State University Academic Outreach and Innovation, currently manages up to 40 programs per year throughout the country. We offer full-service conference management, including program planning and budgeting, marketing, speaker logistics, venue and catering logistics, as well as registration, website services, and financial management.

WSU-PE has been in operation for over 40 years at Washington State University. We are dedicated to providing high-quality professional development opportunities. We build lasting relationships while producing the most professional, competitive, and comprehensive program services that are customized to meet our clients’ needs.

By hiring WSU-PE for your next conference, you will gain a highly qualified and professional manager/coordinator team. Our experience working with diverse conference committees and program leaders allows us to seamlessly join your program and assure a smooth transition with continued success.

Select a title below to learn more about each of our services. Request a quote for service and someone on our team will respond to you within three business days.

What We Offer

Upon selection and award of the contract, WSU-PE will initiate a detailed planning session with conference organizers to finalize the tasks and create an initial timeline for the program.

We pride ourselves on providing exceptional communication and customer service. WSU-PE is committed through the duration of the contract to maintain the highest level of communication in providing status updates, as established at the first joint meeting upon award of the contract. WSU-PE staff provides WSU e-mail addresses and direct phone numbers to all clients and customers and are accessible Monday-Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. PT. We will respond to inquiries within one business day. In general, communications will be initiated and responded to in the form the request was made, but we can readily adapt our communication styles to meet the needs of conference organizers. WSU-PE observes federal holidays with the exception of President’s Day and Columbus Day.

The management of your event does not end when the event ends. We will work with you and conference organizers until all contracted tasks have been completed.

In-person events aren’t always possible or practical. Our team of experienced educational designers, media experts, and virtual support personnel can create an engaging, interactive virtual conference. We don’t just give you a list of links to different web-conferencing rooms. We create a full experience, including a virtual vendor floor so your sponsors and vendors can still have that personal interactive experience with your attendees.

WSU Conference Management works in the same division that provides WSU’s award-winning online degree programs. The media and educational experts that bring the face-to-face classroom to the virtual world work with us to use the latest technology, media innovations, and software to bring your conference to life. You won’t find this level of service or expertise with any other meeting planner.

Our team meets regularly to discuss upcoming deliverables to ensure on-time execution. We have experience working with committees by keeping the timeline in the forefront of our minds to meet conference needs on a timely basis.

Events require a steadfast adherence to budgeting measures and a watchful eye to ensure that funds are administered in compliance with increasingly complex expense guidelines. We understand per diem requirements.

The foundation of any successful event is an accurate budget. We will work with you from the beginning to end of your conference forecasting expenses and revenue, ensuring the meeting expenses that are often overlooked are accounted for, managing the collection of revenue, paying bills, and producing financial reports.

Location, Location, Location… One of the most important decisions about your meeting is where you hold it. Picking the right venue for the event can increase the learning potential and networking opportunities of your attendees as well as decrease costs for you. Our expertise will assist you in choosing the most appropriate city and venue for your conference.

Our experience includes negotiating with venues and hotels in the United States, Canada, and beyond. We negotiate contracts to ensure our clients receive outstanding meeting experiences at competitive prices.

Communication is crucial during all phases of an event for all participants. It goes beyond completing tasks on a timeline. Our team understands the importance of answering the phone with a smile, being courteous, and walking the participant through a process as needed to ensure an excellent attendee experience.

We provide a flexible and secure registration system that allows attendees to register online or offline. From basic to complex, we’ll track registration choices, distribute confirmations and invoices, collect fees with various payment options, provide continuous registration data updates, and create nametags and rosters from the information gathered. 

The right food and beverage arrangements can set the stage for success at a meeting. It’s more than meeting dietary requirements—it’s about collaboration with the venue to develop satisfying menus that enhance the attendee experience, presented in a way that supports smooth, efficient service flow.

We keep up to date with ever-changing technology trends and work with audio-visual providers on the best solutions to fit our clients’ needs and budget.

A website is one of the best universal solutions to answering questions about a conference. We manage websites and mobile apps with varying degrees of complexity.

Continuity in branding and message is critical when using various platforms such as websites and social media. We have a graphic designer who assists in creating a cohesive and fresh look for your event.

We work with a team of experts to craft a marketing plan, develop conference logos, design electronic promotions, and create and host your program website. Once at the conference, we continue to highlight the theme and goals of the conference through the design of onsite programs, abstract booklets, logos for conference giveaways, customized signage, and name tags.

Whether an event has 4 speakers or 100 speakers, our process is the same. We confirm and request specific details about the speaker and the presentation. We remain in consistent contact about their participation to ensure accurate and timely information is provided to the event attendees.

Exhibitors and sponsors require a careful planning eye and exceptional follow-up. We manage arrangements from 4–400 booth spaces. We review the conference flow, identify ways to drive attendees into the exhibit space, and work with clients to identify ways to keep attendees engaged with exhibitors.

Our pre-event and onsite management is our flagship service. Our team is known for being professional, creative, and efficient when it comes to handling all of the complexities of managing a meeting. We enable our clients to focus on content, networking with participants, and developing relationships while we take care of the behind-the-scenes logistics.

Conference management does not end when attendees leave the building. We can develop evaluations through the conference app or via the online registration system to capture attendees impressions before they fade. We create surveys/evaluations with intent in mind. Whether you need demographic data, individual speaker evaluations, or indication of attendee intent to further engage with your organization, we create surveys and evaluations that help you make an impact with the information.