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A company that specializes in the management of congresses. the company will act as a consultant to the organizing committee, enacting its decisions whilst utilizing the experience and knowledge it has gained over many years in organizing events.  Many other companies offer PCO services including travel agencies, public relations companies, etc. frequently the services offered by such companies are partial. these differ from the PCO in that their core business is not a professional congress organization. But when it comes Brandwise has the expertise in hosting PCO’s.


if there are areas of congress management for which you cannot provide the knowledge, the resources, the time, or the technical facilities, then a PCO will handle these for you. a PCO will also act as a link between different committees and suppliers. the committee or an association will normally retain control of the event and set the policy with the PCO acting as project manager and ensuring that the administration runs smoothly. a PCO can be brought in at different stages during the planning process. it is recommended to appoint a PCO as early as possible as their experience and expertise can ensure you avoid the many pitfalls and unnecessary expenditures, which are frequently encountered during the early stages of congress planning a PCO.  

1. Production of a tender document

    It is equally important to include information on particular services you require so that the PCO can provide you with an accurate estimate of the fees they would charge. general information on the event and its history will help the PCO to establish the type of service that is required so that the PCO can provide you with an accurate estimate of the fees they would charge. A PCO charges for its services. It can charge depending upon cultural traditions and organization structures in many ways. The fees cover the cost of the PCO in managing the event. You should be clear on whether you wish the fees to cover all the services or whether you require separate fees to be quoted for different services. For complex proposals, you might want to think of a calculation scheme in which the PCOs shall include their fees. Thus you avoid investing a lot of time in trying to compare offers that are all based on different ways of calculation.

2. Creating a shortlist of suitable PCO’s

To identify PCOs that may be suitable for the management of your event, it is important to establish some broad criteria/guidelines such as: * What is the company’s core business? Many travel agents, tour companies, public relations consultants, etc. offer congress organizing services. A PCO, however, has no conflicting interest. The main activity of the company is congress organization resulting in greater experience and in-depth knowledge on congress specific matters (e.g. compliance issues for medical congresses) * General experience with similar congresses (size, type) * Image & reputation * Financial Security & Transparency

3. Distribution of the tender document

Once a shortlist of suitable PCOs has been made, the tender document can be distributed to them. It is normal practice to allow companies several weeks to produce the information that you require and to provide an estimate of fees. If you include a timeline in your tender document stating the detailed time frame of the tender process you avoid many questions that you need to answer. It is not good practice to ask several PCOs to make reservations before appointing a PCO. This can lead to malpractice.

4. Evaluation of tender documents

If fees have been quoted similarly then it is easy to establish the least from the most expensive services on offer. You will also have more detailed information on the type and level of service that each company can offer. If you have given the tenderers a quotation scheme comparison will now be a lot easier for you. Make sure that you understand which services are included in the quoted fees. If this is not completely clear to you do not hesitate to ask the PCO and ask them to specify the concrete tasks that are covered by the services. If one company is far cheaper than all the others that might be a sign to ask yourself if they deliver the quality standard that you require for your conference.

5. Reference checks on prospective PCO’s

At this stage of the process, it is a good time to ask companies for written references or for contacts with whom you may take up references. References should be taken up with clients of both past and future events, and it may be appropriate to contact a supplier such as a venue or a hotel.

6. Presentation and interview

It is normal practice to ask companies to make a short presentation on their services to the Organizing Committee and/or International Association. In general terms, 10-20 minutes is sufficient for the presentation, with 30-45 minutes allowed after the presentation for the company to answer any questions you may have. When selecting companies for an interview it is important to let them know which, if any, particular issues you wish them to address in their presentation. This is the time when you must assess which company offers the most appropriate service at the most competitive price.

7. Selection of PCO   

 The PCO you select will be the one who most clearly matches your requirements and with whom you feel you will be able to work in partnership. It is also important to know with whom you will be working and it is recommended that a visit be made to the office of the PCO to meet the team who may be assigned to you. Once you have selected the PCO you need to ensure that you have a clear written contract, which includes a specification of the work you require to be undertaken by the PCO. Most PCOs will have a standard agreement that they will send to you for consideration but it is wise to allow a legal representative to look at these to ensure that your interests are appropriately and properly protected.

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