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PM Essence

Conference Management System for PMIBC

                                                                 -CMS Team PMIBC

PMI Bangalore Chapter (PMIBC) enjoys the status of one of the most active chapters in Asia with its series of programs and activities. What started as a couple of events at small scale, today, it has grown into multiple events at much larger capacity and is destined to grow further. The Project Management Practitioners' conference (PMPC) is one such example which has become today a much awaited event by Project Management Professionals every year in Bangalore. Managing such events comes with its own challenges, intricacies and it requires tremendous coordination of volunteers. So what makes it possible? The answers is – involvement of volunteers in planning and execution months before the conference.

 

PMIBC has been running PM Practitioners' Conference for several years. There is a growing need for small conferences also and due to lack of a proper system for coordination, the wheel was reinvented every year in terms of creating templates, processes etc. PMI BC PMO comes up with some projects every year and one of such project was to set up a Conference Management Software System to help the volunteers to manage conferences like PMPC and other new upcoming events in much easier way with enhanced efficiency. The scope of the project was to identify, recommend, commission and implement an application tool before Project Management National Conference 2015, which will provide a system to organize and manage large and multiple events & conferences hosted by PMI Bangalore chapter.

 

A team was formed in first quarter of the year to do make or buy analysis followed by evaluation of various tools available in the market for the required functions and features as per the need. The decision was in favor of buying a Conference Management tool available in the market with comprehensive set of functionalities to manage events and conferences and enhance it further as per the needs of the chapter. The Conference Management System (CMS) was procured by PMI BC after the recommendation was approved by the Chapter Board members.

The Conference Management System is a configurable system based on parameters to set up a conference or event. The various functionalities helped in various areas of creating an event with detailed planning, creating the conference content, providing a mobile application with real time program schedule and event guide, emails for correspondence, one consolidated dashboard view of all the events and activities including tracking vendors, sponsors, exhibitors, delegates registration and payment system, budgeting and financial tracking, post event feedback collection, individual reports and many other important significant features.

 

Immense benefits were reaped in Project Management National Conference 2015 in terms of cost and standardized process. One such benefit was the cost benefit as the mobile app was encouraged and hence a less number of programme brochures were printed. This also helped us to move to certain extent of going green

 

The second immense benefit was to overcome the challenge of volunteer run organization where it is very important to create a central repository for all the artefacts for next set of new volunteers in future along with a set procedure and processes. It helped to keep everyone on one page with a unified view and also keeping the artefacts for reuse in next PMPCs.

 

The successful implementation of the CMS tool at Project Management National Conference 2015 has triggered the usage of the tool for all the events hosted by the chapter like PM Footprints, PM Primer, PM Enrich etc. The team is constantly enhancing the tool in order to meet the new demands of the team and is constantly learning and updating the system to better manage the upcoming events and provide a seamless experience to the end users. Also, team is planning to bridge the gap in the tool that was encountered during Project Management National Conference 2015 to further improve the tool and to provide further benefits in management of upcoming events.