What a smooth operator

Hiring a professional conference organiser to deal with an event’s nitty-gritty is one way to ensure an effortless experience from start to finish. By Prudence Lui

Event brief

In 2010, Taiwan won the bid to host NI 2014 at the Nursing Informatics Special Interest Group’s General Assembly Meeting held at Medinfo2010 in South Africa.Staging the first-ever 12th International Congress on Nursing Informatics (NI 2014) required much preparation from the 60-member organising team. Initially a triennial occurrence, it was converted into a biennial event in 2012.

The NI 2014 programme comprised a pre-conference, conference and post-conference. A three-day think-tank forum targeted at the future development of mobile health was also included.


The 60-member organising committee was made up of volunteers from hospitals, universities and organisations. They were nurses and were too busy to concentrate on this level of organisation.

Also, conference rooms needed to be changed merely a few months before the event to accommodate the number of people registered, which in turn, affected the budget.

But according to NI 2014’s organising committee chairman, Chang Po-lun, it was a well-planned event and there was no major challenge. The only glitch was the unexpected heavy rain which happened when the international VIPs were invited to ride the metro from the conference site to the gala dinner at Huashan Creative Park.

Chang pointed out the one regret the team had: “It (was) the heavy rain! We deployed some volunteers to guide the VIPs to the dinner venue once they stepped out of the metro station. However, (the) heavy rain made everything very difficult (and) everybody got very, very wet!”


After asking for recommendations from the Taiwan Nursing Association which had experience in organising international conferences, the committee decided to hire Elite Professional Conference Organiser (Elite PCO) to help meet conference goals and share the workload. This way, committee members could also focus on their own work.

Since the committee didn’t know how to obtain the necessary budget, Elite PCO connected the committee with some sponsors. Around 30 per cent of the budget was sourced by Elite PCO and most of it came from the Taiwan government.

Key takeaways

It’s vital to engage a professional conference organiser as their expertise ensured a smooth running of the event from preparation to implementation.

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