NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organization

Tips on organizing a successful event

Developing the idea

  • Choose a topic which is in line with NATO’s priorities (NATO and Afghanistan, NATO’s partnerships, NATO-Russia relations, Alliance capabilities, NATO’s open door policy, Women, peace and security)
  • Establish your objectives (define what is the expected outcome of the event, and what its impact should be)
  • Think about how long the activity should last in order to achieve maximum effect (one day / one and a half days / two days)
  • Identify speakers and audience who can generate a balanced discussion
  • Ensure that the subjects for discussion are logically structured
  • Leave enough time for open discussion after the formal presentations
  • In addition to face-to-face discussions, consider online activities, including possibilities to use social media

Advance Planning

  • Select a high-level keynote speaker with proven knowledge and experience on the subject matter
  • Select a substitute speaker in the event of late cancellation
  • Determine ideal number of participants
  • Identify location and accommodation
  • Develop a clear and realistic budget
  • Identify multiple sources for funding


  • Set dates for conference
  • Reserve venue, accommodation, and interpreters
  • Establish working language(s) of seminar
  • Secure keynote speaker
  • Develop guidelines for speakers
  • Prepare invitations
  • Prepare registration forms
  • Obtain information on visa requirements
  • Co-ordinate transportation schedules with seminar schedule
  • Arrange local transport
  • Seek accommodation close to conference/seminar venue
  • Develop final format and schedule of seminar
  • Select chairpersons
  • Invite media (if appropriate)
  • Organise press conference
  • Use NATO’s visual guidelines for the acknowledgement of NATO’s support
  • Keep all financial receipts