Our Top Tips for Planning an Event in Kigali, Rwanda

September 8, 2021

By Mahider Tadesse

Planning an event in Kigali can be stressful especially if you don’t have boots on the ground. With our top tips for planning an event in Kigali, you can successfully plan and execute a global conference in Kigali without all the unwanted stress.    

Whether you’re planning a small workshop, a global conference, or a large-scale exhibition we will discuss below the steps you can follow for successfully planning an event in Kigali.  

 

Set the Date(s)

Depending on the size of your event, your goal, and the type of event you are planning in Kigali, selecting the date(s) is a crucial first step. You will need to consider the weather, other events happening in Kigali, local holidays, and observances of Rwanda. If you are planning an event in Kigali during the national election year try avoiding the weeks leading to election day as event venues might be booked for campaign events.

 

Choose a Venue

Before sourcing an event venue in Kigali you need to consider several factors. You need to first figure out how many participants will attend your event in Kigali. It is always recommended you book a venue that can accommodate a little bit more than your expected number of participants to accommodate last-minute changes. 

Once you have a shortlist of event venues in Kigali, arrange a site visit and meeting with the event team at the venue. Looking for the best venues in Kigali? Be sure to check our recent blog post on the top venues we know your attendees will love.

 

Layout

While searching for the best event venue it is important to think of your desired setup and determine how you can best utilize the space. Be sure to walk around the venue and check all locations, from the parking lot to all meeting rooms. That will help you determine if you need to consider directional signage. We have listed out some questions you should ask yourself when choosing your event venue in Kigali: 

  • Do you need a breakout space? 
  • Is the layout of the meeting room flexible?
  • Do you need a green room for your speakers?
  • Is the venue accessible for participants with restricted mobility? 
  • How does the security check-point operate?

 

Equipment

Put together the list of equipment you need and check what the event venue has in-house. In-house equipment is usually cheaper to hire and of better quality than outsourced equipment.

 

Catering

Food and drinks are very important when planning your event in Kigali. Most event venues in Kigali are part of a hotel with a full in-house catering service. As the world is coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic it is necessary to consider your service style while planning an event in Kigali.

 

Block Hotel Rooms

Depending on the type of event you are planning in Kigali, blocking hotel rooms for your international participants is a huge piece of the planning puzzle. 

Know Your Numbers

You need to focus on booking the right number of rooms. Most of the time planners overestimate the number of rooms they need. A good way to figure out how many rooms you need is to look at your history from a similar event. Check how many of your participants canceled last minute and put those numbers to good use. As a rule of thumb, always expect a 10% no-show. 

Negotiate Group Rate

You have to do your homework before you start negotiating group rates. Check online rates before you call the hotels. If you are trying to block rooms at an international chain hotel, contact the local hotel in Kigali, not the international reservation number. 

Check the complimentary service the hotel offers such as airport pick-up and drop-off, breakfast, and shuttle service to your event venue in Kigali. This will help you cut costs on ground transportation.

Are you planning an event in Kigali? Let us help you negotiate the best group rate in Kigali

 

Think Logistics 

Every destination is different when it comes to logistics. Planning an event in Kigali doesn’t involve complicated logistics as the government of Rwanda is supportive of the MICE industry.

Visa

Your international event participants will need your guidance to apply for a conference and meeting visa (V5) for Rwanda. Rwanda offers multiple ways to apply for a visa; online, in-person or by mail at any Rwanda diplomatic mission/ Rwanda Embassy or upon arrival at the port of entry. 

Walking VS Hiring Shuttle Service

Walking

Kigali is a beautiful city, your participants may be tempted to walk to your event venue if the weather is favorable. Depending on the distance from the hotels of your event participants to your event venue, walking is a good alternative that can also save money. Be sure to check if any participants need transportation services due to mobility limitations.

Hiring Shuttle Service 

If you have participants with mobility limitations you should arrange transportation as the city isn’t convenient for people with mobility limitations. 

If you plan dinner receptions, cocktail parties, or if your event ends after sunset it is wise to arrange shuttle service for your participants. 

Customs Regulation

If you are planning to ship any type of event supply to Rwanda for your event in Kigali, check the customs regulation. There are several red-tapes and import tariffs involved in importing event supplies.



Questions?

Are you planning an event in Kigali? Let us help you! Hallpax has destination experts who are dedicated to making your event planning process enjoyable and stress-free. We are passionate about the cities we work with, and with our in-person presence in Africa, we help our clients navigate their cities of choice with ease.

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