A conference is a fantastic way of getting people associated with an industry together in one place networking, seeing what’s new, undertaking training and many other things depending on the occasion. If you are thinking about organizing a conference, there are lots of things to consider. Continue reading for our advice.
Who is your target audience? This is the first question you need to ask yourself when planning an event on this scale. If it is a large industry you are a part of, perhaps it is worth thinking about how you will narrow down exactly who is invited if you are limited for numbers. Once you have decided this, the rest of the planning can take place.
Getting the word out there as early as possible and regularly thereafter is imperative. Leaving it until too near the time and people will already have plans for the date. Setting the date early and sharing it including via email, encouraging people to block that date in their diaries and calendars immediately, is definitely the best idea. Create an event on social media to generate further interest. Facebook is especially great for this. When people click ‘interested’, their friends may see this, prompting them to check it out too. Regular promotion is vital too. Creating content via your website and sharing on social media is a great way of doing this. Also, use the different functions on social media platforms such as polls. Creating physical posters or flyers could also be useful if you attend regular networking events. The more people who know about it the better.
It is also useful to think about the marketing that this conference will help with. If you are organizing this in support of your own business, you may wish to give some thought to the idea of goodie bags containing promotional materials such as pens, keyrings, USB sticks, magnets, even caps or t-shirts.
Once you have decided on those who will be invited and rough numbers, you will be able to go about sourcing a suitable venue. If the conference is just a one-day event, it is likely that you can choose somewhere without accommodation. However, if it will span more than a day and will attract people from afar, then a hotel-type venue will probably be best. Alternatively, choose somewhere which has a variety of hotels and guesthouses in the vicinity to make it easier for people to access.
It is likely that you will require people to help out in several ways when you host a conference. Event staffing is definitely the way forward. When people arrive, you will need at least two people on the registration desk to welcome them and provide them with their conference pack, if you choose to provide one. Furthermore, prior to this you will need people to help set up the venue, people to mingle and promote anything you may wish to sell, and runners who will undertake any urgent, last-minute tasks that crop up.