We live in a world where, without networking, a business can’t flourish. In fact, a staggering 30 percent of companies do not pass the two-year benchmark, making it essential for companies to bring their A-game to the table. Attending conferences and gaining adequate tools can help companies build connections with likeminded people who can help boost your company.
Research shows that 70 percent of successful managers spend more time networking as compared to their unsuccessful competition. It also suggests that face-to-face networking deems better results than online networking.
Hearing from different speakers can also enhance your employees’ motivation and productivity. While other companies might have similar business models, their processes always differ. So, it doesn’t hurt to listen to different perspectives, statistics, and clients to benefit from.
85 percent of executives found in-person events crucial for their company’s success and, so can you. If you’re aiming to plan a conference, here are some tips to consider while organizing one:
Pick a theme
The company that aims to organize a conference must first decide on a theme, which will eventually determine the rest of the developments. A theme develops from a goal, such as launching a new product or developing brand or customer loyalty, etc. This theme also has to follow current trends and includes current hot topics in the industry.
Plan a budget
When organizing a conference, you need to know the amount of money required to implement the plan. Before deciding a budget, you should consider several factors such as the venue, catering, giveaways, security, speaker fees, accommodation, and transportation among other things.
Always keep the budget higher than the estimated amount for emergencies.
Choose guest speakers
One of the conference’s main attractions is its guest speakers who will conduct activities and workshops and be the face of the marketing strategies. These individuals will be used to entice the participants to attend.
Since your guest speakers are the stars of your conference, you need to have an excellent lineup, with at least one big-name speaker. Getting credible speakers leaves a good impression on your audience and encourages them to sign up and attend your event.
Ideally, you should choose speakers that match the ideology of your business. You should create a list of potential speakers and prioritize them according to suitability. A few things that you should address when you contact speakers are compensation, supporting equipment, and any special requirements they may have.
Settle on a date
Deciding when you’re going to hold your conference is a crucial step. Ideally, the date should be six months to a year in the future to give you ample time to plan. Apart from this, you should also determine the duration of the conference. Of course, the more the participants, the longer it’ll be.
When finalizing a date, there are a few things you should remember. Firstly, it shouldn’t clash with any other significant events in your area since the demand for transportation and expensive flight tickets may deter your attendees. Additionally, you need to ensure your conference’s schedule doesn’t clash with vacation periods, such as peak summer or winter.
Lastly, never schedule a conference over the weekend since people like to relax then. The end of the week i.e., Thursday and Friday would be your best bet since attendees can stay around after the conference to explore the area.
Book the venue
Once you’ve finalized a date, you can start exploring sites that suit your requirements. Potential options available to you would fall under three categories: hotels, independent venues, and university campuses. Each category differs based on space, cost, and event catering.
There are several other factors you need to take into account before finalizing a venue for your conference. These are atmosphere, location, accommodation, transportation, and technical facilities available.
The more information you have available to you, the better it is for your conference. It would help if you tried to visit the venue beforehand to get a feel of the place before the big day.
Invite the participants
Inviting participants is a crucial step when designing a conference. Decide on the participants, the kind of individuals, and companies you want to target. These participants need to be relevant, in the same industry and should add value by participating in events and workshops at a conference.
Depending on the number of participants you’re inviting, you should arrange holders and accessories for every participant’s ID badge. As a participant, it is crucial to wear an ID badge protected by plastic or in a vinyl case, which makes it easier for others to approach you and connect. ID cards are for protection and security purposes, first and foremost, so every individual attending has to be issued one.
Find grants and sponsors
This step isn’t crucial if you’re bearing the budget of the expenses. However, ideally, you should look for external sources of funds in the form of seeking sponsors and organizing fundraisers.
Before evaluating potential sponsors, you need to focus on how their ideology matches your conference’s ideology. For instance, you don’t want a fast-food brand sponsoring a conference focused on fitness.
To start, look for sponsors who’ve funded similar events. It would be best if you also determined how much say your sponsors will have on the organization of the event and what their requirements are.
Promote your event
There has to be a strong marketing team that will use the right promotional strategies to gather the maximum amount of participants the conference can hold. There can be pamphlets, emails, groups who go out and visit companies, social media marketing with the correct hashtags and keywords, and so on. The only way a conference can be successful is if it has been appropriately marketed, so the highest number of people attend.
Organizing a conference is excellent, but excitement can easily prompt you to make rushed decisions. By carefully planning every step, you can ensure you’re not making hasty decisions that can put your event at risk. By paying attention to every step involved before you get your hands dirty, you’ll be able to pull off a successful conference!
Have you ever planned a conference? What do you think is important? Let us know in the comments below!
Interesting related article: “Tips for event coordinating.”