Holding a business conference can be a great way to give your business more exposure and start a conversation in your industry.
Here’s how to hold a perfect conference.
Pick a Theme
Your conference will need a unifying idea that brings everyone together. It can be very specific, relating to a specific area of your business. Or it could be something very broad that attracts the maximum number of people possible. Whatever the theme of the conference is, make sure that it’s made clear to everyone. That way, there will be no confusion about what you’re trying to put on, and everyone will be on the same page.
Undertaking an industry conference is a huge task to take on. That’s why it might be a good idea to try to encourage other people in your industry to get involved. These partners will take some of the pressure off your business and spread the risk. You should make sure you can trust your partners and try to find partners who are passionate and enthusiastic about what you’re trying to do.
Choose the Venue
The venue is one of the most important things about the conference. Firstly, you’ll need to think about the size and quality of the venue. It has to be big enough to fit in all the people who you expect to turn up to the venue. It might be a good idea to find a hotel that offers corporate event management services so that you won’t have to do quite as much work. You’ll also need to think about comfort because you want your guests to be relaxed during their stay. Another factor is location, where is your target participants located? Is it easy and cost efficient for everyone to be able to get to the conference? Is there affordable accommodation available around the venue to suit all budgets.
Every conference needs speakers. These are the people that get up on the stage and keep people interested in the conference. Let’s face it, without speakers, your business conference will be pretty pointless and boring. You should try to hire the kinds of speakers who are relevant to your industry and will have something interesting to say about it. They should be both knowledgeable and entertaining. Survey your audience and ask them who they would like to see at the conference and the types of topics they would like to hear about and the level of detail (eg: will they be beginner 101 classes or more advanced in detail subject matter?)
Think About Catering
If the venue you choose doesn’t offer you catering services, you will need to think about booking your own caterer. They will provide food for all the guests that turn up to you conference. No one will want to come if you’re not offering to feed them. Sure, this will cost money, but it’s a lot easier than trying to prepare your own food for the conference. If you hire a good caterer, you can just let them get on with what they do. Remember when catering for all food groups, don’t forget those plain Janes that are not into caviar. Have a good selection to ensure no one is missing out, and always have fruit available in case people feel they can not eat anything else on the menu.
Prepare Like Crazy
Preparation is one of the keys to success. You have to make sure that everything is on track and heading in the right direction. And if you think that your conference is weak in a certain area, then you need to focus on preparing in that area. But no matter how much you prepare, there is always a chance that something could go wrong. This is something you just have to accept. Get a team and delegate specific areas to each team member, ensuring you also have someone over looking the team. Participant coordinators are a fun way to ensure your participants have a go to person when they need something or if there is any issues. Also look at setting up a # for the event and a twitter account for the support team so people can let you now how they are enjoying the event and if there is anything you need to look into.