Top 10 Conference Planning Tips
As with any large-scale business event, conference planning is a challenging task and even more challenging is the execution of plans. It is vital that your conference runs glitch-free so that your goodwill does not take a blow in front of your business partners.
And, for that, you need to plan it quite systematically. Your business event should not only be productive but well-organised as well. Given below are some tips which will help you in organising a successful conference for your business concern:
Frame a Vision for your Event
The most important step, envision the aim of your conference. It can be spreading out a word about your business concern or the aim might be to improve your business ties with the present and potential partners. Have a clear aim in your mind and plan accordingly.
It is vital that the purpose is known to everyone in the organization. Only then, you can expect significant help from your co-workers that is relevant to you.
Corporate Events Planning Tips
Identify Best Possible Dates
The next step is to select the best dates for your business event. While you are selecting dates for your conference, make sure you have identified at least three possible dates. This will allow you to manoeuvre the requirements of other attendees and accommodate their preferences.
While fixing the date for your conference, keep the interests of your guests in mind. Are all of them available on your desired date? Tread forward only if you have found out a solution to this question. In addition to this, make sure that your conference does not clash with your rival’s business affair. It is quite possible that your attendees might also be invited to the events of your rival’s as well. Therefore, do cross-check the dates and check the availability.
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Create a Budget
It is one of the most important aspects while planning a business conference. You need to frame a budget and present it to your event planners so that they can make necessary preparations. Your budget should be extremely specific and should include both your revenue (i.e. sponsorship, ticket sales) and your expenses (printing of the forms, location, food, security.
While creating budget for your conference, include even the smallest expense so that you have a financial limit with you. Do remember to compare it with your event checklist before finalising the financial budget for your business affair.
Include Everyone into Planning
You being the planner does not mean that you should be the lone contributor to the conference. Take inputs from everyone in the organisation regarding the agenda, checklist and other such aspects. A successful conference requires organised team work.
It is preferable you call a meeting before start planning for the conference. Ask the attendees to come up with their suggestions. This will provide you with varied perspectives, thus broadening the horizons. After group consultations, make the itinerary of the event.
Choose the Right Speaker
The value-quotient of your conference will increase by leaps and bounds if you manage to grab well-known business speakers. Famous speakers always command higher authority over the people and this will help in boosting the attendance of your event. Ultimately, it will help in escalating the success rate of your event.
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Select the Best Location
We all tend to forget this while planning any business event. An ideal location with comforting facilities gains appreciation from your guests. It is vital, therefore, that you choose a location in the city that is both ideally located and comes with sophisticated facilities.
Facilities like latest AV equipment, screen projectors, in-house catering facility, Wi-Fi access, spacious room and on-site parking are ‘must-haves’. In addition to this, a professional event management team would be an additional benefit.
Once you have booked the venue, make a personal visit to it and check all the facilities. Do intimate the venue authorities about the number of expected guests and any special arrangement which you want. For example, if some of your business guests happen to be vegetarian, then tell the catering team beforehand about this so that they keep an ample stock of vegetarian dishes on the conference day.
Publicize the Event
The more you promote your event, the better attendance it will get. Exhaust all the available resources to publicize your conference so that a positive buzz is created about it. Use all the means of communication like social media, postal mails and sending out invitations to inform the audience about your event.
If you want to go a step further, then advertise in newspapers and magazines related to your niche. If budgets allow, invite media to cover your event. This will dissipate the information very quickly about your event.
Online registrations are prime means of revenue for any event. Therefore, make your online process as user-friendly as possible. Use customizable registration forms as they offer minimum hassle to users.
If you are hosting online registration forms on your website, then do include information about the agenda, speaker, directions to the venue and accommodation options for your guests. Additionally, if you have hired a service provider for registration forms, then see to it the provider has automated payment handling, efficient attendee management team and user-friendly discount system and prompt cancelation mechanism.
Planning On-Site Details
All the off-line paper work done, now plunge into the real deal. Work in coordination with the event management team at your venue and tell them about your specifications. This includes how the general layout of conference room would be, distribution of food and beverages and their quantity and other such details. Along with this, inform the event team about any specific changes you want in the room layout well in advance so that they have ample time to effect those changes.
The best way to keep an eye on such little details is to go through the itinerary like a guest. Rate the services and figure out the limitations. Once you have found out certain lacunas, tell them to the event planners so they can rectify them well in advance.
Prepare for the Last-Minute Changes
They are bound to occur no matter how carefully and systematically you have planned your conference. You may find out that some of the delegates would not be able to attend your event. Else, the key speaker you desired to have for your conference is not available. Gear yourself up for those changes and have contingency plans with you so that you might fix these problems as and when they arise.
Business conferences are formal events and you need succinct planning in order to make them successful and productive. Use these tips and plan your conference to perfection.
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