Things to Prepare for a Successful Conference
You’ve been given the mandate to organize a conference! What a challenging task!
Well, it is only hard if you don’t plan, but with careful planning.
You find the journey smooth and exciting. A small conference requires at least six months of preparation.
The bigger ones take up to one year because of the logistical challenges.
As a conference planner, you have a lot of things going on concurrently.
You have to organize for a venue and engage service providers to set it up to your standards.
You need to send our invitation letters to guests. You need to develop marketing campaigns for participants. –without the participants, the conference is as good as non-existent.
You need to get enough funds to help you run around and account for every coin. With all these in mind, you need to have a program of activities to guide you to make the journey easy and fun.
These are things people have done; you only need to have the laid our standards and follow your predecessors’ footsteps to have the best.
A few things to customize the conference come in handy to give it a touch of uniqueness.
Why conference planning is important
- Helps you to achieve the conference objectives
- Supports time management
- Promotes organization and proper coordination
- Promotes the involvement of all stakeholders
- Reduces disappointments and last-minute rush
The Basic Planning Procedures
Have a conference theme
What is the purpose of the conference? Have that in one statement- three to four words. It’s a rallying statement that sieves the target audience from the crowd.
It gives the participant ideas on how to brand them and what to present based on the theme.
Establish a Team of Professional and Give them Tasks
You can’t be a jack of all trades. Either you will give substandard service, or you get burnout. It’s never a matter of life and death.
Once you have the mandate, get to have an A-team to implement the process. Break them down to committees in charge of various positions and tasks and only do the overseeing work.
It lessens the burden and allows you to focus on the details to have the best conference.
The teams include
- Logistics team
- Sponsorship and partnership team
- Media team
Have a stipulate task to prevent duplication of duties and let each group consult with the relevant team.
Have a Budget
Who said that a classy and professional conference needs a lot of money? As long as you have a good rapport with service providers, you will get the best at an affordable cost.
Never work blindly as a conference planner. Have a business plan with a financial component in it.
It gives the team an easy time to know the financial limit. Include all expenses like
- Conference facilities
Have Your Date and Venue
Once you know it’s a doable event; it’s time to look for a central venue convenient for all participants.
Let the venue not be a hindrance to attendance. As you look at the venue, confirm the necessary facilities, whether they are included in the cost if it’s a separate budget.
You need the best for your participants and guests. Where possible, you have to make changes and adjustments.
For example, if there is bottled water for drinking, what is the tap water’s safety? That is when you need to make a purchase on a filter system to guarantee safe and clean water for conference attendees.
What of when they need cold water? Don’t you think and cleaner and affordable refrigerator on sites is essential? You can buy or request the host to avail of it if it’s within their policy.
Talk to Speakers and Facilitators to Confirm Attendance.
The power of a conference is the content of the speaker. Get the best in the market based on their profession.
Let them give value for money. The hit cake facilitators and guests need prior booking.
Send Our Marketing Campaign Materials
It’s time to send the marketing campaigns that you are sure of the venue and the speakers. Let people know why it’s vital for them to attend the conference.
What is your target audience? Are there any fees; let the campaign materials and poster answer all the questions.
Communication is essential just in case one needs to reach out.
Start the Registration Process
You are 75 percent of the preparation process. Start registering to get an overview of the number to expect.
In the registration form, you get to know some exceptional cases and their needs to factor in with the planning team.
You can also have subsidized fees for early registration; it gives you an approximate number of people to attend and even plan for any eventualities in terms of participants’ overflow.
Focus On the On-Site Planning Process
At this stage, on-site preparation is crucial. Get reports from the teams and tell you the challenges and address them as soon as possible.
Coordinate Things- It’s the Big Day
The bid day is here. Be everywhere and have the team in charge of all sectors to enhance the conference attendees’ comfort.
Have you ever had emergencies? This is the time you make fair use of them. Do you have the phone numbers of health professionals if you have medical attention for your guests or participants?
Run a Post Follow Up Conference
You can only know how well the conference went if you have a follow-up plan. Get reviews from attendees incorporate the reviews in your future conferences.
Conference planning is simple if and only if you have the right team to support your course.