5 Steps to Organize a Successful Conference
Learn how to organize a successful conference to build credibility, authority and your small business network.
People are tentatively more eager to get back to meeting face to face and this is a great opportunity to organize a successful conference to build your business.
Attending a conference is an excellent way for people from different industries to meet like-minded individuals to share their ideas and experiences. A well-planned conference can give your company’s reputation a boost and priceless exposure, but planning one right from the start can be quite a demanding endeavor. After all, you want everything to go as smoothly as possible.
Whether it’s your first time or you already have plenty of experience, organizing a conference or any kind of event always brings a set of challenges and tasks to tackle. Of course, you can get support from an event coordinator to get through this process, but you may not always have a budget to hire additional help. What does an event coordinator do? Basically, they can help you to arrange everything that’s planned for the event, from logistics to event-related issues.
However, it is completely possible to organize a successful conference independently. Here are five simple and proven steps you should follow:
Prepare a Budget
When organizing a conference, you have to first make sure that you have the financial resources to cover the expenses. It’s crucial that you determine from the very beginning how much money you want and, most importantly, can spend on the event and stick to your plan. This way, you will be able to avoid unexpected overspending. Building an event budget will also help you to figure out the right price for participating in the event.
You should also remember to keep the extra margin to cover any unexpected expenses. Your budget is going to pay for the venue, cover the speaking fees, accommodation, transportation, perhaps even translation services in Las Vegas Nevada or any other place, and so on, but what if something goes wrong and you need a sudden change of plans? It’s better to be safe than sorry and always have money on hand to cover the results of sudden changes.
Pick a Theme
Choosing a theme for the event is one of the main challenges organizers have to face. The idea of the event should be defined clearly so that every speaker can craft their speeches around it. It is not supposed to be too narrow or broad, but rather something that will focus on a specific topic and still give the speakers the freedom to include other relevant issues. When picking a theme, try to answer the following questions:
- What message do you want to share with the attendees?
- Who is your target audience?
- What are the key takeaways from this event?
With a well-defined theme, you’ll be able to make sure that each speech will build on the preceding ones in a way that will create a coherent and logical whole. This will also help you construct the agenda and prepare the event’s program.
When searching for a speaker, you have to choose a person who is not only knowledgeable about the subject of your conference but also creative and enthusiastic about presenting their knowledge to an audience. You also have to keep in mind that the quality of the event depends directly on the quality of the speaker you are able to attract.
To find speakers, you can start by contacting potential sponsors and asking them if they can provide you with names of individuals they believe would be great additions to your roster. You can also reach out to experts in your industry and ask them if they would like to speak at your event.
Remember that the speaker is the face of your brand and can make or break your event, so make sure to check their previous performances, interviews, reviews, and how well they deliver content before making a final decision.
Engage the Attendees
Planning a conference is one thing, but then, there’s the execution. You certainly wouldn’t want to see that the people participating in your forum are bored or don’t really engage with the speakers and planned activities.
What can you do to avoid it? If your event has a vendor presence, consider organizing some games or contests. Depending on your theme and budget, you could have your attendees do something, and the winner would receive a prize from one of your sponsors.
You can also try to coordinate some off-site events, such as happy hours, sightseeing tours, or local food tastings – it’s a way to keep people engaged even in the afternoons and evenings.
Promote Your Conference
When you have your theme, speakers, and budget figured out, it’s time to promote the event. Essentially, you can do this by using all available channels. For instance, if you want some offline promotion and your budget allows it, you can make and print high-quality booklets or flyers with the agenda and a visible link to your website.
There are several ways to promote the event online without spending a lot of money. You should let people see the information about your upcoming conference on social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter. Consider a catchy hashtag to use whenever you post about the upcoming conference.
Relevant forums where potential attendees might hang out (e.g., a community for graphic designers who would be interested in your conference’s theme) are also a great place for online promotion in addition to influencer’s blogs and press releases.
If you to organize a successful conference, you have to be aware of the challenges that may arise during the process. A well-planned event will help your business gain more exposure, attract new clients and partners, and achieve greater success in business.
The most important thing to remember is that it’s not enough just to gather people in one place; you have to make sure that they feel comfortable and are able to participate fully in the conference. Keep in mind that your audience is constantly evaluating the event and what they see. In order to succeed with your event, you have to be persistent, pay attention to details, and most importantly – be patient.
If you’re looking for more ways to help build your brand and business, take a look here.