Organising a conference can be a stressful experience; from budgeting, to marketing and keeping delegates happy. Fear not, here's our pain free advice.
How To Plan A Successful Conference: 5 Tips
Set A Clear Budget
Budget, budget, budget. With so many things to consider when organising your conference, it can be easy to keep spending. Allow a budget for each element: venue, speakers, marketing, catering etc and stick to it!
Having conference sponsors is a great way to increase the available budget you have (they also tend to help market the conference too!). Sponsorship costs can cover catering, the venue, fill your goody bags and more.
It’s recommended to give yourself a 10%-15% budget cushion when you begin planning, just to ensure you don’t go over your final budget.
Consider The Location
The first impression delegates will get on the day of your conference is your location - whether that be city or/and venue. You want to wow them, so why not consider something out of the ordinary.
Our Conference Organisers have connections worldwide, meaning that they can source the ideal venue for the impression you’re trying to make.They’re also there to take the stress away and plan the entire event for you - it’s what they’re good at, and really enjoy doing!
Look After Your Speakers
Don’t take it for granted that your speakers are losing time from their own business to present at your conference. Creating a presentation deck isn’t an easy feat either; on average they take 12+ hours to create, that’s without practicing the verbal part of the presentation.
Offering to cover the transport and accommodation costs of your speakers is a huge plus for many, but there are small things you can do to make them feel even more comfortable on the day that don’t have to cost.
A closed off area for speakers is ideal, as it gives them a quiet place to practice their presentation and gather their thoughts.Even ensuring that the stage has fresh bottles of water can improve the experience.
The more you make your speakers feel special, the more they’ll promote the conference via their social channels and as we know, every bit of marketing helps!
Market The Conference
Put a clear marketing plan in place for your conference that spans across web, seo, content, paid advertising, social media and email. Many choose to create social accounts and a dedicated hashtag for the conference; meaning that users know exactly where to go for conference information.
A clever strategy with your paid advertising is to bid on the names of similar conferences; that way those who are looking to register for that may also register for yours as there’s a common interest.
With your social channels, promote your speakers and your venue; they’re most likely to share your posts, giving them a higher impression and reach.
Email is excellent for re-engaging those who have previously attended your conferences; and reminding people that it’s coming up.
Your marketing strategy can’t be an afterthought for a successful event.
Focus On Delegate Experience
From clear and organised transport, to useful goodie bags and fast wifi; the experience your delegates have can make or break your conference… after all they’re who you’ve organised the event for.
Why not provide the conference agenda online in advance, with a PDF version available for delegates to download and highlight - better yet, email it to them.
From a catering perspective ensure there’s a range of food and drink for all dietary requirements and space to sit to eat.It’s also recommended to have a clear area where your sponsors are, and networking space. Charging zones are becoming more and more popular at conferences too.
Feedback from your delegates is vital too. By requesting feedback after the event you’re able to take on board what could be improved for future conferences, as well as which speakers and sponsors were a hit with your delegates.
Organising a conference doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. With the right connections and experience, it’s just another day at the office for our team - providing unique and jaw dropping, worldwide conferences.Why not speak to a member of the team to see how we can help.