As a delegate, there’s nothing like the feeling of leaving a conference feeling re-energised and inspired. On the flip side, planning a conference is a time consuming task and not one for the faint-hearted. Below are a few tips to keep in mind when getting started.
1. Set clear conference goals
What are you hoping this event will achieve for your business? Is it a means to motivate your employees or showcase your skills to your target market?
Setting clear goals will assist you as you dive deeper into the planning stages. If you don’t know why you are hosting the event, you may not provide the conference your delegates want or deserve.
2. Plan your budget
We know that putting together an event budget can be daunting, but it also serves as a great checklist of activities that will need completing throughout the planning process.
When it comes to a conference budget where delegates are paying to attend, it is also important to keep in mind the types of packages you are offering and how much you are planning on charging. There is a fine line between making the desired profit and setting the price too high that no one is interested in attending.
Important: Don’t forget to include a contingency line item of at least 10% of your estimated spend.
3. Select engaging speakers
There’s nothing worse than attending a conference where the speakers can’t engage the audience, even when it’s a topic they are interested in! Do your research; a dull session can have a negative effect on the rest of the day.
4. Promote within a realistic time frame
‘Build it and they will come’ may work for some events but definitely not for all. If it’s an internal event this may not be an issue, but when you are relying on the public to book it’s important to give yourself time to promote it effectively.
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Author: Samantha Horton, Firefly Events Managing Director