Here you will be provided with a complete guideline to planning and managing a conference. There are a few basic things you will need to know before you can get started with a plan for your conference. To know about them and have all your questions answered read on.
What is the conference?
Before you can get to planning and managing a conference, you will need to know what a conference is. Well, a conference is an event held by companies and institutions to discuss debate or publicize a specific area of their business or an issue. These are usually small and short duration events than congresses and conventions. Conferences can be divided into several types depending on their purpose and size.
Types of conferences:
Conferences can be broadly divided into two parts- internal and external
These kinds of events are common for medium and large-sized companies. These events are held within the company for their employees to provide product updates, collaboration, sales training, and award their successful employees.
These are the kind of events that provide information, collaboration, and influence on the audience. Given are the subtypes, you might have visited or attended one of these before.
Academic- Here a group of knowledgeable businessmen or academics present a selected audience with their new findings, new products, and their research work. A workshop might be held after it.
Trade- Trade conferences have the objective to establish new connections between traders and the general public and businessmen. Through this event, people form new and useful connections.
Business- This event is held among people of the same business field or industry. It can result in relationships where two businesses get to benefit from one another.
Unconferences- This is a different kind of event where there are no presentations, here a group of knowledgeable people get together and discuss a specific topic in front of a participating audience.
Benefits and objectives of a conference:
The major benefits of organizing a conference are:
• Establishing a business in the industry.
• Establishing brand awareness.
• Sharing information about products and services
• Establishing connections and forming business networks.
Factors affecting conference planning and management:
Conference planning and management is a detailed and time-consuming process. It can take two weeks to months depending upon the kind and scale of the conference you are organizing. The factors that majorly affect the process are:
• The objective of the conference- This will help you understand what type of event you will have to organize.
• Attending population- This is obviously a factor as every aspect of planning and management is affected by the number of people attending the event.
• International guests- If there are international guests attending then, you will have to make special arrangements such as translators
Before you get started with the plan for the conference, you will have to make sure that you have a proper strategy ready for organizing the event. A strategy might include taking a look over the following:
• Conference theme
• Demographic target audience
• Duration of the conference
• Expenses for the organization
• Objectives and goals
• Strategy for event marketing
• Conference stakeholders
• Travel Expenses
• Structure for the registration cost
Conference planning steps:
Considering all the factors of conference planning and management following steps are involved in the process:
1. Set an objective
To develop a preliminary budget for the event, work out the costs of the following:
• Rental fee or set-up fees for meeting space.
• Service charges, Taxes
• Electrical, Production, Audio/Visual, Internet charges
• Promo items
• Branding elements
• Registration items
• Printed materials
Keep your budget flexible because you might need more than what you have worked out as the event unfolds.
3. Find a location for the conference.
4. Agenda and speaker selection.
5. Visit the site of the conference before sending invitations:
Visit the site of the conference to make a preliminary management plan and to get a brief idea about the site.
6. Create a website and social media page:
This is very important for reaching people through online advertisement and registration.
7. Find sponsors and hold a fundraiser.
8. Send out invitations and start the registration process.
9. Host the conference.
10. Provide a follow up for your conference, by sending a “thank you” e-mails.
Organizing a conference is quite lucrative for your business. In order to create the best influence possible, you will have to provide the audiences with a proper idea of your products and services. Open communication of the host with audiences and other attending parties is important to get customers for your business. Let us know how does your experience of planning and managing a conference goes in the comments.