As marketing assistants, we wear a lot of hats. Social media manager project manager, customer service officer, and event planner. Small businesses don’t have the capacity to hire for each individual skillset.
What often happens is tasks get rushed because our time is spread too thin. Opportunities aren’t leveraged to their potential and we begin to question our work. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
If you’re in charge of an event this year, here are five tips for planning a good conference. You don’t need a degree in event planning.
Let’s get bums on seats.
The conference everyone will be talking about
1. Figure out your theme
To convey the benefits of attending your conference, be clear on your theme. The narrower your focus, the better. Like, ‘teach your stakeholders how to use your new app.’ Having a unified theme helps to articulate not only why they should attend but sells it to the right people. Think about creating a mission statement.
2. Book your speaker early
Before you work out your theme, consider the industry players you could invite to speak. A niche theme is great, but if you haven’t got anyone to talk about new insights and ideas, you’re making it hard for yourself. If you’ve got someone in mind, connect with them early. Good speakers have busy schedules. Think about your own connections. Explain your mission to everyone you know. Use social media to share this and start conversations. Going in, you’ll need to know whether your company has budget to pay them. This will change the language you use – offering either compensation or exposure.
3. Pick your venue
We’ve spoken about this before (hyperlink) and how to pick the right venue for your conference. But keep in mind things like the number of guests, the venue location, how long your event will go for, the menu, your conference theme, and the impression you want to make.
4. Follow a pre-launch style
People are busy, especially business owners. Think about a brand that launched a new product. They didn’t just announce it to the world, once. With any pre-launch, it takes planning. A consistent flow of communication. Send the invite, connect with them via social media, talk to them on the phone to confirm their attendance, and send reminder emails in the weeks and days before. Explore any past events and look for opportunities.
5. Develop the agenda
Don’t fly blind on the day. Brainstorm what you want the conference to ‘look like.’ Will it be a blend of small group sessions and lecture-style learning? If so, which will come first? Draw it up, point by point.
Planning a conference takes work. But if you follow these strategies, you can break down your event into actionable tasks.
At the Adelaide Hills Convention Centre, we’ve got an experienced event management team on staff. Book your event with us and we’ll take care of the whole event or provide assistance along the way. You choose how much support you need from us.
Make the most of our expertise or have fun planning it yourself.