Managing conferences is never a piece of cake. It takes a lot of planning and research to perfect a masterful conference. The danger with planning conferences is the tendency to overthink things to the point of overlooking important details as you go. With that being said, conferences could take up years to plan depending on the scope and target audience. On the average, conferences could take from six months to a year to organise and implement.
Organising a conference takes a lot of work. It’s not a walk in a park but the experience truly adds up to one’s organisational portfolio. This is an event wherein like-minded people convene to exchange and share ideas as well as experiences. Conferences become effective when it weaves liberating, enriching, and engaging experiences for attendees. You are able to absorb important information, be moved and motivated, while also sharing your own story and expertise on the subject matter.
The key to effective planning and management of conferences is to take up one task at a time and to keep everything on the calendar and detailed out. For someone new in organising a conference, the whole planning scene could seem to appear overwhelming and taxing. There may be no shortcuts to planning but there is a clean route to it. Let us keep you organised and right on track with this guide on the best ways to plan and manage conferences:
- Visualise your conference. Like any gathering of people, a conference should have a purpose. This will be your focal point in the conference so keep it grounded, defined, and relevant to your target audience. At this point, everything is just in a blur as far other details are but focusing on the theme of the conference will serve as your blueprint for the rest of the details.
- Make an outline of your budget and costs. Project your profit first as this dictates your working budget. Know what or how much sponsors would cover. Determine how much would you charge for the exhibitors and attendees of the event. When you have a target or approximate budget in mind as well as the estimated costs in terms of venue, catering, manpower or staffing, and other marketing expenses, then you’ll be able to move forward and execute.
- Know exactly what number you’re targeting for the conference. Your budget depends on it. Know the demographics too and what aggregate number you are expecting to attend the event so you can get the right location for the conference.
- Decide on the date and time. You should be flexible when working on dates and times of the conference at hand. Choose at least three dates and decide what works best in terms of availability and suitability. Be exact too when it comes to the schedule or time of the conference.
- Forming a team. Creating varied teams to handle different activities for the preparation and main event will help you streamline every detail of the work activities. Make sure there is a team for marketing, administrative, and for the actual event. Managing a conference is easy and seamless with the help and support of a team that will keep the workflow easy and on cue.
Marketing is the key to a successful conference. You cannot create and execute an impeccable conference without the right people and marketing boost to back you up. Having authority and inspirational speakers for conferences as well as brand ambassadors would help you get the attendance number that you want. The entire package of planning a conference lies on an idea and proper execution of that is what segments the brilliant from the average minds.