Planning a conference can be very exciting – it involves envisioning an event in your mind’s eye and then bringing it to life. You will have the chance to bring together expert speakers who can talk about your subject and offer inspiration and education to everyone who attends.
Putting together one of these events is not easy and there are a lot of things that you will need to focus on in order to create a successful conference. Here are some tips to keep in mind when you are planning an event like this.
What is the Theme?
When you are planning a conference you should have some type of unifying idea that brings everything together- which is known as the “theme”. This will help you to relate your ideas and to find appropriate speakers. Also it will allow you to market your conference to the people who are interested in the topic you want to cover. Having the theme will also help you to come up with the name and stay on topic.
Snap Up the Best Speakers in Advance
The speakers are one of the most important aspects of a conference, since they are what people will be coming to see. If you start planning your speakers in advance, you will have much better choice when it comes to who you have at your conference since the very best speakers have their schedules booked months in advance. If you are looking to hire professional speakers you will need to have a budget available to pay them. Not many professional speakers will have the time and the inclination to do their job for free.
Choose the Perfect Venue
Finding a good venue is absolutely essential when you are planning a conference. It doesn’t matter how good your speakers are, if the venue is in a bad location or offers poor facilities this will put a damper on the experience. Look for a venue that is big enough for your needs and that provides the type of facilities that your guests will need.
Location is important. For example, if your guests live in Chester you could consider having your conference at one of the luxury country hotels near Chester to make it convenient for them.
Should You Feed Your Guests?
You don’t need to provide food at a conference, but it can be a nice touch. It will increase the cost of the event, obviously, but it can be a great way to add value and to facilitate socialising between your guests. The easiest way to offer food is to find a good caterer and to let them put together a buffet. Figure out the cost per person and how you want to present the meal and the caterer will give you a quote.
Shop Around to Find Vendors
When you are planning a conference you will need to find service providers who can offer you services like lighting and sound as well as catering and security. Sometimes the hotel will provide some services and other times you will need to hire outside vendors in addition. Make sure you shop around and compare prices, so that you can find the best vendor for your needs.
It’s Fine to Ask for Help
Running a conference is a lot of work, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you try to take on every little detail yourself you will find it too much to handle. Find someone who you can count on to be there for you when you are stressed and who can pick up the slack when you get overwhelmed. Also having another person there can help you to give you a second opinion and curb your enthusiasm when you go overboard. You can also use your friends and contacts within your industry to help you promote the event. Ask them to share the announcement of the conference on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites and to promote your conference at their own event. It never hurts to leverage your contacts!
From choosing meeting venues in Cheshire to getting the best speakers to planning the food, these are just some of the most important points that you will need to keep in mind when planning a conference. Planning such a large scale event can be a huge task, but with these tips you will be able to plan a fantastic event that your attendees will be talking about for many years to come.