Hosting a conference event from the ground up requires putting in enormous efforts and requires an extensive amount of forethought and data gathering. Organizing a business conference can bring substantial benefits to a business since it allows industry experts, customers and others to get together, learn and exchange the most cutting-edge ideas in their domain.
Majority of people face confusion and difficulty while hosting a conference event since they need to look into several aspects at the same time to ensure that your conference event emerges successful and achieves its mission statement.
Through this blog, we will share the guide to organize a conference event.
A Guide to Organize A Business Conference Event
We will now share the complete guide to organize a conference event:
- Determine the Goals and Specify the Mission Statement of the Conference: One of the first steps is to lay down the goals and objectives of the conference, craft a vision for the conference and prepare a mission statement that will dictate the specifics of the conference and help you determine whether the goals are realistic or not.
- Determine the Conference Format and Select a Theme for the Conference: You need to pre-plan the conference set up that will involve determining the type of sessions to incorporate in the conference that can include interactive sessions, state-of-the-field addresses, open-floor poster presentations, workshops, work-in-progress presentations, panels or a mix of these. It is wise to determine the length of the conference and the number of speakers in each session that will depend upon the subject matter to be delivered and the goals of the conference.
You need to also plan out the theme for the conference that is subject-oriented and must reflect the purpose of the conference.
- Set a Budget for the Conference and Decide whether to drive in Sponsors or Grants: Another important step is to develop a budget for the conference wherein you need to determine the amount of money you seek to invest in the conference. You must determine an overall budget that you seek to spend and wisely allocate it to different aspects such as conference venue, conference setup costs, material expenses, event marketing costs, guest speakers’ associated costs that will include their food, travel, accommodation and fee expenses and all other conference-related expenses.
You need to also figure out whether to drive in sponsors or grants to the conference since it will help you save a little bit. It is wise to figure out whether you will find any sponsors for the event that are associated with the main theme of the conference and determine the number of sponsors to drive in that will help you plan out the conference budget.
- Lay Out the Scope of the Conference: It is wise to plan the scope of the conference that will dictate your logistical concerns, the venue for the conference and the choice of speakers. It is wise to plan out the whether the conference will be held in a single session or multiple sessions in a single day or multiple days with overnight stays and you need to also examine the location of the target audience and the transportation means they will utilize to commute to the conference.
- Prepare a Conference Checklist/Plan: One of the preliminary steps is to build a conference plan that will guide the preparations, execution and follow up. You must prepare a checklist of all activities and tasks that must be undertaken as a part of conference hosting while also listing down the schedule of when activity needs to be undertaken.
Further, your conference plan should highlight the schedule for meetings with speakers, detailed conference schedule listing the scheduled events with dates and timings, guidelines for communication and reporting between team members, vendors, venue authorities and speakers, your marketing strategies, strategies to drive in sponsors and planning out the projected revenue from the conference.
- Create a Project Team and Scout Venue and Vendors: One of the essential steps is to build a project team comprising people with the right skill sets, attitudes, and experience. You must subsequently assign specific duties and responsibilities to each team member and design a reporting structure asking them to update you frequently with the status of their work progress.
Another essential part is to scout conference venue and vendors for different services such as catering, decors, entertainment, etc. You must perform a research to explore venues suited to your budget and also research vendors for the different type of services.
Visit different venues to examine their interiors to determine and finalize the one that is best suited to the theme and purpose of the conference and book venue well in advance. Hold meetings with different vendors and examine their portfolios to judge the quality of their services, examine them in terms of their vision and personalities and get quotes from them.
- Book Vendors by comparing their Formal Proposals: The next step should be to compare different vendors by analyzing the formal proposals laid out by them. It is wise to compare them in terms of their quality of services, style, and designs, innovation in their services, budget laid out by them, working norms, portfolios, etc and this will help you finalize the vendors offering the best deals. Sign formal contracts with vendors well in advance and decide about the communication medium to follow.
- Line Up Speakers for the Conference: You must research guest speakers holding relevant expertise and experience in the subject-matter for the conference and you can consider analyzing YouTube videos, checking similar competitor conferences or performing a general internet research to search speakers best fitting your conference goals and requirements. Decide on the number of guest speakers to hire, hold meetings with them, get quotes and sign contracts with the speakers you finalize for the conference.
- Determine Attendee Fees and Establish Registration Procedures: One of the essential steps is to establish registration procedures for the conference that must clearly specify the registration modes, payment modes, closing and ending dates, cancellation and refund policy, etc. Further, you need to determine and fix registration fees for the conference by researching industry standards.
- Decide on the Menu for the Conference: You need to determine what you need to serve at the conference to keep your delegates and guests hooked and delighted. Research about what is usually served at similar conferences and plan out a food and beverage menu and pick the caterer accordingly.
- Design a Marketing Strategy and Market your Conference: The next step is to develop a marketing strategy that will highlight the means through which you will market your conference event and the budget that you will spend on each mode of marketing.
Decide what marketing tools to use and design a plan for marketing on social media platforms to boost registrations and maximize the revenue from the conference.
- Put Together an Agenda for the Conference and Prepare Content: The next step is to prepare a conference agenda that must highlight the order in which the conference events will be hosted and the way in which different events must proceed. Further, you must finalize the content you seek to deliver in the conference that must be designed in a way to meet the conference objectives and goals.
- Coordinate with all Stakeholders: Finally, it is important to coordinate with all stakeholders and team involved in the smooth execution of the conference. You must regularly stay in touch with vendors, team members, colleagues, speakers and all stakeholders to ensure that they deliver their services as per the initial plan.
Conclusion: We hope that this blog will familiarize you with the guide to organize a conference event.