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How to plan the perfect conference or speaking event?
What does successes look like
Begin with the reason for the conference, what are you hoping to convey; ask yourself what would be the very best result for you or the company. If you want to portray your business as a global leader chosen a small budget location would be a false saving, equally if your company offers a cheaper alternative to what is currently on the market and you hold your event in the Ritz, you can image the overall effect.
Give yourself time and flexible dates
Start months in advance as there is more that you think to manage when conference planning. Then be flexible with your dates as the location, hotel etc may be booked on that perfect day and you will find. When defining the date for your conference it is helpful to have several possible dates in mind. Sometimes the location of your choice will not available on your preferred date so you have to switch to another choice.
Flexibility can also help widen the number of choices available and can save money by choosing midweek options. Avoid Bank holidays and preferable August as successful conferences are always well attended. Think of your audience, when is their busy period, in retail conferences in late December would cause issues, sales conferences are often held at the beginning of a month / quarter, not the end when salesmen are busy trying to hit targets.
Make a list of expenses, balance this again what you are hoping to achieve or what new business you may hope to gain. Budgets do not have to be restrictive and can help focus the conference into something punchy and direct and not just an alternative to being in the office. Remember printing, displays, banners, venue hire, food and drink. DO NOT assume that a hotel provides anything extra that is not on your quote.
Choose a venue for your conference
With flexible dates, start hunting for the right venue; are people coming by car or by public transport, is the conference for a 100 people or a 1000? Smaller conferences can be held in conference rooms of hotels as opposed to main rooms or alls. Conference rooms often have inclusive tariffs that can include staff and beverages; they normally include some of overhead projector but check first.
Try to visit the venue WHEN they have a similar event. Looking at empty rooms and trying to image 400 people listening attentively can be hard. Seeing a hotel in action is a good test of how they will perform on your day.
Banners and Displays - Which display banners works best
Clearly define the different areas of your conference with our range of display banners. Use them to emphasise the key elements of the conference topic or theme. When your speakers are talking pop displays or large signage can create a more interesting backdrop, which can make listening and understanding a more rewarding experience.
Resources available online
- http://www.planetpursuits.com/conference-planning.php - Conference Planning | Conference Management | Planet Pursuits UK
- http://www.justdisplays.co.uk/ - Just Displays — Your partner in display excellence
- http://thisisfunky.com/funky-venues/ - The most cool, unusual exclusive venues, caterers and event suppliers in London and the UK / This is Funky