A Guide To Organising A Conference


Organising a conference can be a lot of responsibility. It’s not uncommon for businesses nowadays to organise video conferences and cut down on the stress. Of course, nothing quite beats the physical engagement of meeting in-person, allowing the opportunity for physical demonstrations and networking before and after the event. If you’re thinking of organising your own conference, here are some of main factors to consider.  

Set a budget

Conferences can swiftly become more expensive than you initially expected. The first thing you should do is set a budget. This should cover your venue, travel, transport of guests and any other costs. Depending on who you are inviting, how many people there are and the subject of the conference, this will all vary.

Decide a location

Your location should be an easy location that all attendants can get to. Your office may be suitable – in which case you can cut costs. Consider where all your guests are coming from and if your location is central enough. Make sure there is enough parking, that the area is big enough for all your guest and that is has adequate Wi-Fi or phone signal. Many hotels may have conference rooms – you can even allow travelling guests to stay here so that you don’t have to arrange separate accommodation and travel. Check that your venue has an equal space that can be used as a lobby or syndicate room for meeting and socialising before the conference.

Schedule a time

You’ll need to come up with a date that suits all your guests. Some venues will offer cheap rates at certain times, so shop around. Pose your date to your attendees and be flexible with it if important guests can’t make it. It pays to plan these events several months in advance to give everyone enough warning as if you were arranging a party.

Consider catering

Having a few snacks or drinks available can be a great way of making your guests feel welcome and breaking the ice. There are any catering companies that specialise in conferences (such as yourprivatechef.com.au). Make sure that you match the catering with the formality of the occasion and the status of your guests. There’s no need to splash out on champagne and oysters if most the attendees are low key, but if big businessmen or special spokespeople are attending, a simple coffee machine might not put you in good stead (and conferences after all are an opportunity for you to turn these people into acquaintances).

Market your conference

You may have a strict list of who you are inviting but to ensure they want to attend you’ll need to market it correctly. For big conferences of random guests, social media is key. Create a hashtag for your event and market on Twitter (you can also use Twitter during the conference so that attendees can interact in real time). For exclusive invites, use email marketing and LinkedIn. Advertise any other big guest or spokespeople that may be there. Sometimes it can be worth paying for someone important to attend so that you can build up hype.

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