Conferences are some of the best places to meet like-minded colleagues within the same industry or creative individuals who share similar interests. In an increasingly interconnected world where relationship is key for business, conferences are a must-have for proper networking. And the company that organizes the conference will have the most prestige and visibility at the event.
But, you already know all that. You also know that planning a conference can be tricky— how do you create a dream conference that will go smoothly and benefit you, the organizer, and all attendees? Try these five tips:
1. Establish the right theme
Before you begin an endeavor as significant as planning a conference, you need to know who you are planning the conference for. Ask yourself what type of conference attendee you want to attract, and how the theme of your conference relates to your brand. What kind of value do you want to provide, and which organizations and speakers would make ideal partners for your theme?
2. Start the planning process early
Conferences are not the kind of event you can throw together overnight. You will need several weeks, even months, to figure out logistics, reach out to potential partners, and connect with your target audience. Make sure you give yourself enough space on the timeline so that you don't have to feel unduly pressured.
3. Establish concrete goals
Whatever you want your conference to achieve — increased exposure for your organization or brand, to make face-to-face connections, to strengthen your community— make sure you know what it is, and write it down. Flesh out your key performance indicators (KPI) so that you know what to measure to see if your event was as successful as you wanted, and to find ways to improve next time.
4. Research your venue
A great conference needs a great venue. If you are new to organizing conferences, ask other organizers what venues have worked for them for past events. When you have found a potential venue, ask yourself: is this venue accessible? Is it close to suitable accommodations? Will attendees find parking easily? Is the size suitable for the audience size you imagine?
5. Find volunteers
Every good conference needs a team of dedicated individuals to keep things running. Rather than hire a entire crew to do this for your conference, why not use volunteers? Find local organizations that have a similar purpose as your organization and offer their members the opportunity to volunteer for your conference and also listen in on speakers that might pique their interest.
Although organizing a conference is undoubtedly a lot of work, it can be satisfying, rewarding work. Not only will you win honor and brand recognition for your own organization, you can bask in the glow of knowing that you have done something to promote your great cause or industry while bringing people together over a common goal.
InitLive's volunteer management system helps make this part easy from recruitment & scheduling, to day-of communication & check-ins, to measuring your successes post-conference. To learn more about how InitLive works, watch a demo now!