Conferences, according to Wikipedia, meeting of people who have discussions regarding a topic and one of many types of meeting events.
Let’s talk about conferences and why to have one
The number one reason is the human connection, it’s the most powerful way to ensure the information to be shared is received and understood. During face to face meetings, one is able to see facial expressions, body language and hear voice tone. Throughout a conference the information being presented raises unforeseen productive questions. The human connection applies even in conference calls and webinars. Just as there are many meeting types, there are also various types of conferences.
- conference calls
- There are also unconferences which usually refer to Sports.
Each conference type mentioned has particular configurations depending on the amount and nature of the information to be shared. I want to focus on business conferences.
Business conferences are organized to discuss business-related matters. There may changes coming in your industry, for example in the hotel industry, in its desire to keep their guests safe, had several conferences to discuss security changes because of increased crime and terrorism. Papers were presented on research done, options were offered and finally a plan for new policies was implemented. Some of those conferences involved several small groups of 20 then grew in size as the need to reach more of the industry increased. How about the travel industry? Imagine the number of conferences held to implement the current policies of the way we travel today. Other reasons to have a conference could be internal to your company, such as changes that would improve hiring practices, sharing best practices or team-building ideas. All companies, regardless of the industry hold conferences. What business conferences does your company have? Oh, getting to host your first one? Ok, here are a few things to consider:
- Establish who your audience will be
- Make a list of the logistical details
- Be flexible…things will change
- Know your limitations
- Have a strategy
- Set a financial plan
- identify the reason for people to show up; then
- Get the word out
- Get speakers and employees engaged to inform their acquaintances/followers
- Utilize social media
- Make registration easy for attendees, use online registration
- Assign responsibilities
- Practice your presentation
- Have a back-up plan and be ready for the unexpected
There are a lot of details to consider in order to have a successful conference, as discussed previously and that is not a complete list ~ the question is who will you have pull it off? Large companies usually have an in-house meeting planner on staff, who totally understands the details involved. Smaller companies do one of two things give the additional logistics tasks to an employee (who was hired to do another job) and hope for the best or form an alliance with an independent meeting planner. The independent meeting planner can handle the details of the conference thereby being more cost effective and freeing company staff to take care other important things like conference content. See my blog Why Use An Event Planner for Your Next Corporate Events?
I hope this information was helpful, feel free to leave your comments.
Exceptional Occasions, a full-service meeting and event planning firm. Contact Exceptional Occasions and let’s form an alliance!