More often than not, our business would need the type of exposure like an online conference that ushers in new potential clients to significantly fortify company drive and optimism. Naturally, an increase company sales would ensue eventually. This is all the more true for small businesses that are just starting out. For this reason, business conferences such as seminars, participating in mice events and the like are crucial to boosting a particular company’s visibility in the industry.
These are the type of events that provide the perfect avenue for exposure in a particular industry, and if successfully executed, an increase in clients and customers will ensue. After all, the biggest purpose of your business should be to create a customer who creates more customer — a wise adage by Shiv Singh. And what better way to do that than create a business conference?
However, business conferences are not as straightforward as they should seem. The logistics of planning one are complex. Some of the myriads of elements that come into play behind the curtains are the food, snug and relaxing seats and an appropriate venue. But the crux of a successful and productive event lies on a persuasive and powerful agenda complemented with a set of great speakers — two elements which can make or break an event. Remember that a conference that is not successfully executed can negatively influence your career, and it can be the subject of ridicule and flak for months to come. So be meticulous in planning your events, be thorough and do not rely on chance. Here are some pointers to help you plan out successfully:
1. Settle your plans and elect a well-defined goal
Before booking any venues, scouting out potential speakers and thinking about the snacks you are going to serve, you should know what you desire to achieve by the end of your conference. A successful and effective conference would always have a clear and well-defined purpose as this is what serves as the blueprint to their planning and conception stage. Having a defined purpose and a clear goal would help them navigate through the complicated logistics. Is there a need to increase sales? Are you marketing a new product? Would you want to have your team involved in team-building activities? Determine your purpose and the rest will fall into place.
2. Design a budget plan
After deciding on what your conference’s purpose should be, think of a wish list and from here, realistically produce a planned budget and see what you can accomplish from your wish list. Determining your budget involves different factors. Will you be paying your speakers? Are meals going to be served? How much is the venue? Have a rough estimate of how much these will cost and compromise whenever necessary.
3. Pare down your wish list to match your budget
Realistically, you would not be able to accomplish every single item in your conference’s wish list. You may have envisioned in your ideal conference, but unless you have a very sizeable budget at hand it would be difficult to achieve every aspect. This is where compromises should be made and if that does not quite make the cut, you should amend and modify your plans until your budget can accommodate it.
4. Scout for open dates
Ideally, the preparation and planning an effective conference should take at least a year. This is because your meetings would involve an assortment of logistics — some of which are complicated. You would need to book an appropriate venue, hire vendors and speakers that would be simultaneously available on a specific date and time. Arranging and developing a campaign for a conference with less than a year in preparation decreases your chances of having all these elements available on one date. Choose a date and research the availability of this date for everything and everyone involved.
5. Create an outline
By the time you have reached this point, having a general idea of what your agenda as regards the program and conference is ideal which you have developed from the initial get-go and meeting sessions. But prior to your scheduled conference, you would need to discuss the plan with your team, take note of crucial points and elaborate on anything unclear. This is essential in order to bring your team up to speed and to ensure they would know what to do during the day.
6. Get the word out
Naturally, your event would require attendees, and in order to have attendees, your best tack would be to publicize and get the word about your event out. Excite attendees by promoting your conference all over social media and print media, give them an idea as to what your conference is all about and give them a general overview of what would take place during the event.
7. Assess the outcome of your event
Most business owners and event organizers would skip this step altogether, but this last step should never be neglected. Assess your event and from your assessment, determine whether it was a success or not. Ask for some concrete and measurable feedback from the attendees. In turn, these feedbacks would provide you with adequate information as to what you are already good at, and what you should be improving on so that on your next conference, you would give a more seamless experience.
Author: Janine Gomez
MyOwnConference blog. Lifehacks, reviews, useful tips for preparing, holding and promoting webinars and web conferences.