It doesn’t matter if you are organising your first conference or if you are a veteran of the conference scene – it is very hard work and can be stressful. A lot of things have to come together in the space of one or two days and there is very little margin for error. Here are ten tips for you to bear in mind when you are organising your next conference.
Top 10 tips for conference organisers
- Don’t lose sight of why you are doing it. Keep checking back that all decisions you make are in line with the conference goals.
- Aim high. Make a wish list of what you really want and another list of things that you are prepared to be flexible about.
- What can you afford? Be super strict about your budget by making a comprehensive list of everything that you will have to pay for. Then build in a 10-15% contingency fund for those unexpected emergencies!
- Be realistic about what you can do. There is no problem with being ambitious but not if it is to the detriment of your ultimate plan. If this is your first conference you may not be able to attract the highest profile speakers, instead look for rising stars in your particular field.
- Build a relationship with your service providers. Keep in regular contact with the venue, speakers and sponsors etc. to avoid any last minute glitches. Emails are an ideal way to do this but a phone call gives the personal touch.
- Check your speaker’s credentials. A speaker can make or break your conference so source the best. Check out video footage and write-ups of their previous presentations and read testimonials and reviews.
- Plan your timetable. You will need a good mix of formal presentations and workshops to keep everyone engaged. Don’t forget coffee breaks and lunch breaks which are essential for networking.
- Ensure high attendance. You have to get people in through the door if your conference is going to be a success so promote, promote, promote through all channels available to you.
- Last minute details. Tour the venue the day before to spot any last minute glitches such as a lack of chair trolleys or coffee cups! It’s the little things that can make all the difference.
- Learn from the experience. Mistakes are just a way of learning how to improve so take some time to evaluate on what worked and what didn’t and move on.
Little things like chair trolleys can make such a difference
Who would have thought that humble chair trolleys could make or break your conference? Have a think about what a disaster it would be if there were no chairs at the correct venue when the delegates arrived? What kind of an impression would that give? Take care of the little things by visiting Office Furniture Online for all your other conference essentials and your day will be remembered for all the right reasons.