Hosting a conference can be both exciting and panicking. Exciting because hosting a large conference is no small feat. It is a major achievement for any organisation if successful. It could open doors to more business in your industry. Panicking because of the amount of time spent in planning and executing it and any uncertainties. Sometimes, regardless of the diligence involved, anything can happen during the event that is beyond your control. Below are a few tips to keep in mind when planning a conference.
1. Clearly Define the Objectives
The first thing to do is to identify the goal. Some questions to ask are: What is the objective of the conference? What is the budget? What is the organisation looking to achieve by hosting this conference? What is our vision for this event? Is this in line with our mission? Are the board of directors on board? Write out the answers in simple terms so that everyone clearly understands it.
2. Set up a Planning Committee
Once the objective has been approved by management, begin immediately by setting up a planning committee. The committee will be responsible for everything from the beginning to the end. While it is possible to do this alone, involving other professionals would not only lessen the burden but also ensure each essential task is being taken by a professional. For example, your committee should have at least a member of the following expertise or responsibility: media and public relations, marketing, budgeting, networking and inviting the right people. Work with your finance department to determine what the budget is and then plan around it. Choose an appropriate date when services and rentals are more affordable.
3. Compare Venues
When it comes to selecting a venue, take your time and do thorough research. The venue can make or break your conference. Compare various venues within and outside your city. Major cities in the United Kingdom such as London and Liverpool see a lot of conferences annually and their services, fees, and availability may vary. This is because these cities act as a hub for businesses in that region. The good news is with Venuefinder. You can do your research from the convenience of your office. Venuefinder allows you to search over 16,000 venues and sort them according to city, price, capacity, facilities, and even style. All you have to do is input your preference for Liverpool conference venues or locations in nearby towns.
4. Recruit speakers
Once a venue is booked in advance, come up with a list of guest speakers and possible keynote speakers. Reach out to them and come up with a favourable deal for both of you. Have a backup list just in case.
5. Spread the Word
Use every media outlet you can get to publicise the event. Create a simple registration system so people can register in advance.
Planning a conference does not have to be stressful. Simply map out the objective from the start, create a planning committee of professionals, set a budget, select the right venue, recruit speakers, and spread the word. Lastly, be flexible in case of any unforeseen challenges.