Organizing a conference can be quite a task. As the number of daily corporate meetings and conferences held globally is increasing, the competition is stiff among the event planners to capture the attendees’ attention. There is a multitude of aspects that need to be taken care of while organizing a conference and this means that the planning should start way ahead of time.
“Almost 100% of working professionals in a study responded that poorly organized conferences are a waste of their time and money.” Source: Doodle
To ensure that nothing slips through the cracks, tapping into the full potential of a top event management software is a must for the planners. But more on that later.
Global Conference Management Statistics
After studying 19 million meetings in the US, UK and Germany, Doodle found that the key elements of hosting a successful meeting or conference are as follows:
1. Setting clear objectives – 72%
2. Having a distinct agenda – 67%
3. Avoiding overcrowding at the venue – 35%
4. Utilizing visual stimuli like videos and presentations – 27%
The Conference Planning Checklist
Starting Out: 8-12 Months
Event management experts believe that starting out with the process at least 8-12 months before the D-day can relieve organizers from last-minute stress and they can have enough time to prepare and manage all the verticals.
1. Choose a Conference Format and Theme
Understanding the type of corporate event management you are required to do is the first step.
Are you launching a new product at the conference or is it a training workshop? Select a theme that resonates with the personality of the meeting.
The central idea is to decide on a catchy topic that is relevant to your audience and appeals to them at an emotional level. This further ignites meaningful conversations among the attendees, hence enhancing customer experience and uplifting the brand persona.
2. Prepare a Realistic Event Budget
Using event management software, prepare a tentative budget for the entire event and make sure to stick to it till the end. This might be a tough nut to crack. Create a budget template and allocate certain parts of the total fund to different verticals of the event. Save some in cases of emergencies or last-minute expenditures.
Learn how to manage your event budget using a smart budgeting strategy here – 5 Tips to Better Manage Your Event Budget
3. Location, Venue and Vendors are a Priority
Depending on the type of audience and nature of the conference, location, venue and vendors must be finalized during the early steps of event planning. If the majority of attendees are flying in from other cities, then go for a venue closer to the airport. Explore if the area has any local vendors that you can rely on.
For more ideas about selecting the right venue for your event, read our blog – How to Choose the Best Event Venue
4. Keep a List of Speakers Handy
Event management requires organizers to do extensive research about all the verticals of hosting an event. From booking venues to understanding marketing strategies and inviting the right speakers to the event – everything needs thorough research. Look for speakers who have spoken at similar conferences like yours, compile a list and determine the value proposition way ahead of inviting them to the event.
Getting Into the Details: 3-4 Months
The concrete has been set. The time has come to get the final steps of the event ready.
5. Finalize the Venue, Vendors, Speakers and Sponsors
Event planners need to finalize and get their contracts ready with every vendor and venue managers. Sign the speakers, panelists and any other entertainment that you might have arranged. It is also crucial to start arranging for accommodation and travel for whomever it may be necessary.
6. Build your Website using an Online Event Management System
Getting your event website up and running finally marks that point when you are ready to take the news of the conference public. Modern event management software makes it easy for organizers to get the website ready by allowing a host of customizations depending on the type of conference being held.
Create an engaging website that uplifts your event’s brand image in no time. Learn how – How to Design an Attractive Event Website
7. Begin the Event Promotion Process
An online event management system can help greatly in the event promotion process. Marketing an event requires event planners to create a strategy at least 3-4 months before the conference. You need to make sure that the word spreads fast. Targeting potential candidates based on their age, gender and profession is a great way to promote your event and the tickets sold out faster.
Read more here – Event marketing Strategy for 2020
Wrapping Up the Plans: 2 Months
8. Draft a Conference Schedule
A very important step in conference management, event planners should have a draft of the event ready almost 2 months before the conference date. Using the online event management system, upload the schedule on the event website so that your partners and attendees can have an idea of what to expect at the event.
9. Send Reminders to Guests, Speakers and Attendees
An online event management system makes it easy for event planners to engage the entire list of guests, attendees and speakers through email and social media. Share last-minute updates and remind them of the reasons why they should not miss out on the experience. Make sure to contact vendors too, to remind them of their commitments.
Event management software is a boon for conference organizers who want to have information about every aspect of the event at their fingertips. Combining the use of top event management systems with early planning and strategic approach to event marketing and budgeting, event planners can host a great event that creates an ever-lasting experience for the attendees. The aim is to organize a conference that will turn your attendees into loyal customers who will never fail to attend your future events.
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