• Top tips on running a business conference

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    One of the surefire ways to put your company on the corporate map is to have a conference event that makes a statement. When it comes to planning a notable event it’s important to remember what kind of experience you want your guests to have, whether you’re a startup or a highly developed company.

    To ensure you impress your attendees, we’ve teamed up with Wyboston Lakes, a conference centre in Milton Keynes, to create this guide…

    Don’t underestimate collaboration

    Taking the initiative of going alone is great if you’re a sizeable company with the means to do so, but don’t forget about the power of collaboration. One of the main focuses of conference events is bringing people together from the same or similar industries under roof to discuss trends, exchange business cards, and set up working relationships. Two hosts mean twice the brainpower, which could result in reaching out to a wider range of key influencers within a sector.

    Selecting the theme

    Setting a theme is paramount to achieving a more focused approach. If the theme is ‘grow’, for example, this may encourage many more smaller businesses to join. This could mean lots of new faces, which is an excellent way to encourage conversations.

    Have a bit of fun with the wording of the theme too — you want to aim for something that’s relatable and resonates emotionally with the reader. In short, something catchy! Themes that are too ‘corporate’ may not go down as strongly.

    Keep in mind that social media also plays an important part in the run up, during, and after the conference, as hosts and guests will be sharing news and information there. It is essential therefore to take advantage of any hashtags and utilize them as part of your theme throughout.

    Location of the event

    The location of the venue is as important as anything else within it. Consider the potential size of your event and compare this with the size of the venue. Booking a stadium for a handful of guests probably isn’t going to go down well with your finance team, for example.

    Accessibility is important too — is it near train stations, airports, or any main motorways? If many are arriving by car then plenty parking is a small factor that goes a long way, keep it professionally thought out and not sloppy.

    Picking a secluded area of the building is important also for the guests to feel they have privacy away from the main areas to allow them to focus more on the on the conference itself.

    Do all the necessary facilities come with the venue of your choice? Plenty seating, smaller rooms for breakout sessions, and modern technical aspects such as video equipment, projectors and suitable audio are all essentials if you’re planning on delivering a seminar or require a PowerPoint to go alongside a speaking slot.

    Caring for the environment

    Businesses have a duty to the environment, and with more attention than ever on ‘going green’, it’s vital for your event and your brand to maintain an eco-friendly image. Being ecological should be one of the underlying factors of your event, making sure wherever possible the green alternative is being deployed rather than using too much plastic.

    Refreshments

    No matter the size of the event, it’s important to have a selection of refreshments on offer. A few pastries and hot drinks are suitable for smaller events, whereas larger events would require pre-paid catering companies to provide a larger range of options. Make sure that your catering options include some alternative offerings too, such as gluten or dairy-free.

    Influential speakers

    People like to come away from a conference event feeling like they have learned something new, something they can take home with them that they did not arrive. So, take advantage of your connections and include some influential speakers that you know will create an atmosphere and deliver some useful tips for all businesses.

    Agenda

    Arranging and setting up an itinerary prior is a no-brainer if you want to guarantee the event runs smoothly. Planning activities that have the guests engage with each other is always a positive way to break ice, as well as allowing plenty of time for refreshments if it runs throughout the day.

    You can overdo it though, planning everything to the smallest detail can make it seem not natural, keep it organized but let the networking parts guide themselves, allowing some flexibility over the course of the day of hours that it runs for.

    There are many aspects to consider when planning the perfect conference. By following the tips above, you’ll be sure to have all areas covered!

    Sources:

    https://www.senatehouseevents.co.uk/features/how-plan-conference-your-guide-planning-perfect-conference

    https://www.creativebloq.com/business/how-organize-conference-21619080

    https://billetto.co.uk/l/how-to-organise-a-conference

    AUTHOR

    Stuart O'Brien

    All stories by: Stuart O'Brien