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Top tips on running a business conference

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

Time’s running out to join Coca-Cola, Dukes London & Royal Mail at the Digital Marketing Solutions Summit

Don’t miss the chance to join senior executives from some of the UK’s biggest brands next month.

We are gathering together marketing decision makers for the Digital Marketing Solutions Summit, taking place on May 14that the Hilton Canary Wharf, London.

In addition to a day of business networking, you will get the latest insights and advice on trends in the sector via a series of seminar session.

Lunch and refreshments are included with your VIP ticket.

Register today and join marketing leaders from:

  • Abbott
  • Age UK
  • Albion Capital
  • AutoRek
  • BNP Paribas
  • Broadwick Live
  • BT Wholesale
  • Ceva Sante Animale
  • CitySprint
  • Clifford Chance
  • Coca-Cola European Partners
  • Como Metropolitan London
  • CompareTheMarket
  • Department of Education
  • Dukes London
  • Envigo
  • Express Gifts
  • Fairfax & Favor
  • Fitch Learning
  • Fuel Card Services
  • Galleon Hotels
  • Harbour Hotels
  • Hodder Education
  • Hyatt Place Heathrow
  • Interstate Hotels & Resorts
  • Jagex Studios
  • JTI
  • Kurt Geiger
  • Luxdeco
  • Macmillan Cancer Support
  • Magnuson Worldwide
  • Marriott Hotels International
  • Mitel
  • Mothercare
  • Mumsnet
  • National Accident Helpline
  • Orange Business Services
  • Places Leisure
  • Ralph & Russo
  • Royal Mail
  • Send a Cow
  • SHL
  • Smart Currency Exchange
  • SofaSofa
  • Softomotive
  • South Place Hotel
  • Tate & Lyle
  • Tenancy Deposit Scheme
  • The Berkeley Group
  • The Lalit London
  • The Sofa & Chair Company
  • The SR Group
  • Trend Micro
  • Vesta Property
  • West Midlands Trains

Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity! Register your free place today.

For more information, contact Katie Bullot on 01992 374049 or email k.bullot@forumevents.co.uk.

Alternatively, if you’re a digital marketing solutions provider and would like to showcase your products and services at the event, contact James Howe on 01992 374067 or email j.howe@forumevents.co.uk.

Join your peers at the Digital Marketing Solutions Summit

The Digital Marketing Solutions Summit takes place on May 14th in London and is entirely FREE for you to attend.

Simply register your place here.

By attending you will:-

– Meet new innovative and budget-saving suppliers

– Learn via our series of seminar sessions

– Network with other senior interior designers and architects

– Enjoy complimentary lunch and refreshments

Register today and join fellow marketing professionals from:

Abbott
Albion Capital
AutoRek
BNP Paribas
BT Wholesale
Ceva Sante Animale
CitySprint
Clifford Chance
Coca-Cola European Partners
CompareTheMarket
CV Villas
Department of Education
Envigo
Express Gifts
Fairfax & Favor
Fitch Learning
Fuel Card Services
Harbour Hotels
Hodder Education
Hyatt Place Heathrow
Interstate Hotels & Resorts
Jagex Studios
Kettle Foods
Kurt Geiger
Luxdeco
Macmillan Cancer Support
Magnuson Worldwide
Mitel
National Accident Helpline
Orange Business Services
Ralph & Russo
Royal Canin
Royal Mail
Send a Cow
SHL
SofaSofa
Softomotive
Tate & Lyle
Tenancy Deposit Scheme
The Berkeley Group
The Lalit London
The Sofa & Chair Company
The SR Group
Trend Micro
West Midlands Trains

For more information, contact Katie Bullot on 01992 374049 or email k.bullot@forumevents.co.uk.

Alternatively, if you’re a digital marketing solutions provider and would like to showcase your products and services at the event, contact James Howe on 01992 374067 or email j.howe@forumevents.co.uk.

IPA Bellwether reports UK digital ad budgets rise

The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising’s (IPA) Bellwether reports marketeers have revised their budgets upwards in the first quarter of 2017, the highest level recorded in almost a decade.

Some 26.1 per cent of those companies polled remain positive about 2017/18 budgets, signalling growth for the coming year,  while 11.8 per cent of companies said that marketing budgets would increase during the first quarter of 2017.

32 per cent of those companies polled also reported improvement in the financial pipeline, compared to 19 per cent that predicted things would be worse during the quarter.

The IPA reported marketers on tighter budgets are seeing greater value from digital and positioning ad spend accordingly, mostly as a direct result of the unknown effects of Brexit negotiations and wider economic uncertainty.

However, despite a positive outlook for digital ad spends in 2017, the IPA predicts stagnation materialising in 2018, with marketers being advised by experts to proceed with caution.

Speaking about the report, the IPA’s director general Paul Bainsfair said: “The election result has thrown further uncertainty into an already volatile environment.

“It is inevitable that this has had a knock-on effect on UK. Specifically, for marketers this has meant a desire, where possible, to seek out more activation driven advertising. As evidenced strongly in this latest Bellwether Report, this has resulted in a further move towards advertising in the digital space.”