Why do conferences matter?
All successful organisations understand the paramount importance of executing great conferences.
- Conferences are a fantastic form of marketing.
- Running successful conferences helps to differentiate you from your competitors.
- Organising a successful conference helps to establish your organisation as an industry expert and thought leader.
- Conferences are a great opportunity for industry experts to share best practices, prized insights and top trends.
- Conferences provide a fantastic platform to expand your global network.
There are literally thousands of conferences run globally each year, so making your conference stand out from the crowd may seem like an unfathomable task. However by following these simple tips you can ensure that your conference will attract the leaders within your industry and keep them coming back year after year:
Choosing a location for your conference is one of the key factors which will determine your success. You need to select a location that boasts strong public transportation links and is easy for delegates to find. When planning your conferences it is important to understand the attendee’s needs. If you are planning an international conference which is going to attract delegates from across the globe then it is essential to ensure that you choose a location within close proximity to an international airport which offers sufficient suitable accommodation.
As well as ensuring that you are in the right location, picking the right venue is fundamentally important. It may sound cliché but dedicating adequate time and resources to researching the venues at your disposal will in the long run be so rewarding. We understand that budget often dictates venue choice however it is amazing what negotiation can achieve. One tip, think outside the box when choosing a venue for your conference. Hosting a conference in a business centre is generic and boring, think outside the box! A cathedral? An abandoned rail station? A zoo? The possibilities are endless and provide the perfect opportunity to add character and originality to your event.
Content: What you Say and How you Say it
All great conferences are comprised of two key factors, interesting content and great speakers. It is important to recognise that the primary reason people attend conferences is to learn. We live in an era in which people are actively seeking out opportunities to absorb great content, so it is vitally important that the content you are offering is current, relevant and engaging. Another great way to generate interest in your conference is by offering an array of fantastic speakers. It is important to offer speakers that are going to generate interest in your conference before hand and will enhance your attendee’s experience. Your speakers should be industry experts or individuals with great success stories that your attendees can relate to. If you can consistently offer incredible content which is delivered by fantastic speakers then you can guarantee that that masses of attendees will register and keep registering for your conferences.
The registration process is integral to the success of your conference. Firstly you have to market your event in such a way that people are desperate to attend. Be creative and innovative with invitations and advertisements for your event. Generating interest is key to the success of any conference. Secondly empathize with attendees and ensure that the registration process quick and simple. There are numerous great companies offering different registration software such as Eventbrite, Event Connections, and CVENT to name a few. It is all about finding a system that works well for you and your team. If you do not have the time and resources to allocate to the registration process then it is crucial to recognise this and outsource it early on because the data that you can gather from running registration successfully is priceless.
All brilliant conferences are the perfect amalgamation of learning, networking and fun. You can offer the greatest content in the world but if attendees depart having not enjoyed themselves then they are not going to return to your conferences in the future. The key is to offer entertainment that is going to captivate your audience. It is important to remember when planning a conference that you are offering an experience. Remember originality is key. Offer incredible, memorable entertainment that can become a real vocal point of your conference!
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
– Maya Angelou.
Remember you are creating an experience not a conference. If delegates can walk away from your conference knowing firstly that they learned something (or hopefully several things!) and secondly that they enjoyed themselves then you can guarantee that they will be interested in attending future events organised by your company. By creating an exciting atmosphere in which people can learn about your industry and its newest trends you have begun to develop the fundamental basis for creating your own conference series which will encourage the organic development of your business and will inevitably result in increased revenue!
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