There is always a need to share information and educate the majority with regards to these information. There is also a need to teach people new things and discuss important and relevant matters with them. However, you can’t do those things to on a one-by-one manner. You have to be able to collectively inform, teach, and discuss with a larger group of people in order to efficiently accomplish your goal.
With that said, one of the most convenient and efficient way to do it is through conducting a conference wherein people can learn new information, are taught of new different skills, strategies, etc., and can have a formal discussion about certain topic/s.
However, planning and conducting a conference is not an easy feat. It takes a lot of time and money to prepare for a conference, and not only that, it demands undivided commitment and perseverance. Despite that though, there is no greater sense of accomplishment knowing you were responsible for a successful conference that taught other people about certain important matters.
People generally consider conference as as a meeting of several people to discuss a particular topic. It is a term often confused with a convention, colloquium, or symposium. Although the major difference it has with the others is the size or number of participants and the purpose, it can be used to cover the general concept. It is quite different from a convention since it is larger than a conference; in addition it is also a gathering of delegates representing different groups.
With that in mind, what is the purpose of conducting a conference? Generally, during conference, innovative ideas are discussed and new information is exchanged among experts. Listed below are the following possible purpose of a conference:
As you now know, there is a variety of reasons why people hold a conference. With the discussed purposes of a convention, it is evident that the main goal is to share vital information, teach new things, and to have an open discussion about serious topics. And since there are quite a few purposes of a conference, it also have quite a few types. Hence, listed below are some of the most common types of conferences:
Aside from gathering the most professional speakers securing your conference sponsors, there is an unending number of tasks that you need to do in order to ensure you have a successful conference. One of the most important tasks that you need to accomplish is to find the perfect and most conducive venue for your conference. Here are some things you can consider when choosing your conference venue:
You need to choose a venue that is accessible to your intended attendees. Choosing the right venue that is easily accessible to your attendee will help you maximize the attendance. You have to make sure that there is an easy access to transportation so that attendees can easily arrive by air, rail, or automobile. You can maximize your networking opportunities if you make sure that there are near establishments that are open either pre- or post-event.
If your chosen venue is not within a hotel, you need to make sure that there is an available lodging accommodations within a reasonable distance from the venue. If the nearest lodging place is not within a walking distance, check to see if the venue can offer a shuttle service for your participants. If not, you will have to factor this in your planning process.
Before you say yes to the venue, make sure that it is available for your intended date. If it is, check if the other or outer facilities are available as well. Be sure to determine if this is the venue or locale’s peak season. This can heavily affect the amount of traffic in the common spaces and may preclude organic event networking opportunities (pool, VIP lounge, etc.).
You need to make sure that the venue reflects the image of the conference. Not only will you need to choose the venue that best reflects the image of the conference, but you also need to make sure that it is the appropriate place for target audience as well. In addition, you need to make sure that there are no other on-site events that may clash with your conference image or branding message.
Your budget constraints should be your major consideration when choosing venue. However, it should not stop you from choosing the venue either. One way of choosing a venue is through online websites that make the price range of your venue. Also, if you think that you found the perfect venue, do not be afraid to negotiate if the venue is willing to lower the cost in exchange for a multi-year contract.
You also have to take into consideration the staff-to-attendee ratio. Make sure that there is enough wait staff, concierge support, and security for your event. On the day of the conference, you will have a lot of tasks on your plate, that is why it is very important to make sure that there is an on-site dedicated venue coordinator or designee to assist with any issues that may arise.
Choose the venue that has all the facilities that are needed for your conference ready and available. You have to make sure that your venue has the audiovisual equipment, stages, and microphones. This also pertains to the chairs, tables, table cloths, etc., that you will need to arrange and organize your seating arrangement for the conference.
As the coordinator for the conference you need to seriously consider how you can assert the branding of your company or organization. You need to ask the venue coordinator what signage and branding opportunities are available throughout the facility and not only on the conference itself. Maybe they have an available electronic marquee or place signage in the elevator space that you can utilize for your branding.
Remember that your attendees will most probably have gadgets that will need electronic charging. Therefore, you need to make sure that your venue has a lot of available charging ports near the seating arrangements of your attendees. Aside from that, you also need to make sure that there is an available strong Wi-Fi connection since your speakers may send a copy of their discussions through email or even have online-based activities.
It is important to provide your attendees with proper nutrition during your conference. That is why you have to make sure your venue can accommodate the meals for every individual in your event and troubleshoot if there are issues that may arise. It is also important to ask them if they can provide meals especially intended for people with allergies or any special diets. If not, ask about the ability to hire an outside catering instead.
If you are responsible for planning and spearheading a conference, you need to make sure that you allot time into actually planning it so that you take into account every aspect that needs to be considered. And when the day of the conference comes, you also still need to make sure that you and your team all go according to what has been planned. With that said, here are some useful tips you can use as guide into planning and running a great conference:
There will always be probability of having a not-so-great conference, however, it can also be avoided or escalated if you have prepared and planned thoroughly ahead of time. Planning is very essential when conducting a conference so that you can account all the important things that you need to consider and find ways to fulfill them or replace them. The most important thing to remember about your conference planning process is that you can accommodate all your attendees’ needs, inform and educate them about the main topic of the event, and at the same time, fulfill your company or organization’s goals.
There is no shortcut when it comes to planning anything, but through this article you can have a glimpse of what it takes to plan and run an excellent conference. We hope that you were able to learn and understand some of the most important aspects when it comes to conference planning. The examples above are useful in aiding you as you go on with your planning.