Tips for Planning Your Next Business Conference

Everyone will remember the business conference you plan, but your goal is to ensure it’s remembered for the right reasons. This means you’ll have to invest a great deal of time and effort into planning the event. These tips can help you create a conference that will be a success and lead to positive recognition for yourself.

Start With Your Budget

Before you start making any plans, you should find out what kind of budget you’ll be working within planning the event. Additionally, you must determine the approximate number of people attending and the purpose of the conference. These factors will help you decide upon the details, such as venue size, multimedia needs, and seating arrangements. If you’ll need to hire guest speakers or arrange for separate conference rooms, these factors will also influence how the budget is spent. It can help to utilize a service that offers conference planning resources once you have the details ironed out. A package that helps you meet several requirements together can alleviate much of the planning.

Choose a Venue

The first step in making plans for the business conference your company will be hosting will involve choosing a venue. Something to consider is the location of each venue. You’ll want to choose a site that’s close to other amenities, such as gas stations, convenience stores, and hotels. The location is especially important if you’re expecting out-of-town guests who may not be familiar with your city. In addition to the location, make sure the venue is capable of hosting the number of guests you’re expecting. As a general rule of thumb, you’ll want a venue that’s too big rather than too small. You can always cordon off the back of the venue to keep everyone closer to the speaker’s podium.

Create a Schedule

You’ll want to know who will be speaking at your conference as early as possible. It’s also a good idea to line up alternate speakers in the event that someone cancels or is otherwise unable to appear. This will save you from an embarrassing lag in the conference. Your schedule should allow for pauses between speakers and a couple of breaks throughout the event. Don’t forget to schedule lunch or dinner breaks as well. 

Your schedule should be tight, but you should be prepared to amend it on the go to stay a step ahead of any challenges that arise. It can be easier to create and edit your event schedule by downloading a mobile app. There are several apps specifically designed to aid in event and conference planning.

Enlist Volunteers

You’ll need help to plan and host the conference, but you’ll also want to stay within your budget. The best solution is to turn to your colleagues and request volunteers to help with the setup and organization of the conference. Co-workers may be initially reluctant, but many of them will come around after they give it some thought. 

If you want to provide incentives to help them decide to help, remind them that helping with the setup or working the event as a greeter will help them network with more of the guests. Often, the opportunity to meet others is as enticing as the topic of the conference itself.

Don’t Wait to Reserve Essential Services

Depending on the planned duration of the conference, you may need to hire caterers to serve food. You may also need to hire decorators to help spruce up the venue, and you’ll have to rent multimedia equipment. Waiting until the last minute to take care of these details can leave you in a bad situation in which you’ll have no choice but to hire third-party service companies with poor reputations. Making reservations as early as possible can help you get the best quality for your budget. 

Be sure to check online customer reviews, returns, and guarantee policies, and sample the quality of services they provide. When renting audio/visual equipment, be sure you’ll have access to replacement equipment if there’s a performance problem. In hiring caterers, ask for a free sample of the meals you intend to order. In general, you should know what to expect on the day of the conference.

When you know where to turn for help as it’s needed, you’ll be better prepared to plan a four-star event. Whether this is the first conference you’ve planned or one of several, making it a success will positively impact your reputation in the workplace. For that reason, you should embrace the help of professionals to ensure there’s a lower risk of anything going wrong.

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