Organising a conference is a big job that can take weeks, sometimes months, of dedicated planning. But fear not, Pretty Clever is here to help. We’ve come up with five super important tips to take the stress off your shoulders and ensure your conference is one to remember.
1. First things first – create your wish list
What do you want this conference to be like? In an ideal world, what would you like to see when you walk into the venue, how would you like it to feel? Is there a specific ambience you want to create? Make a note of essential criteria such as location and the accessibility for your delegates, space available, venue specifics such as breakout rooms and catering, AV equipment and fun extras. We’ve come across all sorts in our 14 years of events planning and nothing much surprises us!
2. Ask yourself ‘why’?
What is the purpose of this conference? Sit down with your colleagues and discuss that all-important end goal. Do you have an ROI objective? Is there a specific message you need to deliver? Is it to generate profit? Perhaps it’s a networking event and you need to secure new clients? Do you need publicity or is the conference content sensitive and confidentiality is key? These are just a few pointers you might want to consider. Keep this goal in mind as you proceed through the rest of the list.
3. Set a budget
How will you pay for your event? Set a realistic budget and stick to it. If you’re working with us, we’ll create a budget spreadsheet listing the major cost items of your wish list – room hire, staff, speakers, catering, signage, AV equipment, event management, registration logistics to name but a few. Our key is to keep on top of the detail, to make sure there are no hidden extras and to keep you in the loop at all times.
4. Have a timeline and send out an itinerary
Timelines are crucial from the second you’ve confirmed your event date and should include all aspects of the planning process, through to the completion, de-rig and post-event evaluation. The next step is to send a detailed itinerary of the conference to everyone attending. This needs to include a save the date! There’s always one person who wanders in half an hour late – just like in the cinema – but it can be avoided! Schedule a mix of presentations, small group workshops and free networking time. Don’t forget to feed your guests, too – a hot or cold working buffet plus tea breaks should do the trick. After the day’s work is complete, you might like to consider hosting a dinner or incorporating a team building activity.
5. Tweet all about it!
Your conference isn’t over yet. Use social media to tell your delegates and followers all about it, using plenty of hashtags and photos. Twitter is the newest, most effective way to spread information, gain new followers and achieve global recognition.
We swear by these tips, but if you’re still a bit freaked out by the prospect of single-handedly organising a conference, give us a call and we’ll do it for you! We have a wealth of experience in this field and can save you valuable time and money. It’s a win, win!