Planning a successful conference is a lot of work. A lot of conferences fail because not enough time and effort wasn’t put into the planning process to ensure the conference’s success. The good news is that you can follow the experience of others to remove most of the hardships that conferences face.
Three tips that can help make your conference a hit, include:
1. Answer One Question: Why?
The question of why must be asked before even the most miniscule of planning can commence. The idea is that there always needs to be a purpose behind a conference. You can’t go into the conference planning process without knowing why.
I suggest that you sit down and figure out:
- Why people should attend the conference
- What the purpose of the conference is
- Why your conference will make an impact
You’ll want to determine if your conference will inspire guests, make them think, start a discussion or even inspire some sort of change or action. A well-defined conference will attract visitors naturally.
2. Implement SMART Objectives
You’ve done the work to answer the most difficult question already, and now it’s time to focus on the details. There are a lot of details to consider, but the most important detail of them all is the objectives that you’ll need to follow.
- A defined purpose for the conference
- The goals of the conference
- What attendees should experience from the conference
There is a lot to cover, and you’ll want to have goals and objectives so that you can judge the conference’s success from an analytical standpoint.
SMART objectives include:
Your objectives should include all of the SMART components for the conference to be a success.
3. Speakers and Budgets
Speakers need to be experts in their field that have a reason for going on stage. These individuals will be the reason that people choose to attend your conference rather than staying home and relaxing.
You need to seek out the industry’s best speakers and invite them to speak at your conference.
You may need to pay the speaker, too. A proper budget allows you to hire speakers that know what they’re talking about. I recommend that you first determine your budget and try to account for 10% to 20% over your budget.
Budgets that are too tight may require you to work with sponsors. Objective Measure makes it easy for sponsors to sponsor their event. This works as a mutual benefit to all parties involved. Sponsors will help foot the bill for the conference while the sponsor will gain:
Some conferences will also allow sponsors to setup exhibits to showcase their products and services leading to a direct impact in sales and return on investment.
If you’re trying to negotiate with a potential speaker that wants too much money, remind them of your conference’s ability to:
- Increase recognition
- Provide an additional point on their resume
- Connect with other industry leaders
You’ll find that a lot of speakers will be willing to negotiate the terms of their engagement if you offer something: free accommodations, discounts, foods – something worthwhile.