Planning a conference? It’s not as scary as it sounds. Corporate events often include conferences of various kinds, some within the company and some for shareholders and potential partners. If you plan your conference right from the beginning it will turn into a pleasant event instead of something you dread planning.
First of all you have to start with a plan. Set goals, take a look at your resources and create a time line for what needs to be accomplished. This will give you a realistic picture of what needs to be done, how soon it needs to be done and what you need to get to get things done.
Once you’ve created the plan there are a few components that most conferences include. These are: speakers, workshops, entertainment and some sort of information distribution (booths, stands, samples). Go over each one and make sure to create an action plan, complete with to do lists and assignment of roles. Dealing with people will be a central theme, so here’s a great A-Z resource on hosting and working with speakers for your conference.
You’ll find many conference centers that vary in size and purpose. Many corporations also have on site conference facilities and hold conferences on their own premises. This is convenient and cost efficient however if you’re a large corporation the entire company probably won’t fit into your conference room which means that you need to find a site for your conference. Inspect the site you are planning to use, make a list of equipment, design and registration needs. If some of your guests are arriving from out of town you will need to arrange for a hotel.
A Few Other Things to Remember
Depending on who you are planning this conference for you might need to set up a conference committee or work with an existing committee or council. This is actually a big plus because chances are that committee members will bring experience and a new outlook from different fields, which will make your life harder but eventually ensure that event production covers all bases.
Gifts: brainstorm gift ideas that will leave your mark on the attendee and spread the word. Many companies are using unusual ideas to do usual things. For example using branded name tags during a convention that double as luggage tags and can be used by the attendees to promote the company’s brand for many years to come.