Your venue can make or break your event. Research a place that reflects and reinforces the company’s brand identity, compliments the theme of the conference, and is easily accessible for all attendees.
Keep on top of your budget at all times. Ensure everything is accounted for and that income levels are as expected to ensure you’re not left with a nasty surprise after the event.
Plan, plan, plan! Put together a timeline of all of your key deliverables, deadline dates, and identify the person responsible. Use this as the basis for all meeting agendas to ensure everything is on track and nothing is overlooked.
Keep Calm! A stressed event manager is not something the client or the delegates need to see! You have planned and you are organised. Deal with the unexpected as they come up to minimise the impact on the event and the delegates. But if you need it, take five minutes behind closed doors for some deep breaths, smile and carry on.
Your attendee’s first interaction of the conference is the registration process, so it is vital to ensure that this runs smoothly as this will set their first impressions of the event experience.
To ensure that the process runs as flawless as possible:
- have sufficient space around the registration desks
- have ample staff who can be highly recognisable
- categorise your attendees by type such as partner to the event, sponsor
- have directional signage to help guide the attendees to the registration desks
Conference Programme & Content
Content is king – the programme needs to offer the right balance of education, entertainment and ‘down’ time so that delegates are enticed to book and leave feeling that it was time and money well spent.
Decide who your target audience is and listen to their needs, wants and demands. Whether that’s through market research or from previous attendee event feedback.
Ensure that current and future industry trends are covered, through engaging keynote speakers.
Every element must align with the key conference messaging and branding. Thought must be put in to how and who is going to communicate the key content.
Social Events & Networking
Social events provide delegates with the opportunity to network and relax outside of the main conference programme – if teams work across different geographical areas, it’s also a great opportunity for a get together too.
Give your delegates the opportunity to host team dinners with partners/customers at local restaurants on free evenings where there is no specific agenda; it provides delegates with the opportunity to sample the local cuisine.
If budget allows, use iconic or well-known venues for drinks receptions, dinners or parties to give delegates the opportunity to see the draws of the host city rather than just their hotel room and the conference venue.
For larger off-site events such as conferences or product launches, entertainment and branding are key! Delegates love the ‘wow’ factor; if you are hosting in a breath-taking venue, well-placed branding or lighting to show attendees that the company has taken over the space for the evening, or even some interactive entertainment, will engage and excite the delegates.