To make sure your industry conference goes off without a hitch, there are many important things to consider in advance. Here is a guide to making sure your speakers and delegates have an enjoyable and fruitful conference.
Book the perfect venue
There are many factors to consider when booking the venue for your conference. You should research how many people are likely to attend, to make sure that there will be plenty of room for everyone. If you are planning to have a large number of delegates, you should consider booking multiple rooms so you can have more than one seminar or networking event taking place at a time. A venue with a café to act as a holding room between talks would be a good choice.
It is also important to ensure that the venue is in a good location. It should be easy to get to by public transport, or if not you may need to organise a shuttle service to transport those who don’t drive to the venue. You should check that there are some nice hotels nearby for anyone traveling a long way, and perhaps even arrange a special deal with one of the hotels to save your delegates money if they stay there.
Suitable venues are likely to be booked up early, so you should book yours as soon as you know the date and basic details of the event.
Provide networking opportunities
One of the main reasons business people attend industry conferences is to meet others who could be useful contacts in their line of work. To facilitate this, you should provide name badges or lanyards for all your delegates which say their name and company. These can also double as passes to ensure entry into the venue. Additionally, to encourage people to mingle you could organise specific networking events such as speed-networking, and set aside a section of the day as a social time with refreshments.
Hire interesting keynote speakers
When choosing your keynote speakers, research their previous experience of speaking at similar events to gauge whether they will be up to the task. Make sure that each keynote speaker has a different specialist subject so that their talks are varied and interesting for the delegates. You should meet with them before if possible to plan in advance what their talk should cover. It may help to give them a brief, for example suggesting they link their talk to a particularly important current issue in your industry.
To make sure your delegates feel well looked-after, you should provide refreshments. Hot and cold drinks are a must, and if you are planning a social time for networking you should consider providing alcoholic drinks. As for food, the venue may have its own café where delegates can eat, but if not you should provide a buffet at lunchtime, as that is the cheapest and easiest way to feed a large number of people, and also encourages socialising. If providing food, make sure to cater for dietary requirements such as vegetarians or those with nut allergies.
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