Holding a conference is a big deal. It is a demonstration of your prowess as a leading light in the industry, as a company which is not only knowledgeable but has something worth telling others about. It’s also a great way to increase brand awareness which might then lead to an increase in sales.
It’s not easy to organise a conference, there’s a lot to think about. However, if you’ve got your venue, your expert speakers, your exhibitors and have determined your aims, then that’s the basics covered. What else might you need to think about when organising your company’s first ever conference?
Here are a few little reminders:
Getting The Word Out
Publicising your event will be the making of it – after all, what’s the point in going to all this trouble if no one hears then event is even taking place? Therefore you must consider how best to advertise your conference so that it reaches the biggest proportion of the industry or your target market.
One of the most effective ways is to try and get an article written about it in the trade press as this will be seen by plenty of ‘the right people’. You should also publicise it on your company website and social media channels. Get the word out and encourage ‘fans’ or ‘followers’ to share the information. SMS or email marketing is another really great way to communicate your message quickly with those who have signed up to your newsletters, etc.
The mark of any conference is the quality of its ID badges. A hand-written sticker will simply not look professional enough, therefore you will need to take some time to get decent-looking badges produced.
Consider what information you want to have displayed on the badge; will it be just a name or will you include company and position? Incorporating your company’s logo and branding is key for a professional look, though this does make it difficult to create badges for last minute attendees. That said, if you use ID badge software to produce your impressive badges, it’ll be easy to print extras off.
It’s also worth considering exactly what purpose you want your badges to assume. Will they be used simply to make networking easier or do you want to incorporate smart technology that can track where around the conference your delegates are heading? Do you want to fit them with micro-chips that allow delegates to swipe through security doors once initially cleared, or even load them with token cash so that they can be used to pay for food? Badges are not what they used to be, that’s certain.
Following up Interest
There will hopefully be delegates at your conference from businesses that you want to attract. You will hope that they’ve extracted value from the event and are keen to establish a relationship with your firm, but how do you ensure this happens? By following up after the event – that’s how.
With your list of delegates, send them an email which thanks them for their attendance and perhaps reaffirms the key take-away points. Why not ask them for some feedback? Two-way conversations can prove very engaging and help to build relationships. Attaching an incentive, perhaps a discount might not be a bad idea either.
Chris Taylor is a Content Promotions Specialist for UK events badge supplier big.co.uk, which stocks a whole range of badges and identification products for some of the biggest names in the business, from Tesco to Hertz and B&Q.
Photo Credit: miuenski