Hosting a conference can be a huge boon to your business. It allows you to present new information, share innovative ideas and discuss a particular topic while positioning your company as a leading name in your field.
Usually headlined by keynote speeches, conferences are suited to a large number of attendees (anywhere between 50 to 1,000 people) and are thrown by organisations from all different sectors, from design and tech to media and marketing. They offer a fantastic educational and networking experience.
But how do you ensure your conference has the maximum possible impact? Here are six tips to help you throw an amazing conference.
Find the right venue
Finding the right venue is one of the most fundamental aspects of planning a successful conference. For starters, you need to find a conference space that has enough size and space to comfortably accommodate your guests. If you’re planning to have different speakers in multiple rooms, you need to factor this into your search, too.
Your venue must also have the necessary facilities for a conference, including technological equipment to support your keynote speeches, high-speed internet connection and available set-ups and layouts. Don’t forget about disabled access if you’re expecting handicapped attendees, either.
Location plays a key role, too. You need to find a venue that’s easy for your delegates to get to, has good local transport links and preferably has decent parking options nearby.
Last but certainly not least, the atmosphere is a crucial part of your venue search. You need to find a conference space that reflects the mood of your event. For example, a tech conference calls for a modern, state-of-the-art setting, not a rustic, old-fashioned space, while the last thing you want if you’re hosting a marketing conference is a venue that’s bland, basic and boring.
Spread the word
If you plan an amazing conference but nobody shows up, is it an amazing conference? One of the benchmarks of a successful conference is the number of attendees. Therefore, it’s essential that you get out and spread the word early. From social media and email marketing to PR outreach and radio and TV, utilise whichever marketing channels will appeal to your demographic to help drive potential attendees to your registration website/portal.
However, your aim shouldn’t be to just raise awareness but to raise excitement. By teasing out the things that make your conference special — whether that be a ground-breaking presentation or a headlining speaker — you can build an organic buzz for the event so that your attendees will show up on the day full of excitement and enthusiasm.
Provide a warm welcome
How you greet your guests will set the tone for the rest of the day, so it’s important that you provide a warm welcome. You can do this by installing a meeting point complete with a dedicated and friendly welcome staff where your guest’s can check-in, find out exactly where they need to be and ask any questions. If you want to go the extra mile, why not greet your guests with personalised welcome bags
Technology is a given for any conference in 2020. If you’re looking to maximise audience interaction and avoid those dreaded awkward silences when the presenter asks if anybody has any questions, look no further than live Q&A and polling software such as Sli.do.
If you want to expand the reach of your conference beyond the confines of your chosen venue, you can live stream the whole thing through a platform like Restream. If you want to go all-out and offer a truly immersive conference experience, consider investing in augmented and virtual reality headsets.
Alternatively, the way you utilise technology for your conference can be with small enhancements such as online check-in software or a networking and messaging app.
High-profile keynote speakers
Adding star-power is a sure-fire way to take your conference to the next level. We don’t just mean booking the hottest reality TV celebrity of the moment. If your conference is related to a niche subject or field, shortlist the leading minds in that industry when it comes to booking your keynote speakers. Not only will this create anticipation for your event and attract more sign-ups, but it’ll raise the bar of the conference itself. It’s a win-win.
Extend the conference experience
Your conference doesn’t end when your guests leave the building. Our final tip to delivering an amazing conference is to consider how you can extend the experience of your event. One way to do this is by sending your attendees a personalised thank you email accompanied by a post-conference survey, where they can share their thoughts and provide feedback (which will help you the next time you host a conference).
Allowing your guests to offer their input makes them feel valued and involved in the process — and more likely to come back for more (fingers crossed).
If you’re looking to find the perfect venue for your conference, look no further than Absolute Venues. With an extensive directory of over 160,000 venues worldwide, our free venue finding service can help you to source that right location for your event.
Once you fill out our enquiry form and provide us with all the details and requirements of your event, our team of expert and experienced event planners will begin creating your tailored experience, putting together a shortlist of suitable venues for you to choose from.