Conferences are great opportunities for those who have the same interests. They help people to get together and exchange their ideas. If you want to organize a conference in your area, follow the steps below carefully to learn how to plan a conference. Each events require their own tips, here you will see the top tips specifically for organizing conferences.
1. Choose The City And The Dates
In general, conferences are mostly held at particular times of the year. Conferences are more likely between March and June or between September and November. So, when you decide the city, then you need to check which time period is the best for your sectoral conference. Also, it is always great if the city is a large metropolitan area that people would want to visit. Finally, the duration of your conference depends on how many people will participate in your conference. For 250-300 people, we would suggest having a conference for 2 full days.
2. Establish The Method of Sales For Tickets
While some conferences are free of charge to attend, but some of them ask for tickets in order to be an attendee. It is mostly for one-day conferences. How will you decide? If the conference fees are not a lot, then you do not need to charge your attendees. Otherwise, you may allow people who present to attend free, while others pay a small fee to cover your conference costs. If your conference takes more than a day or provides meals for attendees then you may charge registration fees.
3. Choose Your Conference Venue
There are some general tips on how to find your ideal corporate event venue, read here. For a conference venue, you need to contact with conference centers and hotels with convention rooms. Remember what you will need in the venue. Then compare the venues with which services are included. For example, How many free lodging rooms will the hotel include for speakers and board members? or what kind of technology services will the facility provide? You need to write down all you will need and all the venues provide. Then, choose the best venue for your conference. Choosing the right conference venue is a must for how to plan a conference successfully.
4. Decide On The Menu For Your Attendees
When you organize an event, you need to think that your attendees will need to have breakfast, lunch and/or dinner and drinks. They may not know or have no time to discover the area so you need to think about it. Make sure if you will hire a caterer service for the meals or your venue may provide food service. After you know who is your food supplier, you need to discuss with them about food preferences of the attendees. Some may have allergies, some others may have diet restrictions. If you choose an experienced caterer, they can create options for vegetarian, nut-free, gluten-free, kosher, or other meal preferences.
5. Plan The Schedule Of Your Conference
This step is very important in how to plan a conference. You already know the title of the conference and have a general idea of the topics. Now, you need to know how the schedule will be. It varies from sector to sector. You may take a break and let your attendees get lunch. Also, decide if your attendees are likely to want any type of entertainment, such as tours of the local area, a night at a comedy club, or a film or theater performance. Finally, if you are willing to have a creative conference format, check here to see 20 interactive conference ideas.
6. Determine The Participants and Publicize Your Conference
There are many kinds of conferences such as religious, academic or industry. Each of them has their own target participants. You should be sure if your segment has enough target participants who have enough interest at your conference. If you are targeting a small group of people, then you do not need to spend much money on publicizing your event. Instead, you may just send a couple of e-mails. If you are targeting such a big group, then I would suggest you start early to publicize your conference like a year ago. Your publication would be social media, such as the sponsoring organization’s Facebook page and e-mail contact lists, newsletters, or journals.
7. Begin Accepting Registrations
We would suggest you have registration forms which may be available months ago before the event. It will give you an idea of how many people will show up at your conference. You can also allow participants to call in their registrations if you have a way to process payment by credit card.
Although organizing an event, here specifically organizing a conference requires much work, these 7 steps above will literally help you with how to plan a conference successfully.