Systematic Steps To Ace Conference Planning
A conference can be your method to hear fresh ideas, network with like-minded people of your field, and grow as a company. Therefore, it is a wonderful idea to organize a conference. On the other hand, conference planning does not come easy. However, with the help of the elaborate steps mentioned in this post, you will find it comparatively easier to organize a successful conference.
A conference planning checklist should entail the tasks that are bound to be performed before, during as well as after an event. A conference checklist is an absolute necessity as it enables all organizers to meet deadlines, complete targets, track progress and most importantly not forget anything important. That is to say, the conference checklist ensures a well planned and well-managed conference.
Read further to find the best conference planning checklist for your comfort. Undoubtedly, this is your go-to conference checklist if you wish to plan an important conference that is going to be both, effective and eminent.
PLANNING Before The Event
An Event Planner
First and foremost the most important question that you need to ask is “Do I need an event planner?” For a stress-free and guaranteed successful conference, the answer must be Yes! Conference Planning is a daunting task, and more so with the busy schedule, one keeps at the office. Therefore, amidst the regular work, it is certainly difficult to organize a full-fledged, outstanding event. Hence, to assist you with unforgettable conference planning, BigFDay is at your service. BigFDay is an excellent event planning service based in Chennai with tremendous experience in organizing successful events.
Alternatively, you can choose to organize your conference at your personal level. For such purpose, assign a planning committee, administration committee, marketing committee, and so on at your office. The committee should exclusively look after the preparations for the conference. Further, delegate the tasks as it improves accountability and generates results.
Objective And Name Of The Conference
Decide the objective of your conference to give direction to the agenda of the event. The objective will help you decide the type of speakers you wish to invite, the target audience, and so on. Further name your conference as a name will be relevant for promotions, as well as to create recognition.
Determine The Budget
One of the most important aspects of conference planning is determining the budget for such a conference. Firstly you can decide a preliminary budget and further, you can alter it as per the accruing and the actual costs. The budget can be fixed with the help of previous experience and the limits of the company.
On the other hand, it is at this step that you can decide the requirement of a sponsor and the steps to go about it. Moreover, advertisement partners, registration charges, and the like can be decided along with the budget for your conference.
Decide The Date
It is important to pick a date at least six months away, for your conference. This will be sufficient time to organize and plan a successful conference. Check to see if the date is suitable for your main guests and does not coincide with a similar event in the same city. Further, the event date is preferable to not be around festivals or vacation times as it could affect the turnout.
Pick And Book The Venue
Create a list with viable venue options such as banquets, hotels, conference rooms, etc. Contact the venues and discuss your requirements, for instance, capacity, catering, accommodation, parking, AV equipment, etc. Compare the pricing of your choicest venues and shortlist suitable options. Further, contact the selected venue and sign a contract.
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Prepare The List Of Attendees
It is advisable to prepare a list of the target invitees and guests as it helps to fix the number of attendees. Further, it helps to decide the size of the venue, catering requirement, and so on.
Pick A Theme
There are numerous benefits of organizing a themed event. Firstly, it makes the event more attractive for the attendees, and further, it leaves a more lasting impact on them. Moreover, it is easier to decide the decoration, menu, and other activities if there is a pre-chosen theme for the event.
Plan The Agenda Of The Conference
This is an important point in the conference planning checklist as it determines the crux of the conference. That is to say, the activities, workshops, interactive sessions, speeches, and the type that you visualize to organize at the event should be done with care. Moreover, prepare a draft script for the entire event. Consequently, it will assist you in tracking the progress of your event and be prepared for the next step at the conference.
Plan Your Marketing Strategy
This point in conference planning includes determining the platforms to be used to promote the conference. It is suggested to keep written materials to be posted as advertisements, introductions, highlights, etc ready. Further, select the digital platforms to be used for spreading the word and invest in paid ads.
EXECUTING 3-4 Months Before The Event
Design A Website
In this digital era, one immediately expects to know more about an event through online portals. Create an interactive website with all the necessary details about the conference, for instance, the guest speakers, the activities, the objective, and so on. Moreover, keep the website constantly monitored to be able to assist the viewer with any query. An online registration option can also be installed.
Invite The Speakers
Decide the type of speakers you wish to invite to your conference. Send them invitations well before the event date to ensure your top choices are available on the dates. Further, you should choose speakers who have gained considerable popularity in their field of work. This will attract the attendees and give you credibility. Above all, always keep a backup entertainer or speaker in case of unforeseen cancellations.
Invite The Guests
Send out your invites to the guests and invitees via email or your chosen means of communicating. Insist on RSVPs to have a realistic idea of the number of attendees.
Book The Caterer
Firstly, check with your venue about their in-house catering service if any. On the other hand, you may borrow the services of a local vendor for catering requirements at your conference. Moreover, ensure the caterer is renowned for his quality food as good food is not only an important factor in the conference planning checklist but also pertinent for an unforgettable conference.
Plan the transportation, and accommodation of outstation invitees and guests, if any. Further, the guest speakers may have special requirements that have to be tended to.
The basic requirements at a conference would be good lighting, HD visual equipment, and a good sound system. Make the necessary arrangements and ensure a rehearsal before the D-Day.
Purchasing Stationery And Gift Items
It is time to print or purchase the stationery items that may come in handy at the event, for example, pens with the company logo, notepads, feedback forms, questionnaires for surveys, and so on.
Further, if the company budget so allows, it is a nice gesture to give your attendees a token of appreciation. It could be a small memento for them to take back or an item of utility. Above all, the stationery and gifts should be branded with the conference logo.
Certain vendors would expect part or full payment before the main event. Therefore, get done with the formalities to ensure a smooth flow of events on the D-Day.
FINAL TOUCHES 1-month To D-Day
Promote The Event
As you give the final touches to the preparations, it is now time to start promoting your upcoming conference. You can choose different mediums for promotion. For instance, digital media can be used through social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or personal blogs. Further, a press release is good way to reach a wide audience.
Send email reminders to your attendees and speakers about the approach of your event. Show them your enthusiasm at the anticipation of having them at the event. Most importantly, make your guests feel welcome.
3 Days To D-Day
With 3 days to go for the conference, review your conference planning checklist. Further, visit the venue and reconfirm with all the vendors and event participants. Take a soundcheck, discuss decoration and finalize the seating arrangements.
On The D-Day
The day of your conference is here! Take a deep breath and give your 100 per cent. Energize your team, look after the guests, ensure smooth flow of activities, and above all, be ready for any mishappenings.
To sum up, the vision of the conference should be well portrayed throughout your event. Once the event has concluded, applaud yourself. You certainly gave your best effort.
However, if conference planning still seems arduous, trust BigFDay to organize your event flawlessly. We have the expertise to handle minute planning and ensure a successful event.