How to Plan an Unforgettable Conference

office-party-smlWhether you are planning a conference, workshop, seminar or a corporate party, conferences are a great opportunity to network for potential business and press coverage. Allow for plenty of time to arrange the event and work with a clear strategy to meet your objectives. Your main business objectives are likely to be; building your brand, getting the word out there and proving your company as an authority figure in the market. Here are the key things to remember in order to organise a successful conference.

It Starts with the Guest List

If you are planning a conference then make sure you invite clients, media, competitors, potential clients and key industry people who have influence in the market. This is the perfect PR opportunity for your company and the more unforgettable the event the more your company will stand out in your guests’ minds.

Finding a Speaker

Of course, you will want to choose a speaker that is not only relevant to the conference as a whole, but also has enough name recognition that guests will look forward to the speech. When planning the event, come up with a list of potential speakers and narrow it down based on who you believe your guests will want to see. Remember that your keynote speaker can make or break your event as a whole, so take the time to look through available speakers before coming to a final decision. Lists of available speakers and their booking information are available through organizations like Leading Authorities.

Tick All the Boxes

Below is a basic checklist that can be used to plan the most important steps for any corporate event:

• Invites – Allow time for RSVP’s, ensure that you clearly outline the event details.
• Venue – What is the capacity and are there any restrictions?
• Food and Drink – If you want happy guests then you need to feed and water them! Canapés and cocktails usually work well for any occasion. Check out established caterers such as deWintons.
• Seating/Seat Plan – Will attendees choose their own seats?
• Decorations – Stick to two or three colours to make the scheme flow simply and consider your branding when selecting decorations.
• Entertainment – How will you keep attendees entertained?
• Sponsorship – Having sponsorship for the event can help you to manage costs.
• Microphone/Music/IT – Test out all equipment before the event.
• Key Speakers – Choose your best speakers for the conference, get them to keep each talk informative and short so people can remember the important information but won’t lose interest.
• Programme Plan – Put together a programme of the nights events for you and your guests, arrange times for the guests to mingle and this will also give you the opportunity to network.
• Goody Bags – Give your guests something to go away with, this will be a reminder of the days for your guests.
• Contingency Plan – Make arrangements in case the event does not go to plan.
• Thank You’s – Thank guests for their attendance and ask for feedback.

All in the Detail

Being creative and paying extra attention to the finer details will show that your company is thorough and willing to go the extra mile. Take a look at some examples of companies that had successful event marketing campaigns.

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About Dequiana Jackson

Dequiana Jackson, Founder of Inspired Marketing, Inc., helps overachieving women entrepreneurs conquer limiting beliefs and create marketing plans that grow their businesses. This includes one-on-one marketing plan development, digital product creation, web design and content marketing. Dequiana is the author of Know Your Business: How to Attract Ideal Clients & Sell More and runs the award-winning blog, Entrepreneur-Resources.net.

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