Five tips when planning a business conference

When done right, a business conference can work to raise the visibility of your company and get your brand in the eyes of those who actually care about your services and/or products.

It is important to bear in mind that planning such an event will take time and effort. However, the payoff is the opportunity to be immersed in a crowd of people who share the same interests and who want to learn from you.

To get you started on planning the perfect business conference for your industry, think about these five key considerations:

1.    Determine a theme

Before you start setting up your conference, it is important to first understand just what the point of the event will be.

Once you have a theme in mind, you will be able to start planning, from booking the most effective speakers to knowing which target audience you should advertise your conference to.

2.    Decide a date

Conferences usually work best when they are strategically planned around your market. Here’s a few examples to consider:

  • Video game conferences are usually planned at the start of the autumn to capitalise on the raft of new games which are released between September and December each year.
  • Some car conferences are scheduled ahead of the new reg plate being released (in the UK, the new plate is released every March and September).
  • A conference showcasing the latest toys could take place in the lead up to the festive period.

3.    Set out your budget

It is vital that you draft up a budget in order to rein in your spending so that you don’t go overboard and end up splashing more cash than you can afford.

A great way to work out your budget is to establish the absolute maximum that you can spend on your conference. Set up a spreadsheet listing how much you’d want to pay for the following factors:

  • Venue
  • Having staff on hand at the event
  • Speakers
  • Catering
  • On-site advertising and marketing materials
  • Giveaways

Getting overwhelmed? This handy guide by The Balance should help you choose the correct pricing strategy for your conference.

4.    Pick your venue

There won’t be a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to deciding a venue for a conference, but you should be well on your way to finding the perfect location for your requirements by answering these questions:

  • Will you be able to host everything in the one exhibit hall or will you also need meeting rooms?
  • Will you need to either have hotel rooms on-site or nearby as your conference will run over multiple days and likely have the same people attending?
  • Will high-speed internet be important to those attending?

One location to consider is Wyboston Lakes. Within easy reach of London, they have suites that can house everywhere from 20 to 150 people, as well as a raft of hotel rooms and access to fast Wi-Fi.

5.    Book speakers as soon as possible

Your conference will be instantly more appealing if it is going to play host to a number of speakers with years’ of experience in your industry.

Search around your network to find suitable speakers for your event, but be sure to watch any demo videos and talk to people you know to see if they have heard of them before reaching out to them.

Once you’re confident that someone is perfect for your conference, get in touch with them and provide them with full details of your event and how you would like them to play a part. Make sure you know how much they want to be paid before you confirm a booking too and don’t be afraid to ask them to promote your event socially after they have agreed to make an appearance.

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