Conferences, conventions, and events are expected to grow by 44% by 2020.
And this figure applies to all industries. If you’re considering a new project, new business, or just want to branch out in your niche, you should consider organizing a conference.
Creating a conference requires a lot of planning and gathering the necessary data and supplies. This doesn’t mean conference planning is impossible. You just need to gain some conference planning skills.
Are you stuck on your conference plans? Follow these steps to put on the best conference of the year!
Have a Vision of Your Conference
Is this your first conference? You likely have a vision of the final project. Keep this vision in your mind. It will help you organize your event.
However, keeping an image or thought in your mind is never easy. You can lose all of the details or ideas you had. This is why it’s important to write down your vision, complete with goals and ways to achieve your vision.
Is your vision difficult to put into words? Draw it out. Refer back to your sketch if you lose any creativity.
Documenting your vision will help you make informed decisions, will help you create a budget, and can overall help you plan the conference.
Have you planned a conference before? You can take this same approach. Try discovering ways you can make your conference bigger and better. Write down your ideas or draw them.
Create Your Plan
Now that you have your plan, you can get to work and plan your convention.
First, find out the who, when, where, what, and why of your convention:
- Who is your convention for?
- When will it happen?
- Where it will happen?
- What is your convention?
- Why are you planning this convention?
After you answer these questions, it’s time to get to the real grit of the planning. This includes creating a budget, getting grants and sponsors, and other factors that are essential to the planning.
You should answer some of the most integral questions early on.
This includes finding a conference space and expecting a certain attendance size. You should also schedule the space well in advance. From here, you can plan your speakers, entertainment, events, and the overall itinerary.
Find a Venue
We mentioned this in the previous step, but it’s important to emphasize it and provide its own section. The venue you choose is essential to the success of your convention.
Take a look at your vision. Have an idea of the way you want the convention to look and find a venue that can represent that image the closest.
You can also take a look at your practical information, such as the date you want to book the convention and the expected number of attendees.
You should also keep additional information in mind. Is this convention for adult industries, such as alcohol, marijuana, tobacco, or adult entertainment? Make sure the venue is willing to accommodate to these industries.
You’ll also want to ensure the venue can uphold your audio and visual needs. Film and music conventions often have to worry about this.
Some venues may not provide services in-house and some may only require in-house services. See what your convention requires and compare that to what the venue can work with.
Are you booking special guests, speakers, and/or entertainment? They will need somewhere to stay, such as a hotel. Ensure the venue is close to a hotel (if it won’t be at a hotel).
Market Your Event
Once you have all of the gritty details planned out, you can start marketing your event.
This entails using all necessary means to entice guests. This includes getting a website, distributing print materials, creating social media pages, and asking guests and sponsors to promote the event.
You may even want to consider classic advertising, such as billboards, radio advertisements, paid ads on Google and social media, and commercials.
Are you unsure what good conference marketing looks like? Take a look at the NEDAS Summit website.
They immediately have the date, address, and registration information on their homepage. If you keep scrolling, you can see their schedule, sponsors, and extra information such as lodging accommodations.
Not only is all of this intriguing but it’s also helpful for registrants.
Plan the Small Details
The big picture isn’t the only one that matters. You’ll also realize the small details are the most important ones. A good example is navigation.
Is the conference easy to find? Is parking convenient? Does the town offer Uber and Lyft for out-of-town registrants?
The conference itself also has small details. Navigation is a great example. Is the conference easy to navigate? Are you detailing where vendors will go? Is there plenty of floor space for guests to walk around?
You may have already planned the lodging accommodations. But those aren’t the only accommodations. For example, what about food? Are there restaurants nearby?
If not, you’ll have to try and find other ways for guests and registrants to eat.
There may also be social gatherings outside of the conference.
It may be helpful to contact the local bars and clubs and inform them that they may expect a larger crowd than usual. You can always reserve rooms and spaces at these places.
Keeping all of these details in mind ensures that there will be no problems at the event.
Follow These Steps and Your Conference Plans Will Go Smoothly
Want to be a leader in your niche? Organize a conference or a convention. Booking a conference will help you and will also help the vendors, sponsors, and registrants who are participating in your conference.
Are you stuck on your conference plans? Booking a conference comes with its challenges. As long as you follow these steps, you can expect the success of your conference.
These aren’t the only tips you should know. This is why you should continue reading our blog. We offer business advice, from the conference planning to the legalities of business ownership.