We've put together 8 conference hacks to help you ensure your January conference is a success.
Book now. We mean it, right now. Conference lead times are usually around 3-6 months but the earlier you book, the better the deals you can get. Don’t leave it to the last minute, you may get some late booking deals there as well, but you’ll be compromising on the date you want, and the preparation you need. November is peak time for conference booking, so get in early.
Content is King. Yuk, a cliché of all cliché’s, but also true. It used to be that the event booking formula went; date, venue, content. That’s the equivalent of Steven Spielberg getting the actors, camera’s, sound, lighting, all together onto a set, and then saying ‘right, we need a script’. So, work out what you want the conference to say, then look at how you want to say it, then where and when.
Create a memory, not just an event. You’re not organising a ‘boring conference’, you’re organising a modern, contemporary conference that is dynamic and stimulating. Take a look at some of the most amazing conferences out there and follow their lead, you can do amazing things with conferences, so get creative; the result will justify the means!
Choose a great venue. If you’re going to create an experience, use your venue to help you. Think laterally, how does your venue support your content? Want to talk about competition, health, fitness, wellbeing, look at a sporting venue; thinking about heritage and performance? Maybe a historic one. You get the idea …
Merge and make merry: Don’t be afraid to merge traditional event formats, this may be a conference, but it can also have an incentive, training or even social element to it. There’s nothing wrong with adding an end-of-day reception, or starting the day with incentive exercises that stimulate guests’ minds.
Break it up. A conference is never about one room, one stage. Great conferences have lots of different discussions going on, chances to hear from everyone. Communication needs to be two way, and more personal, so break it up and allow all voices to be heard, people like to be involved.
Technology for technology’s sake? Don’t get drawn into event tech for the wrong reasons, there is brilliant technology out there, at its best it is deployed to support the conference’s objectives, to add to audience engagement and receive helpful feedback. Don’t just bring in gimmicks and then decide how to use them.
Feed their minds. Don’t forget about the food, 42% of all event feedback is about food, and the good news is that it’s getting better and better. Bad news is that so are expectations, so stimulate their minds with tasty, interesting, nutritional food and menu’s that have been designed to support the conference content. This can all be done, and when it’s done well, it can be really fun!