Tips to organize a conference, from coffee-break to microphones
To organize a successful conference, no detail can be left to chance. You will have to take care of all aspects, from the whims of the participants, to the technical solution so that they listen to each other. If you have been assigned this monumental task, follow this series of simple recommendations. Despite being simple, each of them will be a lot of work. Cheer up.
Conferences are often large-scale events. To organize them successfully, you must keep in mind all the details that surround the event and know how to convey to the participants the correct message.
Write your goals and agenda for the event. First of all, you must have clearly defined goals that you intend to achieve with the organization of the event. Knowing in advance what the objectives you want to accomplish will help you to execute your actions in the right direction. Do you want to promote your company only among the attendees? Do you want media assistance? Do you want a show or a pure exchange of knowledge? Do you sell something or it is just a papers-meeting?
In order to plan the conference correctly, you must know how much money you can spend and what you are going to spend. Make a list that details all items in the budget and how much money they will cost. Find the prices of several suppliers to choose the one that suits you.
When inspecting venues, keep in mind the number of participants, if you already have an adequate sound system, if you have parking place and if you get near the subway or bus lines. Your goal should be to find a site that facilitates the concurrence of the largest number of people. Think about how many people you are going to need to work during the conference, and find out how many you can get from the site owner (receptionists, waiters, etc.). If you need additional staff, make sure you start the selection as soon as possible to assign tasks clearly, so that each one performs his or her job as best as possible and can receive the training they need.
If the conference brings together a considerable number of speakers, you will have to take into account the technical aspect, and acquire the basic knowledge to handle a multipoint device, which allows the intervention of many speakers, or a public address system for a large hall. When you feel that the complexity of the devices surpasses your knowledge, do not hesitate to hire a specialized company with experience in events.
Conferences are usually extended for several hours so you should remember that participants will not like to sit around all day without eating or drinking. Moreover, everyone who participates in a conference usually focuses on the quality of the products served and the service received, to the extent that is what is usually talked about, when returning, with colleagues and friends. If the chosen place does not provide gastronomic services, consider hiring an independent catering service that deals with this section.
Although the topics discussed in the meeting are not of interest to you, do not forget to attend the conference you organized. This way, you will have the opportunity to take note of all the things that you think were right and which need to be corrected in the future.