23 May 2017
Forbes has voted the role of Event Manager in the ‘Top 10 Most Stressful Jobs’, so it’s no wonder you’re feeling under so much pressure to host a successful conference.
With so much to think about and so many people to please, you’re probably looking for ways you can make your conference a huge success and one that people won’t forget! So to give you a helping hand, we've asked the office for their Top 10 Tips for hosting a successful conference…
1.“Make the registration process easy for delegates”
There’s nothing worse than trying to register for a conference and not being able to find the information you’re looking for! First of all, chose your method of registration; online, paper based or both? Ensure that the information is easy to find and that the registration process isn’t complicated. Make sure you send out the postal and online registration invitations in plenty of time for delegates to register.
2.“Don’t rush printed material – and digital for that matter!”
What are your delegates going to be looking at all day long? Your printed and digital material. The last thing you want is for your delegates to sit down in the morning and to be uninspired before the conference has even begun. Take time to ensure that your material is consistent and that it matches your brand. Think about giving your conference an identity, reflect this identity in all of your material from your registration process to your goody-bags.
3.“Don’t skimp on your Audio-Visual budget”
You might think that spending heaps of money on your Audio-Visual is a complete waste – it’s not. You may have chosen the perfect motivational speaker for your conference, but if half of the room can’t hear or see them, they won’t be motivated to do anything! Visual content is also key, concentrate on getting it right before worrying about how you’ll present it. If one AV Company is much cheaper than another, ask yourself why. A first-rate company may be a little pricier, but worth it in the long run.
4.“Plan the delegates arrival”
Long queues for registration, badges and the cloak-room will put your delegates into a bad mood before the day has begun. If you’re expecting lots of delegates to arrive at once ensure you have enough staff on hand to manage the crowd. Run through the arrival before the event to guarantee there will be a smooth flow of people.
5.“Use a hashtag”
If you’re considering a Twitter wall for your event, you should definitely think about using a hashtag. Hashtags are a great way to keep your delegates involved, it’s also a great way to hear about what’s being said about your event, this feedback can be put into practice next time round. But make sure #itsnottoodifficulttoread!
6.“Location, location, location”
There are so many aspects to consider when looking for your venue. Do you need it close to the office for convenience? Do you have the budget to splurge on an overseas incentive conference? Overseas events can be a lot of fun but also a HUGE amount of work. Remember you’re planning this conference for the guests, not the MD. Firebird Events produced an incentive conference in Ibiza back in September 2014, read about it on our blog.
7.“Book the guests somewhere to stay”
If you know your venue is far for delegates to travel to, make sure they have the option of somewhere to stay. Consider this when looking at your venue options. If you don’t have the budget to pay for it and you're using a hotel as your venue, see if they can give you a discount code you can offer to your delegates.
8.“Add the WOW-factor”
Have you considered an energising conference opener to kick start the day? Over the past few years we’ve provided some fantastic conference openers for one of our repeat clients, most recently a team of 10 glamourous high-energy cheerleaders opened the day, but their most memorable act was a flash mob who were disguised as AV technicians, waiters and even delegates! Watch the video here.
9.“Book a motivational speaker”
If budget allows, booking a motivational speaker is a great way to reinforce key conference messages. Make sure you chose someone who can talk about the themes in your conference, many will have specific topics or speeches that they’ll deliver, so don’t book someone who’s going to spend all evening talking about the wrong topic! They key thing is to ensure they will engage with your audience and leave a lasting impression.
10.“Evening entertainment is a great incentive”
After a long day sat in conference it’s a nice touch to round off the event with a three course meal, possibly with a team building activity between courses and maybe even a discotheque afterwards. It also acts as a fantastic incentive to get people to attend the conference and maximises networking amongst colleagues post event. Our most popular over dinner team building activity at the moment is Virtual Horse Racing… Guests are encouraged to bet their fun money on the horses and cheer as loud as they can!
These top tips have been compiled by our event managers at Firebird Events, so if you want to pick their brains about your upcoming conference, book a motivational speaker or chat through AV production requirements then make sure you get in touch with a member of the team!