What are the mandatory elements of a good conference?
There is a long list of requirements that must be fulfilled in order for a conference to be successful and memorable. Planning of a big conference may start even twelve months before the event itself! Read this complete guide on the mandatory elements of a good conference.
Before conference planning
Gather a team of individuals responsible for organizing the conference, think about how to delegate tasks, and who would be willing to take part as volunteers.
Then, it’s necessary to set your goals and objectives – why do you want to organize the conference? What results do you expect? How much would you like to earn? Who is the conference aimed at?
Think of your target audience, to plan the marketing process. Do you want your conference to have one, common theme? What format do you prefer? Virtual, hybrid or in-person? And finally, how big is your budget? Do you need any sponsors?
Unless you have clear answers to all of these questions, you shouldn’t proceed with planning the conference.
9-12 months before the conference
Whether your conference will be in-person or hybrid, the first step is to find a venue that can accommodate everyone. When planning a conference, it’s best to book the venue first. If you do it the other way around, as a result, you may be forced to organize a smaller conference, or the quality and facilities available may not meet your expectations.
After confirming the date(s), it’s time to start preparing the plan for the conference. The checklist for the task should include the person/people responsible, and the deadline. The plan should be available to all the people involved, and updated regularly.
Choose the technology that is a must at a modern conference. If you’re planning an online or hybrid conference, choose the conference platform. In-person conferences also need technology.
6-9 months before
Find inspiring speakers, who have knowledge on the theme of your conference. The greater the speakers are, the bigger the audience you may expect. It’s great if a speaker has a conference abstract to keep the presentation organized and easier to follow.
To keep the costs down, find sponsors – a well-known and trusted company, will add prestige to your conference. Find some exhibitors, who would pay you a fee for presenting in a booth or stand. They can also offer you their services for marketing purposes.
The name, logo, imagery, and color palette of your conference will help you attract the right audience.
3-6 months before the conference
Conference attendees will be delighted to get a free swag bag, or other free stuff, so don’t forget to order branded merchandise. Maybe your sponsors will prepare some gifts too? Order t-shirts for the staff, name badges, and other event materials.
Find and book suppliers for catering, security, Wi-Fi, furniture. Find volunteers to help attendees solve problems or answer their questions.
It’s also high time to start promoting – create a website, and a registration page. Promote the conference on social media.
One month before the conference, check all the details, and confirm the schedule. The staff should know their responsibilities.
Remind attendees about the conference a week before.
During the conference, you should manage the events, be available to the staff and attendees, and stay focused. If the speakers have a conference abstract, you can ask for it to manage the time of presentations.
Finally, you can congratulate yourself and your team, for the great organization. Prepare follow-up emails for the attendees, meet the sponsors, your team, speakers and summarize the event.