Thursday, July 19, 2012

Your Checklist for Planning a Conference

Planning a conference? Check out these tips to help:

1. Determine possible dates. When you're looking at dates for your conference, it's helpful to have many possible dates in mind. At times, the location of your choice won't be available on the date you prefer, so you have to choose another date. Additionally, you want to be sure you're not holding the conference on any bank/public holidays, and avoid having it the same day as another industry-related conference.

2. Create a budget. The purpose of the budget is to provide the event planner with a limit financially. The budget should be specific and include revenues (sponsorship, ticket sales, etc.) and expenses (printing, location, food, etc.).

3. Find a conference venue. This is key for the well-being of both your attendees and speakers and for your conference's success. As soon as you have determined possible dates, you can begin the search for the best venue. One idea: a hotel that has conference rooms -- You'll have staff and a good infrastructure, which means less work for you. Also, the venue size should be ample enough for the conference and the expected number of attendees.

4. Program and speaker(s). Aside from networking, the topics and speakers are key reasons to attend a conference. For conference success, it's important to book well-known speakers early on: The'll help you gain more attention, attract more attendees and can help obtain other well-known speakers.

Additionally, before pre-selling conference registration, your agenda should be at least roughly determined. Be sure to make enough time for networking, and if you're having food, be sure there's enough catering.

5. Pre-sell and online registration. Since conference registrations are the primary revenues for the event and event planner, attendee registration and payment management is vital; it should look professional and be simple for attendees to use. You can also use the registration form to obtain attendee data for marketing activities after the conference.

Something else to keep in mind: Your website should have more than just a registration form. It should also include the agenda, speaker, directions and hotel recommendations. You should also be sure to have a reliable provider who offers several payment methods and currencies to make registration simple for attendees.

For five more tips, visit 10 Tips for your Conference: The Checklist.

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