Conferences are a great place for like-minded people of the same industry to meet and share new ideas and experiences. While a well-planned conference can give your brand a good reputation, planning one right from the start can be quite a task. In this blog, we give you 10 steps to organize a successful conference.
Step 1: Get Planning
Start planning early. For large conferences, plan a year in advance. Create an event checklist of everything you’ll need. From venue, date, budgets to the speaker, food management, event ticketing and event technology, note down every minute aspect, so you don’t miss out on anything last minute.
Step 2: Pick your Theme
Be it a tech conference or educational conference, decide your theme. It doesn’t need to be a brain racker. Here are a few things that can help you choose your theme.
- What message do you want to convey through your conference?
- Who are you targeting?
- What’s the key takeaway from your conference?
The main focus should be to connect with your attendees through your theme. For example, if you’re organizing a career counseling conference, your theme can be “Kickstart your Career”. Add a hashtag like #kickstartyourcareer to make it popular.
Step 3: Recruit your Team
Organizing a conference isn’t a one-man show unless you’re Dr.Banner(Hulk) from Avengers. The most complex tasks can be achieved through effective planning and delegation. To make your conference event successful, you’ll need multiple teams for each task. Recruit teams for planning, administration, marketing and volunteers. Coordinate and delegate tasks for each team and track the completion to ensure there’s no delay.
Step 4: Define your Budget
Whether this is your first or your 50th conference planning, you should know that budget is an important aspect based on which other decisions are taken. From booking the venue, food caterer to paid marketing ads and the speaker for your conference, consider all aspects while deciding on your budget. Keep an extra margin to cover any emergency and take insurance to cover any damage or injury caused during the conference. Planning the budget is not enough. Monitor your expenses to ensure you’re not cash trapped at the last minute.
Step 5: Book the Venue & Date
If your conference is going to attract a huge audience, ensure to book the venue well in advance. There are a few questions you need to ask yourself while booking your venue
- What’s the distance from the airport?
- Is the location easily accessible?
- Is parking available for attendees?
- Is it in your budget?
- Does it take hours(due to traffic) to get to the venue?
While you book the venue, decide the date at the same time. Ensure your conference doesn’t conflict with any important event or festival days. Also, check with the speaker if he/she is available during the time.
Step 6: Vendor Management
Typically, conferences are held at hotels and they provide onsite catering facilities. However, if you’re venue doesn’t offer food arrangements, find a caterer close to the venue. Decide on what refreshments you’re planning to offer your attendees. You can use our questionnaires and surveys to find out if any of your attendees have any food restrictions or are on a diet. Other than that, think of other vendors you’ll need for the conference. Don’t jeopardize the conference due to technical glitches. Imagine the conference is about to begin and the projector stops working. Find a vendor to take care of all the technical aspects related to the conference.
Step 7: Choose the Right Speaker
After the venue is booked and the dates are decided, finalize the speaker. The speaker is the face of your brand and can make or break your event. Create a difference to your attendees with an inspirational and motivational speaker. Check the availability well in advance if it’s a popular influencer. Choose a speaker who’ll keep your attendees engaged throughout, either through activities or experience sharing. Check the previous performance, the reviews and how well he delivers content to the audience before selecting the speaker. To know about “How to make your conference event fun”- Read our blog
Step 8: Promote your Conference
Want maximum attendees at the conference? Leave no stone unturned when it comes to your conference promotion. Your conference may change someone’s life, so we recommend you start early. Read our blog on “When is the right time to promote your event”. That way, your attendees can plan their trip and book their tickets well in advance if it’s an international affair. Use LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to officially announce details about your conference. Roll out offers, contests and discounts to engage with your attendees. Additionally, you can list your events with us using our premium event listing feature or simply sign up with us and we can promote your event on our social media profile. We also recommend you to use our effective MailChimp integration to let your attendees know about the most awaited conference.
Step 9: Target the Right Audience
Publicizing your event on social media without targeting the right audience is as good as not promoting your event. Let’s say you’re organizing a medical conference for doctors. Create a social media campaign to promote your event on popular social media platforms. Select the right audience by choosing the industry as health and medical services. That way, you’ll cover all doctors, be it an MD or an MBBS. You can also target a specific location, for example, you’re hosting your conference in New York, you can add Ohio, New Jersey and Maryland so attendees’ from those states can attend your conference. Planning a medical conference, host it like the Canadian Dental Student Conference and give your attendees a great experience.
Step 10: Ticket Pricing
Pricing your conference ticket can be tricky. Even the experts tend to falter when it comes to ticket pricing. Your conference may attract attendees from different parts of the world, overpricing your ticket can simply woo them. Once you have defined your budgets, know your expenses and the number of attendees expected at the conference, you can use our event pricing strategy to set up the price of the tickets. Give your attendees a choice of multiple ticket types to choose from. Roll out exciting offers like early bird offer or bundled pricing to sell more tickets online.
Step 11: Choose an Ideal Event Ticketing Partner
With multiple tasks on your plate, event ticketing can add up to your stress if you don’t have the right ticketing partner. You’ll need a ticketing system that offers multiple payment gateways, multiple language support, and easy validation process to offer a seamless experience for your conference attendees and Yapsody gives you just that. Moreover, you can create your own online ticket store so your attendees can see all your conferences on one page and buy tickets instantly. Our mobile app – YapStats easily lets you track and monitor real-time ticket sales numbers and alter your sales strategy if needed. Additionally, we’ve rolled out our COVID recovery offer that’ll give you a flat discount of 40% on your event ticketing fees or you can go for free event ticketing using our “Pass on fee” feature. Using this feature, you can add the cost of your event ticketing fee to the ticket price which is a small amount, making event ticketing free for you.
Step 12: Final Check
With every item ticked in your event checklist, do a final check once again to ensure nothing is missed. Few hours left for your conference to start? Coordinate with the caterer to check if everything is going as planned. Check the venue to avoid any technical glitches. Ensure you send reminders to all the vendors a week before the conference so you have everything arranged well in advance.
Step 13: Take a Feedback
Your attendees are a projection of your hard work. Once the event is over, take feedback about how the overall conference was, about the speaker, the arrangements and what they didn’t like. That way you can use the feedback to improve your next conference and make it successful with their valuable tips. Also, thank your attendees for taking the time out for the event and attending the conference. With appreciation emails and the conference experience, your attendees feel valued and look forward to attending the next conference with more zest.
While you add value and knowledge to your attendees, we’d like to add value to your conference. Once you’ve planned your conference, sign up with Yapsody and avail the best features at an incredibly low price. Choose from the different offers we have and get a discount on your event ticketing fees. Use our promo code COVID19-RECOVERY40 and get a flat 40% off. Create your conference now.