Organising a conference can be a big undertaking, whether it’s a one-day affair focused on your specialist industry, or a wider multi-day event that brings in experts from a range of complementary sectors.
There are a range of things you need to consider if you’re hosting a conference, from finding the right venue and ensuring that you have technology that can support your event, to how you’ll encourage delegates to interact and how you’ll structure the sessions you offer.
Writing for Conference News recently, Claire Fagg, operations manager at Penguins, offered some advice on the top things to consider when putting on this kind of event.
She pointed out that a growing number of conferences are being held in the UK, with 2017 seeing an eight per cent rise in the number of such events hosted compared to the previous year.
As well as focusing on what will be happening on the day, you need to consider how you’re going to appeal to the widest possible pool of people to ensure you attract a good variety of attendees. The key here is diversity, and ensuring that the speakers and guests you invite come from a variety of backgrounds and have differing expertise.
It’s also crucial to choose the right venue, Ms Fagg noted. She commented: “Now is the time to step out of your comfort zone and select a venue that will push boundaries. Don’t just use production and decoration, rid yourself of the ‘boring conference’ label and choose a non-traditional event space.”
Depending on the kind of conference you’re planning corporate marquee hire in Surrey could be the ideal option – and this kind of space can be easily tailored to suit your needs.
Bringing in the right technology to support your conference is also key, with live interaction becoming increasingly popular at events of this kind. By giving attendees a chance to participate in discussions and even create their own breakout sessions or workshops will help keep them engaged.
It also fosters collaboration and networking, helping you develop a community around your event and thereby ticking an important box for millennial attendees, 80 per cent of whom have said that one of the reasons they attend live events is to connect with their community.
You can also use technology to share insights and the event itself with those who are unable to attend in person. Live streaming and even VR can be utilised to reach out to a wider audience, or enable an industry expert who’s unable to travel to contribute to your conference.
Event Industry News recently offered some advice on what to consider when it comes to technology, noting that organisers need to start “thinking creatively about how you can present your content in a fresh, engaging way”.
This means moving away from simply showing images and videos on a screen behind the speaker – the use of 4K projection is just one way of introducing new options, the news provider noted.
However, you shouldn’t focus on delivery over the content itself. The website stated: “Keep in mind that content is King, delivery is Queen and both need to go hand-in-hand to produce that stand out experience you’re looking for.”