Planning conferences and meetings is hard work. Using these 5 top tips will put you on the map as a planner superhero.
Define your goals early
It is key that you define your goals as early as possible in the planning process. Well-defined goals will help you with the decision-making process as you create budgets, look for venues and vendors, destinations and event technology.
Is it your goal to attract a number of event attendees or raise a certain amount of money? Does your event need to meet a certain sales goal, or do you need to celebrate successes and train team members? Each goal will help you set the parameters for all pieces you will need for your conference or meeting.
Have a clear sponsorship and exhibit plan
If you plan on selling sponsorships and exhibit spaces at your conference or meeting you will need a clear plan to insure success. Once you have defined your goals and budget you will need to have a clear understanding of the number of exhibitors and sponsorships you will need to sell to meet those goals. From there it is key to work with your venue on defining the number of exhibits that can actually be accommodated at the venue. You will need to develop a sponsorship and exhibitor package that meets your sponsor prospects’ needs and assign a dedicated person to manage sales, logistics, and on site support.
Keep in mind that an early start is key to event sponsorship success. Most companies that sponsor events make decisions about once a quarter. Waiting to the last minute will decrease your chances of success.
Listen to our Event TALK session on developing sponsorships that sell here.
Allow enough time
Planning conferences and meetings take time. Allow at least 6 months of planning time when available. For larger events much more time may be needed.
Getting a head start will allow you to negotiate with vendors and get potentially better deals. It gives your attendees ample time to get registered online. It offers you an opportunity to research and implement event technology wisely. And it gives you the time to create a sponsorship and exhibit plan, and sell it.
Conferences and events consist of many moving pieces. At times it can be challenging for one person to manage it all, especially when you are working on multiple projects at once. Successful planners create planning timelines with defined delivery dates for tasks, and assign those tasks to the most qualified people on the team or committee.
A planning timeline helps streamline team meetings by quickly looking at deliverables, where people are, and making course corrections where needed. It helps to keep an eye on every aspect of the event to insure the ball isn’t dropped on a specific task or responsibility.
Market your conference
Marketing your event is key to its success. Without marketing you will rarely meet your conference goals. It is essential that you know your audience, understand how they consume media and use these media outlets and tools to market the hell out of your conference.
Listen to this episode of Event TALK with marketing event marketing trends, strategies and top tips here.