24th Feb, 2020

The A - Z of Organising a Conference/ Meeting

Organizing a conference is nothing short of a feat. There are lots of things to juggle before the big event including planning for conference rooms, maintaining partnerships with corporate sponsors and ensuring you sell enough tickets.A key part of the planning process is securing speakers to participate in your conference. Though, with all the other things you need to handle, it can be easy to take a more laissez-faire approach to the presentations of your speakers once you have locked down the fact that they are going to actually happen.While most conference speakers appreciate creative freedom and organizers ' more hands-off approach when it comes to planning their content, they appreciate it when the conference planner regularly checks in and becomes more involved before the event. No one wants to feel left out or stay in the confusion about what could happen on stage. However, when it comes to excellent conference material, a little bit of up-front investment can go a long way. Your speakers put a lot of energy into creating presentations which will engage and entertain your participants. If you put in the same amount of energy to ensure everyone is on the same page and everything is running smoothly, both the presenters and the audience will have a much better time at your case. Here are some best ways to organize a conference/meeting;

1.Keep Your Target Audience in Mind

You need to make sure you have a clear idea of what your target audience would be interested in hearing before even reaching out to any speakers to participate in your event. Doing so will make it much easier for you at your conference to decide who you should invite to be a speaker. Often, if you can explain to the people you are asking to talk about who will be the audience and what they are interested in hearing, you will have a much easier time to convince speakers to be involved.

2.Speaker Handbook

Once you have lined up a full roster of speakers, you will need to start communicating with them about what you need. The easiest way to do that is to build a speaker handbook that you can distribute well in advance of the event to everyone. Some points to include in the handbook include an executive summary of the meeting, including demographic information on the target audience; a description of the venue that clearly states any technical requirements or limitations that the speakers may face; A list of speaker bios and general topics; and any details on travel or hotel stay. 

3.Reach out to Speakers in Advance

One of the worst things you can do as a conference organiser is waiting until the last minute to make sure the speakers have all they need to succeed. The chances are high that your guests are busy people, if they are interesting and smart enough to be giving a talk at your conference. They can speak at multiple events, and also manage high-level careers. You should not expect them to ponder the details; this is your job, not theirs. Check in with each of your speakers over their presentations a few weeks before the event. Make sure they all have a distinct topic or angle to their conversation. For a speaker, there is nothing worse than realizing that the person presenting before you will steal all of your main points!

4.Feel free to give feedback to speakers

Feel free to give feedback on the titles and abstracts of the presentations for the conference and provide enough space for your speakers to create their own content.

5.Technical Support 

Make sure you have technical support on hand throughout your conference to help your speakers get set up properly to avoid any potential problems. Before the event starts, do a test run to make sure all your equipment is working properly, and ask the presenters to come a little early, prepared for their media presentation.

Finally promote your conference and speakers on social media platforms before and after a conference has been organized as this will enable online audience engagement. After all, if you want to organize a conference successfully, you should relentlessly focus on the minutest details!








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