Top tips to running a successful conference

Posted by Jo Kelly

Event Management & Logistics

  • Your venue can make or break your event. Research a place that reflects and reinforces the company’s brand identity, compliments the theme of the conference, and is easily accessible for all attendees.
  • Keep on top of your budget at all times. Ensure everything is accounted for and that income levels are as expected to ensure you’re not left with a nasty surprise after the event.
  • Plan, plan, plan! Put together a timeline of all of your key deliverables, deadline dates, and identify the person responsible. Use this as the basis for all meeting agendas to ensure everything is on track and nothing is overlooked.
  • Keep Calm! A stressed event manager is not something the client or the delegates need to see! You have planned and you are organised. Deal with the unexpected as they come up to minimise the impact on the event and the delegates. But if you need it, take five minutes behind closed doors for some deep breaths, smile and carry on.

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Pre event registration

  • Ensure the pre-event communications clearly explains how attending the conference will impact and benefit the company/individuals – a video show reel or eye-catching visuals on the website is effective.
  • Make the registration process as simple as possible – ensure the questions are easy to read/answer.
  • If you are charging delegates to attend the conference, stagger the pricing such as using an early bird rate up to a specific date – this will help to assist with getting attendees to register early

Onsite registration

  • Your attendee’s first interaction of the conference is the registration process, so it is vital to ensure that this runs smoothly as this will set their first impressions of the event experience.
  • To ensure that the process runs as flawless as possible:

– have sufficient space around the registration desks

– have ample staff who can be highly recognisable – include people with local knowledge

– categorise your attendees by type such as partner to the event, sponsor

– have directional signage to help guide the attendees to the registration desks

Conference Programme & Content

  • Content is king – the programme needs to offer the right balance of education, entertainment and ‘down’ time so that delegates are enticed to book and leave feeling that it was time and money well spent.
  • Ensure that current and future industry trends are covered, through engaging keynote speakers.
  • Every element must align with the key conference messaging and branding. Thought must be put in to how and who is going to communicate the key content.

Decide who your target audience is and listen to their needs, wants and demands. Whether that’s through market research or from previous attendee event feedback.

See how we can help with conferences

Social Events & Networking

  • Social events provide delegates with the opportunity to network and relax outside of the main conference programme – if teams work across different geographical areas, it’s also a great opportunity for a get together too.
  • Give your delegates the opportunity to host team dinners with partners/customers at local restaurants on free evenings where there is no specific agenda; it provides delegates with the opportunity to sample the local cuisine.
  • If budget allows, use iconic or well-known venues for drinks receptions, dinners or parties to give delegates the opportunity to see the draws of the host city rather than just their hotel room and the conference venue.
  • For larger off-site events, entertainment and branding are key! Delegates love the ‘wow’ factor; if you are hosting in a breath-taking venue, well-placed branding or lighting to show attendees that the company has taken over the space for the evening, or even some interactive entertainment, will engage and excite the delegates.

Don’t Forget

  • Embrace social media. As well as providing an additional communication tool, it is an important way to promote the event, capture instant feedback from attendees and respond to any issues.
  • Provide a way that your delegates can provide feedback on their experience. This can be an online survey, a focus group, or a suggestion box located at the event. The insight you will gain will be invaluable towards ensuring that the next event runs even more smoothly.
  • Preparation is everything!

Helping you run successful events

Running conferences and other events is a crucial way for businesses to engage and motivate their staff, partners and customers, as well as increase brand recognition and build loyalty. So it’s important to get them right and make them a success.

At CR Worldwide we can quickly, plan and implement engaging and motivational events and make them a success, so they do more for your delegates and, in turn, your business. Our events are:

Easy to implement – They can be quickly and easily set up and planned, and can be tailored to suit your employees, your needs and your business goals.

Engaging – They can enhance loyalty and performance, while creating an instant emotional bond with your brand, and increasing company awareness.

Easy to manage – They are run and hosted by dedicated managers, who provide exciting schedules of activities and experiences, to do the hard work for you.

We’d love to excite, engage and inspire your staff with our events services. To speak to a member of our award-winning team:

Or visit the contact us page to make a quick online enquiry to find out how to drive your business performance today.

Jo has worked at CR Worldwide as Events Operations Director since 2004. She is responsible for scoping and delivering all types of events, for clients of all sizes, globally. She manages the division’s team who organise and execute award-winning events – ranging from one-off sales floor days, corporate hospitality events and incentive travel trips, to annual conferences and partner summits.