Organizing a conference is a huge project. Whether you’re expecting 50 or over a hundred guests, you can’t afford to rush through the process. It’s challenging, but with careful planning, you’re sure to succeed.
It would be good to start preparing at least six months before your target date or even a year if it’s going to be large. As any conference and exhibition management services company would attest to, there are steps that you can follow to organize your event.
And that’s what we’ll be talking about in this post. So, let’s dig in.
1.) Brainstorm on a theme.
The conference or your exhibition will most likely be coinciding with another event or milestone in your company. You probably are celebrating your company anniversary, launching new products, or joining a bazaar.
Gather your team members and think of a theme that resonates with your target audience. Make it easy to understand and remember. Everything in your event - from your booth to your marketing collaterals - will be tied to your theme. Ensure it will reflect positively on your brand.
2.) Delegate tasks.
Even if you’re a small business, you will still need to assemble groups for your exhibition or conference. This way, it’ll be easier to keep track of updates, and you can accomplish tasks faster too. You’ll know who to talk to if you have specific concerns.
Have someone take charge of the venue and the catering, budget and guest list, and marketing and promotions. Consider the interest and skills of your team members when assigning responsibilities.
3.) Set a budget.
While you will have a team that will handle everything that’s budget-related, you’ll still need to decide on a working budget for your event beforehand.
It should be clear with everyone how much you’re comfortable spending so you can also prioritize expenses accordingly. Your team members can help you look for potential sponsors and negotiate rates with suppliers and partners.
4.) Choose a date.
The date you choose can impact the attendance at your event. If you’re inviting working professionals, you might want to choose a weekday. Start the weekend early for your guests by holding the event on a Friday, and avoid weekends. Nobody wants to work on a weekend, where possible! Skip festivals and peak travel seasons as accommodation rate increases on these dates, and traffic can be terrible.
5.) Book venue and vendors.
Venues and suppliers can get booked fast. Once you have already chosen a date, look for a venue and reserve it as soon as you can. Contact vendors, too, so they already block off their schedule. They will also need to do preparations on their end, so reaching out to them on short notice isn’t advisable.
6.) Contact speakers and guests.
You need to send an invitation to your speakers and guests in advance so they can also plan their schedules. Your speakers are most likely running on busy schedules, so it’s best to secure their yes early. Potential speakers may also have their requirements, such as fees and dietary preferences. Prepare for this to avoid delays or problems on the event day.
7.) Don’t Forget to Promote Your Event
You’ve already spent so much time planning and preparing for it. Be sure your target audience knows about it. Work on increasing its exposure with your team's help.
If you need further assistance in planning and executing your conference, partner with an event management company in Singapore. Or, if you don't have the time, you can also leave all the work in their hands. That’s another practical, stress-free option!