Depending upon how you define "conference," there are thousands upon thousands of events each year. If you’d like to host a business conference, you’ll need to make sure it is absolutely captivating to attendees. After all, if you expect event attendees to choose your conference over all the other options out there, you need to make it worth their time.
If you want to host a stunning conference focused around business, there are some specific steps involved.
1. Find a Niche
Want to blow people away with your business conference? The first thing you should do is figure out your niche area. What do you know inside and out about business, and how can you make your conference unique from others out there? You can’t be all things to all people, but you can choose one or two areas and do them better than any other conference host.
2. Focus on Audio/Video
Take time to ensure your audio and video runs seamlessly during your event. You’ll want to work closely with the event venue to make sure their equipment is up to date and properly connected. Few things ruin the overall experience of a conference as much as audio or video that doesn’t work correctly.
3. Offer the Unexpected
Since you’re competing with so many other business events, make your event stand out by doing things in a new way. inVNT held a product launch where they offered a variety of performances. The launch was so successful for their client, Miele, the company sold more washers and dryers than through any other product launch.
4. Choose a Location
The location where you hold your event makes a big difference in how the overall event performs. Choose a location that is unique, but that also matches the overall tone and needs of your conference. If a lot of out-of-town attendees are traveling to the event, make sure there is easy access from a local airport or some type of transportation available. Nothing sets a conference up to fail more than hosting it so far from civilization attendees have to drive three hours from the nearest airport to arrive.
5. Balance Education and Networking
While a conference is an excellent time to provide education on topics such as how to use your product or learn a new business skill, you should also balance these learning opportunities with networking events. Most business people expect to network with like-minded professionals at events.
6. Feed Your Guests
For some planners, food is almost an afterthought, but food makes or breaks many conferences. Take the time to plan out which meals you’ll serve and how. You have many options, and a lot of the choice depends upon your average attendee. Will they expect a sit-down dinner each night, or is a buffet more appropriate? Perhaps you only provide dinner, or perhaps you provide breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Taste-test caterers and choose the one with the best food at a price you can afford.
Hosting a Business Conference
Planning a conference is a big undertaking. You’ll need help and to partner with experts in the industry who are willing to promote your event or come in as speakers. Although it takes a lot of planning and perseverance to host a successful conference, your business will benefit with increased recognition in your industry.