Conference organisation and planning – a step by step guide

Conference organisation is no easy task. 

Hosting a successful conference requires utmost planning, management and communication skills. Luckily, event technology has evolved enough to ease the stress conference planners deal with on a daily basis.

When it comes to organising a conference, or any event for that matter, one of the biggest nightmares of every planner is miscommunication. A communication breakdown can cause additional stress and lead to a poorly organised event.

Now that we’ve gotten familiar with the basics of what it takes to organise a conference, keep reading this text to  fully understand conference organisation even further with our step by step guide

How to organise a conference event?

It doesn’t matter if you’re in charge of organising a one-time academic congress or the 20th annual meeting of an acclaimed organisation, the first step you need to take when it comes to organising your event, is making a list of goals and achievements for the event at hand.

In the 21st century, the events market is getting busier by the hour. More companies and organisations are starting to recognise the advantages that conference events bring to both their revenue as well as their brand reputation. Thus, the budget that event planners and organisers have at their disposal has gotten significantly bigger over the years.

In order to avoid additional stress, it is recommended to go a bit overboard when it comes to calculating your expenses and leave some wiggle room for when deadlines approach. 

Unexpected costs can turn in any moment when it comes to conference event planning, so you might want to stay ahead of the curve, even if you have a considerable budget at your disposal. 

Delegates at a conference

Don’t be afraid to utilize the latest technology 

Even today, a lot of traditional conference and events managers are still not utilizing the latest tech gadgets when it comes to conference organisation. 

However, event planning software, especially in 2020, isn’t considered an add-on anymore, but rather a necessity. It plays a crucial part when it comes to effortless and precise communication which, as we’ve previously stated, is crucial when organising any event. 

Conference organisation requires a big team in charge of different tasks. That being said, it can really be challenging to fit the entire team into a single conference. However, even if you manage to get your team in one room, it wouldn’t be of much use since different teams require different counselling

Luckily, there’s a variety of free programs such as Slack for project messaging or Zoom for video calls that prevent communication problems from getting out of hand and evolving into more serious issues capable of jeopardising the success of the entire event.

Event tech has a broader usage than simplifying communication

However, when it comes to management of numerous tasks involved in conference organisation and planning,  softwares like Asana and Trello can help with managing different projects and tasks. 

Up-to-date software for conference management and planning is of tremendous help when it comes to building your agenda and registering delegates

Even though most of them can be pretty costly, conference planning softwares are an investment that will save you hours upon hours of stress. Also, you’ll even save some money by skipping the need to print out notes and sheets

Moderator speaking at a conference event

Accumulating profit isn’t the main goal

In contrast to consumer or corporate events, the primary focus of hosting a conference isn’t about making a profit but that doesn’t mean that your event should hemorrhage money as well. 

That being said, it is of the utmost importance that a detailed budget plan is constructed before diving into any costly endeavours. 

Keep a close eye on your expenditures 

Surveys and guest experience questionnaires from previous events are extremely helpful to conference event management since they provide the information on the pros and cons of previous events, thus improving the upcoming ones. 

Feedback can help with developing a rough idea when it comes to analyzing the expenses and the incomes of your previous event

However a rough idea of your conference’s economy just won’t cut it. Even though you’ll most likely never be able to acquire a clear picture of the expenses and profits, you should keep in mind that having a bigger budget always helps since unexpected costs lie at every corner

How to organise a profitable conference event 

Even though making a profit isn’t the main goal when it comes to conference organising, you should still be able to find ways to accumulate profit

Registration fees, however, aren’t the sole source of income when it comes to conference planning. With a little bit of networking, you’ll be able to easily secure sponsorship packages from various companies related to your event.

You can also cut down on the expenditures by looking for ways to save money on unnecessary spendings. Still, you must keep in mind the importance of creating a positive experience for both your guests and your delegates, so don’t skimp on the Wi-Fi or the catering quality if you don’t want negative reviews. 

Marketing through social media is a huge advantage 

Today, everyday people, but celebrities and important personnel (some of which may be your potential delegates) base their daily actions on 24-hour messages they acquire through social media

Now more than ever,  every conference event management is focusing on grabbing  the attention of people online and building “hype” with a clever marketing campaign. Social marketing is one of the most beneficial things you can do when it comes to conference organisation and planning. 

Implementing a unique hashtag, sending serious messages through PR as well as daily content upload doesn’t only provide the conference organisers the opportunity to reach a wider audience and generate more interest, but it also helps the guests and delegates to easily share info, opinions and the experiences of the event. 

Event planning process

“If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail”

Being well aware of the goals you’re trying to achieve by hosting your event will contribute to your image as a planner and it will help differentiate your conference event from thousands of others. 

Understanding what your delegates want and knowing your expectations from them is a key difference between a successful conference and events manager and a not-as-successful one

Creating a unifying idea for your event and understanding what motivates your audience to be present also helps your conference organisation team run as smoothly as possible.

Summa Summarum

Keep in mind that conference organisation is a marathon, not a sprint.

Here at Media Powerhouse, we are providing numerous conference organisers with the latest technology services and equipment. From stage construction, to lighting implementation, we are committed to taking your events to the next level in terms of spectacle and the wow-factor.Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced planner, we hope that after reaching the end of this text, you now have a clearer picture when it comes to conference organisation and planning.

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