The Basics of Conference Organizing

Tips for Beginners – Lessons from Turners Conferences

Organizing a successful conference can be a daunting task, especially for beginners. Learning from the experience of industry experts such as Turners Conferences can provide valuable insights and help ensure a smooth process. Here are some essential tips for beginners that will help you navigate the basics of conference organizing.

  1. Define your objectives and goals: Before starting the planning process, it’s crucial to identify the primary purpose and goals of your conference. Are you aiming to share knowledge, foster networking, or showcase new research? By having clear objectives in mind, you’ll be better equipped to make decisions regarding the conference’s structure, content, and target audience.
  2. Select the right venue: The venue sets the tone for your conference and plays a crucial role in the overall experience for attendees. When choosing a venue, consider the number of attendees, the location’s accessibility, and the available facilities. Turners Conferences often collaborates with local partners to secure venues that meet their clients’ needs and exceed expectations.
  3. Plan the agenda: To create a successful conference agenda, you’ll need to consider the event’s duration, the number of speakers, and the topics to be covered. Turners Conferences suggests creating a balanced mix of keynote presentations, breakaway sessions, panel discussions, and interactive workshops. Allocate enough time for networking and breaks to keep attendees engaged and energized throughout the event.
  4. Secure high-quality speakers: Engaging and knowledgeable speakers are the backbone of any successful conference. Begin by identifying potential speakers from your industry, reach out to them early, and provide clear information about the event’s theme, objectives, and target audience. Be prepared to negotiate fees and consider offering incentives such as free registration or travel reimbursements.
  5. Market your conference effectively: To attract the right audience and ensure high attendance, it’s crucial to develop a comprehensive marketing plan. Turners Conferences recommends a multi-pronged approach, including email campaigns, social media promotion, and targeted advertising. Collaborating with industry partners and influencers can also help amplify your message and boost attendance.
  6. Prepare for the unexpected: As a conference organizer, you need to be prepared to handle unforeseen challenges. Turners Conferences emphasizes the importance of having contingency plans in place for emergencies, technical difficulties, or last-minute cancellations. Proactively addressing these issues will help you maintain a professional image and ensure a smooth experience for attendees.
  7. Budget: To run a successful event, a realistic budget will need to be put together, including all income and expenditure. Monthly updates will need to be done so that you are on top of the finances for the event.
  8. Evaluate and learn: After the conference, it’s essential to gather feedback from attendees, speakers, and sponsors to assess the event’s success and identify areas for improvement. Turners Conferences recommends conducting surveys and analysing metrics such as attendance, engagement, and satisfaction levels. By reflecting on the lessons learned, you’ll be better equipped to plan and execute successful conferences in the future.

In conclusion, organizing a successful conference involves careful planning, attention to detail, and adaptability. By following these tips and learning from the experience of industry leaders like Turners Conferences, you’ll be well on your way to creating memorable events that leave a lasting impact on your attendees