When you’re put in charge of organizing a business conference, you’re undertaking a big responsibility. Showing your ability to manage a special event can give you the credibility you need to rise up in the ranks within your organization. It will also earn you recognition among your own co-workers. Here are a few tips for greater success in organizing a conference for your office.
Define Your Purpose
To get started, you’ll have to define the purpose of the conference and know something about the topics that will be covered. In doing so, you’ll be able to determine what needs will have to be met in terms of the number of guests, the size of the venue, and its agenda. You can use event booking software to help you outline what requirements you’ll have to meet. You can use the software to help you confirm the attending guests, the speakers who have committed to attending, and which preparations have been finalized. Keeping track of your preparations in this type of format will reduce the chances that you’ll overlook something important.
Start Brainstorming Ideas
Here, you can have fun and let your creativity go a little wild as you come up with ideas for the conference. Imagine which venues are best for your conference and which well-known professionals you’d like to book for the event. You can also come up with a broad range of suggestions for lighting, audio/visual equipment, and decorations. Brainstorm about locations for the event unless you already know that it has to be held close to your organization’s headquarters. Come up with a long list of ideas for each feature of the conference. You can apply practical considerations to reduce your choices later.
Create Your Spending Budget
Your next step is to create a spending budget for planning your business conference. You should create a list of categories, to begin with, because this will allow you to determine how much you’ll spend on each item. This is where you’ll narrow down the choices you came up with during your brainstorming session. You can best do this by determining which ideas are the most important to you and which ones can be replaced with less costly alternatives. For example, if a cheaper venue offers similar options to a more expensive one, you should consider saving money on the venue rental. This will give you a little extra to spend on hiring guest speakers or renting multimedia equipment.
Reach Out to Several Guest Speakers
The most challenging task will be to book your guest speakers and ensure they will show up. For that reason, you should get confirmation from each guest speaker you intend to book. It’s also a good idea to have one or two alternate guest speakers who can take the place of anyone who doesn’t show. These should be speakers who charge less since you may have to pay their fee even if they don’t speak at the event. A good idea is to talk to colleagues in your own organization who are skilled at impromptu public speaking so they can fill in as needed.
Reserve Caterers and Other Vendors
You should start booking caterers, DJs, and other vendors in advance to ensure they will all be available for the date of your conference. Depending on your location and the time of year, some vendors may already have a busy schedule servicing weddings, graduations, and other special events. You should try to make your reservations several months in advance to ensure the vendors you choose will be available. This will also help you lock in off-season prices rather than paying higher costs for the same services. Making reservations early will give you an opportunity to research each vendor to ensure they really do offer the exceptional service you expect. Even if your vendors have good reputations, you should still take the time to research their relationships with previous customers. This can help you avoid unexpected problems on the day of your conference.
When you put together a business conference, you’ll want to ensure it’s remembered for all of the right reasons. To achieve the result you want, be sure to communicate with your supervisor or leader to ensure you provide the setting they envision for the conference. While you’ll want to have a positive impact on everyone, meeting the expectations of your boss is your most important goal. Your success can lead to more similar opportunities in the future.