Technology News, Tips and Tricks

YourCon: 8 Genius Conference and Convention Planning Tips

The global exhibition market has been growing. Some experts predict it’s going to reach over $50 billion in the next few years. That’s in addition to other trade shows, conferences, and conventions.

Many in-person events are currently on ice, but people are still planning events. Some are taking them online, while others are putting their plans in place for 2021.

If you’re doing convention planning for the very first time, you may feel a little overwhelmed. There’s no need to worry, though. With these eight genius tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating a showstopping event.


1. Create a Business Plan for the Conference

Perhaps the most important of all convention planning tips is to start with a plan. In fact, you should create a business plan for your conference or convention.

A business plan will allow you to outline your vision and your goals for the convention. You can also set a budget, create a marketing strategy, and more.

Business plans also include an analysis of your risks, as well as opportunities. This is a chance to look at your competition. Are there other, better-established events?

What about other events on your planned date? Is there enough interest in the subject or industry?

2. Select the Right Venue

The next step is going to be picking the right venue for your event. Location is key, especially if you think you’ll have people coming in from out of town. It also has an impact on your budget.

If you’re hosting a large event, then a convention center may be your best bet. Many are easily accessed and located close to transportation. Your attendees will have an easy time getting to them, even if they’re coming in from out of town.

A smaller venue might be better if this is a first-year event or a small-scale conference. You might want to look at local hotels or other potential venues to host your event.

You can also take your event online, which may be an excellent option for planners today.

Keep in mind that your choice of venue may also have an impact on what you can do in the space. AVL companies can help you design something that will work for any space.

3. Communication Is Central to Convention Planning

Communication is key at all levels. You’ll need to be prepared for changes every step of the way.

It’s important to keep in touch with the venue, as well as your production partners. You’ll also need to keep attendees and vendors in the loop.

Volunteers, security, and staff must also stay up to date on what’s happening. Early communication keeps everyone on the same page.

You should also be clear about policies such as refunds and more. Clarifying these policies early and communicating them will reduce potential confusion.

4. Reach out to Speakers Early

Once you’ve found your venue and set your date, it’s time to find speakers and guests to attend your event.

Give yourself as much lead time as possible. You may need time to research appropriate speakers, as well as to make contact with them. Negotiating the terms of the booking can also take some time.

Many speakers have crowded calendars, so reaching out early can help you ensure you’ll get a spot. It also shows respect for the speaker’s time and schedule.

It may also allow you to build connections with people who could become speakers at your event. This could be helpful for following years or even if you have to fill a slot after a last-minute cancelation.

5. Build Unique Content

While you’re reaching out to guest speakers for your event, you’ll also want to pay attention to the content you’re building. You want to provide something unique at your conference.

Getting the right guest speakers is a step in the right direction. Think about unique presentations and the subjects people are interested in. Could you host a workshop for people who are interested in learning more?

Also, think about networking events. Unique opportunities here, such as an informal brunch or pub run, could help make your event a smash hit with attendees.

6. Promote the Event

Now it’s time to promote your convention or conference. You built a marketing strategy and budget into your business plan, so be sure to revisit those points.

Promotion can take many forms. You may want to advertise on LinkedIn or other social media networks. Websites that cater to your demographic are also good targets for advertising.

Think about industry-specific publications, local newspapers, and more. There are plenty of ways to promote the event.

You’ll also want to think about ways to get people talking. Can you offer a discount or a free gift when people sign up?

7. Look for Pain Points

Now it’s time to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Think about your attendees, your vendors, and your sponsors.

What pain points do they have? Potential attendees may be having trouble with accommodations or getting from a train station to your location. How can you solve this for them?

What about the price point of entry? Is there some way to help attendees overcome this challenge?

Vendors may have questions about security in the convention space. The use of power or availability of Internet may be another concern.

Be sure to address these points, and you’ll help everyone have a better time at the convention.

8. Use Technology to Increase Engagement

Finally, think about how you’ll use technology to engage your attendees. Many convention planners are using apps to help attendees see schedules and connect with each other.

Your AVL company partner is another resource here. They can help you make interesting presentations that keep people on the edge of their seats.

Even video conferencing technology can help you create engaging content to keep everyone engaged.

Planning for Success

Convention planning can be time-intensive and full of challenges. These eight tips will help you start planning your most successful event yet.

Looking for more information about business technology and marketing? Check back often for all the latest news and tips.

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