5 Tips Every Marketing Conference ‘Point Person’ Should Know
Planning a marketing conference combines many different aspects of your business. In order to appropriately take on the task of planning a conference for your organization, it’s important to do your research, assemble a reliable team, use technology to your advantage, create a strategic communication plan and allow attendees and speakers to learn from each other. Take a moment to read five tips for planning a marketing conference.
Do Your Research
It never hurts to be prepared, and when it comes to managing a marketing conference, you’ll need all the preparation you can get. It’s important to start the process of planning a conference by educating yourself and your teammates on the mission of the conference. Understanding the specific goals of your conference will not only help you plan it, but it will help you better understand the speakers who would fit your agenda and set the tone for your conference.
If possible, get background on the conference from those who have planned it in the past. Reach out to your company’s executives to ensure you are meeting their expectations and make sure to involve them when needed throughout the process. Ask for advice from marketing experts in your network. Social media is a beautiful thing, and sites such as LinkedIn are the perfect venue to ask for advice from your peers.
Assemble An Accountable Team
All aspects of your company should be involved in the planning of your conference at appropriate times during the process. Finance, logistics, program, and marketing are just a few examples, so you’ll want to recruit colleagues from each department who have the time, knowledge, connections, and ideas to appropriately handle the expectations necessary to plan a conference.
Surrounding yourself with a reliable team to help you carry out the different tasks will help to lesson how overwhelming planning a conference can be. It will also help you focus on getting great content, speakers, and attendees. Ensure you learn to delegate work to your teammates. You’ll want to have committees for different areas of planning such as logistics, technical program, keynote speaker, finance and sponsors, registration, and marketing. You may also need to recruit volunteer employees for the actual days of the event.
You will need to decide what kind of technology will be necessary for conference registration, management/planning, and room technology at your event location. Whether your IT team plans to create a registration website for you or you plan to outsource, ensure your program can handle the expected amount of attendees. You may need to pay close attention to attendee sign-ups to ensure you don’t exceed your maximum number of attendees.
It’s also important to ensure your event venue is ready to go with all microphones, lighting, speakers, projectors, monitors, and wifi. Attendees will want to connect to wifi on their smartphones and tablets, so ensure you have safe and adequate internet connections.
An efficient and informative communication plan will keep your attendees and speakers updated on any changes to the conference. Not to mention it will keep the conference top of mind and grow excitement. You’ll want to communicate who the speakers will be, specific day-to-day programs, incentives, and more through interviews, Q & As, and photos on your website and social media channels.
Make sure you schedule emails to share important logistical information to your attendees and speakers such as venue, parking, hotel specials, guidelines, contacts, and advice. These emails will keep your attendees excited about your upcoming conference, which will hopefully develop into more interest in the speakers and events and eventually, a successful conference.
Your communication plan should also include event communications such as signage, maps, conference overview, city details such as restaurant suggestions, and other needs. When it’s all finally over, don’t forget to say thank you! Send an email to all attendees, speakers, and your colleagues to thank them for their time and invite them to stay connected.
One of the major benefits of committing to attending a marketing conference is built-in networking opportunities. Conferences are the best place to meet industry successes and learn from them. Some of the best connections and most informative information are made and learned through peer networking at conferences. So, build networking into your conference to ensure everyone, including your speakers, can benefit from all the knowledge in one place.
Planning a conference involves multiple moving parts. In order to ensure you’re ready to take on such a project, do as much research as possible not only on venue and location but also on the substance of your conference. Ensure your keynote speaker sets the appropriate tone for your conference by planning and researching.
Stay organized with a thorough communication plan covering before, during, and after the conference including email marketing, advertising, social media, website content, blogs, interviews, and more.