How To Run A Successful Conference

Many business professionals are being forced to partake in digital conferences which they may be totally unfamiliar with. Others are preparing for forthcoming conferences that have been temporarily delayed, giving them additional time to strike up plans which will ensure the conference goes off without a hitch. If you’re looking to run a successful conference but don’t know what common mistakes to look out for, a simple review of success strategies can help you meet your goals while also bolstering your professional network.

Here’s a review of how to run a successful conference, and what rookie mistakes to be on the lookout for all the while. 

It’s all about planning ahead of time

The most important thing that you should know is that you can’t wing the running of a successful conference. You need to carefully plan things out ahead of time if you want to avoid personal embarrassment and professional failure. Luckily, this is achievable if you know what mistakes to avoid and rely on the help of other conference attendees and managers while you conduct your planning. 

Begin by reviewing what are probably the five most common mistakes that conference hosts make time and time again. Not carefully keeping track of your budget is a surefire way to put yourself into some financial peril, for instance, whereas failing to hire experienced event managers to help you will lead to a trainwreck on your big day. Make space in your budget to hire event managers if you’re hosting a large group of people, and be sure to meticulously manage any personal data you collect while planning your conference. Your attendees are trusting you to do the right thing with their information, so don’t exploit the data you gathered from them in the early conference planning stages. 

You should also figure out your value proposition ahead of time – this is how you’ll appeal to potential attendees. If your conference adds no value to their lives, why should they bother to show up? Come up with a tight pitch that will allow you to illustrate the value of your conference in sixty seconds or less – anything longer than that, and you’ll likely lose their attention. Make sure that your venue takes this value proposition into consideration – it will be hard to convince attendees that your conference is worth attending if you pick a lackluster location. Ideal places like a venue at Friendship Springs will yield more attendees than poor options that lack desirable features and nearby attractions. 

Consider going digital

In the era of social distancing, you may find it impossible to plan a good conference while also adhering to public health guidelines. This is why digital conferences are all the rage right now. It’s important to understand that planning for a digital conference is radically different than planning for an in-person one. You may need to hire a few digital experts to help you manage this endeavor, though that will depend upon the overall size of the digital conference. Read up on how to host a digital conference of any size, and you’ll be far better prepared than you otherwise would be. 

Remember to follow up with your attendees after the fact to solicit how well you did! With these tips in mind, your forthcoming conference will be adequately planned and flawlessly executed before you even realize it’s happened.

Brett Sartorial

Brett is a business journalist with a focus on corporate strategy and leadership. With over 15 years of experience covering the corporate world, Brett has a reputation for being a knowledgeable, analytical and insightful journalist. He has a deep understanding of the business strategies and leadership principles that drive the world's most successful companies, and is able to explain them in a clear and compelling way. Throughout his career, Brett has interviewed some of the most influential business leaders and has covered major business events such as the World Economic Forum and the Davos. He is also a regular contributor to leading business publications and has won several awards for his work.