Hosting An Industry Event: Things To Think About
Hosting a conference or other industry event can be a marketing dream as well as a PR nightmare if the conference is a bust. Make sure that a brand is recognized before announcing a conference as getting big names in the industry to attend is essential to make the most out of the conference. The following are some things to keep in mind while planning and hosting an event or conference.
Organization and Scheduling
Having the proper venue is quite important and the right dates that don’t conflict with other industry events can be difficult. Even the day of the conference there might be some schedule changing as people can miss flights or flights get cancelled so they might have to speak later. Having website calendar software that syncs with a phone can give all attendees up to date information on changes in schedule or new guest speakers. This can be downloaded weeks before the conference and can be used as a great way to market the conference and give tips on what to bring, who will be there, and a general overview of what will be happening.
The people that are chosen to speak at a conference or event can have a huge impact on attendance of certain lectures or presentations. The key thing to watch out for is highlighting a CEO or thought leader from a rival company. Although this is an industry event there is no reason to give the competition the spotlight at the event. There are plenty of people who can speak on a subject that do not have competing interests with your company. Offering the speakers a free booth at a conference can be enough to get them to agree to participate. The advantages of speaking are overwhelming as sales and deals are made like crazy at many conferences.
Hosting a conference in the company’s city can be done but should be avoided if it is a smaller city. Places like Florida and Las Vegas are hotspots for conferences as the weather is agreeable and there are plenty of other things to do after the conference. The location of the conference can push people to attend the conference if they were questioning it. The appeal of being able to vacation while doing something for work is enormous. Plus having a great place to entertain doesn’t hurt especially with client dinners and drinks afterwards which are staples at conferences.
Hosting a conference each year can change the trajectory of a business if it is a success. If done incorrectly or is poorly run the first year the attendance numbers will drop as nobody wants to attend a conference where people are still trying to figure out how to run a decent one. Be prepared for the first conference and it could make the company a household name in the future.