When you’re thinking of hosting a conference event, it’s easy to get carried away with good ideas and possibilities. However, there are core foundations that need careful attention, to be sure you’re drawing in the right audience and generating ticket sales to your conference event.
A good place to start is by putting yourself in the shoes of the person that is considering attending your conference event.
Obviously, they’d want to know who are the kind of like-minded professionals that would attend the event? Is it drawing a community they would want to be a part of? Will there be an opportunity to connect with others? Most importantly is the conference event content relevant to their career and self-development? This is what people will base their decisions on. Now you get the idea, let’s go into more depth.
Let’s get straight to the point. If you’re going to host a purposeful event your content needs to be on point!
When you start brain storming and thinking about the purpose of your conference event, the content needs to be current, relevant and timely.
You’ll actually need to craft your event content so it draws in the right people and creates a sense of community that is connected to your organisation. This may even take a while however, it’s best to invest time doing this right! The consequences of getting your conference event content wrong will have a downward domino effect.
Then once you have a good idea of what the conference event content will look like, then you’re able to think about speakers.
You want your event content to be crafted around new knowledge and skills so people can walk away having learnt something that can help their business and/or contribute to their personal development.
Now your event content acts like a magnet that pulls like-minded people to your conference event. This is when you need to evaluate if your event content is attracting the right community of people. You want business professionals to benefit from your conference event and from the connections that they’ll make.
As part of the decision-making process people want to know that your conference event will bring a community of people that share a common business interest as they do. They want to be a part of a community of professionals that could help their business in some way or another.
So, you must be clear and sure about the community you want at your event so everyone benefits and feels a sense of belonging.
Now that we’ve touched on content and community, connection is the glue that holds everything together. There is so many directions that connection can go, and each direction is just as important as the other. Let’s take a closer look.
We have mentioned a couple of times that people want to know who is going to be attending your conference event because they want to get a fair idea who they can connect with.
People gravitate to like-minded people and want the opportunity to connect with them because you never know when one person’s skill-set may help their business. However, that’s just your audience connecting with one another but it’s much bigger than that.
Other important connections that you need to think about are:
- Audience and sponsors
- Speaker with the audience
- Content with the organisation
One important and crucial connection and sometimes forgotten is the connection between you ‘the host’ and the audience. It’s one thing for people to know that you are hosting the event however, how are you making yourself seen and available for your audience to connect with? Your guest MC is not a representative of your organisation and should never have to take on that responsibility.
At the next event you host be intentional with your audience. How are you going to connect with people?
Be sure to make your organisation seen and we’re not talking about having a booth at your own event. Your audience are wanting to connect with your people, so organise for your team to mingle with your audience. This will show your audience that you care.
Everything needs to be connected
Every element of your event needs to be created for the opportunity to connect. Your chosen speakers should also be encouraged to connect with your audience and there are several ways to achieve this. One is to use a networking tool like an event app which will help you accomplish the desired engagement.
Event content, community and connection are the foundations that make a good conference event. Each of these elements can’t work without the other and the consequence of neglecting either content, community or connection will reflect on your ticket sales and your organisation.
All three components go together and need to be interwoven into your conference event programme.
This is a good place to start and what you should be thinking about if you’re to plan and host a conference event because people base their decisions on these elements.