Hosting a corporate conference is your chance to show off your business, your skills, and the skills and capabilities of the people with which you work. Whether you're launching a new product, training programme, or looking to update your employees on recent figures, conferences are king.
There are several aspects of a conference that can determine the success of the event. When organising a corporate conference, keep the following in mind to ensure a successful event:
You need a fantastic venue
The venue you choose for your event can be the difference between a great or glum conference. When organising your event, scout a venue that reflects your business – if you're a tech company, for instance, find a venue with contemporary architecture at its heart – and make sure it's easy to travel to. After all, there's nothing worse than guests turning up to your conference frustrated and tired because it's taken them three hours to get to, or various bus or train journeys. If you have in mind a venue that's a little out the way, making it difficult for attendees to get to, make sure you organise the necessary transportation. For instance, you could have your guests meet at your head office in the city centre and then transport them to the venue conveniently by coach or minibus.
Adhere to a strict to-do list
The key to a successful event is planning, which is why you need to make sure you have an extensive to-do list in place where you've listed everything you need to do before the event. A to-do list doesn't just mean scribbles on a piece of paper – create a colour-coded spreadsheet and assign deadlines to tasks to make sure you don't overlook anything in preparation for your event. Be sure to prepare a mini bus hire if needed.
Make registration effortless
At a corporate conference, it's unlikely you'll have your entire workforce present but instead just a handful of representatives from each department or locality, however, it's still important you know who everyone is. Create an online registration form so everyone attending the conference can register – this will help you to plan for catering and when laying out the conference hall, too.
Create a captivating programme
Conferences have a bad rap for being boring so make sure you do your best to ensure your event's programme is an interesting one, which means including notable speakers and presenting your data in an attractive, interactive format. To make sure there are no disappointments on the day, use your registration list to supply every attendee with a pack outlining what to expect on the day, including a timetable with details of talk times, breaks and lunch, and the closing event.
Allow time for networking
Conferences should be a sociable occasion, which is why it's important to allow plenty of time for networking – especially if you have guests coming from all over the country. Create activities or discussion points that allow your guests to put forward ideas and chatter amongst themselves – this includes a memorable evening event such as a formal meal and drinks reception, for instance.
Whether you're hosting 20 or 200 guests, make sure you secure a brilliant venue and allow for plenty of preparation time when organising a conference. Don't forget transportation, catering, and that all-important programme that will keep your guests talking about it for weeks on end.