In the military, they call it backwards planning. Planning out your event, your proposal, or your duties with the end result in mind. What is the desired end result of a conference? Most likely you want to see your attendees leaving with a smile on their face, a sense of determination and enthusiasm, and a guarantee that they will be back next year! Let’s start at the end of the conference, and backwards plan to make sure everything is set up and ready for action!
#10 Get Them Coming Back: Sell tickets to next year’s event during the event. You may not have all the details in place, but hopefully, you have a date and a venue. Sell discounted tickets to attendees for next years event so they walk away knowing they are coming back again next year.
#9 Departing Gifts: What are your attendees leaving with? Make sure they are leaving with something valuable and memorable. An item with your logo and the conference name would be ideal. A shirt, pen, or mug are all something that your attendees can use throughout the year, and it is continued advertising for the event.
#8 Closing Speaker: How will you close the conference? Will you have a dynamic keynote to close out the conference and get everyone fired up for next year? Will you end with a reception and dance? Leave a lasting impression, and make the last hour of your event spectacular!
#7 Dynamic Speakers: Speaking of speakers, do you have a great line up of speakers? Have you heard them speak before? Do they have solid reputations? Are they all relevant to your industry and the conference theme?
#6 Good Food and Lots of Coffee: If your event is taking place at a hotel or conference center, the food is probably being provided by the venue. If it is being catered from another establishment, make sure that you have plenty of food and that it is tasty and easy to eat. Stocking up on water, tea, and especially coffee, will ensure your attendees are well taken care of.
#5 Signs and Direction: Make it easy for your attendees to find their next session or where to go for lunch. Have signs made and start place them before attendees enter the building. Attendees want to know they are in the right place. A welcome banner with your name, logo, and the name of the conference assures people they are headed in the right direction.
#4 Decorations: Table cloths and flowers are an easy and inexpensive way to decorate a large room. Add some simple centerpieces to the tables and you are good to go.
#3 Parking/Transportation: If this is a destination conference, allow ample time for attendees to get to the event. Shuttles to and from the airport are helpful as are ample parking once attendees have arrived. Give them a list of ideas for transportation, and have someone available to answer questions as they arise.
#2 Marketing: Start your marketing early with social media, your website, and print materials around town. It is never too early to start marketing your event. Continue to market your event during and after the conference.
#1 BusyConf: Ready to plan your conference? Contact BusyConf and make it a seamless and effortless ordeal. BusyConf is a one-stop platform that allows you to collect speaker proposals, build schedules, and handle ticket registration.
Backwards planning helps you see your conference or event in a different light. It allows you to look at every step and prepare for the unexpected. Ask yourself what your ultimate take away will be and backwards plan from there.
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