Planning a conference is hard. There’s no doubt about it.
Being a part of BusyConf and helping conference organizers take their event from idea to launch has shown me that this is true. One of the difficult parts of planning a conference is finding resources to help you organize your event that are affordable, or even free. To save you time when searching for resources, we have compiled a list of conference planning resources that can help you find a venue, book speakers, promote your event, and more.
Finding a Venue
Finding and booking a venue can be a stressful experience, especially for first-time conference organizers. Renting a venue is often the biggest cost involved when planning a conference. These tools make finding and booking venues in your area simpler and cheaper.
Meetings.com - A venue search engine where most venues are hotels, convention centers, and other large venues for professional meetings.
EventUp - Unlike Meetings.com, EventUp consists of venues ranging from hotels to private residences and small businesses.
VenueSpot - VenueSpot is a venue directory that lets event organizers submit requests based on the number of attendees they expect, venue type, and other attributes. Local venues can then send you offers based on your event details.
#tagvenue - The UK’s fastest growing venue search engine.
Local college venues
Speakers can make or break your event. Finding speakers starts with your own network, but these tools help you find speakers on any topic and in any location. Read our other blog post on finding speakers for a more in-depth guide.
Lanyrd Speaker Directory - A directory of speakers, both professionals and hobbyists, who have spoken at conferences in the past. You can even view information about talks they delivered at other conferences.
WikiCFP - An open directory of open conference call for papers. Submit your conference’s CFP to people interested in speaking.
eSpeakers - A marketplace for professional speakers. Submit jobs or browse speakers to find the right one.
Promoting your Event
Promoting your event can be difficult, especially on a budget. These directories and search engines are used by potential attendees to find events worth attending. Submit your event for exposure and free promotion.
Lanyrd - A social conference directory. Submit your conference for people to find.
AllConferences - A comprehensive directory of conferences spanning many topics and locations.
BusyConf Booster - A service we offer that helps conferences increase attendance through targeted marketing. Marketing can be a major challenge for conference organizers. The BusyConf Booster package can help eliminate your fears of empty seats and save you time and money when trying to promote your event.
Confevent - Another conference directory that offers advertising spots to conferences.
Bvents - A large database of business events, venues, and organizers.
Event Sponsorship, Fundraising, and Budgeting
Events are expensive, and without enough sponsorship money and a thorough budget, your plans might just fail due to a lack of funds. Finding sponsors is something that a lot of first time organizers struggle with. These resources will help you raise money for your event, find sponsors, and create a budget.
Booster - Sell t-shirts at no cost to you and raise money for your event.
Social media should be a big part of your event marketing and event engagement strategy. These tools help you use social media to engage attendees, find influencers, and make your event more memorable.
TintUp - A tool for creating Twitter walls and social feeds.
Tweet-tag - Monitor your conference’s hashtag in real-time and find influencers.
Tweetbe.at ListManager - An easy way to create and manage Twitter lists. Create lists of attendees, speakers, and organizers.
Canva - A super simple tool for creating good looking graphics without being a professional designer.
Storify - Create social media stories from posts on Twitter, Instagram, and other social networks.
Eventifier - Archive event media from social media posts.
Beginners and seasoned event planners alike can always benefit from more information, especially as it pertains to social media for event promotion. Learn the tricks-of-the-trade so that you are ahead of the fray as you plan that next event or conference for your company or client. Let this Complete Guide to Social Media Promotion for Events be your bible as you seek to generate interest and hype using the latest tools available on the most popular social network channels.
Equipment rentals are almost as stressful as finding a venue. Renting equipment is often expensive and time consuming. If your event needs complex audio and visual equipment, renting and setting it up can be difficult. these services help event organizers find and set up equipment.
Restin Chairs - Rent lounge equipment for your event, including branded experiences like mobile charging stations and social media centers.
LBI A/V - Experienced in building audio/visual solutions for events and conferences.
Alliant Events - Rent audio, visual, and lighting equipment for your event.