Last Updated on October 7, 2021
I’ve said on several occasions that conferences are fast becoming one of the most valuable tools in any marketing agent’s repertoire. The thing is, not every marketing professional knows exactly what they need to plan an event. While marketing and event management do require very similar skill-sets, the knowledge base required for each tends to be more than a little divergent.
Thankfully, while every event is different – and brings different challenges, requirements, and concerns – there are a few starting points you can lay down that’ll make things much, much easier on you as you move forward. Ignore any of them at your own peril.
There’s very little to say here, as I’ve already waxed on about the mobile craze on far too many occasions. I’ll make this simple: people attending your event are going to bring with them laptops, tablets, and smartphones. If you don’t offer a secure WiFi connection capable of supporting all of those devices simultaneously, you’re going to be dealing with more than a few unsatisfied attendees.
A Diverse Team Of Volunteers
The best event planners know that they’re not tireless dynamos (even if they sometimes try to be) with a Macguyver-level skillset. Figure out the specific set of skills you’ll need to run your event, and put together a team of individuals who possesses those skills. You’re going to need to manage budgeting, venue booking, program planning, publicity, equipment/technology, and setup…and that’s just leading up to the conference.
It’s also absolutely vital that you hire on enough volunteers, speakers, and security staff (that last one is particularly important). As a general rule, you should hire on one guard for every twenty or thirty people.
A Clear Goal
What are you looking to accomplish with your event? Do you just want to increase brand awareness? Do you want to meet potential business partners or application developers? Make sure you’ve got a clear concept in mind of what you want to have gained when everything is said and done – and make sure that everyone in your organization is on-board with that concept.
Time and Budgeting
As I’ve said before, many of the most significant mistakes in event management come down to two simple factors: either the event planner doesn’t have enough time, or the budget is all wrong. Ensuring you’ve got both the necessary time to prepare (events generally take at least a month or more to prepare for, depending on the size of both the event and the team running it) and the right funding to do so will help you avoid a whole host of nasty blunders down the road.
Last, but certainly not least, make sure you set up lodging for your attendees. There are likely to be quite a few of them attending your event from out-of-town; it’s thus important you get in touch with any hotels in the area to see if you can set up an agreement to give your guests special room rates. Hotels aren’t cheap, after all; you want to do what you can to make attending your event as affordable as possible.
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