In conference planning, it’s all about “connections”

In this world of email and texting, it has become even more important to bring people together.  Face to face interaction is the platform where relationships are forged, deals are struck, ideas generated, education happens.  Think of your conference as a series of “connected moments” around your message, goals or vision.

When I ask my clients what the main goals are for their conference, invariably the first thing that comes up is creating comradery and community within their profession; common minded people to share ideas with.  The second most common goal is quality professional development that enhances their daily life.

After 25 years of managing conferences, Conference Solutions has come to understand that as the conference planner, we are most successful when we build relationships with attendees and make them feel safe and cared for.  When they feel valued and part of a community they learn better, perform better and return again and again.  We have also realized that true connection doesn’t have to break the bank… it’s the little things that are so important.

But connection takes time – more time than you have taking care of the same old important, but tedious routines of planning a meeting.   On top of that, you have to think about keeping your Millenials and Baby Boomers engaged; two totally different animals.  Do you need an event app…and if so, which one?   Who’s going to handle your social media networks?  Are you sure you have enough bandwidth to keep your attendees connected onsite?  Incorporating white space for digesting information, managing energy levels with F&B, how do you do that?  Re-charge rooms, interactive playrooms, networking lounges, creative seating…WHAT?    Times are changing and you can’t afford not to do some of these things to stay successful and get that important ROI.

Here are some key things to keep in mind

Registration Management

 We have always recognized that an effective online registration system is the key to your best first impression. If registration is complicated or confusing the experience goes downhill from there. (Read our Registration Case Study)

Social Media Management

Communicating for a conference is a huge job and the stakes are high.  How you interact with attendees can have a huge impact on their experience and memories.  How many touchpoints do you need to make an impact; to get someone to register? How do you continue to connect after the conference?

  • Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Conference Apps – Finding the right combination that works for you
  • marketing your conference and speakers
  • Forming online communities before, during and after

Creative Program Management

  • Work closely with venue staff to make sure your event has the “feel” you are looking for.
  • Creative Furniture placement, what can the venue provide, what could we bring in
  • Creative break-out rooms
  • Work with the venue to ensure their Wifi can support onsite education and communication needs

Conference Solutions has done the research…both anecdotal through years of trying new things as well as hours and hours of studying new trends, industry workshops, and comparing different technology. We come to work every day excited about the possibilities and how to work them in to our clients’ events no matter what the budget!

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