Top conferencing tips
So, here are our top seven tips to hosting an amazing conference or meeting (not in any particular order):
1. Be professional and organized. Delegating and engaging staff and volunteers is essential in planning a great event. That means ensuring that every detail is reviewed and checked.
Of course, there will always be a couple of things you didn’t expect, but as long as your participants don’t now the difference, you’re fine. And, even if they do, be honest and explain.
2. Plan for fun. Distribute fun items to place on meeting tables: puzzles, colouring book pages, crayons, and other trinkets that don’t make noise but can keep people occupied while they still listen.
Plan fun and interactive networking opportunities, games, and discussions. Give away prizes.
3. Provide ample and tasty food and snacks – some healthy and some yummy. Ensure that you constantly communicate your needs to venue managers and show your appreciation for their flexibility and service.
4. Invite excellent speakers, panellists, and facilitators, and allow for a lot of structured table discussion. People learn from each other as much as they do from the “experts.” It also reinforces a sense of camaraderie.
And, always show your gratitude to presenters, especially those who prepared their sessions on a voluntary basis.
5. Stay on time. Presenters have spent time preparing their sessions, and participants, who are punctual, should be rewarded, not penalized by stragglers. Start out on time from the opening and advise the audience that you will continue to do so.
6. Say thank you endlessly (with sincerity and warmth) – to exhibitors, sponsors, volunteers, staff, and anyone who contributed to making the meeting or conference a great success.
7. Be energetic, fun, and “out there” – welcome people, approach people, and talk with people – just as if they were guests at your own party. Make sure each one feels a connection with you (the planner or chair) and be genuine about it. They will feel special and engaged when they know that you appreciate their participation and the fact that they chose to spend their budget or time on your meeting or conference.
Remember… they could have gone elsewhere. PLUS, enjoy it yourself. When you exude energy, excitement, and fun, it will spread like wildfire.
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