Exceptional conferences do not happen by accident. Anyone who’s planned one knows they are the result of detailed planning, meticulous execution and aligning messages and content with specific – and measureable – goals. Of course, if you are planning a conference this fall, you likely already know this.
You likely also know about the (sometimes) unreasonably high expectations senior leaders have about conference outcomes – Immediate and record-breaking sales! Widespread support for organizational changes! Unwavering trust in leaders!
So the question is – how do you manage expectations and host a conference that creates real and immediate results? Follow these excellent guidelines to ensure your corporate conference is engaging, inspiring and motivates individuals and teams to take action.
- The Devil is in the Planning – All great conferences start with clear goals and measureable objectives. What do you want to accomplish? How will you know if you did? Establish metrics for tracking improvement in business results, employee satisfaction or customer attitudes – whatever your goals are. The identified metrics should be measured prior to the conference as a baseline and then measured again at intervals following the event.
- Brand It – Use a catchy theme or a conference tagline to make sure your conference goals and messaging are linked. Note that theme development comes AFTER the goals and objectives are finalized. It can act as a creative hook – and it should have an accompanying logo design – to brand the event and all its communications.
- Do Your Homework First – Take the time to interview clients and industry experts prior to your event to gather valuable feedback about your company products and services. Or, survey all attendees to collect data on your companies’ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. You’ll have relevant and timely data to reveal throughout the conference.
- Create Some Buzz – Get your attendees excited about the conference weeks in advance with teasers about workshops, activities, keynote speakers and social events. Or pique interest with a game or contest. Make sure the pre-event communications are consistent with the conference theme. Use a variety of vehicles like social media, email, postcards, video clips or surveys to build anticipation.
- It Ain’t Over When it’s Over – Capitalize on the momentum your attendees feel at the end of the conference. Immediately follow up with final thoughts, lessons learned and marching orders and a quick online conference survey. But don’t stop there. Incorporate learning objectives into existing communications vehicles (newsletters, blogs, website, etc.) and celebrate successes and report progress regularly.
If this all sounds great, but you are looking for more ‘hands on’ help, we got your back. Check us out at http://powersresourcecenter.com/conferences/