Most high-level events and conferences take place from September to June, while July and August is usually a time when Event Organisers take a well-deserved break.
It is never too soon to start investigating possible dates for your event, so now is a great time to prepare and brainstorm the general needs of your next conference. Focus on themes, budget and of course, Keynote Speakers, even before you start booking venues and thinking about logistics.
As part of the initial preparation and planning Oration Speakers have listed a few ideas that can help you to start preparation during these initial stages.
1 - WHAT IS THE GOAL OF YOUR CONFERENCE?
Why are you having a conference in the first place? For a lot of companies, annual general meetings are compulsory and a perfect time to review the previous year, make changes and make plans for the upcoming year. However, often Event Organisers create memorable events, with the goal of turning a profit. They do this by bringing in headline Keynote Speakers, breathtaking entertainment all with the goal of motivating the audience and procuring repeat business and audience for their next event.
As there are a lot of events out there and a lot of competition, be sure to know why you are organising an event in the first place. Are you taking this on because you want to put on a conference, or because you know there’s an actual need to be met?
2 - PICTURE WHAT YOUR CONFERENCE WILL LOOK LIKE
Where will it take place? Will it be in a state of the art conference centre or will it be in a unique bespoke venue? Will it be in a non-traditional venues like a urban rooftops, an art gallery or at a countryside retreats. Will it be in the city centre or on the outskirts? Is it near transportation? How far from the airport? What about traffic? Is there suitable accommodation nearby? What about proximity to evening activities? Will there be a requirement for food and beverage facilities?
3 - WHO WILL BE IN THE AUDIENCE?
Start thinking about the audience profile. How many attendees do you plan will be at the event? Have a clear picture of who they are, what challenges they face, what are looking for and why they would want to go to your event in the first place.
4 - WHAT TYPE OF EVENT WILL IT BE?
There are mainly four types of events; Networking, trade show, educational and academic events.
If it is a networking event, it is of most importantance to get attendees in the same room. This program plays back seat to the social activities, where attendees get together to meet and greet, see and be seen. Longer breaks and receptions are more important than a lot of informational sessions.
Trade show events, are usually pop-up events for selling and trading. The trade show floor is significantly more important than the sessions!
Educational events are where the attendees come to learn new techniques and skills. They have a heavy emphasis on who the Keynote Speakers are and the Keynote topics. The social elements for networking are played down, but still present.
Academic events are aimed at vetting publishing credits. Submissions need to be peer reviewed and published in a volume for the authors to get the credit.
All these different types of events demand a different type of format and structure. Hybrids don’t work well, as each type competes against each other. Everything from break timing to program curation is affected by the type of event.
Also you need to think if the event is public or private? How many days will it last for and will be once off, Annual or BiAnnual?
5 - THEME
What will the theme be? Are you interesting in a trending theme? (ie. disruptive technology, crypocurrencies or robotics?) Once you have the idea of producing a conference, discuss it with your target audience in a few different social media channels and get feedback from them.
6 - BUDGET
Putting on a conference is far more expensive than you most likely realise. You can avoid personal bankruptcy by testing people's reaction in advance. this will help you to see what kind of demand there is for that particular type of event. Start with low-risk efforts — like hosting discussions in social media - that will help you get a sense of demand, and will give you opportunities to discuss your concept with the people you hope will register. Or go bigger and build your audience before you create the conference.
7 - FEEDBACK
If you organised the event in the past what were the downfalls? What were the drawbacks? This is a good time to review feedback from previous events from past delegates.
8 - WHAT KIND OF EXPERIENCE DO YOU WANT TO OFFER THE DELEGATES?
Entertaining, thought provoking? educational? Do you want to deliver an event that is inspiring, memorable, or Instagramable? This you can also decide on by reviewing feedback.
9 - KEYNOTE SPEAKER
It is of upmost importance that the Keynote Speaker you choose is relevant to the Theme. Choose a Speaker who is knowledgeble, a great orator, with great content. The role of the Keynote Speaker is to engage the audience so they leave the event invigorated and educated and inspired.
Finding a great Keynote Speaker is usually done with the help of an effective Speaker Bureau, like Oration Speakers. Oration Speakers can help you source the most suitable Keynote Speaker for your event. Send us an email with your thoughts and ideas and we can help you get the best, most suitable Keynote Speaker for your event.