Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Want to Create a Better #Association Conference? Some helpful tips...

  1. What are your goals?  What are THEIRS?  Do you know why someone is attending your conference?  Is it the program, the networking, both?  It is it earn PD credits?  Do you really know?  The first thing you should consider when creating your next conference is to determine the "why" - why your stakeholders sponsor and exhibit, why your attendees show up, etc.  This could be done during post-event evaluations, both to determine if the most recent event met their expectations, and what would meet their expectations.
  2. DON'T Pack the Program.  Yes, they are there to learn.  But are they really taking away all they can with a packed program?  Down-time for the attendee to absorb the information they learned, or perhaps chat with another participant to discuss what was covered will increase event ROI.
  3. Does every session look the same on paper?  If it does, change it.  Surprise attendees with some longer, some shorter sessions.  Sessions that get them involved, sessions that increase participation.  The element of surprise will keep their attention throughout the day.
  4. Don't make it boring - have fun!  Yes, they are there to learn, and conduct business.  But, at the same time, it is a moment for them where they are not in their offices/workspaces, so don't forget to implement some downtime for family programs, or perhaps use gamification to create fun and unique ways for attendee/sponsor/exhibitor interaction.  Keep them smiling, not exhausted!

What else have you done to create a better conference?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

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