Have you found yourself in the role of ‘conference captain’? You know, the one at the helm of all things organisation, people pleasing and detail duty? We’ve been there before! In fact, it’s part of our DNA. So, let us take off some of the load and help you along the way to a killer conference or event rivalling that of the Golden Globes.
First thing’s first, download our ‘Conference Cool’ checklist by saving the image below (right click, 'save image as'). This will set out all the steps pre, during and post the event. Once this is in your hot little hands, have a squiz of the below where you’ll get the cogs turning on a few key items.
Planning & Consideration
This is the ‘key in the ignition’ phase. First, define your objective and purpose – is it a seated conference, a cocktail event or perhaps a roadshow? Then let the brainstorming begin. We suggest literally hitting pen to paper to get everything out there from guests lists, potential themes, speakers and/or entertainment to venue options, who’s on your planning team and a budget brief. Then, the fun starts: designing merch. Merch is a conference and event necessity (no bias noted); it can provide essential items for your guests like notebooks and pens, or reward guests with a goodie bag / gift items – a nice literal takeaway from the event. Jump online to start mocking-up some designs to include in your brief and budget approval.
This part is all pretty straight forward and oh-so-satisfying. Lock in all the juicy details like venue, event times, speakers/entertainment, explore catering options and start thinking of the set-up (ie seating etc). Then, make a list and start creating any printing materials you’ll need, and don't forget to hit ‘order’ on your merch (providing you haven't already done so, you organised thing, you).
The most important part. By now, you should have decided if plus ones are included and your RSVP date has passed. This way you can confirm PAX with catering and the venue plus arrange name tags. Consider if you’ll be arranging travel to and from the venue for your guests.
These steps are crucial! If you’re working with third party suppliers ensure to confirm with the venue and understand any bump in / bump out requirements like security and drop off locations – all the ‘back of house’ magic. Confirm your seating format/set-up and make sure to have the on-the-day contact who will be running the show from the venue’s end as they’re about to become your best friend.
1 week out
Nervous? Excited? Can’t wait for it to all be over? All very normal emotions, but you’re nearly there! The seven days from D-Day is all about re-confirming and cross checking. Send a ‘see you soon’ note to your guests, check-in with your speakers to make sure they’re prepared and have questions answered; set and send an agenda and run-of-show with timings all mapped out to all those involved as this will be your ‘Bible’ for the day.
The Day Of
You’ve made it! Due to your stellar preparation today should run smoothly, but don’t get too comfortable! Before lights, camera and action, meet with your team for an event briefing. This just means an official run-through of all components to make sure everything is working and aspects become familiar. Changes may happen here and if so, update all documents and re-send. Now before you duck off to get ready, do a ‘guest journey’ walk through to make sure the experience for your guests is on-point.
Andddd breathe! It’s always good to send out a ‘thank you’ note to your guests while asking for any feedback or suggestions. A survey is a great way to do this so you have solid stats to report back to stakeholders. Create a ‘lessons’ document for next time, give yourself a pat on the back, and don’t forget to use your 10% off code from us for your next event.
Voila. Congrats, Captain.