A convention is a daunting task for any event planner. You have to be mindful of what your guests will want, so it might help to do your research and know the demographics of the participants. If you’re running a business conference, you can offer them a series of presentations from experts in their respective industries. This way everyone walks away with valuable knowledge and new contacts!
1. Plan out the agenda and activities way ahead of time.
Don’t wait until the last minute to plan out the activities and agenda for your convention. This can be a huge headache, and you don’t want to be scrambling around trying to come up with something at the last minute. Delegate different tasks to different people so that it’s evenly distributed. Have someone in charge of arranging the venue, another in charge of the food, and so on. This will help to ensure that everything runs smoothly.
People don’t want to sit in a room all day listening to speakers and taking notes. They need a break! This is your opportunity to provide some Live Talent, entertainment, or interesting guest speakers. You can also give people time to wander around the convention center and check out the booths. A few activities include playing games, going to the spa, live entertainment, or just grabbing a bite to eat.
2. Determine when the perfect time is to hold your convention.
When is the best time to have your convention? Are you considering a weekday or weekend? Weekend conventions can be more expensive as it is a more popular day for a venue to host an event, but weekdays might be more expensive for guests since they’ll lose out on potential wages if they’re unable to work during that time. They might even take vacation days, so keep this in mind when setting the dates. If you happen to choose a time when many people are on vacation, you’ll have to offer a more enticing incentive to attend.
3. Have capacity for the number of people attending.
How many people do you anticipate showing up? Be sure to be prepared for this number, since you don’t want to disappoint any potential attendees by having too few seats. This means ensuring that you have the space to accommodate everyone, as well as the necessary equipment. You don’t want people crammed into a small room, or standing in the hallway. You might need to expand your venue if it’s not large enough or orders more food and supplies.
4. Make sure they have accommodations nearby.
If everyone is coming in from out of town, be mindful that you’ll need to get them something to sleep in. Hotel rooms can get expensive, so you might want to consider booking a block of rooms at a discounted rate. This will also make it easier for attendees to find each other and socialize outside of the convention. This is not a must for every person in attendance, but it is especially important for the people who are invited as well as the people who are expected to perform or speak at this convention.
5. Provide transportation.
If your convention is large enough or spreads out over a wide area, you’ll need to provide transportation. This can be as simple as a shuttle that takes people from their hotel to the convention center, or it might require a bus that takes them around town during the daytime and brings them back at night.
6. Supply food.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. People are going to be hungry, and they’re going to want to eat something other than candy bars and bagels. You’ll need to provide a variety of foods that will appeal to everyone. Most people will get hungry after a few presentations, so be sure to have plenty of food on hand. Be sure to cater to people with an array of different diets. You’ll need vegetarian and gluten-free options, as well as options for those with a sweet tooth. It’s important to keep people’s energy up throughout the day, and there’s nothing better than good food to do that!
7. Have a Plan B.
In case of emergencies, it’s always a good idea to have a backup plan. This could be something as simple as having another room available if the first one is overbooked or having a second speaker ready to go if the first one cancels. You don’t want to be caught off guard in the event of a disaster. This is why it’s really important to choose your speakers carefully. Make sure they know what they’re talking about and will engage the audience.
8. Promote your convention.
This one is a no-brainer, but it’s still important. You need to make sure that people know about your convention. There are a variety of ways to do this, and some will work better than others depending on your target audience. One of the most effective ways to promote your convention is through social media.
You can create a page for your convention on Facebook, and use it to post updates and photos. You can also create a Twitter account and use hashtags to help people find your convention. Another great way to promote your convention is through word of mouth. Tell your friends, family, and coworkers about it, and ask them to spread the word. You can also put up flyers and posters.
It’s important to have a plan of attack when it comes time for hosting your convention. You want people to feel welcomed and taken care of while they’re there, so make sure you provide the necessities like adequate food options, transportation from one location to another, lodging nearby if necessary, etc. There are also some more creative ways that you can make an event memorable for attendees such as providing live entertainment or games in between presentations. The most important thing is making sure that everyone has something fun waiting for them at this new destination!