The internet is threatening to render the business conference obsolete. Now, the possibilities for community networking online means people from across the world can develop connections which will further expand their business without ever leaving their home or office. In times like this, the conference model of business seems to be in jeopardy. However, for a growing business, there are few things of greater asset than hosting a conference.
Conferences allow for a personalised approach that, if you work in a business to business capacity, really encourage loyalty and reciprocal warmth between your clients and you. Although it may seem an expensive strategy, the networking opportunities and bonds forged through face to face communication can supply great returns in the long term.
The marketing for your conference needs to not only generate awareness of the event itself, but also highlight your business. This then has two results: more people subscribing to your conference, and more people investigating your business and perhaps deciding to use your services.
It’s time to call on favours. Engage with bloggers who work in your field and see if they’d be willing to publish content on your conference. Utilise every in-house channel available to you, but further than that, utilise the speakers at your conference.
The speakers will want the conference to be a success to enhance their prestige, but as a marketing strategy, there is also the advantage of some prestigious speakers being a draw in your field. Encourage them to share and raise awareness of the conference, and both of you will be happy when the day is a success.
Set the agenda
Letting your attendees, both actual and potential, know the line-up of the conference a while before the day itself is a really great way of maximising your conference’s success. This helps give the impression of an organisation that runs like a clockwork, which is the kind of business people want to learn from.
People prefer seminars in the morning, but don’t underestimate the importance of a coffee break. To get the best out of their conference experience, attendees seek feelings of relaxation and stimulation at different times. Even the coffee breaks should offer opportunities for discussion, so maybe consider a stall of a relevant sponsor in the coffee room, which will both increase your revenue and keep people engaged.
The speakers need to be stimulating, and letting people select which smaller group sessions they want to attend leaves them feeling this conference has a personalised approach, which will enhance their overall reception of the day.
The activities need to be engaging, but more than that, pick a good time in the week to host. A conference on Friday can give people the illusion of a holiday, which can encourage more initial registrations, but can discourage the kind of active and willing engagement which can benefit your business.
Make a Strong Impression
Hotels and conference centres have been the traditional places to host a business seminar, but demands of the twenty-first century are different. People prefer streamlined spaces, with good lighting and a relaxed, contemporary vibe to make them feel comfortable. Consider utilising spaces like educational buildings and art centres to generate a positive response from the contemporary business person.
Making a good impression is about utilising the right resources. Perhaps use a local coffee-chain to provide an on sight barista team to give your conference that touch of modern luxury. Make sure the food catering is adequate for people of all dietary requirements and is fresh, refreshing, healthy and filling. You don’t want attendees to feel like the buffet is from a child’s birthday party in the 1990s.
How you use technology really matters as well. People who feel they’ve been exposed to cutting-edge developments will feel more positive about your business. A great new technological advancement is Meet App, a service which allows every aspect of a conference to become an interactive engagement. Attendees can engage with conference developments in real time, and observe who else is attending which allows people to develop immediate business connections upon meeting. The immediate responsiveness an app like this facilitates means attendees will be more engaged, impressed and receptive to your business.