Planning successful business conferences is no easy feat. And the bottom line is: you are never going to satisfy every single delegate that comes to your event.
That’s just life and the complicated nature of people. However, you can do your utmost to ensure that for the most part, delegates have incredible and memorable experiences, while conferences keep in line with your clients’ most important business objectives. What we don’t want is that sinking feeling as we watch the success of our conference unravel before our eyes, with bored delegates planning quick escapes. We all know, too well, that time is money, so we’ll cut to the chase: here are our top tips on how to avoid disastrous business conferences:
Don’t overlook the little details
Remember, that oftentimes conferences span a whole day or days. When this is the case, things that add to people’s comfort, and meet their expectations of what should be at a good conference, goes a very long way. Comfortable chairs, ample supply of water, enough coffee breaks (for the addicts), good (but not freezing!) air conditioning, substantial parking, a smooth registration process, no long queues for food and an accessible location with transport options and free and fast WiFi, are some of the things that really create a great experience for delegates. Keep in mind, it’s these kinds of things that they remember when looking back on business conferences. So, ensure that you pay the same attention to the finer details, as you do to the bigger ones. You really want delegates to be comfortable so they can make the most of their experience.
Offer delicious food
Make no mistake, in a couple of months, when people look back on your conference, while a particularly good talk may stand out, they are almost certain to remember what the food was like, and their experience of getting it. Opt for fresh, healthy, delicious food, that will not only fill the grumbling stomachs of delegates but nourish them and allow them better concentration post-mealtime. Greasy, unhealthy food is going to leave delegates feeling sluggish, tired and lazy, and will have them checking their watches for the rest of the day — no matter how good the speakers are. While making sure that all the meals are well within the budget, also try to ensure that there are enough snacks for in between. There is nothing like starving and ‘hangry’ delegates to make a conference go south.
Don’t overshoot the budget
It’s simple. You can’t plan a five-star conference with a three-star budget. So don’t. Always play on the safer side when it comes to the budget, and rather under promise and over deliver. Be sure that you also make it clear to the client how far their budget can really stretch. Clients always seem to want Disneyland when all they can afford is an Aladdin cardboard cutout.
Open and close with a bang
This is an incredibly important tip which is often ignored when it comes to business conferences. Don’t make the mistake of leaving the best speaker till last. Make sure you have at least two incredible speakers, because the opening ‘act’ sets the tone for the rest of the conference, and the last speaker is almost always the one that will be remembered the most. Having said that, when you select your speakers, ensure that they are all brilliant. Quality over quantity is certainly key here: just like you need every ingredient in order for a cake not to flop, and you need every speaker to be incredible for a conference to be truly successful.
Ensure that your conference is on-trend and engaging
These days, thanks primarily to Millennials in the workforce, discerning delegates are expecting more from business conferences. You need to ensure that your business conferences are memorable, experiential, exciting and ultimately, engaging. Delegates want to use what they have learnt in your conference and action it, yes, but they want to do so by having an unbelievable experience. Social media, event apps, being in line with the current industry trends, utilizing things like virtual reality, using business conference hashtags, creating exciting events and involving the delegates in ways they have not been involved in before, will all lead to engaging and memorable business conferences.
Let the people mingle
Feedback from delegates according to this article (<hyperlink to:https://www.thecontentmarketingacademy.co.uk/what-makes-a-great-conference/>) shows that at business conferences, they crave opportunities to not only learn new, actionable, things, but they want to network and meet new, like-minded professionals. And it's up to you to ensure that this kind of environment exists. Make sure that you select speakers that will bring new information to the table, and create unique ways for delegates to interact and network.
Plan well in advance
We can’t stress this enough: you need to plan your business conferences way ahead of time. This will ensure that you lock down the venue and the speakers that you want, but it will also give you time to really come up with creative and engaging ideas for your business conferences, and all within the budget. The more engaging, unique and watertight your conference is, the more memorable it will be.
Choose an incredible location
A big part of a successful business conference is sure to be the location. If it fits with the budget, choose a gorgeous location abroad, in some wonderful coastal town in a hotel near the sea, and preferably in a country with an exciting and unusual culture — this quite literally makes your job infinitely easier. Choose an extraordinary location and venue which, in and of itself will delight and impress delegates.
If you are looking for a location that is going to impress clients and delegates to no-end, then Calpe is the ideal location for your next business conference. We at AR Hotels can help you with all the details of your next business conference in the most beautiful location possible. Contact us to host your next event at one of our incredible hotels in Calpe. With some pretty impressive MICE awards under our belt, you can rest assured that you are in good hands, and together we will create a business conference that delegates will be speaking about for years to come.