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Planning a Business Conference: Here’s What You Need To Know

Business Meeting ResourcesBusiness ResourcesEvents

February 28, 2023

A close-up of a microphone with a business conference in the background filled with people listening. It is a perspective from stage out to the audience.

Planning a Business Conference: Here’s What You Need To Know

Hosting a business conference is as exciting as it is rewarding. It is a great way to bring together industry leaders and experts and provides an opportunity to showcase your company’s thought leadership and establish your employees as thought leaders in their field. However, planning a successful conference can also be daunting, with many different elements to consider. Many details need to be considered, from finding the right venue to securing speakers. This blog post will explore key considerations when planning a business conference, including venue inclusions, speakers, and breakout sessions.

Choose The Venue

The venue you choose will depend on the size of your event and the type of atmosphere you want to create. If you are planning a large conference, you must select a venue that can accommodate your attendees. You may want to consider a more unique and cozy space for a smaller, more intimate event. In either case, it’s important to consider the location, parking, and accessibility of the venue, as well as the cost and availability. The inclusions in business conference venues vary widely. These days, it is essential to know the AV capabilities of each space you use, can they accommodate a hybrid event, and do they include any of the setup, tear down, and furniture in the rental cost. Be sure to be as clear and detailed with your potential host as possible so that they can point out any areas they may be lacking and allow you to come up with solutions well before the event begins. For instance, our 13 venues at The Centre Escondido boast space for hundreds of guests and have small spaces for intimate breakout sessions. We also have an award-winning restaurant on site that can help fill all of your catering needs. Oh, and our in-house coffee shop is perfect for the morning and mid-day fuel your attendees will need. 

Coordinate Your Speakers

Once you have chosen a venue, it’s time to start thinking about speakers. Speakers are a crucial element of any conference, and choosing engaging speakers with unique insight to share can get your attendees excited about learning alongside your organization. When selecting speakers, it’s essential to consider their expertise, credibility, and relevance to your audience. You should also consider the speaker’s availability and fees and the cost of travel and accommodations. Remember, having a mix of speakers with different backgrounds and perspectives can make your conference more engaging and informative.

Organize Breakout Sessions

Breakout sessions are smaller, more focused sessions that take place concurrently with the main conference. They provide attendees with the opportunity to delve deeper into specific topics and learn from experts in a more intimate setting. When planning breakout sessions, it’s important to consider each session’s topics, speakers, and format. You should also consider the sessions’ timing and ensure they don’t conflict with the main speaker or other important breakout sessions. These sessions offer a great way for your attendees to continue their education and expertise, and give them ample opportunities to network with other people in the sessions. 

Remember The Details

Find a Caterer

The planning doesn’t stop there. The details are as important as the main tasks, including catering, registration, and marketing. When it comes to catering, you must consider the type of food and beverages you will provide attendees. Nothing is worse than attending a multi-hour or multi-day event without anything to eat. Choose a caterer that can provide delicious food that aligns with your theme and timeline. By thinking of these details well in advance, you can be sure to wow every one of your guests, and get them excited about the next event to come!

Make Registration Easy

Decide on a registration process, such as online or on-site registration, and create a registration form early. Early-bird ticket sales are a great way for attendees to get a deal, and for you to get a feel for the interest in your event. Our advice is to make it easy on your guests, and digital registrations are easy to access for users and you as the host to track. Remember, the more difficult it is to get involved, the more likely it is that someone will forego purchasing a ticket.

Spread the Word

Marketing is essential to promoting your conference and attracting attendees. This includes creating a conference website, creating marketing materials such as brochures and flyers, and promoting the conference on social media for at least eight weeks prior.

Data Is Key

To improve your event each year, you need to know what worked, what didn’t, and what could have gone better. Some software provides ways for you to check on the flow of your attendees, and even give away prizes for people who fulfill specific requirements, like attending three breakout sessions and the main conference event. Not only does this give your attendees a way to be more involved, but it also allows you to see, with real numbers, what everyone was excited to learn about. That knowledge is power as you line up speakers and a venue for your next big event. 

In conclusion, planning a business conference can be challenging but rewarding. By considering the key elements of venue, speakers, and breakout sessions, as well as catering, registration, and marketing, you can ensure that your conference is a major success. Remember, the key to a successful conference is to create a valuable and engaging experience for your attendees. If you are looking for a large conference space in North County, San Diego, we have you covered. Reach out to our team to learn more.