Our Conferences and Events Team has a wealth of experience in organising conferences. Over the years they’ve been involved in 100s of events and – needless to say – have learnt a thing or two along the way. While it’s true that the industry is getting slicker, the content more dynamic and the experiential side more innovative than ever before, it’s still astounding how many organisers are still making some really simple, rookie mistakes. Read on to discover five of the most frequent faux pas…
Not marketing your conference properly
You might have the best speakers in the business, a beautiful venue and delicious food and drink, but without a comprehensive marketing strategy, no one’s going to be there to appreciate your efforts. Invest time and money in spreading the word about your event and keep a constant check on attendee interest through a ticketing website, like Eventbrite – even if entry is free. This will give you a chance to up your marketing game if interest seems low.
Underestimating the importance of good food and drinks
An attendee at almost any event will be obliged to stay on-site for all of their refreshment needs. This presents a huge opportunity for an organiser to make or break the relationship with their guests. Quite simply, great food, decent tea and coffee plus lots of energy-boosting snacks will have everyone firmly ‘on side’. As well as simply putting them in a good mood, the right food and drink will give delegates the fuel to be more engaged with your content and therefore, of benefit to your event as a whole.
Over-packing your schedule
The temptation when putting together a conference schedule is to cram it full of back-to-back talks. And in some ways, this makes sense. Content is key, and this will always be true, but without giving your delegates enough refreshment breaks and downtime to check emails and network, you run the risk of people skipping sessions altogether and missing out on some of your finest speakers. Organising events is an exhausting business, but so is attending them. Schedule breaks at least every 90-minutes and remember, making new contacts and cementing relationships with industry peers is potentially a more long-standing outcome of your event, so give your attendees space to let this happen.
To optimise audience participation and to create a buzz at any talk, you need to have your guests sitting tightly together at the front of the room. Don’t be afraid to rope off seats at the back of your space until the front rows are filled up. It will help your speaker perform their best and encourage your delegates to engage. It also gives off the impression of a full room, despite potentially empty rows behind everyone.
Not following-up for feedback
Every organiser wants to hear that their event was perfect, but the chances are there would have been areas that could have been improved, and the only way you’ll find out about these is if you ask. Feedback not only gives you a chance to have an even better event next year, it also allows your attendees to feel they have had their say. Their investment in your conference should be acknowledged and appreciated and asking for their thoughts on its successes and failings lets them know you care about what they think.
Your next conference at Regent’s Conferences and Events
Our Conferences and Events Team know our central London venue inside out. They also understand that at any event it’s often the little things that can make a big difference. Whatever the requirements are for your next project, don’t hesitate to give us a call to discuss them on +44(0) 20 7487 7540.