There is a lot more involved in planning a conference of any size, especially if you have never planned one before. A conference can be any size depending on how many people are invited or if it as open to the public type event that could attract hundreds. For industry based events, the guest list is a little more under control, which is great for those who are planning their very first business or team building conference. However, regardless of the size, the more planning that you do ahead of time, the easier things will go on the day of your special event.
Don’t try to do too much your first time around. Conferences are generally one of those things that build in size, complexity and attendance. If you can do well with a conference at the local Milford conference hall that attracts 50 people, you can build on that experience and double or triple your attendance the next year. The point is to do a good job because you aren’t just hosting an event at the local conference center, you are also building a reputation for your conference series that will be spread by word of mouth.
Five Steps to a Memorable Conference
The focus or theme of your conference does not matter when it comes to the basics of planning. You could be planning a seminar-driven event or a hands-on interactive workshop, the conference could focus on a single micro-niche within an industry or be more broad in its approach, but the five steps outlined here will still apply. Every conference needs the same basic elements in order to be memorable and beneficial to those who attend. If the attendees don’t get anything out of going they won’t be coming back next year and they won’t give a positive review to their colleagues and co-workers.
STEP ONE – Set Goals
Before you do anything, you need to have a goal. If your goal is to host a successful business conference in Massachusetts for 100 industry professionals, that’s a great place to start. Take it to the next level by adding other goals, such as providing solid information about a specific topic, getting a well-known speaker to come out and share pearls of wisdom with your attendees or create an atmosphere that will encourage networking, brainstorming and deal-making. Whatever it is that you want to get out of your event at the conference center in Milford, MA, make sure that you declare it and define it early on to help you with your planning.
STEP TWO – Pick a Venue
The next important step in the planning process, once you have identified how many attendees you might be expecting for the industry or team building conference, is to choose the venue. The Crystal Room Conference Center in Milford, MA has a lot of space for professional meetings, conferences and expositions. Tons of parking on-site, lots of great technology options available including free Wi-Fi, a mobile device charging station for all your guests and much more. Make sure to reserve space for your event at this popular Milford conference hall in advance to guarantee the date.
STEP THREE – Set a Budget
Now that you know how much it costs to rent space for your business conference in Massachusetts, you can start figuring out the rest of your budget. You will need to have some start-up money to begin paying for vendors and start plotting out any dinners, luncheons or parties that will be thrown. If this is an industry-wide event, consider bringing on several levels of sponsors that will pay for the purpose of promoting their businesses and services at the event. Figure out how much it will cost to throw a party and offer sponsorships to cover the costs. Go over every detail from the fees for speakers and promotional costs to lanyards or name tags and other registration materials. If you are charging attendees to attend the event, make sure to include those fees in with your budget for confirmed registrations.
STEP FOUR – Set a Schedule
Create content that will bring in attendees to your event, such as popular speakers or well respected industry professionals who can speak at length about important topics or trends that affect the current market. Whether you are holding multiple speaking events across smaller conference rooms or one large event with multiple speakers throughout the day, make sure to create a schedule and post it on a website. You should also provide the schedule on a hand-out for attendees so they can keep track of what is happening and who will be speaking. Make sure to schedule in things like bathroom breaks at the Milford conference hall, refreshment times and, if it is an all-day event, you should consider serving a buffet lunch. These are all great networking opportunities that will help add depth and value to your event.
STEP FIVE – Hire Good Staff
It is important to have good staff members working at the event to ensure that all the details are executed according to plan and that attendees have the communication and support that they need in order to have a positive experience. Make sure you know what to expect at the conference center in Milford, MA and pass that information on to your employees. Ensure that everyone knows what is expected of them and consider using push talk radios to encourage more communication between staff members during the event. Whether you are hosting a large expo or a small team building conference, the support staff that you hire is very important to the success of the overall event.
The Crystal Room Conference Center
If you are making plans to host a business conference in Massachusetts and are looking for the perfect venue, consider The Crystal Room Conference Center in Milford, MA. Located just a minute off the I-495, our venue is conveniently located away from the hustle and bustle of the big city, yet is easy for everyone to find and get to from just about anywhere in the South Coast region. Give us a call at 508-478-7800 to learn more about our venue or to schedule a tour of the facility.