Conference Planning: Leave An Impression That Will L.A.S.T.
As summer approaches, Xplor, Inc. is entering into our busy season! We have so many amazing conferences and meetings planned over the summer. We are looking forward to sharing the recaps of each event over the next few months. So since we have conference planning on our brains 24/7, we thought we would share one of the tricks we use to make sure every conference will L.A.S.T. in the minds of the attendees!
L is for Location
Whether your conference is mandatory or you need to choose a site that will entice people to sign up, location matters. Even when attendance is required, bringing attendees to a new location every year creates anticipation and energy – two musts have to ensure attendees are excited before they arrive and engaged while they're there. This is why Xplor, Inc. spends so much time on choosing the perfect destination for our clients. We are constantly scouting locations around the country and the world to add to our short list of prime venues. Once a client has chosen a location, we perform an extensive site visit to make sure every details is covered and the destination is everything the client expects it to be. Location, location, location...it may be an overused saying, but it's so true!
A is for Atmosphere
How many of us have walked into a hotel ballroom or event space for an all-day conference and thought, “This is going to be a long day.” To quote the one and only Don Draper, “If you don’t like what people are saying, change the conversation.” How about creating an atmosphere that is upbeat, lively, and fun? Imagine walking into that same ballroom, but this time, the music is pumping, smoothies and energy bars are being passed out, the room is full of bright light and vibrant colors, and the air is filled with anticipation of the mystery opening? Instead of rows of uncomfortable chairs, the room is filled with couches, high boy tables for standing, comfortable arm chairs, and end tables with charging stations? This kind of refreshing set up is something your attendees will not only look forward to, but talk about for many months to come. And this is just the first step--imagine the impression your event will make if you super charge the atmosphere throughout the entire conference!
S is for Speakers
Speakers can make or break your meeting or conference. Their presentations are really what everyone is there for, after all. You can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a conference, but if your speakers are dull, your conference will be too. The key is to find speakers that are relevant to your business and your message, but also have the gift of connecting with each member of the audience. It might be their speaking style, a poignant connection with the audience, or the exuberance they exhibit for their topic. When your attendees are really able to connect to and learn from the speaker, then you've got a successful event on your hands. And the best part? They will be racing to see who the next year’s speakers will be! People want to be inspired. So inspire them. Choose speakers and topics carefully and meticulously.
T is for Theme
When planning a meeting or conference, you are going to spend a lot of money. Meetings and conferences (done right) require a high level of commitment and time, and if you will be taking time away from employees, sales people, etc. to bring everyone together, you absolutely must have a clear message/theme for your conference. Otherwise you have missed a key chance to internally advertise to your attendees. Each and every attendee should walk away from the conference and if they only remember ONE thing it should be your MESSAGE.
Leaving an impression that will L.A.S.T. will ensure a successful conference, encourage participation, and allow your message to be delivered to in a meaningful way.