The difference between a conference and a seminar is that the latter is usually academic in nature and the former is a typical type of formal meeting. Conferences can be on trade, academics, media, business or even religion with the main objectives being; problem-solving, discussions, and consultations. This post will focus on business conferences.
Business conferences centre on the new opportunities and trends in a start-up business. They have an organized format with subjects and speakers selected prior to the event. Running a business conference effectively is a massive undertaking that calls for putting plenty of resources in order. These 7 tips will help you to run this type of conference effectively.
Conference venues either break or make the event. If the venue does not allow the guests to freely network during breaks or after having this busy day of learning, it isn’t a viable one. Remove the hurdles to intra-event meetings to ensure the attendees build relationships and enjoy themselves. Preferably, the venue can be a hotel where privacy is guaranteed. Hotels have a professional team that helps build every detail of the conference.
Unclear intents of having a conference normally end on an unproductive note. The attendees ought to have a clear list of the subject matter(s) at least a day before the conference. To achieve much better results, be sure to give more background information on the subject(s) to be discussed. This helps the attendees to have a flow of what is being discussed.
Start on time and finish on time. The length of time that the business conference will take is a vital aspect. The maximum concentration span for most people is roughly 2.5 hours, after which they easily switch off and start daydreaming. Long sittings result to attendees fiddling with their smartphones and lamenting on why they had to come. Let there be short breaks in between the sittings to allow the guests to refresh themselves.
Do not be the dominant one in the conference. If possible, assign some duties to the management to help build subordinates skills and break the monotony.
Since the guests will have the agenda beforehand, keep bringing them back to the subject under discussion. Do not let the discussion wander but stick on the agenda. Once you have begun speaking on a certain subject, thoroughly go through it and press for its closure as you summarize the main points under that agenda. Adequately answer all the asked questions and see that almost everyone is okay. This way, you will sufficiently handle all the subject matters.
Strive to get the mind of the audience. Not only from the sanguine persons who want to contribute to everything but also from the shy ones who are less likely to participate. This open discussion involves the audience thus promoting active listening and increasing concentration span. The facilitator should not hog the discussion, for people to participate actively.
People may come out of conference venues with very dissimilar interpretations of what was being taught. This risk can be reduced by highlighting what was accomplished and what was not. The last few minutes of the conference should be left for discussing the next steps, which involves:
With that said, business conferences, in essence, are supposed to increase the audience’s knowledge and at the same time, boost their productivity. This could only be made possible if planning is wonderfully done. If not, resources like time, energy and money will go down the drain. However, it is possible to run a start-up business conference effectively having left an impact on the audience. Give the conference all devotion it deserves.
BIO: Katherine is the digital marketing officer based in Thailand and the founder of Social Butterfly Travel Blog. A woman who loves travelling, eating and drinking especially coffee so sometimes she is a cafe hopper.