Let’s talk about business conferences. What can they do for your business? Well, if you host a conference, you’re giving yourself the opportunity to promote your company. It’s a marketing tactic with proven results. If you want to host a successful business conference, follow this guide:

shutterstock_162536930Conference venue

Arguably your number one priority will be the conference venue. You have to find somewhere suitable for you to hold this business event. If you look around, you may find some local halls that are convenient for you to use. Or, a better idea is to ask a hotel in your area. Most big hotels will have a venue designed specifically for business events/conferences. Get on the phone and ask around, find one for a decent price and lock it down. If you can get a fancy hotel as your venue, it will increase your reputation. People will be amazed that your business managed to secure such a prestigious place.

Naturally, there are some key considerations when looking for a venue. We’ve already touched upon one, suitability. Is the venue suitable to host a business conference? If you’ve chosen a hotel, the answer will probably be yes. The second thing you have to think about is the price. How much does it cost to hire the venue for a night? Ensure that you don’t overpay for something. This conference shouldn’t cost you more than you want to pay. Set a budget for the venue and don’t go over it.

Also, try and book a venue that’s easy for people to get to. This means they’ll arrive on time and with minimum fuss. A conference can start off badly if guests are arriving annoyed and stressed at taking ages to find the venue. The ideal venue will be suitable, affordable, and easy to get to!

Content

You can’t put on a conference without having something to talk about. The whole point of one is being able to speak about your business. Some businesses will hold a conference to showcase a new product or service that they offer. Other choose to hold one when they’re brand new. They use it as a way to introduce themselves to the community and talk more about the business. The bottom line is, a conference is a great marketing tool. Particularly if you have people in the media attending. That means your conference will get covered in the local news, meaning more publicity for you.

So, you have to decide what you want to talk about. If you have a new product to shout about, make it the centre of your conference. Showcase cool things and make your business seem awesome. The key is keeping the audience entertained. There shouldn’t even be a second where someone yawns. They should be hanging on your every word. Lighten the mood by making a few jokes at the start, and then keep them hooked the entire time.

Seating arrangements

Of course, you have to put a lot of thought into seating arrangements. Your first task is deciding how you’ll sit people in your venue. Most businesses will get some folding chairs and arrange them all in lots of rows. It’s a convenient and cheap method of doing things. And, you’ll have the chairs ready for your next conference.

Then, you have to think about how you’ll place them. I mentioned arranging them in rows, but that doesn’t cover half of it. You’ve got to consider how many seats are going to fit on each row. How many rows are you going to have? And, what about the amount of space between each seat? As you can see, there quickly becomes a lot of things that you must consider. It makes sense to try and fit as many chairs in a row as possible. Maximise the amount of people that can come in and sit down. Also, I’d leave a gap through the centre so people can easily find their seats and leave. Rather than only letting them use the sides to leave.

Seating arrangements are key because you have to keep people comfortable. Another idea is to reserve the best seats for any important guests. Give front row seats to any media personnel or possible investors. Keeping your important guests happy is a very good move to make.

Refreshments

No conference would be complete without some refreshments for guests. You’ve just made them sit through your talk; now it’s time to have some fun. This is where booking a hotel comes in handy; you have catering there for you. They can help cater your conference and have a nice buffet for your guests. It wouldn’t make sense to have a proper five-course meal; you need food that’s easy to eat. Little party snacks and appetisers. And, you can’t forget about drinks for your guests too. Have everything from tap water to champagne, keep them satisfied.

You may not think it, but refreshments are very important. When everyone breaks away and starts attacking the food and drink, it’s the perfect chance to mingle. Seek out important people and have a few words with them. Ask them what they thought of your conference. Start networking and forming friendships. You never know, you could end up handing out your business card to a few people. Which reminds me, don’t forget to bring your business cards with you!

Plus, not only do refreshments give you a chance to network, but they also keep people happy. People are far more likely to enjoy your conference if you provide food and drink at the end. It will live longer in their memory. If you just gave a talk and asked everyone to leave, they wouldn’t be very impressed. Make the whole evening a night to remember. Put on a spectacle so people start respecting your business.

Don’t underestimate the power of a successful business conference. It can get you into the public eye and give your company a boost. If you’re looking for a new way to promote your business, then a conference is a great idea.