If you are truly dedicated to your career, then you will find it quite common to either participate in a conference as a speaker, or plan your own event. These days, many organizations are now making the effort to produce their own business conference as it can provide many opportunities for networking and building stronger relationships with both industry peers and clients.
These events are an opportunity to discuss specific topics and trends in the industry, and to highlight ones expertise. They can also provide a great opportunity to train your employees on specific skills that can improve their overall performance.
But for a conference to be successful, don’t neglect its organization. There are a few things that are key to making sure that everything goes smoothly when planning the event as well as speaking to your audience.
Identifying Your Conference Venue
Due to Covid19, many organizations are now opting for virtual conferences as many people will not attend a physical event right now. However, this will change in 2021 and because planning such an event takes at least one year to prepare, you should also consider factors on planning an in-person event as well.
There is no such thing as a perfect place to hold a conference. The location chosen will depend on many factors, including:
- The budget available for the rental of the room
- The number of people expected for the conference
- The event to which the conference fits
So, for example, if you work in New York City and you organize a conference for your employees, you can rent a seminar room by Grand Central Station. This will allow you to accommodate all of your teams in one place and make the transportation very easy. The key factor here is that you want to make it easy for people to get to no matter where they are coming from.
If your conference is open to the general public, you will likely expect a larger audience. In this case, look instead to a convention center, capable of accommodating tens of thousands of people.
Setting Up Your Environment
Depending on the meeting room chosen, the preparations will not be quite the same. Generally speaking, the larger the room, the more you will need to be well organized. In a simple meeting room, surrounded by a few colleagues, make sure you have a board if you need to write down important information. However, make sure you have enough chairs for everyone to sit down.
For a larger room, such as renting an amphitheater, other preparations will have to be made. If the room does not have a microphone, perhaps you should find one. This will allow you to be clearly heard by the whole assembly.
Either way, make sure you can be seen and heard by everyone attending your conference. If needed, also use a laser pointer to show important information in your presentation.
Hire Your Guest Speakers
Selecting the right guest speakers for your event is a crucial step in the planning process. You must take the time to find the right person who compliments your theme as well as your in-house speakers. It is important that you first identify what you plan on speaking about at your event so that the speakers you hire coincide with your message, but don’t say the exact same thing as you do.
If you have the budget, then you may want to consider booking a famous speaker as they can add some excitement and anticipation for your event. However, these individuals can cost at least $10,000 to $25,000. If you do not have it in your budget, then you may want to consider someone more local and less known. Or, if your event is focusing on business trends, then you should consider a business speaker who has the experience and expertise that will lend to your events theme.
Speaking To Your Audience
When it comes to public speaking and giving a presentation, there are many factors one must consider. Being comfortable and confident in the front of the stage is a good start to a successful conference. But for this to be a real success, you are going to have to make sure to captivate your audience. This means that you are going to need to overcome any fears you may have.
PowerPoint, Keynote, Prezi, Visme…whatever the medium or the format, your presentation must be captivating! If we were to retain only one reference to serve as an example, it would certainly be Steve Jobs. The former CEO of Apple has often rubbed shoulders with the exercise of the conference, and many of his “keynotes” have marked the spirits. More recently, the TEDx Talks also provide a good overview of what a good presentation is for a conference.
However, be careful not to fall into a very common trap: your presentation is there to support your speech, not the other way around! You want to capture the attention of your audience – that is, they listen to you, not read what is written behind you. Likewise, you need to maintain eye contact with your audience, so don’t spend your time reading your slides.
To do this, only put the essential information on your presentation, such as numbers for example. Conversely, avoid writing whole sentences. Your slides can also contain graphs or tables, to support the information you share. Some people have visual memory, they will remember data better if it is illustrated.
Having a nice presentation is good, but it’s not everything! If your post isn’t interesting, your slides aren’t going to help you grab your audience’s attention. Instead, focus on the message you want to get across. Moreover, avoid confusing yourself with too much information, but focus on the essential.
A good way to make your message captivating is to integrate it into a story: it’s the art of storytelling! Whether it’s real, wholly invented or magnified, your story should stir emotions in your audience. This way, his brain will be better stimulated, and your message will be more easily remembered. Storytelling will also make it easier to project yourself into the situation.