Planning and hosting a conference comes with a lot of responsibility and there is added pressure to ensure the conference goes as smoothly as possible. With speakers to book, timetables to plan, invites to send out and much more it is not surprising that mistakes can be made.
Here are 5 common mistakes that you should try to avoid making when hosting your own conference.
Don’t be too content centric
It can be hard not to get caught up in planning every minute detail of the content that will be covered at a conference. Instead, try to ‘go with the flow’ and don’t be afraid to go slightly off topic. Attendees will find the conference far more enjoyable and informative if they are able to contribute to the conference discussions and gain information outside of the specified topics.
Forgetting to incorporate breaks into the schedule
There is often a lot to cover in a conference and it can be tempting to try and cram activities into every second. However, to avoid tiring your audience out you should plan regular breaks in the schedule so that they are able to relax and digest the information they have learnt.
Going overboard with social media
When it comes to using social media to promote your event remember to focus on quality not quantity. Use a designated hashtag across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to connect with followers and attendees of the event. Post updates about interesting developments or insights that people will be interested in reading.
Try not to flood people’s timelines with repetitive comments or updates that offer little value, this will have the opposite of the intended effect.
Inadequately planning the catering
Offering good quality food and refreshments is crucial if your guests are to feel relaxed and comfortable. Don’t try to fulfil the catering requirements on your own, instead contact a reliable catering company who can supply your conference with the refreshments needed.
Poor time management
Effectively managing time is a key part of ensuring that your conference runs smoothly. If sessions starts are delayed or run over the allocated time this can cause a knock on effect that interrupts your whole schedule. Remind speakers of the time when they must begin the presentations and remind them when they are near the end of their session.
When it comes to lunch and refreshment breaks also ensure that there are enough provisions and serving stations. Long queues can cause guests to become frustrated and running out of coffee could be catastrophic!