Meetings

Lunchtime Links: 3 Ideas for Conference Planners

Tips for doing it right at different parts of the event-planning process.

Planning a conference? Great! Depending what stage you are at in the event-planning process, that might mean choosing the right speaker or the right way to engage attendees. A few ideas from the association world:

The bottom line is to pick and choose the input that you incorporate, because a system of checks and balances is the only way to prevent mob rule.

Control the chaos when picking speakers: Still at the drawing board? As Jim Longo, senior vice president of client development and marketing at VoteIt, explains on Aptify’s blog, picking speakers can lead to chaos if you’re not careful — but if you are, you can make better choices. “The bottom line is to pick and choose the input that you incorporate, because a system of checks and balances is the only way to prevent mob rule.”

Build excitement: Still months away from the event? Blogger and consultant Cynthia D’Amour notes the importance of having a clever pitch to build excitement. She cites the Craft & Hobby Association’s goofy, low-budget attempt to get members ready for the CHA 2013 Winter Conference & Trade Show:

Why it works: It’s creative, it gets real people involved, and people look like they’re having fun. Cynthia asks, “How do you give your events energy months before they happen?” What do you try?

Ask event-goers what they want: Pretty close to event time and looking to engage participants? Adrian Segar, author of Conferences That Work, suggests throwing up a board where event-goers can add Post-it notes with ideas for what they want to hear at the conference.

What techniques do you use — at the beginning, middle, or end stages — to plan your conferences? Shoot us a comment below!

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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