Conference Mini-Playbook

Planning a conference is a lot of work! Whether it is two weeks away or nine months, there are always t’s to cross and i’s to dot.

The great part is each year, you start with a clean slate and get to iterate and improve on what you’ve done.

A few key components of programs include:

  • Venue (including F&B)
  • Topics/Speakers
  • Conference schedule
  • Marketing plan
  • Education Team
  • Exhibitors

Typically, a significant amount of time is spent on picking and working with a venue and identifying topics and speakers. However, there’s an opportunity to strengthen our conferences by building a team, creating a marketing plan, and organizing a schedule to promote attendee connection and learning.

Even if you are a N of 1, spending time on marketing, scheduling, (and a team of volunteers) can have the benefit of improving engagement and attendee experience.

A few questions for you:

  • How can you improve your Marketing? (By moving away from advertising)
  • How can you maximize the Conference schedule to promote networking and peer to peer interactions?
  • What different skill sets do you need on your team?

On a program I’m involved in, we zoomed in on who would benefit from attending the conference and who has attended in the past. We then tried to learn more about what specific issues they have related to the theme of our conference, in this case, Transitions of Care. The marketing was in big part sending useful, relevant content related to Transitions of Care. Less advertising – more identifying how we can help our audience improve their practice.

Yes, this type of marketing takes more time. But it just might be more meaningful and valuable for those you seek to serve. Isn’t that why you’re doing it to begin with?

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

2 thoughts on “Conference Mini-Playbook

  1. Brian, I really appreciate how you make the distinction between “advertising” and “marketing” when it comes to organizing a conference. It easy to focus on the logistics and set-up and lose sight of why we’re doing it in the first place. Kudos to you for taking the time to do it right!

    Liked by 1 person

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