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A conference is an opportunity to show off your brand in its best light. It’s a public event that draws a huge following. It’s likely to be transmitted across media channels, causing an even bigger impact and spreading its reach. This is great until you make a mistake and have it disseminated that widely. Errors happen, it’s part of being human. However, as you organise your conference, you can take extra steps to minimise their occurrence and impact. Start by planning your conference right, making a list of everything you require.
You’d be surprised how often a speaker oversleeps and misses their cue. This can happen even with professionals that are paid to perform. After all, part of their package includes being wined and dined or having access to a fancy hotel with good food, paid cable, and a bar. They might also have to (or want to) mingle with your staff, and those evenings can sometimes get out of hand. It could even be a simple matter of jet lag and body clocks if their system hasn’t adjusted to your time zone. A quick call-in to make sure they’re awake and prepared could save you a world of grief. Also, double-check their transport to the venue. Where possible, pick them up yourself. It’s a nice personal touch.
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You can never do this enough. Inspect them when you start planning the conference, to make sure they’re all on message and undamaged. If you’re ordering a new set of pull-up banners and retractables, have them completed at least a week in advance, so you have room to correct any misprints. Ensure there’s a safe on-site storage space for them, and check them 24 hours before, as well as the night before, just in case. Have contingencies in place. For example, mix digital screens with physical banners so they can back each other up. Moreover, check for typos and hashtags, they tend to slip past your radar.
News outlets may cover your event, but they’ll give it their own slant, and press releases don’t hold as much water as live coverage. So create your own newsfeed using social media channels. Live-tweet the conference, shoot some video for Facebook or Instagram, have a digital screen on-stage to collate social responses and engage them in real-time. Prep your social media team and mix veterans with millennials. Your younger staff and interns may know all about the medium, but an older guiding hand can prevent PR and HR nightmares that your netizens may overlook or underestimate.
Late starts are inefficient and unprofessional, but speakers who drag on and events that continue long after people have tuned out … those are worse. Read the crowd. If people start to slip out, discreetly at first and them more obviously, wrap things up or call a break. Try to arrange your itinerary with frequent interludes so people have time to regroup and regain their focus. Serve snacks and light entertainment during breaks, and layout your venue to encourage mingling and networking.
For banners that will send the right message at your corporate conference, call Banner Bug today on +61 02 9663 5333.
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