We’ve all been in that early morning meeting that has gone on and on and there’s nothing you rather do than just bolt. It has probably gone all awry because you feel like there has been no point to it all, like that clichéd rudderless ship.
Obviously, that’s not what you want to happen in that conference that you are organizing. It would be like that pointless board meeting except on a much larger scale and with an exponential loss of face for you. It goes without saying, therefore, that what you need to do prior to the conference itself is to write a killer conference agenda – one that allows you to achieve everything you want to achieve. In this article, we’ll explore exactly how to do that.
The first thing you need to do is to establish exactly what your objectives are. There are a million possible reasons why someone wants a conference organized. It could be purely for profit, altruistic, for the purposes of networking or even be educational. It is important to ascertain what the intentions of all the stakeholders are as opposed to what you want the conference to be about. It might seem obvious, but that is a mistake many make.
Once you do know the aims and objectives, you can move on to crafting a narrative or theme, as well as all the aesthetic elements that will go with it. This will have a knock on effect on everything including publicity and strategy so it is important to get this right.
There are two groups of people that you as an event organizer should directly cater to, and their identities will impact your agenda. The first is your guests and audience: make detailed notes and observations about who your target groups are and how to reach out to them in the publicity stage, and then how to effectively engage them at the event itself. After all, if you know you are bringing in young adults and teenagers for your conference, then it will probably do you good to schedule shorter segments and perhaps more activity-based programs as this will suit their temperament better. This of course varies among demographics so my point is that you should put careful thought into this when writing your event agenda.
The second group contains your speakers, performers and other persons involved in the presentation of this conference. Again, familiarize yourself with their styles, methods and idiosyncrasies. This will help you better schedule the lineup in a way that is coherent and enables the conference to flow better.
Much of what you are able to achieve at your conference is dependent on how much you have to spend. This will make a difference with regard to the nature of the activities or programming you can have.
Since your budget will directly impact on all these elements, make sure you are absolutely in tandem with those on your team who are in charge of the finances. You’ll need to be on the same page for a good agenda to be devised.
It would also do you good to consider the location of your event. Particular spaces and venues have their own characteristics and limitations. A good agenda should take these things into account to ensure the efficient organization and running of the conference itself. What’s the optimum number of people that can fit into a given room? Is shuttling between different locations for different activities going to be easy and convenient? Whatever the answers to these questions are, they should be kept in mind when crafting the agenda.
It would be amiss to not include a quick reference to the moment in time your conference will be in. Summer activities will differ drastically from winter ones and even those bathed in daytime sun will not be similar to those under moonlight. Keep all these in mind while writing your conference agenda.
It isn’t easy to write a great conference agenda, but for the sake of the success of your event, you’ll have to do it regardless! Hopefully, this article will help you tick off items on your checklist in putting together an awesome conference.