Organizing a conference is not the easiest task, because factors of various nature should be taken into account, including date, place, infrastructure. Before we make specific decisions, it is worth making a list in which we will point out what the guests will need during the event and what the participants / organizers will need. Most often, these points coincide, although it all depends on the specifics of the event. Below are some criteria that can be used when organizing an event.
Organization of the conference – the most important criteria when choosing a place
1. Favorable access
Location is a key issue, as guests of large conferences are usually visitors. For this reason, we should choose places that are well connected, not only in the city, but also nationally. The ideal solution would be to choose the city where the airport is built. If this is not possible, we will choose a place located either in a large town or located between significant cities. The convenient location also means the proximity of hotels, the presence of a car park and a dense network of public transport connections.
There is no need to convince anyone of the accuracy of the statement that an attractive, modern place will positively affect the reception of the event. The appearance of a given complex is the first thing guests notice. In addition to aesthetic issues, it is necessary to take into account whether the building has facilities for disabled people. It would also be ideal if there was a patio or garden near the building (this will allow guests to rest between speeches).
3. Comfortable, modern rooms
This criterion is obviously related to the type of event. Trade fairs have their own rules and most often take place in very spacious spaces where exhibitors present their stands. If we organize a conference with lectures, let’s take care of a spacious room with comfortable seats. One should also not forget about the multimedia equipment and sound system. Even the most interesting speech will be an unpleasant experience (both for the performer and for the audience) if the reverberation makes it impossible to understand the words and the visual aspects are left a lot to be desired. Some events are based on group work, joint problem-solving or project implementation. When choosing a place, one should take into account the arrangement possibilities of the space – e.g. is it possible to plan such arrangement of tables and chairs,
Do I need additional, dedicated space?
People come to the conference not only to get the latest information on a given field, but also to build a network of contacts. This is what networking is all about – it is building business relationships of a lasting nature; it is to facilitate possible cooperation, and fosters the exchange of knowledge and experiences. It is worth trying to find a convenient place where speakers, guests, specialists in given fields will be able to meet and communicate. Comfortable armchairs, small acoustics of the space, the ability to sit out of the way, power outlets, wifi, access to catering (even basic, such as coffee and tea) – the combination of all these elements will create ideal conditions for networking.
The best time to organize a conference
The effective organization of a conference is not only about choosing the optimal place, but also about choosing the best date. Looking through the calendar of various events (e.g. business events), you can easily see that the events do not take place during the holiday season. If we care about attendance, it is worth following this path and not organizing events during trips and holidays. On the other hand, there is a lot of conferences in the spring and autumn. During this time, you rarely go on holidays, so hotels do not survive the siege of tourists. When choosing the date, it is good to take into account also national and church holidays – the best recipe for failure in attendance is to organize a conference on a day off from work, which people most often spend with their family and loved ones.
Based on the above criteria, we can make an initial selection of dates and choose the optimal ones. However, this is not the end. It’s time to check out competitive industry events. We can take two actions: either look for a date that does not coincide with the competition’s event, or on the contrary – we can take advantage of the fact that people interested in the topic will be in a specific place on a given day and… organize an event nearby.
The above issues are actually only the tip of the iceberg of complexities related to the organization of the conference . Factors related to the specifics of a specific event should be added to this. Each conference has a slightly different target and subject matter, and this also entails further organizational requirements. For this reason, it is worth starting work on organizing the conference early enough and allocating time for price comparison and general market orientation.