Going to a conference is a great opportunity as a London professional. You get to meet up with your colleagues and learn more about your industry from the top minds in the field. Plus you get a day out of the office to network and socialise with others in your line of work. That used to be enough to draw in lots of attendees, however the modern worker demands more. Maximise the impact of your next London conference by increasing the value of your conference event.
Ask The Audience
The first step is learning what value looks like to your audience. Profile your attendees and survey them beforehand to find out what topics and information would be most interesting to them. This means you can find speakers and topics that are most interesting to potential attendees.
Don’t Sell, Teach
Anyone who has attended a few conferences will know the feeling. You sit down to listen to a speaker and within 5 minutes you know this is just one big sales pitch. Unfortunately, you are probably hemmed in by other people at the lecture so you can not leave without crawling over others and drawing attention. This leaves a bad taste in attendees mouths and undermines the credibility of the conference. Instead, make sure that presenters are coming up with new and educational content that is not just a big commercial for their brand.
Increase Networking Potential
Trying to network at a conference is tough. It is uncomfortable to walk up to someone and start a conversation and often there is no convenient place to talk that is both quiet and comfortable. Organisers can add value here by including a networking bar or other area. This is a place where people go who are actively looking to network. The area has chairs, note taking materials and light refreshments. Plus, since everyone there is looking to network it makes introductions much more natural. Our River Room, with panoramic views of the Thames is a great place for networking.
Encourage Interaction And Participation
People learn more when they can ask questions and directly engage during an event. This could mean using instant polling technology during lectures or having a post lecture meet and greet where the speaker re-engages with the audience and speaks one on one or participates in a group discussion.
Create Breakout Spaces At The Event
Journalists need space to write. Attendees need space to eat. Sellers need a place to hold meetings. These are not the main goal of a conference but they are all valuable activities. Anticipating the needs of guests and exhibitors and going above and beyond can make the conference far more valuable and attendees are likely to remember your conference fondly.
Become A B2B Matchmaker
If you provide a list of attendees before the conference, you can increase your events value by allowing people to schedule meetings with the attendees or businesses they are most interested in seeing. This means there is no need to wander around a conference trying to connect with a supplier or potential buyer. Instead you can plan your day around your own schedule. This is likely to lead to more sales for attendees which makes your London conference even more valuable as businesses will see it as a business driver.
Make Materials Available After The Event
If you have speakers, their slides should be online once the event finishes. If you video the event, put individual talks up and circulate the access link. Both of these allow people who may have missed part of the event to re-engage and get more out of it. You can also publish the results of polls or other information to engage attendees post event. These are best presented in a single well organised location so that guests do not have to search to find what they are looking for.
Get Feedback After Every Conference
Once you have finished with your conference it is important to understand what added the most value and where you can improve. A poll of attendees or a questionnaire as they leave can easily indicate what worked well and what needs improvement. You can use what you learn to add even more value to your next conference.
If you are currently looking for the best place to plan your next conference, we can help you with that as well. Glaziers Hall offer a number of different options for large and small conferences in the heart of London. Call our experts today to learn more.