Business conferences provide an invaluable opportunity for business owners, management, and employees to come together in order to discover and discuss new ways to make their companies more successful. Regularly scheduled business conferences allow people to interact with one another, exchange ideas, brainstorm new product lines, and make profitable new industry contacts. But the success of any business conference comes down to how well the attendees are engaged in the day’s proceedings. It is not enough to simply hire a conference venue, send out invitations, and prepare a few power point presentations. For a business conference to be really successful, the host needs to fully engage the attention of their guests, and to get them working together to maximize their potential. But fear not, staging a successful business conference is not as daunting as it sounds. A few helpful tips will set you on the right path, and ensure that your next conference produces real results.
Choose an Off-Site Venue
Before we discuss some tips for the conference itself, it’s important to address the choice of venue. Business owners often think that holding a meeting or conference at the company headquarters is a quick and easy solution to the problem of choosing a suitable venue for the day’s events. After all, it saves money and all of the attendees can be easily gathered together in a spare office. But to get the most out of a business conference, everyone’s attention must be focused on the project at hand. By holding your business conference at a hired venue, you can eliminate the daily distractions of the office, and better focus everyone’s attention on the day’s events and the topics that need to be addressed.
Tip # 1 – Quizzes vs. Lectures
A fundamental part of any business conference is the power point presentation. While these lectures are valuable, they often fail to fully engage the audience. We all remember the pop quizzes that we were subjected to in school. They weren’t only used to judge how much a student had learned, but also to focus the student’s attention on the subject being taught. The same holds true for business conferences. By administering a series of quizzes throughout the day, hosts can test the attendees knowledge while highlighting certain aspects of the company that they wish to address. Devise a series of quizzes to be administered throughout the day. These should center around the main topics of the conference, and should include a few trick questions whose answers are designed to surprise and challenge your audience.
Tip # 2 – Set Tasks
Again, as important as the power point presentation is, it does not fully engage the audience. By setting certain specific tasks for the conference’s attendees, you can more fully focus their attention on the topic at hand. For example, rather than simply present a lecture outlining a problem facing the company, present the problem to the group and give them a set amount of time to devise a workable solution. When the time is up, compare and contrast the various solutions.
Tip # 3 – Teamwork
Set a task for the day that will require the attendees to break into groups to complete. This will not only foster teamwork and collaboration, but will help you spot the mavericks in your group who find it difficult to work with others. The tasks you assign should be difficult, if not impossible, to complete alone. Those employees that are used to working in a team environment with flourish, while those that find it difficult to work with others will struggle. This will give you valuable insight into your employees and managers.
Tip # 4 – End the Day With a Survey
At the end of the day, present the group with a survey covering the major topics of the conference. This feedback will give you valuable insight into how successful the event has been, and will help you shape and plan your next business conference. A short, anonymous, survey at the end of the day can be an invaluable tool in gauging the success of conference strategies.
Business conferences play a key role in the success of any business, but to get the most out of them it is necessary to fully engage both management and employees. When planning your next business conference, use these tips to help shape the day’s activities. Once you have fully engaged the attendees’ attention, you will find that your conference can produce remarkable results.