Friday, July 24, 2009

Doing Your Own Conference Success Tips

Following are a few tips if you are in charge of running your own conference:

  1. Expect to start 15 minutes late, but do your best to start on time.

  2. If you are hanging signage, check with the facility to find out what material will work best. Use extra tape if you are using masking tape.

  3. Bring multiples up at once. This saves time. Example - instead of calling out award winners one at a time and having all that extra "walking to the stage time", bring up all the potential winners at once and then call out the winners.

  4. If you are doing a PowerPoint or Video, show up at least 60 minutes before you expect the first people to show (which could be 45 minutes before start time) and get it set up.

  5. Have a backup copy of any PowerPoints on a thumb drive and have a backup laptop handy. Also, google "great PowerPoint design" or type PowerPoint in the search box of this blog. Basic rule, PowerPoint should be visually-based, not textually-based.

  6. Have something showing on the screen while people are coming in. Picture show, random quotes show, inspirational images, etc.

  7. Give fewer, but more valuable door prizes. If you are giving out a good number, don't give out more than five at once. Also, spread them out throughout the program.

  8. Triple check the mics and music the morning of. Make sure there are brand new batteries in all equipment.

  9. Have upbeat music playing before people show up until you start. The music should fill the room. Make sure the playlist is entirely CPP (Clean, Powerful and Postive).

  10. Have gophers - people who follow the people in charge and do misc. tasks.

  11. Have greeters to give directions.

  12. Have multiple sign-in lines to avoid bottlenecks.

  13. Have seating assistants moving people to the front rows and center sections. This helps remove the energy gaps in the room and helps build attention and excitement.

  14. Be ok with letting out early, but never go over time.

If you have specific questions about your conference set-up, email me (rhett @ I have attended literally thousands of conferences throughout my career. I can and want to help.

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