Following are a few tips if you are in charge of running your own conference:
- Expect to start 15 minutes late, but do your best to start on time.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Have something showing on the screen while people are coming in. Picture show, random quotes show, inspirational images, etc.
- 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.
- Triple check the mics and music the morning of. Make sure there are brand new batteries in all equipment.
- 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).
- Have gophers - people who follow the people in charge and do misc. tasks.
- Have greeters to give directions.
- Have multiple sign-in lines to avoid bottlenecks.
- 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.
- Be ok with letting out early, but never go over time.
If you have specific questions about your conference set-up, email me (rhett @ yournextspeaker.com). I have attended literally thousands of conferences throughout my career. I can and want to help.