A conference event that was created and planned by a event planner.

How to Plan a Conference Event: Conference Planning Resources to Help Your Next Event

Larry Norris Planning

Are you looking for information on how to plan a corporate event? Are you tired of searching for the right conference planning resources?

You’re in the right place.

Over the years, we’ve gone through lots of conference event planning. In the process, we’ve identified the critical steps to a successful conference.

Without further ado, here are the steps to follow for your conference event success:

8 to 12 Months to the Event

Planning a successful conference takes time. Ideally, the bigger the event, the more time you’ll need.

Lay your foundation to success. Begin the event’s plan at least 8 to 12 months prior. In this timeline, perform the following task:

  • Establish the event objectives and goals

Define the purpose of the conference. In addition, come up with an attendance list. Also, consider the following:

  • Where do you intend for the event to take place? 
  • If you aim at making a profit, what is your target profit? 
  • How much is the cost of tickets to the event? 
  • Where is the event expected to take place? 
  • Will it be a virtual conference event?
  • Draft an estimated budget

Review the budget regularly as you define the needs of the event. You can also borrow ideas from past conferences.

  • Select the format and theme of the event

Depending on the purpose of the conference event and those in attendance, select a format for the event.

Select a theme that fits your audience.

  • Select the venue, suitable location, and vendors.
  • What is the most suitable geographical area?
  • How many event attendees will be there?
  • Is there the proper infrastructure needed?
  • Is there a provision for Wi-Fi?
  • Can you rely on the local vendors?
  • Choose the most appropriate date and the second-best alternative in case the first one doesn’t work out. 
  • Research the most suitable speakers for your event.
  • Begin your search for a sponsor and have a list compilation of the ideal sponsors.

4 to 8 Months to the Event

With the foundation already in place, before the registrations to the event begin, you need to finalize the planning process. 

  • Finalize on the arrangement about the speakers
  • Get the photos and bio information.
  • Planning a conference schedule is vital.
  • Sign the panelists and speakers
  • Make travel and accommodation arrangements.
  • Organize everything that requires a financial input
  • Finalize on the contributions by sponsors
  • Select the ticket categories ( Early bird, VIP, or launch sales)
  • Build a branded website. Ensure the event copy and images communicate what the attendees will experience.
  • Start the event promotion. Spark interest in the event early on by creating promo videos and other suitable material.
  • Finalize the details of the event venue. Work on the needed permits, insurance, and licenses.
  • Draft the conference event’s schedule.

2 to 3 Months to the Event

It’s a short period until the event. Build the needed excitement and urge interested attendees to register before the event is sold out. 

  • Set reminders via email, social media, and reach out to sponsors, speakers, and panelists to ensure they’re well taken care of.
  • To meet your set attendance goals, push promotions and encourage last-minute registration.
  • Retarget your audience to rekindle interest
  • Encourage last-minute registration via social media and email.

A week before the Conference

Refine your event details a week prior. Ensure that all the parties involved share a similar schedule.

  • Communicate the last details with all the parties involved. Confirm the final registration numbers.
  • Confirm that the vendors have everything needed for the event and know their arrival and set up time.
  • Check all the equipment to avoid embarrassing mishaps.

Once the Conference is Over

Your attendees are back in the office sharing their experiences with coworkers and friends. 

With everything still fresh in their minds, follow up to know what they loved about the event.

Let them express their disappointments, if any, and invite them to the next event. Here are some actionable tips to what you need to do after the event is over:

  • Survey the audience
  • Ask for feedback from attendees once you’ve sent out the survey questionnaire.
  • Send survey questions to staff and event vendors to gauge success.
  • Use the collected feedback for future planning.
  • Distribute the conference event content.
  • Prepare the keynote speeches, blog posts, and video content and distribute them.
  • Send the necessary content to the attendees via email once the event has come to a close.
  • Launch an early bird registration package

Once you have confirmed the event’s success, create an early bird registration package for the next event.

Conference Event Planning Checklist

To keep track of the conference event planning basics, follow this step-by-step checklist for conference planning: 

  1. Assemble your conference event planning team for the various event planning roles.
  2. Set the event goals to achieve maximum impact.
  3. Keep in mind the hidden costs in event planning and get very specific with your budget.
  4. Get together a top-notch conference event proposal for sponsorship. Use sites such as Winmo to match with the right sponsors.
  5. Select the most suitable event dates.
  6. Book the best venue for the event. Keep the event dates flexible for easy negotiation on lower costs of the venue. Learn how to evaluate the venues online.
  7. Book the vendors in good time. You’ll need furniture vendors, caterers, security, equipment, food trucks, etc.
  8. Finish up on the conference agenda. Check out some event agenda samples online.
  9. Market the conference event.
  10. Make use of check-in apps to register attendees. It will streamline the registration process.

Make Your Conference Planning a Success with Your New Tips and Checklist!

Keep in mind that this fantastic conference you just executed is an opportunity for improvement in the next event. 

If you need expert help with your conference event, let us know!