How to organise your best company conference

How to organise your best company conference

The Media Group’s managing director, Jon Gordon, outlines his top tips to help you plan your next company conference.

Conferences are a fantastic communication tool for many businesses. They provide a unique opportunity to get a targeted, engaged audience in the same room – and leave them energised and motivated to improve their performance.

The Media Group has provided conference production for over 15 years. A rich, memorable experience is an effective way to engage, educate and inspire an audience. Here are our top tips to deliver your best ever event:

1. Have a clear unifying theme

A clear title and theme should run throughout your event. It will give you a consistent identity for everything from pre-event marketing to signage, graphics and content. It will also give your speakers a central idea around which to organise their content. A well-designed conference programme connects to the theme and crafts a narrative throughout the event.

2. Know your audience

This is a key point. What does your audience want from your conference and what do you want them to do? What are their needs and challenges? Design your content and timetable to meet their expectations. As you’re planning, refer decisions back to these questions. A considered narrative will build interest and anticipation in your event.

3. Deliver an exceptional audience experience

Design your conference around delivering an exceptional experience for the delegates. Make sure the obvious things are done well: branding, badges, schedules, posters, and so on. The little details will turn an average experience into a brilliant one. A great way to do this is to walk through the delegate journey from their perspective. It’s a useful exercise to do from the point of view of any speakers, volunteers or sponsors, too.

4. Design the right setting

Creative use of space is really important. Don’t be afraid to be different to the usual standing behind a lectern. Your event agency can help with ideas to have a positive effect on the psychology and feel of an event. Design your set and stage to get your speaker involved with the audience. Think of big screens and branding to display content and messaging.

Our events manager, Adrian Eyre, says: “Unusual venues are becoming more common with our clients. The space can be designed to be memorable and packed full of impact. When you’re looking for a venue think of the things that happen outside the main room – for example conversations, refreshments and any unplanned activities.”

5. Content is king

We’ve all sat through dull slideshow presentations. Your attendees are time-poor and you need to grab and keep their attention. Our general guide is ‘more imagery, less text’. And think of tools like video to deliver a more engaging experience, or electronic handset voting to provide an interactive experience. Don’t underestimate the impact a bit of design time can have on your slides.

6. Be social

Plug your conference into wider social channels. Social interaction will increase engagement and conversation. And it can help your conference content to reach a wider audience. As the conference organiser, capture feedback from your attendees, too. A face-to-face approach works well to get instant feedback, or use paper forms.

7. Have fun doing it

We love planning and delivering events that will leave an impact on your audience. And you should, too. Consider the fun factor and how you can make the experience more enjoyable for your audience. This could be anything from scheduling interactive sessions, networking time, social activities, or even surprise speakers or entertainment.

The Media Group is a creative marketing and events agency based in Nottingham. They help clients across the UK to grow their organisations using events, video and design.

Jon Gordon Managing Director The Media Group
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