Hosting a conference? From explaining how to attract the cream of the crop to how to ensuring the day goes without a hitch, our team’s on hand to share some tricks of the trade for how to plan a successful conference…

1. Have a theme

The best way to attract great people to your event is to ensure it has a purpose and offers value. Say you’re a digital marketing agency for example, you may decide to host a conference helping small businesses improve their online efforts.

Gather some intelligence beforehand to find out exactly what it is SMEs are struggling with. Whether they can’t get engagement on their social media pages, people aren’t opening their emails or they need help producing content, by identifying their problems and then offering a solution, you won’t struggle to attract attendees.

2. Get some great guest speakers on board

Your guest speakers should be experts who can help your attendees solve their problems. If you’re hosting a social media masterclass for example, as well as using your own employees to share their wisdom, get a couple of guest speakers to talk about their own personal experiences and how they grew their followers.

3. Send personalised invitations

If you want to attract great attendees to your event, make them feel valued. A standard email template you’re sending out to your entire email database may generate some responses but they’re unlikely to be from the top players in your industry.

Start by creating tiered lists of potential attendees. Start with the A-list (the people you most want at your event) and make sure each person gets an invite tailored to them and their connection to your conference.

Receiving a personalised invitation from the host is a great strategy for attracting the best and brightest thought-leaders and, because it’s often so effective, you may not even have to invite past the A-list.

4. Get sponsorship

By the time you’ve taken into account venue hire, food and beverages, marketing collateral and guest speakers, you’ll soon realise that hosting a conference can be rather costly. To offset some of your expenses, why not create different sponsorship packages?

Sponsors can receive a number of benefits including having their logo on marketing materials, being able to display their products at the event and even giving a talk to delegates about what their business does.

When signing up sponsors, make sure they’re relevant to the theme of the conference. If you’re a fitness company hosting a conference for example, a local car dealership has no place there. A company that sells gym equipment, gym wear or healthy foods would be a really great fit for your event however.

5. Find a great venue

After all your hard work, you want to ensure that your venue doesn’t let you down.

Here at Harlequins, our professionally-finished facilities and South-West London location make The Twickenham Stoop a perfect conference venue for your next event.

We have a large selection of rooms to choose from, each featuring integrated AV and a range of facilities which are bound to impress your audience. What’s more, we’ll work with you throughout the booking, planning and execution of your event to ensure your day goes without a hitch.

If you’re thinking about hosting a conference with Harlequins, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and we’ll be more than happy to help.