If you’re been tasked to organise a seminar or conference then on your “to-do” list is going to be incredibly long and will no doubt include much of the following:
- Identify and book venue making sure it’s the right size for the expected audience, it’s in a location your speakers and attendees can get to and from relatively easily. You also need to make sure that the venue projects the right image for your event. Remember the little things like power to run projectors and computers, lecterns for speakers, adequate height in the room to accommodate your screens and seating that people are going to be happy to sit on for hours at a time.
- Get your advertising in place early; use all available channels to promote the event including mailing lists, the web, social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
- Confirm your speakers and be prepared to chase them for copies of their slides, their bio’s and their speakers’ notes. – make sure they all know where they are going and any specific requirements (dietary etc.) are catered for.
- Confirm the attendee numbers to the venue and book the catering and refreshments accordingly
- Arrange for in-venue signage so the attendees can find their way to the event.
- Select and order some appropriate “thank you” gifts for the speakers.
- Organise name badges and consider any special seating arrangements for the day.
- Prepare copies of all of the presentation material from the day to distribute to the attendees. (copy slides, fact sheets, media files, speakers bio’s, running order for the day and information on any follow up events they might be interested in.
- On the day make sure the attendees have access to paper, pens and refreshments on their tables.
Of course this is by no means a full or comprehensive list more just a “flavour” of the challenge that lies ahead of you. The trick is to take a sharp intake of breath, be grateful for the opportunity/trust that been put in you and plan, plan and plan! Well, a little execution of your plans might also be necessary!
One little thing that might make your life easier and help you to look like a hero is the use of a USB pen – not just any old USB pen drive mind you but a writing pen that also incorporates a USB flash drive. It’ll make your life easier because this one item will allow you to tick off a number of items on your “to-do” list:
- The USB pen can be used as a “thank you gift” for the speakers
- The USB pen can be pre-loaded with all of the presentation material from the day, speakers bio’s etc. This means you won’t have to print them and transport them to the venue (hundreds of hard copies of slides and notes can take ages to prepare and collated and will weigh a ton!)
- The USB pen can be used by the delegates to write notes with during the event
- Finally the USB pens can be branded up with your company’s name or the event sponsors name to provide a powerful memento of the event the event.
USB pens will save you time and effort and their cost can be more than offset against the savings you’ll make by not printing material (cost and time). They’re also likely to be popular with the attendees who will have a useful gift that contains all of the event information so that it can be transferred to their PC when they get home or back to the office.