Planning a remarkable conference: the little things that make a big difference

15 July 2019

If there’s one thing that Sauce knows: it’s rural, regional and agricultural audiences. And when it comes to events, there’s no one better than our dynamo with an eye for the finest of details, Events Account Director Ange Wakeman. In this piece Ange shares her top tips that pack a punch when it comes to delivering outstanding conferences:

1. Do the basics well

Attendees going to a conference should have an easy, seamless experience – and this means getting the basics right. From enquiries, to registrations, to on-site logistics, and IT/AV, these are the foundations of any event that will leave a lasting impression.

2. Content is king

The key to any conference is content. A program should be built around pre-determined outcomes and goals. When deciding on your content, always ensure that they link back to these goals, to ensure that you are delivering what your customers want. Which leads us to our next point…

3. Tangible outcomes

Your event has all the bells and whistles, but no tangible outcomes or learnings for attendees to walk away with? Forget it. Because your attendees will. While impressive pyrotechnics and games are fun and can be memorable for delegates, it is important that attendees go home ready and armed with information and connections that they can take action with – this is ultimately what provides value to your customer.

4. Stick to your conference objectives

You have an ag-tech conference, but you see that there is a celebrity chef who is available that day and is an accomplished speaker – great! Well, not really, if they’re not meeting your conference objectives. Set objectives early and continuously refer to them whenever key decisions need to be made.

5. Up the ante

Whether it’s a one off event, or a conference that happens every year, it is important to give attendees an experience to remember. Once you get the basics right, it’s time to up the ante and break the mould in other areas, guaranteeing that your event will be talked about long after attendees have left.

6. Take it to market, strategically

Now that you’ve built your perfect program, it’s time to get marketing. Make sure you know your audience and the best channels to access them, to ensure your promotion gets maximum reach.

7. The three P’s of events: Prepare, prepare, prepare

Any event will have you thinking on your feet, but if you’ve put yourself in those shoes before you even get on site, you’re already a few steps ahead. Having a detailed run sheet and stepping through how each element will practically work will assist in finding any gaps and addressing them prior to kick off. And don’t do anything without your budget nearby! It’s essential to become one with the numbers and excel spreadsheets need to become your new best friend. The devil is in the detail, so check, update, track and REPEAT.

8. Always have your delegates, sponsors and exhibitors top of mind

Throughout planning and delivery, the number one priority is your customer, including delegates, sponsors and exhibitors. Ensure they have an exceptional experience by providing the best customer service. Put yourself in each stakeholder’s shoes to consider what they need and want, from return on investment to tissues in the conference room. From there you can think of ways you can blow their socks off!

9. Review and plan for next time

The event is not over as soon as you’ve bumped out and evaluation is so darn important. Refer back to your objectives and your measures of success to analyse what worked well, and what you can improve for next time.

10. Do it all over again!

Put your learnings into action straight away and keep the momentum. Sauce has proudly been managing annual conferences, roadshows and events for some of our clients for over 10 years and there’s a reason for that! We love what we do, but we approach every event like it’s our first time.

Let us know if we can help with your upcoming event!