This article is dedicated to professional conference organizers who have recently returned to producing events following the lifting of Covid restrictions. We find ourselves in a unique situation that goes far beyond logistics. We are collectively experiencing a profound and unprecedented human/emotional shift. Prolonged periods of social isolation (much like times of war) have created a sense of urgency and heightened expectations amongst our clients.
With this in mind, we offer the following tips to alleviate your journey back to normalcy:
💡 Know Your Clients:
Understand that your clients are experts within their respective fields of work. Your work will be tested by peers.
💡 Do Your Homework:
Take the time to research conferences you’ve organized in the past. Even if you aim to introduce innovative elements, it’s crucial to learn and build upon past successes.
💡 Adapt to the Times:
Comply with the current guidelines provided by health authorities, which often necessitate spacious and well-ventilated venues (such as hotels). When in doubt, consult with your clients, as the choice of venue significantly impacts the conference’s success.
💡 Build Relationships with Conference Organizers:
Be mindful that entrepreneurs taking the risk of organizing conferences in the aftermath of the pandemic face additional/unique challenges. Invest in building strong relationships with them, and help them get acquainted with the conference details. This will help alleviate their concerns and trepidations.
💡 Engage with Participants:
Participants undoubtedly miss the interpersonal aspects of in-person conferences. Provide them with a platform to address any questions or concerns they have via frequent updates and interactive Q&A sessions.
💡 Make Social Interaction a Priority:
In the aftermath of our shared experience of social isolation, be sure to carve out ample time for networking and social activities. Collaborate with content teams and organizers to ensure networking/social activities are sufficiently incorporated into the conference program.
💡 Establish Health and Safety Measures:
Consider implementing hygiene stations where attendees can easily access the necessary supplies to protect against the ongoing pandemic.
💡 Prioritize Enjoyment:
Given the circumstances, the conference’s success will rely heavily on the organizers’ ability to deliver an enjoyable experience for participants. Consider incorporating stand-up comedians, music, or other entertainment elements into the lineup.
💡 Capture Memorable Moments:
If possible, try to invest in photography/videography to capture significant/sentimental moments throughout the conference. These images/videos can be shared on the conference website after the event, creating lasting memories.
Build a conference website that extends beyond the current event, maintaining ongoing communication with attendees and fostering connections among participants. Explore cutting-edge sound, lighting, and projection systems/techniques to bring innovation to the forefront.