How Do You Top Last Year’s Conference?

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How Do You Top Last Year’s Conference?

You know the old saying… “You’re only as good as your last (fill in the blank).” In this case we’ll fill in the blank with the word “conference.” Truer words were never spoken. And that’s why we work with our clients to ensure that up-coming conferences or events surpass expectations.

In 2017 our company collaborated with a client to produce a very successful conference. Attendance was good, participation was high, and vendors were happy. Everything seemed perfect. Where could we go from here? How could we top last year’s conference? There was only one solution – a post-conference meeting. It would show us just what direction to take in order to produce an even better conference.

Our post-conference meeting took place two weeks after the event. This time frame gave all parties involved time to process any attendee feedback, consider vendor issues, and establish a meeting date.  At first glance, it may seem a bit early to start planning for next year’s conference. Actually, it’s never too early. Experience tells us that this is the best time to consider next year’s event as the conference is still fresh in everyone’s mind.

After a 30-minute discussion, we had a list of items to focus on that would end up making a HUGE difference for 2018’s conference. Suggested items that were marked for possible change were brought to our attention by the presenters and attendees. As for the vendors, they were happier than last year (always a good result!). They had more face time with happy conference goers as a result of this year’s presentation energy.

The changes we made worked because the issues from the previous year (which were not obvious issues, by the way), were accurately identified and rectified. That’s the power of reviewing your conference directly after its conclusion. Keep what’s working, change what’s not, and stretch your conference goals. This makes everything new and fresh for attendees and presenters.

If you are not sure where to start,  here is a good article by Louis Rosenfeld,”How to Organize a Conference:  18 Amazingly Useful Tips” that can kick planning into gear!