Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Tilly’s Tips | Tilly's Top Tips for Conferences | 54 St James Street

Tilly's Tips is back! Each week Tilly will be helping us all out with her useful advice and tips from 54 St James Street...

 We’ve all been to a badly organised business event. Whether that’s a networking evening, a meeting or a conference. These badly hosted and handled events can be a nightmare for everyone in attendance, with guests not knowing what is happening when and left standing in receptions and foyers getting increasingly irate by the minute.

This is compared to an event where everyone knows what to expect, is comfortable and calm and enjoys the activities that are arranged for them a lot more. It is easy to forget a few simple tips that make your event that much better for everyone in attendance.

Dario Zadro of Business to Community ( says that the 4 simple tips to improving your next business conference are: an email, breaks, power sockets and twitter. We wanted to know more and put our spin on what we think is important when running a business event.

Dario says: ‘The natural tendency is to focus on the big picture – setting a budget, hiring a suitable venue, and booking the speakers and vendors that you want to feature at your conference or seminar. But the major decisions are often the easiest to make, and we can sometimes lose sight of the smaller details that can help to make or break a business conference or other corporate event.

‘When it comes to staging a successful business event, the devil is definitely in the details’

1.       The What To Expect Email

Basically this email will take a lot of pressure of your inbox. Instead of having 10 different people email you and ask about parking near the venue. By sending one email with all the important information, you will save yourself time and be able to focus on the other event details.

This email should cover more than just your schedule for the day. It should include every important detail that you can think of, such as:

·         Check in/Registration Times – When the event starts, when your guests need to be there etc.
·         Schedule – A full timetable of the events that are happening

·         Parking Information – Where your guests can park near the venue, if it is free, or how much it costs.

·         Food & Drink – If you will be offering food and drink at your event? And asking if your guests have any dietary requirements.

·         Travel Arrangements – If there are hotels nearby for those who may need overnight accommodation. Or if  there is a train station, bus station etc. nearby for those wanting to use public transport

·         Internet & Wi-Fi – Provide this in the email before the event, and you will be very popular. This will also save you time during the event, as guests will not have to ask you how to access the internet

2.       Regular Breaks
Dario says; ‘The temptation is to always offer as much content as possible during your conference or seminar. While that is certainly a worthy goal, it can also easily backfire. Remember, part of the value of a business conference or seminar, is the opportunity to network, and your attendees need regularly scheduled breaks to mingle, discuss the topics and hand, and re-energize themselves for the next round of speakers.’

The average concentration span is only about 20 minutes! So it is important to remember that after about 45 minutes to an hour, some of your audience may not be listening as intently as they were before. By scheduling regular breaks, you will avoid guests switching off, avoid a stagnant feel to the event, and give everyone a chance to network and refresh themselves.

By scheduling yourself more breaks into your timetable, this also help if a speaker runs over their allotted time, giving you more flexibility with the programme.

3.       More Power Sockets

Like providing the WiFi and internet access, providing more power sockets is another thing that will make you a very popular event organiser. The majority of people will be using their laptops, tablets and smart-phones, all of which need power sockets. By providing plenty of these you will avoid guests with dead batteries who are unable to be totally involved in the day’s events.

Dario says; ‘While this may seem like a little thing, a guest with a dead laptop will quickly become disillusioned with the day’s events and will ultimately take little away from a conference you have worked so hard to plan.’

Another W.O tip would be – Perhaps have a few Iphone5 chargers on hand. There is such a large number of people using IPhone 5’s, having a few chargers as back up would be  very useful to those in need.

4.       Tweeting Throughout The Day

You can use twitter to keep your guests informed and answer any frequently asked questions. Such as, if everyone has been asking you where the water cooler, a quick tweet saying; ‘Water Cooler is located on the 3rd floor for all those in need of a top up!’ is an easy solution.

Also, as Dario points out, Twitter can be useful for your brand. At the event; ‘Encourage your audience to tweet, as it gives your attendees a great way to connect virtually and increase their social media presence.’

A specific hashtag for the event should be created, and shown during the event so the guests are award of it and use it in the social media.

These tips are things that are often overlooked in the planning of a big event. But as we all know, the small details matter just as much as the large details. And these simple to use tips will help make your event a success.

If you are looking for a venue to hold your next business conference in, then why not get in touch with 54 St James Street?

54 St James Street has a range of meeting rooms, each one different and designed to host business meetings, conferences or private events. We can help you to decide which the right option for you is, and ensure that the layout and services are just right to ensure your event is a success.

For example, our Roddick Conferencing Suite is a fantastic and sophisticated conference venue. The suite has fabulous views of the River Mersey and Liverpool City centre, and can cater for up to 150 delegates.

If you want to find out more about the Roddick Suite, and all of our other rooms available to hire and office services, get in touch!

Phone: 0151 706 8100

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