Thursday, February 21, 2019

10 Tips about How to Run a Great Conference

by Rahul Agarwal (writer), , July 01, 2016

Credit: Author
10 tips about How To Run A Great Conference

If you want to organize a great and successful conference, then here are a few killer tips for you. Hope you like them!

Research says that most people will stop listening to your conference presentation after the first ten minutes of its delivery, until they are convinced that there is something for their interest. The reason is that most people don’t know the skills of how to give a speech in conference presentations and overcome their fear on how to do it. It is seen that probably 5 out of 10 conferences you sit in are either unnecessary or inefficiently run. So how do you make sure your conferences are productive and efficient? For this check out the tips given below:

1.To open a killer conference presentation you need to give a confident introduction:

One of the biggest mistake people do while giving speech is by showing their nervousness, here is the key to overcome it, first and foremost thing to do is to stand still, don’t move, don’t pace and keep your hands at your sides, this is the most confident posture on the planet, and it handles the number one need of your audience which is to feel safe. Now you can introduce yourself and bring your reflection down at the end which shows your ultimate confidence.

2.The second most important thing to do is to give your credentials:

Your audience needs to know who you are and why you are the best person to deliver the conference and what you have to offer them (audience), this can be done by giving them elevator speech.

3.To figure out whether the conference is necessary or not:

If you are trying to get feedback on extensive documents for instance something sort of that can be better handled offline by this you can be able to get meaningful reviews and comments during the conference from 5 or more people is pretty ridiculous on the other hand if the audience are sensitive or require significant clarification they can be of great use to the meeting time.

4.Next foremost thing is to see that only key people are invited:

Conferences are resource intensive, they take people’s time and most people mistakenly think that if they schedule a one hour meeting and later on if the meeting is not productive you not only lost one hour of time but in fact you need to look at the number of people’s hour exhausted. For example, if you have five people in a meeting and if you have a one hour meeting that’s not one hour of waste of time that’s five hours of waste of time, thus you can quantify how much time you are actually costing either for your company or your clients. The fair way to invite people is to assign delegates from each department so that they can represent their field/team in a much better way.

5.Set expectations with Attendees:

You should have a clear objective and an agenda for the meeting. You need to think about the core purpose of the conference. Moreover you need to actually communicate with the people present in the meeting when they get there or even before ideally they know why they are there. For instance for a half an hour meeting a written agenda is necessary for everyone but, beyond an hour you absolutely need not only a written agenda but one that is actually in front of the participants during the academic conference.

6.A meeting starts when invites are sent

According to a survey it is stated that a meeting start when the invites are sent out and not when the physical meeting starts. It is way more productive if you engage invitees even before the meeting happens. For example, you want to get people’s feedback on say, you have 25 page slide deck you want to walk people through. Now do you think you will be able to get more successful feedback if you schedule a 30 minutes meeting and you walk through it and give people 5 minutes to comment or do you think it will be more successful if it’s actually fruitful if you give people a week heads-up and send that deck out a week ahead of time and set really clear expectations that they need to provide feedback in discussion in that meeting and ask them to provide feedback a day before the meeting, by this you are not only making the meeting time productive but you will be able to prepare yourself by reviewing everyone’s comment before the start of the meeting.

7.The seventh point is to “prewire” meetings with important topics:

You should be prewiring conferences involving sensitive topics. Generally, during a meeting you expect alignments and collaboration from the audiences. So, the topic that you are dealing with is particularly a critical one you may consider the pre-meeting time that we have been talking about earlier. This pre-meeting time creates a good rapport between the host and the key delegates and makes mutual understanding and objectives clear leading to a grand success.

8.Actively manage your meetings:

For an instance if you have failed to put forward the agenda you need to actively make sure that you are on track because it’s obvious that people in the conference will bring up tangential ideas which may be off topic. To tackle this you need to use the “parking lot” method where you may jot down their views at the corner of your board or on a paper so as not to hurt their sentiments, while keeping in mind your objectives. It’s not only necessary that you should be on track but equal co-operation should be from the attendees present in the room as well.

9.You should agree on the next steps during the meeting:

The most important part of the conference is that you should document the discussions done in the meeting so that at the end of the meeting its clear to everyone about what is the ultimate result of that meeting and who is responsible for what kind of views that took place during the meeting.

10.The final point worth mentioning is – the organizer of the conference should bring gifts and mementos for the participants:

This will attract the invitees to the meeting and will do amazing magic and bring out the maximum of what the participants are willing to do. Some people may say that this is actually bribing or sugar-coating their clients to get their objectives done, well, to some extent this is true and doesn’t violate the ethics of the conference.

So we should remember that not every topic is worthy of a meeting, but if you do need a meeting it may become crucial to follow these steps to make sure that all of your meetings/conferences are as efficient and productive as possible.

About the Writer

Rahul Agarwal is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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