Conferences are booming everywhere. The Philippines is among the top 50 international meeting destinations in the world with Manila among the top 15 cities in the Asia Pacific and Middle East region. In the United States, the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Events (MICE) industry is growing and an increasing number of award ceremonies are dedicated to it.
In a world rapidly being saturated by digital communication tools that should have reduced the need to meet in person, people are going across the world for the chance to learn, network, and share their opinions and expertise face-to-face. Because conferences aren’t just about the ideas, it’s about stimulating discussion and mind-expanding experiences.
Their growing popularity makes them an effective means to raise awareness and launch ideas into a receptive milieu. With the right support, their influence can easily extend outside the venue and leak into social media, newspapers, radio, and TV.
Organizations and businesses can and should utilize the conference trend to promote their vision. However, they will find that conferences have grown more sophisticated. Conferences are no longer stuffy single issue affairs with dry speakers. They’re extravaganzas that link the main issue with other sectors to broaden and deepen the discussion. Conference formats are transforming from speeches with Q&A’s to conversations involving all the participants, such as Google’s Unconference.
Because future conferences need more depth and breadth, setting the agenda is crucial to its success. It’s not enough to think of a theme and find someone famous to expound on it. It needs experts and participants from all walks of life.
To begin creating an agenda:
State the Conference’s Goals
A conference must have specific, achievable goals. Whether it’s to promote the organization’s vision of the future, launch a new technology, or provide a network for investors, they must be described as clearly as possible because all efforts will revolve around them.
Define the Problem
People don’t go to conferences just to listen to speakers. They have concerns and dilemmas that need answers and they go because the conference can help them find solutions. It’s important to describe the problem that the conference will tackle. Not only will it help focus the topic and complementary subjects, it will also help identify and attract participants and sectors that can contribute to the discussion.
Establish the Message
Conferences can be chaotic and touch upon numerous subjects related to the problem. Despite the wealth of knowledge, attendees should go in confusion. They must leave with a clear takeaway from the conference that matches with its goals.
After setting the conference’s agenda, it’s easier to envision the rest of its requirements. And if then organization is looking for help from a conference organizer, a finished agenda ensures that he will have a clear idea of the conference.
Now that you have an agenda, it’s time to think of Writing the Programme. Please subscribe to read the next installment in our new series!