Do you consider hosting a professional conference? There are many benefits to hosting events as an association. First of all, keeping your website event calendar full of industry-related events drives traffic to your calendar and your website and more importantly improves SEO. Yet, as significant as all of these digital aspects are, nothing beats in-person engagement. Nothing beats a face-to-face conversation, regardless of how technology is advancing. Human connection is unequalled. That is why hosting a professional conference not only makes sense but will benefit you in more ways than one. Here are 5 quick steps to maximise your benefit from a conference.
Make Sure To Build Brand Recognition
When it comes to convening a conference, you need to think about it as a superb way to increase the hype around your association.
Hosting a professional conference promotes your association’s name and helps people connect with your brand. Further to this, delegates will often bring other people with. This extends your reach even further. In order to maximise this, you should invite as many people as possible. A targeted digital marketing strategy will work wonders for getting the word out.
Strengthen Your Community & Connections
Brand recognition is imperative to a successful association. However, by truly connecting with your audience and members, you will impact their engagement in a big way. As we have established already, face-to-face connections are scarce in the modern world and can truly solidify an individual’s interest in your association. Keep this in mind when planning your conference as creating this kind of real connection is key to the future of your organisation. Moreover, the people that attend your events are given the opportunity to build mutually beneficial relationships. This can result in the strengthening of your community. When individuals attend an event and see other people there who support the same cause, it creates a certain comradery that people will associate with your organisation. To maximise this, create a social environment at your conference. Set up collaborative meetings and after-hours social gatherings. If your association becomes synonymous with building career-long business relationships, it could prove priceless.
This aspect is often overlooked. To understand it properly, you need to put yourself in one of your attendees, or prospective attendees’ shoes. So, you have just come across an association that focuses on similar interests to yours. What do you do? You immediately visit their website or scan their online social activity. One of the main things that you would look out for is whether an association can be taken seriously or not. If they are regularly hosting successful, well-attended, professional conferences, then you would be more convinced of their weight in the industry, now wouldn’t you? People that want to connect with your brand or mission, want a place where they can come and see your dedication first hand. You can maximise this by bringing out all the stops. This does not mean that it needs to cost you a fortune. You just need to make it fun and interactive. How will this benefit you? It will elevate your reputation amongst industry personnel.
Another way to maximise your benefit from a conference, and arguably the most important way is through following up. The work of an association is not finished when the conference is over. In truth, it has only just commenced. Maximising on all of the aforementioned steps can be achieved through following up with attendees and delegates who participated in the event. How do you do this? Firstly, thank them and offer them something special, such as a free trial, or discounted invitation to your next conference. Within the same email, you should urge them to rate the conference so you can learn and build upon feedback for your next one. This will give you great insight into whether your conference has achieved its goals. You should be thinking about the following post-conference:
- How many new members or potential members showed up?
- What number of your established members returned?
- How many tickets did you sell?
- Did attendees become members in the months following the event?
When an association develops their own metrics and tracks them accurately, it will help ensure that any successes are always built upon. To find out more about professional conference planning and how your association can benefit from hosting an event, get in touch with us at Congrex.
Congrex Switzerland is an internationally operating agency delivering customised solutions. This encompasses the overall organisation of conferences and meetings including the management of hotel rooms and the strategic consultancy. Annually Congrex Switzerland organises approximately 45 events with over 73’000 delegates. Amongst our clients are international associations, governmental organisations and corporations.