How to Plan and Schedule a Conference from Scratch

Read Time: 3 minutes

Franchesca Tan

Franchesca Tan

Updated: Jun 21, 2024

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Planning a conference from scratch is a considerable task that requires a lot of foresight and organization. From selecting the right venue to managing attendees, every step needs careful consideration to ensure your event's success. 

This guide will delve into the steps of conference planning, focusing on venue selection, speaker outreach, event promotion, and event management.

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Venue selection

Choosing the right venue is crucial for the success of your conference. The location can significantly impact attendee experience, so it’s important to consider several factors. 

First, ensure the venue is easily accessible for most attendees, considering proximity to airports, public transportation, and hotels. The venue should comfortably accommodate your expected number of attendees, avoiding those that are too large or too small.

Look for venues with amenities like audio-visual equipment, Wi-Fi, and catering services. However, balance your budget with the quality and convenience of the venue. Investing in a better location is often worthwhile if it enhances the overall experience. Booking the venue well in advance is advisable to secure your preferred dates and avoid last-minute complications.

Speaker outreach

Securing the right speakers can make or break your conference. Start by identifying potential speakers who are experts and influencers in your field. These speakers can provide valuable insights and draw attendees. 

Reach out to these potential speakers with a professional and compelling proposal, highlighting the benefits of participating, such as exposure and networking opportunities. 

Once a speaker agrees, clearly communicate their responsibilities, schedule, and compensation. Ensure all agreements are documented in a contract to avoid misunderstandings.

Event promotion

Effective promotion is essential to attract attendees and ensure a successful event. Promote your conference as early as possible, using a mix of social media, email marketing, and partnerships with industry organizations. 

Plan your promotional activities well in advance, scheduling regular updates and reminders leading to the event. Utilize various platforms to reach your target audience, including social media channels, email newsletters, and industry websites.

Event management

Managing attendees and ensuring smooth operations during the conference is critical. To this end, make the registration process simple and user-friendly by using online tools that streamline it and collect necessary information. 

Keep your attendees informed with regular updates about the event schedule, venue details, and any changes. Engage attendees before and during the event with activities such as webinars or networking sessions. During the conference, ensure there are ample opportunities for interaction and networking.

How Doodle can help

Doodle's suite of scheduling tools can significantly ease the burden of conference planning. For example, Doodle’s Sign-up Sheets can streamline attendance management, allowing you to track RSVPs and manage attendee information efficiently. 

The Booking Page can simplify scheduling meetings with speakers and vendors, ensuring everyone is on the same page.

Additionally, Group Polls can help coordinate availability and preferences for planning meetings, making it easier to align schedules and make decisions. 

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Planning a conference is no small feat, but with the right tools and strategies, you can ensure your event succeeds. By focusing on venue selection, speaker outreach, event promotion, and event management, you can create a memorable and impactful event. Explore Doodle's features to see how they can support your next conference.

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