Cranmore Park Blog
Cranmore Park Blog
What should you look for in a training room?
When the time comes to conduct a training session, you need to make sure you have a room ready that will be suitable for everyone. You can prepare a fantastic, comprehensive training session that goes over everything in plenty of detail, but it is all too easy for your preparation to be ruined by a venue that does not have everything you need.
So, what should you be looking for in a training room? Here are some of the most important features your venue should have:
Designing business cards for a conference
Conferences are great places to learn more about your area of business and improve your skillset. However, they are also one of the best places to network. You will be in the same place as the top people in your industry for an entire day, so it is important to make the most of this opportunity to gain some key contacts.
However, you will be talking to a large number of people at each conference, as will everyone you meet. Under these circumstances, it is easy to see how you can struggle to remember people and their contact details. This is where business cards come in.
Make sure your meetings have a point
Meetings are a necessary part of every company. However, they can so easily go wrong. One of the main problems many businesspeople have is leaving meetings with the feeling that they haven't really achieved anything. Sometimes, it can seem like you don't know why you met in the first place.
This is generally caused by not having a strong brief or agenda going into the meeting. If you are not 100 per cent sure what your aims are when you get your fellow staff members together then you run the risk of the discussion going around in circles, without ever arriving at a satisfactory conclusion.
Budgeting for your next trade show
Trade shows are a great way to gain new customers and increase awareness of your brand. However, like anything in the business world, they cost money. You will have to pay out for a number of different things in the course of a show or exhibition, which can end up putting people off going to them.
However, the investment is more than worth it. The money you put into the exhibition will end up leading to more people becoming aware of your company and interested in your products and services. But that doesn't mean you can just splash out and lose track of what you're spending.
Government pledges more support for events industry
The UK events industry is in an excellent place at the moment. Conferences, trade shows and other gatherings are being successfully held all around the country thanks to dedicated planning and the use of great venues. However, the government wants to push even harder to make the UK the best country in the world for business conferences.
This bold statement was made by Sajid Jarvid - the secretary of state for culture, media and sport - in a speech he made at the opening day of the World Travel Market on November 3rd. He told attendees of the event that the government will be joining up with the UK events sector.
Active learning at conferences
Many conference attendees find it difficult to absorb information that is presented in ways that require them to passively sit and listen, as is the case in traditional talks. Active learning, which involves using discussion and activities to assimilate information, has been used in schools for some time, and is beginning to become part of the conference environment.
Active learning offers a variety of benefits, such as ensuring that the events at the end of the day aren’t full of people who are bored or who have already been overloaded with information.
Could Birmingham become 'conference central'?
Where would you hold a national conference? If you have delegates travelling from all over the country, this can be a tricky decision. Many people would say London as the easy answer, simply because it is commonly seen as the most important city in the UK. However, that does not necessarily mean it is the best place for a conference.
Increasingly, companies and other organisations are looking to host events in the area of Birmingham. This might not be most people's first guess, but on close inspection the city and its surrounding area have a huge number of advantages for those looking to hold a conference.
Presenting at a conference
Giving a presentation at a conference is very difficult and quite nerve-wracking! You have to explain your knowledge as best as you can in front of an audience of people you have to engage. You might not feel like an expert in your field, but the pressure is on to act like one while you're giving a presentation.
This might all sound pretty awful, but never fear! Presentations are rarely as bad as they seem. With a few simple tips, we can help you create a presentation everyone at your next conference will enjoy, engage with and learn from.
How to behave at a conference party
A conference or business event can be exhausting and stressful. You need to spend all day making a good impression and showing yourself to be a knowledgeable, professional and sensible employee. It is no surprise, therefore, that many conferences give attendees a chance to relax and let their hair down afterwards with a party.
This can be anything from an elaborately planned event to a simple trip to a nearby pub. However, no matter how formal or casual it is there are still certain rules you need to abide by. People often forget that a post-conference party is still essentially part of the event, therefore you are still representing your company.
Deciding how to dedicate time to people
Nobody likes excluding people. However, when you are manning a stall at an exhibition or trade show you will not be able to spend the same amount of time with everyone. You might deal with hundreds of people in a single day, many of whom will want a significant amount of your time.
You might want to be as customer-pleasing as possible and give everyone as much of your time as they want. However, this approach could lead to you losing custom as people looking to talk to you get bored of waiting around and leave your stall. Unfortunately, you need to learn which customers are worth talking to and which you should avoid.
Trade shows: What's in it for you?
As business owners know well, a trade show often represents a significant investment for companies, particularly new businesses and small to medium enterprises (SMEs). As such, it’s important to make sure that you have a clear set of goals so you can measure investment against return. Goals also help at the planning stage, enabling you to tailor your strategy to your aims.
At the most basic level, all businesses will be looking to increase sales and profits. However, this is too vague to have as a goal. As when coming up with any business strategy, it’s important to have not only the ‘what’ element of your goals, but also the ‘how’.
Exhibition tips: Create a checklist!
Preparation is one of the most important things when you are exhibiting at a trade show. You can't expect to turn up and make a good impression without having made sure you are ready a long time in advance.
So what's the best way to make sure you are prepared? One method that many successful exhibitors use is to create a checklist a month or two in advance. This enables you to know exactly what needs doing before your next trade show. It also allows you to update the list whenever you need to make some modifications to what you need.
Optimising your trade show interactions
In all the frantic organisation that leads up to a trade show, it’s easy to overlook how you plan to engage with customers once your meticulously planned booth is up and running.
At the most basic level, everyone intends to be friendly and enthusiastic, but there are a few techniques that can help leave potential customers with the best possible impression of you and your brand.
Bring a buddy to your next conference
Not every business is alike, so when you go to a conference you will generally find that people are approaching every problem from a different perspective. This can be great for varied and interesting discussion, but every so often you will find that you need help thinking about how a certain session will benefit your company.
Taking someone along means you will be able to discuss things with a focus on your firm, or at least the sector your work in. This way, your conference experience will be tailored more around your company and will therefore be more relevant to you.
The beginner's guide to networking
Making your first approach is often the part of networking that people find most nervewracking. It can help to practice introducing yourself with a friend. “Hi, I’m [name], [position] at [company]!” and a firm (but not crushing) handshake is a good start.
On the day, a few deep breaths while you remind yourself of your opening can work wonders. If you garble or misspeak, take the opportunity to laugh at yourself. Laughter is infectious, so it becomes an instant icebreaker.
Note-taking at your next conference
At the next conference you attend, you will almost certainly be given a notepad or something similar to write on. These aren't just for doodling in the margins; note-taking is an important part of every conference. Without it, you will struggle to retain the information you learn and end up with only a vague memory of what was said.
If you want to be able to take the skills and knowledge you learn at your next conference back with you, you need to find the method of note-taking that works best for you. There are plenty of different options; here is a short guide to a few of the most common.