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Cranmore Park Blog

If you're planning a conference for the first time, you might not realise what a big job you've undertaken. Even if it's going to be a relatively manageable event in terms of numbers on the day, or over the period of the event, there's still an awful lot of preparation to be done in advance.

You want to make the best possible impression with everyone who attends, in order to build a strong reputation which will stand you and your organisation in good stead in the future. In order to achieve this, you've got to hire great facilities, organise high-quality events, book the right speakers and ensure everyone's needs are met.

Hosting a Wi-Fi hotspot at your conference or trade show can make for a more successful event for all concerned.

With so many people reliant on their smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices, people expect to be able to get online wherever they are.

A lot of attention is paid to how exhibitors can make the most out of their trade shows, but people often forget that it is not easy to be an attendee either! As soon as you arrive you will be greeted by dozens of stalls, all trying to attract your custom with the many weekend deals they have on.

You need to make sure you are not suckered into a bad deal, but at the same time you need to be on the look out for products and services that will help out your business. This can be tricky at times. Here are some tips on how to get the most out of whatever trade shows you attend:

To fix this, it is a good idea to make your conference more interactive. Having your attendees participate in a number of activities will not only more enjoyable, it will also make them feel like they have got more out of the experience. Here are a few different ways you can spice up your next conference with a bit of interactivity:

If you're organising a trade show, conference or exhibition, your main concern is to ensure everything goes smoothly and the event is considered a success. Both exhibitors and attendees - whether they are individual consumers or business representatives - need to go away satisfied with the experience, knowing they have been properly catered for. So long as you achieve this, they will be happy to return again next year.

One of the first things you need to get right is the venue. Choosing specialist conferencing/exhibition facilities in a central location, close to strong transport links, is a no-brainer. You want exhibitors and other attendees to arrive with ease and be in comfort for the whole day. This means selecting a room or rooms with sufficient space and ensuring you don't go over capacity. If everyone feels cramped and crowded, this will impact on their experience.

Undergraduate students are, in many ways, the future of most businesses. The young people studying now will be the people employed in entry-level positions in a few years, while probably also being the people moving up the corporate ladder after that. As such, it is important for companies not to disregard this important demographic.

Students are almost a commodity at the moment. When people graduate each summer, companies will end up competing for the best and brightest who will add significant value to a business. If you have not made any effort to court these potential employees, they will go to your competitors instead.

You're heading to a conference or exhibition and looking to build up your industry contacts book. This means putting yourself out their and networking with the people who matter. The only problem is, you're not exactly sure what to do.

There's more to business networking than simply gatecrashing somebody else's conversation and throwing a sales pitch at them. If this is your approach, you're not likely to get very far. In fact, some of the people you'd like to get to know will go out of their away to avoid your intended meeting.

One of the most time-tested tactics at a trade show is to bring along a slew of promotional items to give out to the attendees. While this won't necessarily attract all that many more people to your stall, it is a good way to spread awareness of your brand and to solidify your message in the minds of those you talk to.

If you're exhibiting at a trade show, you need to find ways of maximising your investment - not just on the day of the event but in the weeks and months that follow. You've met new prospects and generated new leads at the trade show, but now you've got to drive home the advantage and turn potential into profits.

According to Timothy Carter, digital marketing manager for Nimlok, there are a number of different ways to achieve this goal. In a recent article for Small Business Trends, he explained some of the ways companies can continue to benefit from trade shows after they have taken place.

If your organisation to benefit from its trip to an exhibition or trade show, you've got to know how to pull the punters in.

You can have the best product or service in the world, but if nobody wants to talk to you, or find out about what you have to offer, you're not going to make any sales.

If you're advertising at a trade show or exhibition, you may come across many different types of customer - or potential customer - over the course of the day.

What works for one individual may not for another, meaning your organisation needs to adopt a flexible approach to consumer engagement.

Putting together a great event or conference takes a lot of time, energy and money to achieve. Often, it’s something you are fiercely passionate about, whether it be a business idea, a charity event or something else entirely. The last thing you want then, is to go to all the trouble of organising a great event only for very few people to actually turn up.

Not only will this seriously deflate you in terms of achieving your end goal, but it could also see you lose out financially as well as missing out on crucial outside interest. In order to make sure that doesn't happen, there are a number of things you can do drum up awareness so that your event is a hit, not a miss.

What do you look for in your managers? Some people like to think their bosses will be easygoing, authoritative, or think a sense of humour is the most important trait they can have. However, the general consensus is that there is one skill that is vital when it comes to effective management: communication.

Being able to easily express what needs to be done, delegate jobs clearly and uncover important information as soon as it is needed all comes under the umbrella of effective communication. These are all qualities you would associate with a good manager.

There's much more to conferences than just the programme of events - the workshops, seminars and keynote speakers. They are a convergence of like-minded individuals, who very often have similar backgrounds, experiences and ambitions. As such, conferences offer fantastic opportunities for networking and making valuable additions to your contacts book.

But if you fail to plan properly in advance, you might struggle to make the most of these networking opportunities. Very often, there is a packed programme of events, which leaves little additional time for socialising - particularly if it's only a one-day gathering. You might be eager to rendezvous with certain people, but simply not get the chance.

Meetings have a valuable role to play in business, but it's important to ensure they are productive. Too many man hours are wasted in meetings which drag on unnecessarily or should never have been organised in the first place.

If you're going to remove employees from their desk - and their workload - for any period of time, you have to have good reason. Your meetings need to offer a return on investment; otherwise how can you justify disrupting your employees' day?

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.