How to Track Conference Success with the Help of Attendee Lists

How well do you think your conference is doing? You cannot possibly ask each participant, who is either bored or riveted, in his or her seat. You have to make use of more subtle ways to gauge conference success as the event manager. It would help if you have some helpful event management tools but there are also some simpler ways to check the conference’s status. You may need the attendee lists to help you out with your job.

Use conference management software.

You may want to back up your work as event manager with the use of conference management software and other high technology event management tools. The software could track if the conference successfully goes through each of the stages. You could generate a checklist, for example, of goals for the conference. You could also use the software to check how many of those in the attendee lists end up actually coming. Are there any walk-outs?

Ask for feedback at each stage.

If your conference is not one whole long affair, you could pass around little slips of paper for feedback. Of course, you will need enough manpower to make this possible especially if you are handling a pretty big conference. This is one way in which you can accurately gauge the status of your conference’s success because you actually get feedback from the participants.

Observe the discussions.

During longer segments, you may want to observe the discussions. How many people are actively participating in discussions that allow for questions from the rest of the participants? Is the conference, on the other hand, concentrated on just one part of the crowd?

Check for attentiveness.

You may want to include cameras in your conference management tools. With cameras that send feedback to your laptop, you will be able to see clearly if most participants are attentive. Some participants do prefer keeping quiet rather than speaking out. This does not mean that the conference is not successful. The quieter ones may also be following the conference closely. If you have a lower budget then you may just send out ushers to walk around. These ushers can also double their role by being observers, as well.

Play your role as event manager.

Overall, you really need to be an efficient event manager. You have to ensure success and not just hope for it. Evaluating success through feedback and results is easy enough but keeping a close eye on the conference at every stage is very difficult. However, you know that managing the flow of events is your job, anyway. Just perform all the duties that are attached to your position and you will get a good idea as to how much of a success or a failure the event is. You may even be able to prevent disasters by being vigilant.

Conduct evaluation at the end of the conference.

Of course, it is expected that whether you have conference management software or not, you will be evaluating the results at the end.payday loans Input all the feedback into one database. Also input all of your observations. Then, your group can all process the accumulated data.

It is tough to track conference success. Tracking, however, is very important because it not only gives you a clear idea as to where the conference is headed but it also gives you an opportunity to save what could have been a total train wreck.

Using Name Tags and 4 Other Ways of Saving Money when Hosting Conferences

When planning an event, you have to consider the expenses. Though it is true that when you envision conferences you think of huge affairs hosted in 5-star hotels and catered for by top restaurants, it is still wise to save money. After all, not all companies have the luxury of a huge budget. To save money, you have to look at the little details. There is no need to look shabby just because you want to hold on to some bucks.

Well, use name tags.

Name tags can help you save money. Well, it could save you having to buy extremely sophisticated conference management software that tracks everyone. You could stick with the simplest software bundle. Color code the tags so that you know which people have special concerns, such as diabetes or a food allergy.

Choose online registration.

With online registration, you can save time and start the program right away. This way, you can reserve the venue for a shorter period of time. Online registration is also welcomed by participants because it means that they do not have to go through a long queue.

Go for a creative venue.

The usual conference venues, especially the 5-star hotel ones, can be very expensive to rent. So, it would be best if you look for alternative venues – not hotels but places that could be relevant to the discussion. Is your conference about saving the environment? Then a park could be a relevant venue. Is it an arts or culture conference? Then, you may check out a small, local museum. When planning an event, you have to learn to think out of the box.

Do the event planning in-house.

Planning an event could be an in-house affair. There is no need for you to hire event planning experts from the outside. It is best if you can tap your advertising or PR resources to do the event planning for you. Everyone could contribute ideas and help out in the actual preparations. Working together can help save money.

Choose up and coming caterers.

As for refreshments, there is no need to serve up juice and sandwiches just so you can save money. You do have to treat your guests right, especially if some of them had to fly from out of state or even from out of the country. You have to make sure that they get served with complete, healthy meals. If you cannot afford to tap the services of top restaurants then you can go for rising restaurants that are willing to grant you a discount in exchange you for the exposure that they will get from the event.

When planning an event, you should always consider the cost of the whole deal. Not only are you trying to save money and earn profit for the company but you are also preparing money for contingencies. It is still better to be talked about for the relevance and success of your event and not for the luxuries and special amenities that you have provided.

Crucial Tickets to Becoming an Excellent Event Manager

Everyone, with any type of job, has his own set of tools that help him do his job well. I like to call them your tickets to excellence. To be an excellent event manager, you need to make use of these tools because your job includes the before, during and after of an event. However, if you have to point out the most important tools, say your golden tickets, then you should be looking at the following:

Event planning checklist

You need to have an event planning checklist just to keep up with what you have already accomplished. The checklist could be made through software, written on a sheet of paper, or both just to make sure. What is important is that you go through the event planning, as well as the event itself, knowing what else you need to do. Due to the stress of your job, you may end up forgetting a detail,which you might have dismissed as minor, without a checklist.

Events management software in your laptop

You could generate your checklist using events management software. Such software will also allow you to do other important things, such as facilitate online registration or communication with event attendees. It could keep all the information that you need to remember for the event in neat databases that you could easily access. Not only that, some events management software can promote the event by ensuring that the company’s or event’s website is prominently featured in the World Wide Web through showing up in the first pages of search engine results.

Audio-visuals and other aids

A successful event manager should arm himself or herself with great audio-visuals, as well as other types of aids, such as handouts. These helpful tools will not only be crucial during the event but also during the preparation for the event. If you have these handy tools then you could more effectively explain to your team what needs to be done during the event. Handouts may also be given out during the event itself. You could also help prepare audio visual aids for your presenters. If the event in question is a party, an example of a good audio visual is a home video that looks back to the life of those being celebrated. Handouts may be in the form of invitations and programs.

Reliable smart phone

As an event manager, you need to be constantly in contact with people who are working for you. You also need to have your phone ready at all times just in case people who hired you want to get in contact with you. A smart phone may be the best choice as it does to only allow you to call and text, but it also provides you with Internet connection and browser. It helps you do some quick research on the run.

While there are several tools out there that could help you perfect your event planning job, the above are the four most important ones. In fact, the above are crucial to your success. If you have to travel light, at least make sure that you have the above tools.

Survey Says the 5 Biggest Challenges Faced by Conference Managers Today

Conference managers face all sorts of challenges when handling different seminars, discussions and symposia. However, there are challenges that are not just more common but are also tougher to solve. A competent manager, however, should be able to rise above the situation. Here are the five greatest challenges that conference managers face, at least according to survey.

Hiring and Handling Event Planning Employees

A conference manager cannot handle a whole event. There is an existing event management team. If you are the manager, you should be able to recognize and hire the right employees for the job. Event planning can be stressful and requires a lot of team coordination. You want to find employees who are not just competent but are also amenable to working with other people. When you do find and hire these employees, you have to make sure that you handle them well. This means that you must be able to balance being strict and being easy to work with.

Ensuring the Comfort of Key Speakers

You should also make sure that the key speakers are comfy. Not only that but you also have to make sure that they would want to come back for another round. You never know when you will need them again to speak about the same topic or a new one. You need conference management software to remind you about your speakers’ preferred food and drinks, and also about their allergies and medical conditions.

Responding to Problems/Crisis

You could the be best conference manager out there but there is bound to be some sort of crisis, whether minor or major, from time to time. You must be able to face these emergencies with a cool and clear mind so that you can resolve the issue. You may want to have a contingency fund at hand to handle financial emergencies. Extra people should also be at the sidelines for just-in-case scenarios, such as staff calling in sick at the very last minute.

Lack of Conference Management Software

Event planning could be a lot easier with conference management software. There are cases, however, when you do not have the right software to handle the particular job. So, you should be able to handle everything old school by making use of word documents and spreadsheets, as well as printouts, and phones or two-way radios.
Improving Performance

Event management does not end after you wrap up the conference. There is still a lot to digest and talk about after the event. You have to be able to evaluate the preparations, proceedings and results of the conference. You and your team must also read the feedback left by the participants of the conference. How did they like the way the conference was handled? Was the conference able to disperse relevant and groundbreaking information? Based on the feedback, you have to come up of ways to improve your next events.

Conference managers have their share of challenges in event management. Competent and ambitious managers will welcome the opportunities to raise their game plans. Others would have been frazzled by the above challenges.

How to Ensure Your Conference Looks Professional

Why is it important that your conference looks professional? Well, ensuring a professional look will lead you to that next step, which is success. Here are the steps that you should follow:

Conduct your research.

No matter what you are preparing for, you have to make sure that you have conducted enough research. If you are the event manager then you should make sure that you and the rest of the planning and management team should know what you are about to face. Who could be the best speakers for your conference? If these speakers require hefty fees then who could be the next big ones? Where would the best venue be? How about ideal dates that won’t fall on everyone’s busy period? These are just some of the details that you should know.

Use conference management software.

Conference management software can make multitasking a lot easier because it helps you store all sorts of databases. You can keep your attendee list, conference itinerary and other vital information in just one place. With a click, you get the information you need. So, you are able to respond to issues, and even crisis, a lot more quickly. Simply using conference management software gives your event a certain edge when it comes to the professional look.

Host an online registration.

Online registrations are more convenient and more efficient. Without the unruly lines at a typical manual registration table, you make life easier for your participants. You also make your conference look a lot more professional. Online registration is a dream come true to most attendees, most of which may already have a busy and stressful life to begin with.

Have a competent event manager and team on the ready.

A conference must have a competent event manager. If that is you then a lot is riding on your shoulders. You should keep calm and collected even when things start to go wrong. When you are calm, you are able to process the situation more quickly and are able to present a solution. Panicking won’t help. It will also disrupt the professional look.

Proceed according to the itinerary.

The itinerary should be followed to the letter unless there is some sort of emergency in the middle. Professionalism involves starting on time, at the hour that is listed in the program. You don’t want people to get tired waiting for the program to begin. It would be a pleasant surprise if everything flows as planned and expected. This shows professionalism and careful planning on your part. It also means that the event is successful.

Hosting a successful event that showcases the professionalism of your company could be a nerve-wracking ordeal. However, once you get used to doing things the right way, the next events won’t be as difficult to deal with. It is always good to aim for success and perfection from the start. You have to show your guests that your company is competent and reliable enough to deal with. There may be potential partners and investors in the crowd. Even if there aren’t, it is always good to aim for success and professionalism.

How Event Management Make Things Look Professional

How would you like to dissect the meaning of event management? If you are applying for the position of event manager then you may want to know more about the term, despite the fact that you throw it around in conversation all the time. To be clearer about what event management means and how it can make a conference feel and look professional, here are a few things that you could say about it:

It is handled by an event manager.

If you are the would-be manager then you would find yourself in charge of the whole thing. This means that you are the boss of the company’s event management committee. This means also that you could – should – elicit the help of other people under this committee. If you are a separate company specializing in events then you offer your services to companies that require someone to manage their conferences, seminars and other events. With events management as your special service, you get to do plan and manage more events.

It entails planning an event.

Before you could manage the flow of events in a conference, party or whatever special occasion it is that you are in charge of, you need to make plans. Planning an event is an important aspect of event management. You have to know what you are going to do during the event itself. You have to produce an itinerary not just for the event but also for the days heading towards it. Is there going to be a preregistration, for example? Will that preregistration happen weeks or months before the event? Planning an event requires answering several questions.

It involves research and field study.

You, as event manager, should conduct some research. It does not have to be a field study, though you have to do everything that you can do be prepared for the event. You have to know more about the people who are participating in the event. What are these attendees like? Are they the sort to nod off after a three hour long talk? Do they prefer more audio visuals or do they prefer to be part of the whole thing, which could be made possible through interactive discussions? If the event is a party then you should know how you should seat the guests.You don’t want rivals sitting right next to each other, unless they are of the amiable sort.

It requires presence.

During the event itself, you as the event manager must be present. You and your team must be ready not only to facilitate registration and serving meals but also to deal with contingencies. The team members must coordinate well with each other. Event management is at its peak during the scheduled conference or party itself.

It involves evaluation.

Event management does not end during or after the occasion. After the event, you have to evaluate the general result and your performance as manager. Will you be doing the same things for your next event? Have you zeroed in on weaknesses that you need to deal with the next time? Is the event successful? Even if the event were successful, you still have to nitpick at the whole management performance.

Event management seems simple enough a term but it entails a lot of details. The manager has an important role before, during and after the event.

How do you know your festival conference was a success?

Of course, you want your festival or conference to be successful. However, is there really a way to find out if it was, indeed, successful? During the day itself, you may have a vague idea but you probably are managing a lot of different things at the same time that you cannot really decide which way the event went. Here are some signs that show that your event planning venture was a success.

Good results from conference management software

If you were using conference management software then you could revisit the observations that you have input into it. You could also check if most of the online registrants showed up and easily compare set goals against what have actually been accomplished. With conference management software, it is a lot more convenient to come up with comparisons and performance graphs.

Event planning checklist followed

With or without the use of software, you could look back to your checklist. Where you able to go through all the steps? How will did you perform each of those steps? Following the checklist is not just by numbers. You also have to consider the quality of each performance, at least according to your own standards.

Easy flowing registration

One important part of event planning is deciding what type of registration you are going to have. If the registration were done online, how easy was the process? Did people find your online registration application user-friendly? If the registration were conducted on the venue itself, did it flow well? Was the queue too long? Were there audible complaints? The conference registration services that you offer should be fast and easy. They are often the object of participants’ complaints, after all.

Great feedback from participants

The best way really to know how the participants feel about the festival or conference is to ask them for feedback. Before the participants leave, they should be given the time to fill out a feedback form. In cases of festivals, they could be given a sheet of feedback form from the beginning to write down on at their leisure. If you want feedback to be more specific then you should include a set of specific questions or instructions, such as “How was the venue?” or “Rate the speakers from 1- 10, with 10 as excellent. Explain your answer.” Conference registration services should be included in the questions as they are usually causes for complaint in several other events. To get to the heart of the conference at the right time each time and to prevent people from getting tired before the seminar proper, you should be able to offer efficient conference registration services.

Long-term impact

An event is even more successful if it proves to have a long-term impact on the industry it tackles. Are the topics helpful in the sense that participants actually make use of the knowledge that they have absorbed during the discussions in their companies? Do people talk about your event beyond the four walls of the seminar room? If so then your conference was a resounding success.

The above are some of the sure-fire ways of gauging the success of your event. It is always good to know what you are able to contribute to your industry.

Putting Name Badges on the 5 Common Types of Conference Attendees

A name badge is a means of identification. You hand out name badges during conference day so that it would be easier for you to identify your guests. In the world of conferences, however, you can also put a tag on the five most common types of attendees. Here is a look at the five types that event planners should have a lookout for and what you could expect from each type.

As event planners, you need PRODUCTIVE CONTRIBUTORS.

A successful conference should be able to elicit enough reaction from the participants. It would help though if you could invite people who tend to be productive contributors in conferences. Put this thought into your event planning checklist. You could have a staff prepare some questions to start the discussion but there is bound to be a few people who like sharing important points. Productive contributors do not necessarily raise hands at every opportunity but they make sure that everything they say matter.

When planning an event, invite TALKERS.

Not everyone who shares has something helpful to say but it is always good to have people contribute. Event planners should look for talkers or people who are not shy about sharing their points, whether particularly intelligent or not. Usually though, you will find talkers to be very productive, as well. Talkers make conferences lively.

Observe the SILENT TYPES.

When preparing your event planning checklist, you don’t really write “keep away from silent types.” Registrants are usually interested in the conference’s topic but won’t necessarily contribute. Some may be too shy and others may have already heard their point raised or their question answered. There are those who feel more comfortable just observing. You can also observe them if they really are absorbed in the discussions.

Keep a close look at AGGRESSIVE PARTICIPANTS.

Planning an event includes preparations for things that could go wrong. One of the things that could go wrong is an aggressive participant. Well, often you can just keep a vigilant look at this type of guest. He or she will be aggressive when it comes to raising his or her opinions. Aggression may even be directed towards other participants. There are also aggressive participants who are really harmless but just want to show that they can win arguments.

Remember the INSTIGATORS.

When planning an event, you don’t really foresee instigators. These attendees are those who somehow make significant changes or contributions by what they suggest. Sometimes, they don’t even talk much, but when they do everyone listens. Then, sudden changes ensue. If only event planners can immediately recognize instigators.

It is always good to have all five types in a conference. This way, the proceedings become a whole lot more interesting when they are all present. Even the silent ones contribute in their own way. After all, it wouldn’t be too nice if everyone in the room wants to speak out all at the same time. While it is good that a conference can arouse so much reaction, it is still good to have people who only like to listen.

Save Time with an Automated System: Pick the Right Conference Management Software

Before picking out conference management software, you should first ask several questions regarding your company’s conference management needs. The questions should be able to point you out to features that you will need in your event management software.

The Type of Conference

The type of conference management software you need will depend on the types of conferences that you are planning to organize. The more complicated conferences may require you to grab a more advanced edition of the software that you were eyeing on. If things are going to be pretty simple and your company is suffering a budget cut then you may go for simpler software. Either way, the software should make processes quicker.

Venue to be Handled by Event Management Software

So, where will your conferences be held? Are they going to be webinars or actual on-the-venue conferences? There would be more factors to add into the brew if you were going for the physical venue.

Offline or Online Registration

How about registration? Whether you are going for on-the-venue conference or an online one, you can still decide whether to go for online registration or not. Well, if your conference is going online anyway, you might as well go for online registration. You simply set up everything online if you don’t want long queues at the event itself. Choose the right event management software to make the process go faster and more conveniently.

Venue of Ticket Sales

This is pretty similar to registration. If your conference involves selling tickets then you have to either sell them online or offline. If you are selling your tickets online then your website has to ensure that credit card transactions and other payment schemes remain secure and absolutely hack-free.

Use of Merchant Account

Where do ticket sales earnings go? Choose software that will allow you to make use of a merchant account, which will serve as the ticket sales recipient account.

Third Party Integration

If you haven’t found the perfect conference management software then at least choose software that allows third party integration. This feature will enable you to make use of other software that may have the special event management features you have been looking for. Because of this automated system setup, the steps you have to take become fewer.

Website and Event Promotion

Some event management software may also be able to promote your event and website. You might want this especially if you are not getting any other type of advertising. Because you are dealing with the web, expect fast results.

Performance Report

If you are part of a company that thrives on making new improvements each time, software that produces a performance report should help you out. The report will zero in on items that you need to focus more on the next time you organize an event.

After having a look at the above points and features, you should have a clearer idea as to what type of software would fit into your company. While it is easier to grab the first generic management software, you may not be getting the right value for your buck. You have to make sure that you can squeeze all the management goodness out of your chosen software. Pick an automated system that will make managing conferences easier and more time-efficient.

The Top 5 Evaluation Complaints of Conference Attendees and How Software Can Help

When planning for your conference, you have to look at past conferences and how attendees reacted. Where they happy overall? What are their complaints? Here is a list of the most common complaints that attendees have during events and how you can resolve them the next time around with the use of event software.

Without event management software, staff cannot track food servings.

Several event attendees often complain about either going hungry or thirsty during the conference. If this is the case then the event could have been a lot longer than it should be or does not have enough breaks during strategic times. With the use of event management software, you could be alerted to times when you need to serve food or drinks. The software could also help you plan for the event in the first place. You will also have an easy to access database of information about attendees that need extra care with their diet (for example, diabetics).

Event registration is disorganized, with queues that are too long.

Some complain about the event registration. There are several conferences wherein the queues are extra long that you would end up tired and harassed before the actual event even starts. It would have been better if you have arranged for your event registration to be done online.  This way, people could just come in to the event, with a ticket perhaps.

The room is too cold or too hot.

Usually, the conference room has a centralized cooling or heating system. Sometimes, the temperature gets out of hand and people complain about the room being either too hot or too cold. Event software could help out by alerting you every hour to check if the temperatures are just right.

The event is boring and slow.

Event management software may not be the one to come up with the actual presentation but it could help you take note of all the speakers, themes topics and the like. You could note earlier on if some of the topics are too bland or do not present anything new. Conference attendees usually get bored if they are not learning anything new. It would also help if the speakers are prepared to do something different.

The place does not have fast Wifi connections and other technological problems.

You could use event software to monitor technological problems. Because the software is on during the event, anyway, you get to have an idea as to how the Wifi is doing. Is it strong enough to cover the needs of all your attendees? Are there other technological problems? If the attendees come with laptops then they could easily send you feedback about what they are experiencing so far.

While you may not please everybody, it is still good to attempt to cover everyone’s needs. With the use of the right event management software, you will be able to respond more promptly to the more urgent needs. While the software may not eliminate all complaints, it could help reduce them significantly.