Hosting a conference is a big and daunting task, especially if it’s your first time. There are people to call, logistics to organise, and presentations to prepare. If you’re hosting one soon, don’t panic just yet. Here are four ways to prepare for a conference.
Book a venue.
There are a lot of conference venues London has to offer. Just pick a place that’s closest to all the parties attending. Aside from accessibility, you also have to consider how the place feels. If it’s a serious meeting between two parties, you need to choose a venue that has a more formal tone. On the other hand, if it’s a sit-down meeting between two agreeing parties (probably a follow-up meeting where both parties already feel comfortable with each other), you can choose a place with relaxed ambience. At the same time, if you’re hosting a conference where there are speakers (or a panel of speakers), consider finding a place where there’s a stage and enough space to set up seats for attendees. Look for a venue that has in-house audio set-up, so you wouldn’t have to rent or hire, reducing the final cost of the conference.
Pick the right outfit.
As the host of the conference, you need to present yourself in a respectable manner. You don’t have to dress up in a power suit, unless you have required your attendees to do so, then you should follow the dress code. Nonetheless, it still depends on the kind of conference that you’re having. A good rule of thumb is to dress in the way you would expect another person in your position to do so. How do you envision this person? What type of clothes are they wearing? Do they accessorise? If yes, what embellishments are they wearing? By visualizing a different person, you are able to balance your tastes with your professional expectations.
Finalise your presentation.
Are you presenting at the conference? You should finalise your presentation days before the conference—weeks, if possible. This gives you enough time to ask some colleagues to look over your presentation, proofread it, fact-check it, and judge its content. If they have any comments or corrections, you’ll be please with yourself because you wouldn’t have to rush with the editing. At the same time, if your role at the conference is to introduce the speakers, make sure that you know each of them well. Do your due diligence; research about each speaker and their accomplishments. Why have they been invited as a speaker to the conference? What part of their work, both past and present, qualify them to speak in front of the crowd? As a last reminder regarding this topic, make sure that you know how to pronounce the speakers’ names correctly and save yourself the embarrassment.
Have a good night’s sleep.
Before the conference, get a good night’s sleep. As the host, you’ll be running around the conference hall to make sure that everything is in the right order. A good night’s sleep will give you enough energy to oversee the conference, making sure that everything goes fine.