The chances are that at least once a year your company will look to organise or participate in a related industry conference. In the case where your company will be the one organising the event they may choose to get a professional event planning company to take care of the logistics or they may decide to take care of all the organisation themselves. If you have been tasked with organising the conference then the list of things to organise may seem a little intimidating. There is no need to worry as with a little forward planning there is no reasons why your event shouldn't be a success.
The first thing to focus on is the theme of your event as this will inform the rest of your decisions in the organisation process, the first of which will be to find a suitable venue. When deciding on an appropriate venue you will need to consider how many people will be attending. If your conference is likely to be a larger affair then you will need to plan ahead in the event that participants are likely to be travelling a long way to attend. If this is the case then try to pick a venue that is in the middle or on the outskirts of a major city so that you can be sure there is adequate access and that there are likely to be hotels nearby where attendees can stay over. You may even wish to enquire with local hotels as to whether they are able to accommodate conferences. Not only should they have suitable function rooms but they may also be able to provide additional facilities such as catering, which will give you one less task to organise. When you are calling round prospective venues remember to ask whether their facilities will be substantial enough to accommodate the volume of attendees you are expecting.
Once you have chosen a suitable venue you will need to make sure that you will have all the necessary equipment for the conference itself. Depending on the size of your conference you will need microphones and a PA system so that large crowds can be addressed. It is also likely that speakers at your conference will be making use of Powerpoint presentations. If this is the case then you will need a digital projector and a good projector screen. By this time it may appear that you outgoing expenses will be escalating rapidly, however this need not be the case as there will be companies who deal specifically with things like digital projector hire and PA system hire so this will help to save you money.
It is important that you start to market your conference well in advance of the day of the event. Conferences where several hundred people are likely to attend may start their advertising months in advance, in some cases up to a year. On the day of the event itself ensure that your organising team are on hand to assist attendees with any queries they may have. It will also be worth while handing out questionnaires to those attending so that they can give you feedback on the event. This information will be invaluable for you when it comes to organising future events.