When planning your annual conference, it’s likely you’ll be wanting to ensure that you’ll be structuring the meeting around the output you want to convey to your members. But it’s important to consider the value to your attendees and ensure your offering will be of benefit to them in return.
1. Useful and interesting content
Above all, your audience will want to profit from the content that is scheduled for your meeting. Not only is it a chance to unite your delegates to update on the year’s news, but it’s a prime opportunity for them to learn and gather broader knowledge. Speakers are commonly top of the priority list, to deliver practical advice on key topics of interest to your members. So ensure you secure the perfect candidates to headline at your event.
Events offer a chance to engage with fellow members and feel at home within an organisation. Allow time within the schedule for your attendees to mingle - many will seize the chance to use your event to broaden their horizons, so it’s important to provide the opportunity for members to connect and learn from one another.
3. Create an experience
There is nothing worse than going to a meeting and being talked at for the entire day. Create engaging content that stimulates innovation and ideas generation. Consider having breakout sessions, or interactive elements and activities. Think outside the box to make your conference different from the rest. If you’re stuck for inspiration, Eventbrite has compiled a list of creative event concepts to impress your guests.
The importance of the perfect meeting space is not to be overlooked. A comfortable venue where your guests will be well catered for can make all the difference. After all, well-fed guests are happy guests! Consider if the venue is in a convenient location with accessibility from transport links and adequate parking. Ensure on-site facilities meet your needs and if it’s a multi-day congregation, think about whether there are hotels nearby (or even better, if accommodation is available at the venue like at Emirates Old Trafford).
5. Streamlined, well-organised event
Set clear goals and agenda for the session which can act as a framework for your itinerary. Allow time between sessions to allow breathing space (and as a back-up in case of overrun). Plan ahead and consider calling on your venue provider for logistical support in the organisation of the event and on-the-day technical support.
6. Sense of belonging
Your annual meeting is a prime chance to align your organisation’s vision, to channel your goals and aims, and to instil unity amongst your members. Your audience will be wanting to feel part of something bigger and so ensure you gear your day to be inclusive. This will benefit you too, by improving engagement rates going forwards.
Organising an event for your members? Discover all you need to know with our Ultimate Guide to Planning an Association Event eBook...