A business conference can be one of the most important events a company can hold, helping motivate your employees and provide countless networking opportunities. But planning a conference event of your own can be daunting - how do you make sure it has a lasting impact?
See if you can take some ideas from five of the most inspiring business conferences we’ve seen over the past few years for a truly memorable event…
It goes without saying that Apple hosts one of the most incredible annual conferences in the world. Industry leaders and tech engineers unite to offer valuable insight across keynote speeches, as well as the opportunity to attend hands-on workshops and one-to-one sessions.
Obviously at the forefront of pioneering technology, they use it to encourage movement and engagement throughout the four-day event. Interactive apps work in conjunction with the Apple Watch to challenge attendees to hit calorie burn targets individually or as a team, or globally renowned fitness experts drop in to offer one-off training sessions.
You can easily replicate similar incentives on a smaller scale, offering prizes to individuals that take the most steps during your event or inviting local trainers in to provide a group workout.
Another big player, Google go above and beyond to host a huge ‘developer festival’ that is used as a showcase platform for all their major tech innovation and future plans. Dedicated ‘Sandboxes’ allow for hands-on demos of new products and encourage interactivity, something that smaller-scale conferences could also replicate if you choose a venue with different areas to move between.
After the main event, guests are invited to stick around for another two days filled with music, food and entertainment. The combination of work and play is always apparent throughout the sprawling two day event, which is always something to bear in mind when planning your own. Plenty of breaks for food and fun throughout the day, or a plan for after the event, will keep attendees interested and happy.
Set in Montréal, the cultural capital of Canada, Startupfest has been referred to as the music festival for startups, providing the chance to network and connect with like-minded peers. Competitions hold investments as a prize, giving guests a sense of real opportunity to boost their own businesses and see a genuine return.
Games and competitions during your conference that are linked to your agenda, allow your employees to feel involved and incentivised to play along. The higher the stakes, the more likely they’ll feel valued, so give as much as you can!
CEO Space has developed massively over the years, serving as an advanced networking organisation with unparalleled connections and resources. One of their most inspirational take-aways would be their ‘Deal Meals’, where a small table is hosted by a topical expert or celebrity with free reign to ask all your questions for insider advice. People thrive on one-to-one contact in an informal setting - inviting local industry leaders lets everyone get to know one another whilst also gaining valuable insight.
The location for this event is a wow factor and goes to show just how important it is to choose the right venue for your event to have a real impact. The search marketing conference is held twice-yearly at the seafront Brighton Centre, offering room for thousands of attendees with an auditorium as well as various hall spaces.
They make the most of the space by adding in arcade machines, table football and VR play sets, again giving attendees a balance of work and play. It’s important to select the right venue for your specific event, making sure you’ve got enough room to let people move about freely and not feel too constricted to one room during the event.
Many of these conferences started off much smaller than they are today, but with the same innovative approach and fresh thinking. There are plenty of ideas that you can replicate at your own event to ensure you’re adding real value for your attendees... you just might need to think out of the box!
For further motivation to get your creativity flowing, check out our guide to the hottest upcoming conference trends that you’re going to want to feature at your next event.