3 Tips To Take Your Conference from Good to Great

Photo by Ken Jones.

Photo by Ken Jones.

I attended BlogElevated recently and it was one of the best conferences I’ve attended by far!

As a business owner, conferences are an excellent way to stay on top of trends within your field, learn new information, meet new people, nurture relationships and meet people you’ve only known online.

A few weeks ago I met a gentleman I was following on Twitter and the same thing happened at this conference.

I learned so much at the conference, I regretted not taking my laptop because I was ready to implement immediately!

So here are my thoughts on what makes for a good conference.

Conference hashtag

I cannot begin to express how thankful I am for conference hosts who use these. They allow attendees to connect with other attendees, conference speakers and sponsors. I was sitting in one class and sent out a tweet to the conference hashtag asking for notes from a different session. I had the link to the speaker’s notes within seconds! How awesome is that? And Twitter isn’t the only place to connect via hashtag; Instagram is a pretty cool place for conference attendees to hangout too. Connecting via the conference’s hashtag will grow your social media connections. Without fail, the number of followers and people I follow grow with each conference.

Create and publicize conference hashtags weeks (even months) in advance so people can start connecting.

Conference speakers

I’ve never hosted a conference but I have spoken at a few. My conference hosts were quite clear on my topic and the goal of my presentation. It’s important that speakers answer the question asked by the conference host so you give the audience information they can use in their business. Like speaking coach Karen McCullough teaches, good speakers keep those presentations right and tight. Because honestly, nothing is more frustrating than a presentation that doesn’t address the issue and leaves the audience bewildered and dissatisfied.

Good speakers give solutions and answer specific questions.

Conferences and small children

According to Adweek, there are 3.6 million mommy bloggers and by the end of 2013, that number will jump to 3.9 million. Since BlogElevated was and is a blogging conference a few moms came with their little ones in tow. Scanning through the conference’s Twitter feed, I read that one attendee was distracted by all the fussy babies and said so. What do you do? I know there’s been a growing baby-free, child-free movement lately with restaurants banning children under a certain age from their eateries. Do children belong at a conference? What if that conference targets moms? I have the wonderful ability to tune out background noise so I wasn’t distracted but some were.

Maybe onsite childcare is a solution or partnering with a local childcare facility is the answer. That way mom can actually focus on all the great info being dispensed.

Good conferences do the following:

  • Use social media to connect attendees, speakers and sponsors,
  • Find the best speakers to educate, inspire and empower, and
  • Push through the rough patches and present a worthy event.
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2 comments

  • Lara Mfon June 10, 2016   Reply →

    Thank you Lisa for a great blog! I found this very useful … will definitely be implementing your advice
    on creating a hashtag for our next conference.

    • Lisa N. Alexander June 10, 2016   Reply →

      You’re welcome Lara. It really does help build a community for your conference goers and speakers.

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