Successful Conferences and Working Group Meetings

Strategy Plan One

March 23, 2012 

conferences and working groupsConferences and Working Groups

Physical, face to face meetings at conferences and for working groups may be the best opportunity to build capacity and relationship with teams, while fitting in some essential training for your organization.  If designed well, individuals and businesses will achieve maximum value from attending and participating in these events.

While you, as an entrepreneur or business leader, may have goals for your business in hosting this conference, be aware of the needs and how this conference appears to participants to make sure the conference is a success and not a bust.

Successful conferences are ones that are rich in an experience, with a variety of topics, speakers and activities.  You will note how successful a conference will be by how well the participants are engaged and participate in sessions.  Attendance is also a key indicator on how well conferences and working group meetings are going.  If the topics are lively and can relate to participants, members will actively participate and add value to the experience.

If your purpose in hosting and having the conference is one of a mandatory purpose (i.e. safety training), you can add in experiences that allow participants to be active participants.

conferences and working groupsHere are some helpful tips to conferences and meetings for working groups:

  • Develop the objectives
  • Develop the budget
  • Engage input from a wide variety of stakeholders
  • Involve staff in the development of sections and topics of the conference
  • Encourage staff to take the lead
  • Develop a working group to develop the agenda and to work out the logistics
  • Develop an agenda that has short bursts of presentations, both educational and interactive
  • Share drafts of the agenda in advance to obtain valued feedback
  • Revise agenda as needed
  • Ensure agenda and all printed materials are developed and ready in advance

PowerPoint & Media at Conferences and Meetings for Working Groups

  1. Variety of media is a key factor
  2. Use these in a limited fashion to illustrate points, graphics, charts
  3. Use points only and never fill up a screen with more than 50 words as no one can read that much on the screen
  4. Make the participant focus in on you as the speaker as that is the richest experience
  5. Break up slide with interactive activities at the table
  6. Look at the size of the audience and ensure all participants can see the slides & media; be cognizant of the audience’s perspective

Speaking at Conferences & Meetings for Working Groups

  • Speakers & presenters need to be prepared in advance and should know you’re their subject inside and out
  • Speakers need to present clearly and directly with the audience
  • Ensure presenters have microphones and that the audience can hear them
  • Wireless microphones give the speakers the ability to get closer to the audience, to walk around and have the audience focus in on the presenter
  • Ensure audio visual equipment is adequate and that technical staff are on standby for fixes

Venue Specifics for Conferences & Meetings for Working Groups

  1. Choose a venue that is centrally located & not difficult to travel to
  2. Choose a venue that is the right fit, right size and room for participants
  3. Ensure that the room is capable for all of your Audio Visual needs
  4. If the conference or meeting for working groups is longer than a day ensure that information on accommodation packages are readily available and could be added into the conference package
  5. Design and layout of tables is important – “U” shape or table format is good for members to interact and engage in face to face discussions

Strategy Plan One

Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

© 2012 Strategy Plan One


3 thoughts on “Successful Conferences and Working Group Meetings

  1. Excellent and very true information. I have been an educational coordinator for a few different conferences in the U.S. and your points hit the nail on the head. If you want to keep them coming back year after year you need to put on a great meeting a figure a way to make it better successful each year.

    Tank you for sharing

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