Part 2 – Executing Your Conference
Planning for a business conference can be a rewarding, yet very stressful undertaking. Being ill prepared and disorganized are surefire ways to creating unnecessary stressors that can easily be avoided with a few of these tips. Part 1 of this article outlined steps for organizing your conference and planning for contingencies. In Part 2, you’ll continue with a sequence of execution steps to make your conference happen—and remain stress-free in the process.
Execute Conference Plan
- Delegate Duties – A common convention stressor is trying to go it alone. Executing a convention is too much work for one person. Create a solid support team and delegate duties. Synergy is the superior accomplishment of a cohesive group surpassing what individuals can do working alone. Why make yourself crazy? Get some help!
- Handle Logistics – Logistical steps can contain many opportunities for stress. Your conference plan should include assistance with and checkpoints for coordinating the vendors, speakers, equipment and supplies you will need for the conference, how you will get them and what team member will be responsible so you can feel confident that you’re always on top of what’s happening.
- Oversee Timeline – As you monitor the milestones, you’ll know quickly when you need to make adjustments or initiate a contingency plan. Keep records of important information, issues that arise, things you inadvertently left out of your plan, and all input you receive from your stakeholders.
- Adjust Budget – Don’t stress over the money. Continuously monitor spending and make Plan B adjustments as needed for unexpected changes but know that you’ve developed a solid plan and you have some contingency dollars to fall back on.
Conference Follow-Up Activities
- Appreciation – At the end of your event, breathe a sigh of relief as you realize you’ve made it and you’re still sane. Be sure to immediately thank your staff, the attendees and any other supporters or stakeholders who participated.
- Review Meeting – Conduct immediate follow-up surveys of your event staff and attendees to glean feedback about the event while the experience is fresh in their minds. Now you can talk about stress for a while. What happened during the convention that was a source of stress for you or anyone on your team? What kind of feedback did you get from your attendees? Look at the negative as well as the positive responses.
- Evaluation – Analyze all the survey results for lessons learned and note the stress-inducers and other areas for improvement for the next conference.
- Future Plans – Compile your analysis notes and compose an after-action report with recommendations that will help you or the next event coordinator prepare for future activities.
Stress happens when you don’t know the answers, when you’re disorganized, flying blind without a plan, and unprepared for the unexpected. A well-designed event plan that delegates responsibilities, includes a timeline, and allows for contingencies will keep you from going crazy and help you make the most of your convention.
Published: April 28, 2014