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Seb Anthony

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Conference Rationalisation


I am looking to rationalise our approach to staff conferences.  We hold an annual staff conference plus 8-10 regional conferences per year.  The regional conferences are all held in the London area and spend per head can be anything between £50 to £250.  Occassionally there will be an externally run 'fun element' at the end of the day, but usually there is group work and presentations (all facilitated in house) It's time to set some firm guidelines and I am interested in finding out what spend per head is in other organisations.

2 Responses

  1. Rationalising conferences – its not how much you spend but what

    Hello, I have been involved in designing, planning and facilitating successful conferences since my first in 1990. Whatever your budget the major driver for success has to be knowing your outcomes. What will those attending achieve or gain by the end of the conference?

    What do you want them to be talking about?
    What do you want them to be thinking?
    What do you want them to do?
    What will they know?
    Once you have clarity about these key questions you can set about constructing the content, speakers, special sessions etc.
    Many conferences fail because attends are subjected to wall to wall power point presentations.
    With clear outcomes in place the planning of the experiences the attendees need to have become much clearer. 
    Too many sessions at conferences focus on the content rather than the effect / end result required. Example – a session which covers regulations needs to have some feedback from the audience if you are to have any confidence that the content has been understood. 
    The usual approach means that many speakers overrun on their allotted time and says something like
    "is that clear" at the end or "any questions", get a mute response an take that as a good response?  
    To gain confidence in a session on regulations I would want some form of application of concept by the audience to be included and have been able to do this with the driest of subjects.
    You mentioned a fun activity at the end of the conference. Make the whole conference exciting and you will have a much higher level of participation, engagement, informatino retention and satisfaction from attendees as you  achieve your outcomes.        
    I have developed a very effective conference planning tool so if you would like one please drop me a line at [email protected]
  2. Conference spend

    Hi.  I am looking to become a venue/facility provider so I am keen to know what the mood will be as we come out of recession.  I want to provide what people need at a price they can afford (nothing new there), but do they know?  Your call for clarity would certainly help me.  Annie


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