Written by Carol James, writer at EssayLab.com
It’s no wonder that sometimes when you take a high position in a company, you may be asked to make a ‘get-together’ for people who work either in the same company or come from other businesses. This is a great opportunity for a minor or senior employee to showcase their abilities and readiness to take on a new challenge, which can result in a promotion, raise or just decent feedback from the board.
Apart from being a great contribution to your resume, organizing such an event can cause a lot of trouble especially when the skills you possess are not really suitable or you simply lack the experience. Sometimes, you may be a professional who has been grinding a field or branch-specific tasks for over 10 years, and there is no better match than you. Hence you’re the first one to choose when it comes to such a challenge. Notwithstanding, having an impressive set of hard skills doesn’t necessarily imply that your soft skills, i.e., communicative and management abilities, are good enough to take on such a task.
But fear no more! Since it doesn’t take long to enhance those skills or, even, acquire them from scratch. This article is aimed at giving a person in need a few tips on how to deal with such an issue, how to do an ideal large-scale conference/ trade show planning, and why doing your best is always a good strategy.
What Are Conferences And Trade shows?
For starters, a conference is an official meeting of representative of a professional branch from a few or many interconnected minor businesses, organizations, companies, corporations and even single physical entities. The purpose of a conference planning is to bring together people with certain expertise that can be shared and enriched by means of workshops, exhibitions, discussions and so on.
On the other hand, a trade show is also a gathering of people with expertise in a certain field. It’s organized as a presentation of companies’ or single physical entities’ achievements and discoveries. Usually, it’s a large exhibition where people are given an opportunity to demonstrate their innovative solutions to a problem, high-tech devices, and various specimens of technological modernization and so one.
Even though a purpose of the two varies and the expected outcome parts the methods of their conduct meet at the point of getting people together.
What Are The Top Three Skills Required For Planning An Event?
While being a pro in the field of a supposed large-scale event is the first requirement there are a few more things that you should be capable of in order to bring such a gathering to success.
First of all, the devil is in details. Hence, you need to possess highly improved organizational skills that will enable you to plan and designate parts of an event properly. For this, compiling a to-do list and assigning tasks to others are not enough since considering different sides of the event planning routine, you have to be closely in touch with the process itself.
Moreover, apart from planning and you need to be good at task-assigning and be able to determine who’s a suitable candidate for performing certain duties. Yes, it is tough, but it’s worth it. This job is a match for you if and only if you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and start to make 1000 copies of the event’s agenda booklets by yourself in case if your deputy has called in sick.
How to Improve Organizational Skills
- Be the first one in line when it comes to trying new things and taking responsibilities. This can give you a great push to making on-the-spot decisions and, hence, improve your long-sightedness and the ability to plan and foresee unexpected situations.
- Learn how to plan. For this, try to create a list of to-do things daily even, if such duties are minor and you’re more than sure that you won’t forget them. Writing a to-do list gives you an insight into your daily routine and can activate your ability to find different time-management approaches for overlapping tasks.
- Wake up Sure, today you might have a day off that you’ve decided to devote completely to a ‘me-time’ and do nothing. But if you learn how to be productive at a time of an anti-stress environment, then you can be more organized and focused at times of high volume.
Second of all, what makes a conference a conference? Right, people! Therefore, well-developed communication skills and the ability to resolve disputes and negotiate are a must.
While you’re doing time management for expositions and choose a nice design for gift-bags you need to accomplish a lot of tasks which involve interpersonal communication. Such tasks can include:
- Finding delegates and agreeing on their conditions;
- Arranging accommodations and housing for them;
- Taking care of a venue and coffee breaks;
- Attracting potential sponsors and presenting your project to the audience;
- Hiring and assigning personnel alongside supervising the process of work;
- Communicating with guests, delegates and, of course, your boss on different matters, etc.
In the end, what makes a good event-maker is a positive attitude that follows every step of their doing. And being a people’s person with the knowledge of how to deal with different kinds of personalities while managing to keep a pleasant smile all along, is a great skill.
How to Improve Communication Skills
- Always engage in a discussion. It’s a grandma’s recipe that works for 100%. The more you talk discussing different matters, the more advanced your speaking skills become. The trick here is to avoid conversations, which do not bring you any new information or make you most uncomfortable. If you manage to carry out a chat about the rights while you’re far liberal and keep your temper, then you’ll surely be able to hold any kind of conversation.
- Listen to people more than talk. A ground-breaking rule of a good communicator is to pay attention and not to interrupt, even if they completely disagree with their partner. And only when they finish their monologue, you can nicely express your opinion. As long as you manage to be respectful to people, they will be respectful and attentive towards you.
- Mind the time. In an official conversation or a situation of a dispute, you don’t want to bore or frustrate people by taking the floor and giving a speech. A good communicator always knows when to stop and the reason why such a stop should be made in order for others to participate in a discussion.
Third of all, creativity is a key to creating a memorable occurrence for both the guests and senior employees. The ability to come up with new ideas and elaborate a plan for their implementation helps you turn a boring high-tech devices exposition into a fascinating world of new experiences.
Not only you’ll be able to think of a fresh theme for an event or intertwine mere presentations and discussions with involving activities, but you’ll get a hand on finding a means of handling your budget without overstepping it.
How to Improve Creativity
- Collaborate with people who have a different or opposite opinion. A great idea is never born within an inner monologue but in a discussion of opposites. You don’t have to be an artist or a market strategist to come up with fresh points of view but a person who knows how to listen and interact.
- Get inspired by other ideas and fields. Sometimes, checking other specialties and industries can give you a vision that can be applied to yours and, therefore, you can have a solution you’ve been looking for.
- Ask for feedback. Any large-scale event is to satisfy people and only through their opinion you can understand what is good or bad. Improvement comes from avoiding mistakes done before.
What Are the Seven Main Steps on a Conference Organization Checklist?
- Determine what a conference/ trade show is going to be about. If a task is to present new kitchen amenities, then it’s not necessarily supposed to be a plain demonstration. Try to give it a name and an inspiring idea, for instance ‘The Kitchen of Your Future’ or ‘Cooking in the Kitchen, Aiming at the Moon.’ When a conference has a name and shape, then you can start finding ideas.
- Create a team that you’re going to be comfortable to work with. Normally, there a few of them with different goals: organizers, auditors, PR, sponsors, volunteers.
- Plan a budget. When you work with the budget, you have to consider all possible expenses regarding coffee breaks, hotels for delegates, promotion, venue, etc. Think thoroughly and plan ahead.
- Find sponsorships that can fill your budget in exchange for their promotion or presentation at the event.
- Invite To make an event attractive, there should be something more than just exhibitions and endless presentations. For this, try to find a few people who can contribute to your plan by introducing their companies’ achievements or showcase their interesting vision.
- Establish an agenda that is a detailed structure of an event to come that includes speakers, presentations, coffee breaks, activities, excursions, etc. The point here is to show guests that everything is thought through and they have nothing to worry about.
- Find Having a well-organized presentation or workshops cannot exist without a person or people who take care of the overall experience. A host is a leader who can put it all together in case if something goes wrong. For this, think of someone who’s already had experience in it.
All in all, organizing a conference or a trade show is a challenge. However, if you manage to overcome your fear, prepare yourself to upcoming issues, and give your best, then it can pay to your career profoundly.
Carol James is a writer and senior editor working at EssayLab.com. You can find her profile here. She has an MA degree in social sciences and writes articles and reviews on different subjects.