The Best Tools for Planning a Successful Conference

By Sam Smith Chief Executive Officer, Network Events, Inc. | September 03, 2017

Planning a trade show or conference is no easy feat, but planning a successful conference is far more difficult. The weeks and months leading up to the event can demand a lot of long hours and stress and any event planner will quickly become intimately familiar with Murphy’s Law. With this in mind, there are a lot of tools available that will make planning these events far less stressful. On top of that, there are apps, software, and digital tools that can actually make the event itself go much more smoothly. If you have never planned a conference before, we have compiled a list of some essential resources, best practices, and apps that will help you plan a successful trade show.

Start with a Glossary of Exhibitor Trade Show Terms

First things first, you need to become fluent in the event industry’s lingo. Exhibitor trade shows and conferences can be quite complex places, and with terms floating around such as “pop-up display,” “promotional partnership,” and “modular exhibitor booth,” it can be confusing to figure out exactly what is going on. Do both yourself and your team a favor by compiling a beginner’s glossary of common terms in case any questions pop up. Understanding how to speak the language will be essential when you start dealing with potential vendors, sponsors, and exhibitors.

A Game Plan

Before you even start to think about advertising your show, you need to come up with a basic game plan. One of the simplest ways to do this is by answering the Who, What, When, Where, and Why of your upcoming event. For example, think of it this way:

Who - are you marketing to? Who do you want to attend your event?

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Human Resources: Value Creation

Businesses must evolve to stay competitive and this is also true of employment positions within those organizations. In the hotel industry, for example, the role that HR professionals perform continues to broaden and expand. Today, they are generally responsible for five key areas - government compliance; payroll and benefits; employee acquisition and retention; training and development; and organizational structure and culture. In this enlarged capacity, HR professionals are no longer seen as part of an administrative cost center, but rather as a member of the leadership team that creates strategic value within their organization. HR professionals help to define company policies and plans; enact and enforce systems of accountability; and utilize definable metrics to measure and justify outcomes. Of course, there are always new issues for HR professionals to address. Though seemingly safe for the moment, will the Affordable Care Act ultimately be repealed and replaced and, if so, what will the ramifications be? There are issues pertaining to Millennials in the workforce and women in leadership roles, as well as determining the appropriate use of social media within the organization. There are new onboarding processes and e-learning training platforms to evaluate, in addition to keeping abreast of political issues like the minimum wage hike movement, or the re-evaluation of overtime rules. Finally, there are genuine immigration and deportation issues that affect HR professionals, especially if they are located in Dreamer Cities, or employ a workforce that could be adversely impacted by federal government policies. The March Hotel Business Review will take a look at some of the issues, strategies and techniques that HR professionals are employing to create and sustain value in their organization.