Happy delegates = a successful conference, but what’s the secret? No matter how good an organiser you are, or how much effort you put into arranging your meetings, the landscape of events is continually changing and so are the expectations of your guests. Don’t rely on what worked last time, build on it. We at No.11 Cavendish Square host hundreds of events every year, and we’ve learnt a thing or two about what delegates these days really want.
Although lots of organisers fear live streaming of their event may reduce attendee figures, just think of the extra reach it will give you. Those who can’t make it in person will hugely appreciate the effort and you might even be able to get the streaming sponsored which could cover any drop in ticket sales.
Never scrimp on the catering. Your delegates are at your mercy as far as food and drink are concerned, so be kind! Upgrading from a sandwich buffet to hot bowl food will really impress guests and is guaranteed to be an ice-breaking topic of conversation at any networking event.
Don’t rely on simply providing breakout spaces and name badges. Some of your guests will be fabulous networkers who have the skills to seek out potential contacts regardless of the situation, but some will be less efficient. Some will even be secretly pleased they didn’t have to speak to people they didn’t already know. But however your delegates feel about networking, there’s no denying it can prove hugely beneficial. Encourage all of your guests to attend specific networking sessions or organise breakout games to help break the ice.
Venue information, maps, schedules, seminar notes… if you can put all the information your delegates could possibly need in one place, you’ll be making their lives an awful lot easier. As well as all the basics you would expect, try to incorporate some special touches like background reading for the lectures, recipes from the menu they can try at home, suggestions for local post-conference entertainment.
There will undoubtedly be lots of demands on your attention during the actual event, but make sure someone is responsible for meeting and greeting all of your guests – and nothing else. If you’ve done a good job with your pre-conference marketing, your delegates-to-be will already feel connected to the conference. Make sure this continues throughout its duration.
Conferences at No.11 Cavendish Square
We have spaces to suit conferences of all sizes up to 282 attendees (theatre style). Our largest and most popular conference room is the Burdett Suite which has state-of-the-art AV facilities and a dedicated in-house organiser to offer help during the planning stages and on the day. To discuss the details of your next conference at No.11 Cavendish Square, call our Venue Team on 020 7307 2474.