5 Lessons Learned From Organising A Tech Conference

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Lists don’t actually make any sense at all, but they are helpful to organise something valuable in a few key bullet points. We have recently held our first Tech event in Manchester, Uk. What seemed to be an easy thing to do, it turned out to be a lot more difficult than expected. If you don’t want to be stressed, constantly check the number of tickets sold, deal with every single kind of speaker, have people dropping out in the last minute, don’t ever organise a conference.

#1 – Plan In Advance

This is the silliest lesson, but it’s actually the most useful one. It doesn’t matter how many people you are expecting, you always have to start planning, at least, five months before the event, if you really don’t want to have any problems on the day. There are some large organisations that even start planning events eleven months before. Speakers, if Entrepreneurs, are always busy, so it’s better to contact them as soon as possible.

#2 – Have A Plan B

Speakers drop out, they always do, so if you don’t want to panic two weeks before the event, when a speaker leaves you for “unknown reasons”, have another list of possible speakers that you can always contact. It’s difficult to fill gaps in the last few weeks, but if you build a relationship with these people, they might be even willing to speak during that empty slot that you weren’t expecting.

#3 – Write A Decent Sponsorship Proposal

There is no Tech Conference without any sponsor. These events are extremely expensive, in terms of the things you have to provide to the people, that’s why you need sponsors to run them. A proposal, even if you have a close relationship with the sponsor, is fundamental to show them what they have to gain. Exposition might be the main factor, but you have to explain them the range and the kind of exposition they might get. It could be through social media or given the demographic of the people attending your event.

#4 – Show The Value Of Being There

If you don’t show the value in speaking at the event or attending, you won’t have any speakers and audience. Speakers attend because they like the event and mostly the aim of what you are trying to achieve. Attendees need to understand the price of the value you are offering. If the price is lower than the value, they’ll be more likely to buy a ticket (if it’s your first event). If you have already established your brand and the event is exclusive, the price can easily be equal to the value you are offering.

#5 – Use Different Distribution Channels

If you are organising your first event, with a small audience size (100-200), instead of constantly pushing your event with social media and advertising, you can also use the word of mouth and contact people directly. If you know people who might be interested in what you are doing, contact and show them your value. Word of mouth is a thousand years old model, which is more useful than any advertising of marketing campaign. If people, who promised they would have bought a ticket, haven’t bought it yet before the event, contact them again and ask why.

If you are not organising a three thousands people conference and your brand is not established, you need to play smart and use these simple tips. Although contacting people and asking for feedback may sound a bit silly, it’s the easiest way to understand what your “potential costumers” think of your event.

Edoardo Moreni

Blogger, Political Activist, Computer Scientist and Italian.

  • Tom James

    Well done Edoardo, it was really useful.

  • Naader Bajwa

    I like that this actually had tips, not just some generic phrases like ‘know what you want to accomplish’.

    • http://greatpreneurs.com/ Edoardo Moreni

      Thanks, there is a lot to say, but the most important thing to understand is timing both when you prepare it and when you run it.