Planning Ahead: How to Organize a Business Conference for 2021 (And Beyond)

Is it time for your company to touch base? You need a business conference that puts every department on the same page. Conferences are an excellent way to align goals, present ideas, and focus on the company’s future.

Business conferences aren’t exclusive to just one company. Conferences can bring an entire industry together, which helps companies network with other businesses within the sector.

Have you been tasked with setting up a conference? Discover the latest tips for planning business conferences in 2021.

A Business Conference in the Age of Social Distancing

The COVID-19 pandemic completely overhauled the conference planning process.

With guidelines mandating social distancing, companies can’t plan for the same capacities as before. While you can still hold meetings at the Midlothian Conference Center, attendees may need to wear masks if they’re not 6-feet apart. You would need to call beforehand to confirm if social distancing is required.

An alternative to in-person conferences is virtual conferences. This option is the most popular choice in 2020 and will likely remain throughout 2021. As COVID cases rise and fluctuate, it’s difficult to tell when social distancing requirements will be lifted.

The Benefits of Virtual Conferences

Virtual conferencing tools have exploded in popularity since the onset of COVID-19. These tools allow businesses to operate as usual and adapt to the new normal.

You can also integrate virtual conferencing tools with in-person events to maintain social distancing. For example, you could include large outdoor video screens, so that attendees can enjoy the conference while distancing outside.

Many of these conferences are taking place right at home! As more companies embrace remote work, conference protocol has changed. Furthermore, you don’t have to pay for catering, ticketing, or event staff. Conference swag bags can include gift cards, streaming memberships, and other digital gifts.

There are several video conferencing tools to choose from. Zoom is one of the most talked-about tools, but there’s also Google hangouts, Meets, YouTube, Skype, and Facebook live. Many of these platforms are free to use, so that’s another expense you don’t have to worry about.

How to Plan a Virtual Conference

The planning process starts with an itinerary. Your itinerary contains the conference schedule, topics, speakers, and breaks. Get these items squared away first before choosing a platform.

Choose a platform that everyone can use. There’s a bit of a learning curve with video conferencing. Send out a conferencing manual, complete with how-to tutorials, rules, and dress codes. Consider planning a mock conference first to iron out the kinks.

Next, send out invitations to your conference. Google calendar is a quick and easy way to send invites, confirm RSVPs, and remind attendees of the event.

During the conference, make sure to “mute” attendees or speakers that aren’t currently speaking. This feature will cut down on any background interference and interruptions.

Make an Impact in 2021

2021 is right around the corner. Make sure you have a business conference protocol in place. Refer to these tips as you plan your next big company event.

Make your conference the best it can be. Check out the blog for even more tips, tricks, and tools for business professionals like yourself.