How to structure a Live Event for Success
Event Company: Is there an ideal way to structure your conference? What about an evening networking event? How long should speakers be on for? How many breaks should there be? These are common questions, and while there is no one way to run an event, there are some scheduling best practices you should bear in mind when creating the programme.
Here we run through how to make an event schedule and five common scenarios, whether you’re planning a conference, event or exhibition. You can also download our common event schedule templates at the bottom of this post to help you along the way.
How to make an event schedule
1. Choose your event duration
Before you begin to create your event or conference schedule, you’ll need to determine the event company event duration. This will tell you how long you have to fit in speaker sessions, networking, breakout sessions and so on. When you know your event duration, try to break this down into hours, or 30-minute slots, so that you can successfully allocate chunks of time to different activities.
2. Write a list of activities
Here you should include everything you need to fit into your event company event. Think about all of your key stakeholders such as exhibition partners, keynote speakers, sponsors and your own sales team. How much “air time” does each group expect to have? You should also include “free space” for activities such as networking, visiting an exhibition and spending time with sponsors.
3. Pick a time management system
A method to ensure your conference or event company event follows a structured schedule is to use a time management system such as time chunking. Business leaders such as Tony Robbins use this method as a way of breaking big tasks down into manageable chunks. The benefit of this for your event schedule is that you won’t overload your attendees with information.
You may decide to chunk all of your event activities into 30-minute sessions. Another system may be to ensure your attendees change room or area, every hour, to keep them engaged. Using a set time management system makes things fairer for all of your sponsors and speakers, as each will have the same amount of time to reach their audience.
4. Determine schedule visibility
While creating your event schedule think about how this will be shared. Will you have an event company event website? An event app? Paper printouts of the conference activities? This will help you to visualise how you want your event schedule to look and whether it will work across a range of mediums.
5. Plan for people
It’s very easy during the event planning process to pack everything in as tightly as possible. However, endless speaker sessions, panels and exhibitions can be quite tiring for your event attendees. Rather than seeing them as a number, think about their needs as if they are an individual. Most event company event attendees will need regular comfort breaks, a chance to grab coffee and maybe even time to let off steam outside or in a local town. The more you can think about the experience, the happier your attendees will be and the more chance they will come back next year. If you have the space and budget, create meditation rooms, pre-session yoga experiences “quiet” spaces to relax and recharge.
There really is no single best way to run an event – that’s one of the things that makes events unique and fun to attend – but there are some good rules of thumb and example event schedules you can follow.
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