5 Ways to Make an Impact on Your Conference Attendees

Conference types vary widely, ranging from literary and business conferences to scientific symposiums, to comic and niche conferences. No matter the variety, the principles of planning and organization are pretty much the same.

Here are 5 ways to make an impact on your conference attendees through proper planning and production, largely contextualized through the lens of literary conferences. 

1. Make the Programming Content Diverse

Expected content will vary according to conference type, but it is a good rule of thumb to have a wide menu of options, so to speak, when it comes to programming. Take a literary conference, for example. There are panels of four or five guests discussing a chosen topic with a question and answer period after. There are book release parties, author readings, and more. Literary conferences that incorporate fan content may also have film screenings, book dealer rooms, and opportunities to meet with agents. Having an array of things to attend is a brilliant way to attract attendees, given the variation in interests that people have on an individual level. 

2. Invite and Hire Diverse, Impactful Guests

If you have panels, they should have an array of genders, nationalities, races, etc. It’s important to have diverse guests speaking on important topics. We live in an increasingly inclusive world, and conferences that aren’t getting with the times are going to face consequences when it comes to ticket sales. In addition to inviting a variety of guests, it’s also essential to invite impactful, even celebrity guests to draw a large and immediate interest in the conference. 

These guests can serve a range of functions, from being named guests of honor who participate in well-attended programming within the conference, to being a host or moderator of events. Maybe you’re planning an environmental conference and choose to invite Ted Danson, who is notable in his activism for the health of the ocean. Maybe you’re looking for a celebrity with a talent for motivational speaking to host an event, and you choose to hire william hung

3. Make the Conference Accessible

Conferences are most often held in hotels. Many hotels are thankfully abiding by the Americans with Disabilities Act and the social trend towards inclusion. Many, however, are not. There is no way to anticipate how many guests have special needs, and so it isn’t wise to book a venue where they cannot attend. You will bring unnecessary negative attention to yourself and not only alienate people from attending, but if the conference is annual, you will discourage attendance for years to come. 

4. Have Tiered Membership Offerings

Conferences are steeply priced. Some literary conference tickets can run between $300 and $500, and that doesn’t include travel fare, lodging, or food. It’s critical that there are more affordable options for those who can’t afford to attend for the entire weekend. One option is to have per-event tickets, day passes, and early registration discounts. 

5. Offer Opportunities

If attendees anticipate coming away from a conference better than they had entered, with a sense that they have made some strides towards goals, then they will be inclined to return. Opportunities include award ceremonies, scholarships and grants, being able to meet with industry professionals, and more. 

Sophia Anderson

Sophia Anderson is a blogger and a freelance writer. She is passionate about covering topics on money, business, careers, self-improvement, motivation and others. She believes in the driving force of positive attitude and constant development.